dealing with relationship anxiety
Life & Relationships

How to manage a partner with relationship anxiety

Relationship anxiety is a common yet hideous enemy of couples. It’s what makes or breaks two people. Although, I believe that understanding why it’s happening and learning to properly address it can create a deeper, long-lasting connection.

When I started my first and current relationship, I was extra careful or anxious, for that matter, on whether it was actually going to be a good relationship or a heartbreak I would never forget. I felt as though my boyfriend’s intention was not real as he knew I had been single since birth. He was patient with me, though, and during the first few months of our relationship, I thought weird things like if he’s doing bad things behind my back or if he really loves me at all. It was very bad of a habit for a girlfriend, I know.

In case you think your partner has the same problem, don’t worry. It’s extremely common, and you don’t need to go head-on whenever he or she questions your intentions. Some of the common signs of relationship anxiety are:

  • Your partner suspects that you’re cheating when you’re actually not
  • Your partner always asks you how important she/he is in your life
  • “Are you breaking up with me now?” during arguments
  • “I feel like I don’t deserve you”
  • Your partner overanalyzes your words and actions
  • Always asks your whereabouts in details

As a partner who loves your person so much, you can do things to erase those questions and doubts in their head.

Relationship Anxiety

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical/mental health professional and the following information are mostly based on my experience and research.

Acknowledge that they have relationship anxiety

Being anxious about anything isn’t being overdramatic. To properly address a certain situation, you have to acknowledge that it’s happening and not deny it. Stop telling your partner with insensitive things like “You’re being a drama queen,” “You’re acting like a child,” or “It’s all in your head.” When you say these to them, it makes them question their sensibility.

When you understand that your partner has relationship anxiety, you will eventually find your way on how to calm the noise in their head. It’s always better to know your enemies. It’s not your partner. It’s their anxiety.

Prove them your real intentions

Getting questions like “do you really love me?” when the relationship is new sounds okay, but getting asked the same thing over and over again can be annoying. When your partner keeps seeking reassurance in the relationship, do give them the reasons to actually get it from you. Don’t lie about your whereabouts; it’s a general rule to respect and be honest with your partner. More than words, prove to them how real your intentions are through actions and they will eventually move on from these doubts.

I used to be like this during my first year with my boyfriend. I even question his loyalty when we were in a long-distance relationship but eventually, he managed to gain my trust and that has somehow helped me worry less about us.

Related: Long-distance relationship tips

Help them build confidence

Sometimes, your partner would feel you would cheat on them over someone prettier or more handsome than them. It would somehow make you feel hurt for being suspected when you have been faithful. But remember, you are a couple and should face an issue together. Instead of arguing with them about all the good things you have done, help them build their confidence every time you feel the need arises.

I believe you love them for being who they are, so make sure they always know—telling sincere words like “you’re beautiful”, “you’re enough”, “you’re the one I only love” would be a great help. They will soon realize their worth and not treat themselves as someone who can be played around.

Keep calm and discuss openly

how to manage relationship anxiety
Photo by Taylor Hernandez on Unsplash

There will come a time that heated arguments are unavoidable especially when your partner is full of negative thoughts and acting close-mindedly. If you feel raged and want to say things you’ll regret after, give yourselves a moment to calm down. An hour or two is okay. Oftentimes, a fight does not have to be resolved overnight. When you’re feeling better, initiate a conversation, say sorry if you said things you don’t mean, and then say sincere, positive words to keep them reassured. Remember that you partner with relationship anxiety is always seeking reassurance from you so don’t prove them wrong.

Seek professional help

As a partner, you also have to know the limits. In worst cases where your partner becomes obsessed or controlling in the relationship, it’s best to advise them to get counseling as a couple. According to the American Psychological Association, couple counseling is roughly 75% effective with good outcomes like deduction of complaints between partners. Who knows? You might be part of that number.

However, if it turned out to be an abusive relationship, know that violence is not a form of love and better tell their friends or family to get them checked.

Have you had experiences with partners with relationship anxiety? I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments!

27 Comments

  • How Felicity Finds

    I have always suffered from anxiety and yeah it’s shown up in relationships. I lost a couple of good ones along the way because of it. Really interesting article x

    Fay | How Felicity Finds

  • Paige

    Both me and my boyfriend had quite a bit of relationship anxiety when first getting together due to messy previous relationships but we kept talking and communicating whilst working together to overcome it. It takes quite a bit of trust at first, but now I don’t even look back. We’ve been together for about a year and a half now; and your advice is really useful for anyone struggling!

    Paige // Paige Eades

  • loveemblogger

    This is a really great post. I get a bit touchy in my relationship due to a really bad break up. I am really grateful for my boyfriend as he helps me out a lot and reassures me. This is really good advice for anyone struggling in a relationship! Thanks for sharing

    Em | http://www.loveemblog.com

    • Neecee B

      I wish more people would try therapy before giving up. I love that it is talked about so much more now. Hopefully it will become a more used tool.

  • Abundance of Flavor

    I feel like this is so relevant for so many couples and it’s rare to see otherwise. Like you said, it’s so important to maintain that constant communication and provide that reassurance. Thanks for sharing!

  • clairelomax2018

    I can’t even tell you how helpful this post is, it’s a huge problem for my fiancé. His previous marriage has left him with some major relationship anxiety.

    This will really help me to understand it better x

  • Kate

    This is a great post! Relationship anxiety needs to be talked about with your partner so that you can both work through it. Honest and open communication is so cruciall.

  • Roni

    I used to be the one in my relationship who had the anxiety but now it’s my boyfriend who has the relationship anxiety – but because I’d been through it myself before, I found it a lot easier to be understanding and to manage it x

    Roni | myelevatedexistence.com

    • Kayla

      Great advice! I totally agree that having an open conversation with your partner is essential to a healthy relationship! Also knowing your limits and seeking professional help is a great service and nothing to be ashamed of. Loved reading this!

  • Molly @ Transatlantic Notes

    I’m not in this situation myself but this was a very insightful post. Trust within any kind of relationship — friends, family, work, etc — but perhaps particularly within a romantic partnership, is vital. If there is a way to work together to build it or nourish it, it will definitely make for navigating life together easier and more fulfilling. Thank you for sharing!

  • Teresa

    My ex had serious anxiety issues but I knew it from start so I tried my best to be there for him always and to support him. Unfortunately it got so bad that it turned into verbal abuse and it kept getting worse and worse. I was never enough, nothing I did for him was enough. In the end I had to admit that beyond the anxiety there were clear signs of narcissism and there’s nothing I can do about that. It’s a real shame, but as you say, we have to know our own boundaries 🙂

    Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog

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