Relationships can foster fear and worry. Anxiety in a relationship can be triggered or perpetuated by multiple factors, such as financial problems, jealousy, and poor communication, just to name a few. Below are 12 ways to overcome anxiety in a relationship:
- Talk openly about outside relationships
- Mutual Respect
- Positive Reframing
- Sweet nothings
- Validate your partner
- Give and take
- Outline roles and household duties
- Go out on dates
Money problems are the source of much anxiety in a relationship. In these difficult economic times, more and more people are unemployed or underemployed. This creates stress on the relationship, as the other partner who may be employed now has an unfair financial responsibility. Certainly, there are ways to contribute financially when one is finding employment. For the unemployed partner, shifting one’s priorities to support the employed partner’s job is very important. What do I mean by this? Well, it means doing everything you can to support your employed partner who now has the burden of housing and feeding you. Cut down on expenses and liquidate your belongings. Get rid of the paid help, and do the landscaping, housecleaning and minor repair work yourself. Don’t know how to change the oil in the car? Go onto the internet and find out how to do so yourself. If you have kids, get rid of the paid babysitters and do all the childcare yourself. Quit going out to dinner, and cook all your meals. Go grocery shopping at discount grocers, and go with generic items, avoiding name brands. Cut the cable, the extra cell phones, the extra car, the cottage, the boat. Get rid of your country club memberships, and play tennis and golf at public facilities (if you have time). Get rid of all the magazine subscriptions. Switch from paid software to freeware that is downloadable from the internet. Quit buying books at bookstores and check out books from the library. Instead of going to amusement parks, take your kids to the local playground or the lake or the beach. Apply for unemployment and see if you qualify for other welfare programs. If you have a disability, then see your doctor and consider applying for disability benefits. And after you have done all this, then devote the rest of your time looking for employment, or creating opportunities to make money. Even a minimum wage job is better than being unemployed. No job should be beneath one who needs to earn money. And after you do all this, then maybe your partner will be more forgiving, as you are doing all you can do to contribute financially. And there is added benefit as you are most likely spending more time with your partner and the kids and the family, so this will get you more support and less stress on the relationship. Getting out of financial problems is very hard work. How do I know about money problems in a relationship and how to remedy it? I’ve been there, done that. Not often you hear of a doctor who has financial problems, but these are different, difficult times.
Jealousy can wreak havoc on a relationship, and the source of much stress on a relationship. To remedy or prevent this, it is important for both partners to talk openly about outside relationships. Restricting a partner from seeing someone is counterproductive, and leads to resentment. A better approach is to talk about one’s own feelings, and how one feels when their partner is in contact with another person that one is jealous of. In a healthy relationship, if your partner knows how you feel, then they are less likely to continue with the outside relationship on their own, knowing how their partner feels about it.
Honesty in a relationship is hard work. Being honest forces one to be accountable for one’s actions. Like it or not, being in a relationship requires sacrifice, and one’s decisions and actions affect one’s partner. As such, it is important to be honest. For example, when a person does not tell their partner what they need, then they are not being honest. And we all make mistakes, so when one is made, to be honest to one’s partner about the mistake, and to face up to the consequences. It’s counterintuitive, but when one is honest, there is trust, which brings up the next area to address anxiety in a relationship.
Without trust, there is much stress on a relationship. Without trust, there is mistrust, jealousy, paranoia, resentment. As mentioned above, being honest with one’s partner and owning up to mistakes is the best way to engender trust from a partner.
When a partner feels disrespected, then this places stress on a relationship. Respect is about being considerate of your partner’s needs, and treating one’s partner as an equal. Do unto your partner as you would have your partner do unto you.
Being in a relationship…or being with anyone for a period of time can be stressful. Somewhere down the road, that other person is going to grate on your nerves. How do you get through the day without saying something you are going to regret? Simple…try positive reframing. By this, I mean take a negative situation, then reanalyze it from a positive viewpoint, and the stress of the situation goes away. Instead of thinking “she hurt my feelings as she stated I look like a beggar,” reframe this positively by thinking “she cares enough about me to not let me go out in public like that.”
Whispering sweet nothings into your partner’s ear is a great way to overcome any stress between you. It’s one of these inconsequential expressions of affection that partners often lament when they no longer occur. Whisper sweet nothings into your partner’s ear, and watch them and the anxiety melt before you.
A big stress on relationships is lack of intimacy. The everyday stressors of living together can wreak havoc on the intimacy level between partners. Intimacy and sex in a committed relationship is a great way to relieve stress, and to share pleasure with each other. Try making time for your partner, and try not to always be too serious or always discuss problems. Have fun together…be intimate.
When was the last time you told your partner you were proud of them? That’s too long ago! Try validating your partner regularly, and watch the stress levels go down. However, try not to overdo it, and be genuine, as fake and forced validations are awkward and can backfire.
When was the last time you gave to your partner? If you are a giver, when was the last time you asked and received something from your partner? In a relationship, it can’t be one-sided…can’t be all give or all take. Healthy relationships balance the two.
It’s important to outline roles in a relationship. You may even need to write down exactly what your roles are at home. This exercise can clarify misunderstandings and the outline of roles helps each partner to focus on their role, and not to overstep the boundaries of their role.
This goes without saying. Relationships are stressful enough, so dates are times to take timeout from your busy schedules and to spend time with your partner. Dates also foster the connection and remind partners of the spark that drew them together in the first place.
In summary, relationships are stressful and filled with anxiety and worry. We get so caught up in the stress of the situation, that we drive away the person we love. The above are ways to overcome anxiety in a relationship.