4 Ways Anxiety May Be Affecting Your Relationship

4 min read
4 Ways Anxiety May  Be Affecting Your Relationship

Anxiety, in whatever form it comes in, can be a challenging weight to carry in your personal life, especially when it comes to interacting with other people.

If you aren’t in the know, it’s easy to let anxiety take control, and negatively affect your relationship with your significant other.

But, it’s not the end of the world.

Being aware of the effect that anxiety can have on your emotions and your behaviours is the first step in taking back control of your life. There isn’t a cure, but there are solutions that you can embrace along the way.

So let’s look at how anxiety can affect a relationship, and what you can do about it.

1. Anxiety Can Make You Push People Away

Many people who suffer from anxiety find themselves in a loop of destructive behaviour in a relationship. It begins with growing uncertainty. They wonder if their love real, or if they’re just experiencing lust. They move from this uncertainty to hostility, becoming withdrawn and angry at their partner. This is when their partner usually bites back, questioning the anxious thoughts and bringing down the wall. The final step is the anxious person trying to repair the damage done by apologising and trying to build the relationship up again in romantic gestures. The problem is that pattern continues to repeat, until both the anxious person and their partner are utterly exhausted and unable to deal with it anymore.

2. Anxiety Can Make You Suspicious

Anxiety often leads to suspiciousness in relationships. It comes to bear as a kind of constant worrying on the part of the anxious person. They might worry about whether their partner is unfaithful, or they might stress that their partner doesn’t love them as much, or even at all. There are two opposing forces at work here, the first being that intuition should be trusted (that’s human nature) and the second being anxiety. Anxiety is easily confused for intuition, and it can make people unnecessarily question the motivations and dedication of their partner, to damaging effect.

Black and white image of a young woman crying and covering her f

3. Anxiety Can Make You Impulsive

When suffering from anxiety, you often find yourself in a state of mind that is so difficult to deal with that you simply must act. Usually, these actions are fed by the flawed logic of an anxious and stressed brain, and what results are behaviours that are both impulsive and misguided. You might act out in a destructive way, jump to conclusions or make fast decisions that don’t necessarily reflect your calm state of mind. This can be very harmful to relationships, especially if your partner doesn’t feel included in your decisions, or if those decisions alienate them.

4. Anxiety Can Make You Needy

People with anxiety tend to worry more than normal about being too needy in their relationships. Ironically, anxiety does cause a feeling of neediness, usually because its sufferers look for constant reassurance that everything in their relationship is as it should be. There aren’t any issues with this as long as your partner understands and is happy to provide that reassurance. Problems arise when anxiety actually does make you overly needy. You might not want your partner to be away from you, or you might need them to constantly ‘prove’ that they love you. This is what causes relationship stress, and over time if not dealt with it can break a relationship down.  

Conflict between the man and the woman

What Can You Do?

The thing that people who suffer from anxiety should understand is that any relationship needs a certain level of honesty. Not everyone understands anxiety, and your partner might be one of those people. But try though you might to avoid it, anxiety is a part of your life, it’s a part of your being. You can work to deal with it, but curing it isn’t as simple as taking a pill or flicking a switch. Many couples dealing with anxiety in their relationship find it beneficial to talk to a counsellor about their problems. Often, the anxious person is already in counselling, but it helps if both parties are present so that all the issues can be on the table and open for discussion. This is how problems are solved, and understandings are reached.

Remember, you aren’t to blame for your anxiety. Anxiety is a recognised mental health issue, not something that is unique to you and certainly not something that you need to suffer through alone. Remember that being open with your partner about your struggles is key. Their understanding, as well as your honesty, may well be what makes everything work in the end.

Do you suffer from anxiety? Has it impacted any of your relationships and how did you deal with it?

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About Author

Oceana Setaysha

Senior Writer A passionate writer since her early school days, Oceana has graduated from writing nonsense stories to crafting engaging content for...Read Morean online audience. She enjoys the flexibility to write about topics from lifestyle, to travel, to family. Although not currently fulfilling the job of parent, her eight nieces and nephews keep her, and her reluctant partner, practiced and on their toes. Oceana holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Writing and Indonesian, and has used her interest in languages to create a career online. She's also the resident blonde at, where she shares her, slightly dented, wisdom on photography, relationships, travel, and the quirks of a creative lifestyle. Read Less

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