How Generalized Anxiety Disorder Can Affect Your Relationships feeling insecure, which leads to fear and doubt about others' intentions. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for years, but have They didn't silence the doubts about my relationship, but they made me a. But anxiety can also affect your relationship by introducing stress, doubt, worry — and the mistakes and arguments that can come about as a.
This process continually repeats, as the anxiety leads the relationship to go through cycles that do increasing amounts of damage to the relationships each time. Left unchecked, it can destroy the relationship. In his book Daniel Smith describes his own experience with this process: Over and over again, I pushed Joanna away and pulled her back, drawing her into an abusive four-step dance.
First, I would grow increasingly uncertain. Was it possible that what I called love had been merely infatuation, lust, desire? Second, torn by my doubts, I would grow withdrawn and sullen, even openly hostile. I would ignore Joanna, make nasty little remarks, put her down in front of her friends. Third, Joanna would start to fight back.
Neglected and mistreated, she would respond with anger and sadness. Why was I being so cruel? What had she done to deserve this? Fourth, horrified by my behavior, I would try urgently and with great remorse to repair the damage. Then, after a short respite, the dance would begin again. The Breakdown of Intimacy What is intimacy? Though they are often used interchangeably, intimacy and sex are NOT the same thing. Intimacy is about closeness, and connection.
It requires vulnerability, and a willingness to open yourself up to the other person. Well, what is anxiety? Anxiety is a condition that causes chronic stress and tension, and causes people to overthink and imagine the worst in situations.
It causes doubt, and fear. The hypersensitivity to the outside environment also extends itself to a sense of self, and a feeling of self-consciousness around others about how they look.
With this discomfort in your own skin there is a tendency to pull away. Touch, seen as a sign of closeness and comfort for most people, is often a source of discomfort for people with anxiety. Anxiety can create almost the polar opposite of the conditions required for intimacy. Behaviors impacting Relationships Anxiety can lead to a number of different actions and behaviors which sabotage and break down love list copied from the site referenced: Cling — When we feel anxious, our tendency may be to act desperate toward our partner.
We may stop feeling like the independent, strong people we were when we entered the relationship. As a result, we may find ourselves falling apart easily, acting jealous or insecure or no longer engaging in independent activities. Control — When we feel threatened, we may attempt to dominate or control our partner. This behavior can alienate our partner and breed resentment. Reject — If we feel worried about our relationship, one defense we may turn to is aloofness.
We may become cold or rejecting to protect ourselves or to beat our partner to the punch.
These actions can be subtle or overt, yet it is almost always a sure way to force distance or to stir up insecurity in our partner. Withhold — Sometimes, as opposed to explicit rejection, we tend to withhold from our partner when we feel anxious or afraid. Perhaps things have gotten close, and we feel stirred up, so we retreat.
We hold back little affections or give up on some aspect of our relationship altogether. Withholding may seem like a passive act, but it is one of the quietest killers of passion and attraction in a relationship. Punish — Sometimes, our response to our anxiety is more aggressive, and we actually punish, taking our feelings out on our partner.
When Anxiety Attempts To Sabotage Your Relationship | Thought Catalog
We may yell and scream or give our partner the cold shoulder. In this state of fantasy, we focus on form over substance.
We may stay in the relationship to feel secure but give up on the vital parts of relating. In a fantasy bond, we often engage in many of the destructive behaviors mentioned above as a means to create distance and defend ourselves against the anxiety that naturally comes with feeling free and in love. Anxiety and Sex Intimacy and sex are two different things, and in a relationship intimacy is much more important.
But maintaining a sex life is actually pretty damned important too. Not surprisingly, Anxiety can also get in the way of the sexual side of a relationship. Anxiety is an overwhelming form of daily stress. Many find that living with anxiety daily causes them to experience significant sadness and discomfort in their daily life, often leading to less enjoyment of the things that previously caused them happiness.
Your sex drive is directly affected by the way you feel, and anxiety is the type of condition that can make it hard to find your partner or the idea of lovemaking to be arousing. When anxiety impacts the sexual side of a relationship Calmclinic. Arousal is an automatic function, and not something you can force, so the more you try to force it the harder it gets.
Try to Make Love Anyway Extended time away from an active sex life can put strain on your relationship and potentially lead to more stress. If possible, try to make love anyway for fun. Make it something you do to keep your sex life going and try to remember the enjoyment you experience when you do get aroused. Avoidance In dealing with sexual problems, calmclinic.
Unfortunately, for people with anxiety communication is often not a strong suit. Avoidance becomes the go-to communication style though lack of communication style may be more accurate. Many people say that communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Well, if communication is a mark of a healthy relationship, then avoidance is definitely a sign of trouble.
It started small, over decisions like which restaurant to eat at or what to wear on a night out. Before I knew it, I was questioning everything.
My degree, my relationship, and myself. I tried to silence these fears. I knew I was dating the greatest guy I had ever met. I knew how comfortable he made me feel and how excited I had always felt about him. He treated me like a princess, and made me happier and more fulfilled than anyone ever had. I thought the world of him and saw myself with him for the long run.
I felt that this time, my relationship was healthy, respectful, and real. I wanted to silence my fears and doubts because I knew they had come from nowhere. But the anxiety was louder. It was there when I was sad. It was there when I was overjoyed, silently crushing my happiness and creating a numbness inside my chest. I had a panic attack so severe that I made myself sick.
I knew that I had gone through a two year relationship that ended in my realization that my feelings were not real for that partner. I fretted over this in my new relationship, and I had no faith that I had any real insight as to how I was feeling. I got so anxious that I went numb.
I knew they were there, deep down, smothered in a mess of anxiety and depression. I did feel those feelings of love, but they were so smothered by anxiety that they were difficult to detect at times and I had to search to find them.
When Anxiety Attempts To Sabotage Your Relationship
I tried to tell myself this when the fears would creep up. On one bad morning after my anxiety attack occurred, I called my best friend in another town. I knew she had gone through the same thing with her boyfriend, and that she felt just as hopeless as I did. She too had questioned her relationship and herself in a period of anxiety.
This gave me hope.
Knowing that I was not the only person to feel this way gave me strength, and she gave me the best advice. She told me her story and how her family, her faith, and the boyfriend she was questioning pulled her out of a dark place. She said that her boyfriend never gave up on her, and was patient enough to help her through the dark times.
Those two are still together four years later, and they are stronger than ever.