Relationship Anxiety

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
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    For those with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or other types of anxiety, fear and worry can negatively impact many aspects of your life and relationships are no exception.  Most people feel some nervousness over relationships at some time or another, the uncertainty, especially in new relationships, can be unnerving. But for some people with anxiety disorders, who thrive on situations when they know exactly what is going to happen, and when, the need to rely on trust and the unknown can be difficult at best or completely destroy the relationship at worst.

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    Suspiciousness is one common manifestation of relationship anxiety. You may wonder if your partner is being unfaithful, worry that he does not love you or think that he doesn't love you enough. Constant worrying can create a strain in your relationship; if you mention your fears, your partner might get angry that you don't trust him or you may feel needy and insecure; if you don't say anything, your worrying may balloon out of control causing you to make accusations or act in other inappropriate ways, such as following your partner or calling him over and over throughout the day to be reassured of his love.


    If you find your anxiety is causing problems in your relationship, it may be time to seek professional help. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be helpful in reducing anxiety and chronic worrying.  You may also find the following tips helpful:


    Talk with your partner about your anxiety. Let him or her know how you are feeling and that you are going to take steps to reduce your anxiety but that you may also need occasional reassurances about your relationship. Ask for his patience, understanding and support while you try to work through your anxiety.

    When you find yourself become suspicious, remind yourself that this may be caused by your anxiety and that you should look at the facts of the situation.


    Take time to explore any specific information that will back up your suspicions. If there isn't any your anxiety may be fueling your worries. If that is the case, addressing the anxiety, not the suspicions, with relaxation techniques will be more beneficial.


    Try to step back from your thoughts and decide what you are thinking, why you are thinking it and whether there are rational reasons for your thoughts. You may find there are more rational reasons for not thinking suspicious thoughts, for example, your partner says he is going to call you, but doesn't. You become suspicious, wondering if he just doesn't care, doesn't want to be in the relationship or if he is seeing someone else. Once you think through the situation, you realize that you have no solid evidence to support the idea that he is seeing someone else and has not given you any indication that he wants to end the relationship. You think about other possible reasons for not calling, such as having a business meeting run longer than expected or he isn't in a location where he can use his phone. Talking yourself through the situation can help you better deal with the emotions of the situation.


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    Use relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, yoga or meditation on a daily basis to help control anxiety. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine has also been found to reduce overall feelings of anxiety. Using these types of techniques may help you feel less anxious and more in control of your emotions.

    If nothing else seems to be working, you might want to consider talking with a therapist or other medical professional and discuss different treatment options for anxiety.



Published On: February 07, 2012