Although it may sound dramatic to suggest that anxiety can ruin relationships, unfortunately, it sometimes does. Anxiety is too much. It bulldozes itself into people’s relationships when it intrudes on them. It influences a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior, distorting reality and resulting in misery and misunderstandings. This can result in a great deal of stress and misunderstandings in the context of a relationship. When worries, what-ifs, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors override the positive aspects of a relationship that once existed between two people, anxiety ruins it. In this article, we are going to give you in detail about how anxiety ruins relationships and how you can fix them.
Can Anxiety Ruin Relationships?
When someone has anxiety, their life becomes increasingly constrained, favoring unfavorable, anxious thoughts and beliefs. Anxiety encroaches on the relationship’s focal point and blocks the partners’ views of one another. Anxiety destroys relationships when people start to lose sight of one another due to anxious thoughts and actions.
For instance, people with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are more likely to encounter relationship issues, such as divorce, than people without a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (Cuncic, 2018). People with GAD are twice as likely to have at least one significant relationship problem and are three times more likely to avoid intimacy than people without anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (n.d.).
Why Anxiety Destroys Relationships
Relationships are ruined by anxiety because it interferes. It produces unfavorable mind patterns and beliefs, exaggerating them (as in making them bigger and more believable than reality). As it grabs both partners’ attention, anxiety turns into a barrier. Both the anxious person and their partner focus too much on the anxiety instead of being fully present with one another. Feelings of disconnect, separation, and abandonment are the result of this.
Anxiety is a critical voice that screams “mean things” rather than “sweet nothings.” Any type of anxiety is greatly influenced by self-doubt, which dominates both partners’ logical thoughts and words. The anxious partner’s anxious thoughts and beliefs include things like:
Co-Dependence and Anxiety
Numerous people who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder have a strong desire. They are close to their romantic partners and frequently rely on them for comfort and assurance. This frequently results in overdependence and co-dependent behaviors. A generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive dependence, overthinking, planning for the worst-case scenario, and a strong fear of rejection. These characteristics can put a lot of strain on a relationship and cause both partners to feel stressed, inadequate, and overworked.
Abstaining From Relationships
On the other hand, some people with generalized anxiety disorder develop excessive independence and detachment from their partner and their feelings. They might avoid unpleasant sentiments by not expressing them, by being vulnerable, or by opening out. It is possible to label someone who avoids close relationships as cold, emotionally unavailable, without empathy, or even standoffish. In a love relationship, this can lead to a lot of negative energy and distance, which frequently makes the other partner feel inadequate and undesired.
Keeping Your Relationship’s Anxiety Under Control
You and your partner must each comprehend and learn to manage your anxiety problem. The most crucial thing to remember is that your partner is not your therapist and should never behave in such a way. We frequently want to “fix” our loved ones. But we should urge our partners to seek out professional counseling rather than take on the role of therapist. One of the best ways to deal with anxiety in a relationship—outside of therapy—is to talk frankly, honestly, and directly with your partner. It’s vital to talk openly about your feelings rather than attempting to conceal them or be ashamed of them. When your partner’s worry threatens to destroy the relationship, controlling your reactions is a crucial coping mechanism.
It’s simple to take something personally and get irritated when your partner discusses their nervousness in the context of your relationship. It’s simple to mistake anxiety for selfishness, or rejection. An attempt to distance yourself from your partner. But you must maintain your composure, listen to what they have to say, and realize that their anxiety is what may be driving them to act out. In order to support your partner and establish boundaries, controlling your reactions is more crucial than controlling those of your partner. It will be tough to help your partner if their concern makes you lose it whenever they bring it up. Remember to recognize the steps your partner is doing to overcome their anxiety and, if you can, “enjoy their strength.”
Relationship Anxiety Warning Signs
Anyone can suffer from relationship anxiety, and having it doesn’t necessarily indicate that your relationship isn’t working. Fear and worry frequently result from not wanting to go through a breakup or from being afraid to be vulnerable because of past hurts, such as being cheated on in the past.
The following indications may indicate relationship anxiety:
#1. The Fear of Vulnerability and Commitment
Commitment problems may arise as a result of a bad experience in the past or from a lack of ease in expressing your emotions. Some people experience relationships as restricting, and attaching a label to them makes them feel even more anxious.
#2. Breaking Up with Someone Before Things Get Serious
Connection anxiety may be present if you start to distance yourself from potential friends, cut individuals off before a relationship develops, or engage in self-destructive habits.
#3. Refusing to Express Your Needs and Desires Out of Concern that they’ll Leave
Feeling reluctant to express your ideas can be a sign that you are worried about the relationship. Healthy partnerships need to be based on honesty and trust.
#4. Inquiring into Your Partner’s Intentions
Frequently, those who experience relationship anxiety worry that their partner will “find someone better,” question whether their partner genuinely cares for them, or constantly be
worried that their lover may leave them for phony or minor reasons.
#5. Questioning Your Compatibility With Your Partner
You can begin to place more emphasis than is required on your partner’s differences from you, such as your differing tastes in music or movies, to the point where you wind up worrying about them more than you enjoy your compatibility.
How to Manage Anxiety in a Relationship
Working with a qualified therapist as a guide will help you uncover any underlying anxiety you may have in order to effectively deal with your relationship anxiety. Also crucial is being honest and transparent with your partner, who may be able to ease your tension and give you a sense of security.
Here are suggestions for handling relationship anxiety in a constructive manner:
#1. Determine the Source of Your Anxiety
Is it anxiety? low self-worth? lacking in assurance? Shame? Identifying the source of your fear and making associations with earlier events or your upbringing might make you more conscious. Sometimes, our inability to select healthy relationships for ourselves causes us to feel insecure.
#2. Express Your Emotions Openly
At your most anxious, you might not want to express your feelings, but doing so is crucial. Relationships can suffer from a lack of communication, but these relationships benefit from and deepen from healthy communication. Additionally, it maintains open lines of communication. Allow the encouraging people in your life access to your innermost thoughts.
#3. Apply Self-Calming Methods when Anxiety Levels Increase
The physical symptoms of anxiety can include a fast heartbeat, tightness in the chest, and dizziness.
Develop your body scanning skills to become more self-aware. Deep breathing, guided meditation, yoga, or undertaking an activity that focuses on one of your five senses are strategies to self-soothe. When searching for anxiety treatments that work for you, don’t be hesitant to think outside the box. To help people manage the stress reaction that occurs when people are anxious, new modalities like havening are being developed.
#4. Build Trust With People Who Will Support You
Building trust in relationships is crucial for preserving strong ties, despite the fact that it can be challenging. Make time for the individuals who care about you in your life. The ability to trust someone takes time, experience, and a pattern of consistent, cultivated actions.
#5. Address any Disagreements or Conflicts of Opinion
Relationship conflict that is not addressed can result in bitterness and the breakup of the union. While conflict cannot be avoided, it must be managed and resolved in a constructive manner. Although it could be challenging, try to start by emphasizing “I” comments and accepting responsibility for your part in the conflict.
Recognize That Though Your Emotions May Be Valid, They May Not Always Be True.
Emotions can change abruptly, and it is simple to draw the wrong conclusions when they do.
#6 Reframe Your Negative Thoughts
in a more positive way and practice giving your relationships the benefit of the doubt. Say “I attract love and people are drawn to my warmth and vitality” as opposed to “I usually push people away and nobody likes me.”
#7. Let the Supportive People in Your Life Know How Much they Mean to You
Reward those who have demonstrated real concern for you. Gratitude can boost your mood and strengthen your emotional ties. In addition to expressing your gratitude, list the positive parts of your relationships and the contributions that people have made to your life.
#8. Seek Therapy to Process Your Feelings and Thoughts
A fantastic option to delve deeper and identify some of the unfavorable thought patterns and events that might be causing your relationship anxiety is through therapy for anxiety.
#Therapy may be very helpful, whether you’re experiencing with relationship anxiety or your partner’s since it gives you a safe space to work through your nervous feelings and acquire a greater understanding of how to recognize and have a healthy connection.
Use a local therapist search engine to identify one in your area who you feel at ease speaking with and with whom you can establish a rapport. Remember, experiencing this kind of anxiety is not shameful, and sometimes the first step to healing is just being honest with yourself and asking for support.
Remember that you are not alone if you are experiencing the negative impacts of anxiety in a relationship. Even though your experiences are singular, there are some that can relate and/or desire to support you. Consider letting those folks in after first being knowledgeable about the relationship anxiety triggers, symptoms, and coping techniques.
How Anxiety Ruins Relationship FAQs
How anxiety can affect relationships?
Being too reliant on your partner: People with a generalized anxiety disorder may wind up being excessively reliant on their partners. This could involve worrying excessively about their relationship, being rejected, being worried if a partner does not reply right away, and preparing for the worst.
Can anxiety make you unhappy in a relationship?
It can drain you emotionally and physically and make you feel hopeless and depressed. Living with anxiety when you are in a relationship is very challenging. When you are married or otherwise in a committed relationship, your mental health affects more than just yourself.
What is it like dating someone with anxiety?
When your partner’s behavior changes, dating someone with anxiety can feel incredibly overwhelming and frustrating. They may begin to withdraw, become more distant, and engage in passive-aggressive behavior, or they may exhibit increased control, rage, or harshness.