What Should You Do if Your Partner Makes You Anxious?
Anxiety is hard enough to deal with on your own; you wake up in the morning already feeling exhausted, and negative thoughts begin racing through your head. But when you add another person into the mix, it can make things a whole lot worse. Everything relationship inevitably has issues, but it can be overwhelming when one of those is heightened anxiety.
If you’re wondering what the signs are that your relationship is making your anxiety worse, ask yourself if you experience any of the following:
- You constantly wonder if your partner loves you.
- You feel on edge when you’re with your partner.
- Your partner tries to “fix” your anxiety.
- Your arguments send you into a spiral of overthinking and worry.
- You easily snap at your partner.
- You feel like your partner criticizes everything you do.
- You’ve stopped bringing up your concerns.
A relationship should empower you, not constantly trigger you. That’s not to say you’re with the wrong partner, but it’s important to understand if your relationship makes it impossible for you to heal. This step is almost as important as the work you do for yourself to help ease your anxiety.
So let’s talk about how to figure out if your partner is negatively affecting your anxiety and ways to handle it.
Consider your relationship history.
How was your anxiety in past relationships? Are your feelings a common occurrence? This can help you realize if these feelings form a pattern for all your relationships or if they only started when you began dating your current partner.
If it’s the latter, your partner might be the issue more than your anxiety is.
Take notice of the way your partner treats you, especially when triggered.
Is your partner calm and caring? Or do they make you feel bad about your emotions? Have they called you words like “crazy” or “irrational”? Or are they concerned and loving?
No matter how much you think you love someone, if they’re not kind to you, they’re not a good person to be with. Your anxiety doesn’t make you unlovable, so consider if you want to stay in a relationship that makes you feel like you are.
Talk to your partner about your thoughts.
If you believe your partner isn’t causing your anxiety, then have a talk with them. Describe your struggles, the feelings you experience, what triggers those emotions, and ways your partner can support you.
This kind of conversation can not only help your anxiety but could also bring you and your partner closer together.
Have a list of coping mechanisms.
When my anxiety feels overwhelming, I have a list of activities that make me feel better. My go-to ones are going for a walk while listening to a podcast and watching an uplifting movie.
Create one of these lists specific to you with at least ten activities. That way, when you feel triggered, you can have healthier coping activities.
Create better boundaries.
If you find your anxiety getting worse when you spend too much time with your partner or go an entire day without hearing from them, you might have a boundaries issue. Creating set expectations for things like time apart and how often you check in with each other can alleviate some of your more anxious times.
Seek professional help if things are too overwhelming.
Anxiety is a serious mental health concern, and if things feel too hard for you to handle on your own, professional help is a great option. Online therapy can have you talking to a therapist in a matter of days, plus it’s more affordable than in-person therapy. You deserve to feel happy, especially in your love life, so don’t feel bad about admitting you need some help.