Couples that desire to create a lasting healthy relationship, take time to understand each other’s similarities and differences. When dating someone that struggles with anxiety, it is vital to take time to understand just exactly how anxiety plays into the relationship.
As a relationship counselor, I’ve had the opportunity to understand how anxiety continues to impact relationships. What I tend to see is that the anxiety creates challenges in the relationship. Challenges associated with anger outburst or issues with communication.
As a simple example, imagine that you are dating someone that avoids confrontation. Each time an issue comes up, your partner does their best to escape and overall not engage. The issue may lead to feeling that your partner is not trying in the relationship. Or that they do not care about you.
The unspoken issue is anxiety.
People who struggle with anxiety often also struggle with confrontation or situations that create emotional tension. If you are able to understand your partner’s anxiety, then you will be able to overcome challenges associated with it.
- Increasing awareness.
Take time to understand your partner’s anxiety by asking questions. Questions about their history with anxiety or symptoms associated with it.
Below are common symptoms that your partner can be struggling with:
- Problems focusing or concentrating.
- Difficulty making decisions
- Daydreaming or feeling as if you are in a “trance” like state.
- Hand Tremors.
- Feeling overly sweaty.
- Fearing something bad could happen.
- Practicing Mindfulness.
The practice of mindfulness helps to increase personal awareness of what is taking place in your life. To support your partner with anxiety, you can engage in any of the mindfulness activities:
- Journal Writing
- Art Class
- Nature Walk
- Create a Code Word.
Anxiety is associated with symptoms that can create distress. Symptoms of agitation or nervousness can lead a person to experience emotional distress. To support your partner with anxiety and the health of the relationship create a code word that represents break-time.
Break-time is a set time that you and your partner use to calm down during stressful moments. The goal is that a code word is created and used during potentially stressful situations, such as that during an argument or before the anxiety symptoms escalate.
The usage of the code word allows you and your partner to take a break from each other and the situation.
- A Lifestyle with Self-Care
Self-care must be a part of everyone’s life as it directly helps to reduce distressful symptoms and improve emotional balance. To help your partner with anxiety, implement self-care as a part of life.
Below are ways to include self-care in your relationship:
- Couples Massage
- Couples Counseling
- Watching a Movie
- Meditation Class
- Craft or Hobby
- Cook Together
Mr. Juan Santos is a professional counselor, private practice consultant and book author who specializes in relationship stability and understanding separation indicators. He has conducted hundreds of couples counseling sessions. Mr. Santos is the creator of two successful relationship strengthening courses: “A Marriage Preparation Course: For Premarital Couples” and “The Relationship Building Course: For struggling couples”. He is the author of the following self-help psychology books: Couples Workbook: Making Your Relationship Work; 100 Ways Married Men Can Remain Emotionally Connected; Life Without Stress, My Journal, and Parenting Education for Hispanic Families.