Not to worry, there is such a thing as relationship anxiety. This could be the reason why you cannot find peace in your partnership.
Relationship anxiety is not a new issue. In fact, this type of anxiety has been around since the beginning of time, no really.
Up until now, however, most people just thought they were going crazy or acting irrationally when dealing with love and it’s concepts. Jealousy, anger, and even sadness can all be direct results of triggers from past experiences.
Here’s the basic idea.
What is relationship anxiety?
Basically, any form of insecurity within the intimate partner dynamic can cause relationship anxiety. It’s a direct result of insecure feelings. You are afraid, afraid of many different things which can threaten the well-being or life of your partnership.
Now, the worst part is basing your present relationship on what happened with your past experiences. Yes, this is wrong, but it’s just how your brain has been trained, or rather, rewired to respond.
These feelings can always be there or they can come and go in waves or torment. When things seem fine, all of a sudden a small change can trigger horrible bouts of panic.
Common thought patterns during this time include, “Am I good enough?”, “Am I ugly?”, and “Will she leave me?” Check this out:
Fear of trusting people due to past experiences with relationships gone bad.
What causes anxiety and what are the signs?
Now that you know what relationship anxiety is, let’s gather an understanding of where it came from. Also, it’s good to know if we exhibit the signs and symptoms as well. Relationship anxiety, while not the most serious problem, can damage your relationships and yourself, and this is why it must be identified as early as possible.
1. Fear of commitment
There’s definitely a problem when there is a fear of commitment. Say you’ve been in a relationship for 5 years or more and you’re having problems moving ahead.
Well, it could be that you’re suffering from anxiety connected to your union. It could also mean bad experiences with commitments in the past or infidelity. These issues can make you afraid to move forward in your relationship.
2. Lack of communication
People fail to communicate because they do not want to understand the perspective of others. However, some people cannot communicate because past experiences have damaged that emotional area.
If for instance, you are not able to express your feelings to your mate, it’s possible that you were not allowed to express your feelings in the past. Now, you have to learn how to communicate all over again.
A little bit of jealousy is okay, but too much and things will fall apart. Being overly jealous is a huge red flag that something is wrong. Jealousy doesn’t mean your mate is crazy, so let’s put those words away.
Maybe dealing with cheaters in the past has destroyed trust and jealousy is comforting. It’s hard to get into the mind of a jealous person, but I suppose they are scared of being abandoned, betrayed or neglected.
4. Cold/Aloof/ without feeling
Relationship anxiety can also be seen in a quiet form. When your partner seems cold and distant, it doesn’t mean they do not love you. Maybe they have experienced a lack of warmth in the past.
Maybe this happened so many times that they have learned to hold parts of themselves back from the relationship. Instead of having a panic attack, in this instance, they tend to shut down and put up walls. You will know them by their defensiveness.
5. Mixed messages
Those who suffer from relationship anxiety will send mixed messages. One moment they are warm and inviting and the next, they are distant. They can change gears so fast that your head will spin.
But be gentle, these individuals have been through some of the worst torment in past relationships. They have learned to flip/flop emotions because the same thing was done to them.
Beware, but someone who suffers from this form of anxiety will ask a million questions and more. The reason why they do this is that they are trying to feel you out.
They want to know if their present relationship is going to be anything like past failures. They analyze every little detail in order to make sure they haven’t missed clues to negative aspects of the relationship.
Another sure sign that you or your partner may be suffering from relationship anxiety is anger. When you’ve endured a difficult past then it will be easier to lose your temper.
Anxiety makes you worry about things before they even happen. It seems you are waiting on these things, expecting them. You knew it would happen, and you hate that you were right. This anger can be volatile, but mostly it’s just like an itch under your skin.
Control is important to those who suffer from this form of anxiety. They feel that if they can control every situation, then nothing bad can happen to them or their partner.
The problem is, this controlling behavior will eventually drive their loved ones away. This fear usually comes from how they failed to save past relationships due to random circumstances.
Here are a few ways to help!
You know what it is and you know why it’s happening. You even know how to identify some of the signs and symptoms. Now it’s time to take a few notes on how to help with this issue.
If you are able to understand relationship anxiety and why it happens, you will be better equipped to deal with it. First of all, understand that relationship anxiety is a mental illness.
This is not something that your partner wishes to do to you, this is something that they cannot control.
“Our minds take over and go directly to the worst-case scenario”
-Michelene Wasil, therapist familiar with relationship anxiety
2. Educate yourself
Guess what!? Anxiety is normal. I bet you didn’t know that! The thing is, anxiety can get out of control, and this is when it becomes a disorder or illness. Every single one of us has anxious feelings, and it’s what helps us survive.
So, with this knowledge, try to look at those who suffer from uncontrollable anxiety as just someone who’s endured a little too much hell.
3. Encourage your partner to communicate
Always try to get your loved one to open up and share what they are feeling. Never judge them or they will “clam up”. Always listen and then offer reassurance when needed. Never treat their concerns as less than important and if they “ghost” on you, then be the one to reach out first.
They are actually waiting to see if you will care enough to come to them. Although this behavior is unhealthy, reach out to them anyway, then make sure they know how negative the behavior can be.
And of course, no one holds the answers quite like a professional. Always encourage your mate to talk with a therapist and put everything on the table, so to speak. This therapy will offer solutions and help you to move forward in your relationship.
I hope this post has shed light on relationship anxiety so you can better understand. There are many sources available on this subject and it’s best to gain as much knowledge as possible.
One of the most important tips I leave you with today is to stay strong. It won’t be easy to help others or yourself in this situation.
The good news is, there is a way. With love and understanding, trust can be rebuilt and a sense of assurance can generate peace. I wish you well and hope for the best!
By Sherrie H.