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Caree Brown L.C.S.W. Psychotherapy

Individual, Couples, & Family Therapy


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How Anxiety Can Hurt Relationships

Anxiety is a complex monster that rears its ugly head in a myriad of different ways. Physical, mental, and emotional health struggles can be present when dealing with a constantly worrying mind. For a lot of our clients seeking anxiety counseling, they often wonder how anxiety can hurt relationships or possibly even end them.

How Anxiety Can Hurt Relationships

Having anxiety does not make you a bad person, nor does it mean that your relationships are doomed to fail. In fact, most people who seek cognitive behavioral therapy develop powerful reframing skills and coping mechanisms that help them work through their anxieties in healthy ways. Let’s talk about how unchecked anxiety can hurt relationships, and how the right mental health tools can fix them.

Anxiety = Fear

A lot of people find the word “anxiety” synonymous with “afraid,” “in panic,” or “freaking out.” While anxiety does not always mean fear, it can create an overly worried mind that makes you forget the reality of your current situation. You may even tend to forget what your biggest needs are in the moment – or your partner’s – which could lead to procrastination or panic. And while all of this time is being spent cycling through worrying thoughts, you may be failing to communicate to your partner as effectively as you know you can.

Short breaks might be suggested if you tend to speak on your anxieties in the moment. You might want to let your partner know that you can feel some anxiety building up in you and it may take you out of the present for the next little while.

Anxiety Challenges Joy

In a lot of ways, anxiety is the antithesis of joy. Joy is the absence of worry and a feeling of freedom that can make one euphoric. When you feel anxious, you cannot feel joy because you do not feel that you have the freedom to do so. This goes beyond just a feeling, too: Studies show that stress can affect your sex drive, and anxiety can keep you from ever feeling relaxed.

You can start focusing on the parts of your anxiety that are blocking you from feeling joy. Which can lead to better physical and mental well-being. Discussing these things with a therapist can help you find the connections between your anxiety and reality. In turn, this equips you with resources you need to process anxiety in healthier and healthier ways.

Feed Your Needs, Not Your Fears

Anxiety is a condition that takes you out of the present. It then forces you into a situation where everything is escalated. You may:

  • Feel a sense of panic
  • Have an overabundance of worry
  • Be compelled to speak on these fears at the moment

Sometimes, we immediately act on our fears instead of focusing on our needs. This then can cause a rift in communication. Once this becomes a pattern, it is bound to put some strain on any kind of relationship.

Remember that You are Not Alone!

Along with being scary and frustrating, anxiety is also a very isolating feeling. The experience of feeling anxious can make you forget that there is someone in your life who is always there for you. You might be sitting right next to your partner while your mind wanders to a far-off place of panic and procrastination. You don’t have to go through it alone!

Many partners feel that their relationships are being ruined because of their anxiety. Anxiety is never a cause, but it can be a symptom. Your partner may also be feeling excessive stress or worry without being able to communicate it. One thing that members of a relationship can do together to get over this hurdle of anxiety and fear is to seek couples therapy in. Our certified therapists can help you separate anxiety from reality. So you can better deal with it in the future.