Sex and Relationships

How to Love and Be Loved by Someone With Anxiety

A Little TLC Can Save Your Relationship

By: Veronica Pistek

Let’s acknowledge something right now: everybody is vulnerable to a degree.

This is especially true in romantic relationships. Being vulnerable is never as easy as it is to just repress your deepest emotions.

Now, try taking this frightening concept and put yourself in the shoes of someone with intense anxiety. This can make those intimate and personal situations feel 10x times worse.

For those who suffer from anxiety, the “openness” of a relationship sometimes results in slamming the door of who they are in their partner’s face.

This poses the ultimate question: How can I help my partner if they won’t let me in?

First thing you must note—You cannot “fix” or “cure” someone with anxiety.

Anxiety is a part of who they are, and you are not bound by any means to be their personal therapist.

What you should strive to be is a voice of reason, a comfort zone, and an embodiment of support for your loved one.

Enabling yourself to understand how their anxiety works only benefits both of you individually, as well as the relationship at whole.

For instance, by realizing how your partner seeks constant validation, how you should be patient and allow yourself to ease their minds through words of encouragement, by listening to them closely, or maybe even just reminding them that you love them, could all make a big difference in keep your relationship stable.

You might say, “well, that is much easier said than done” and you are right. 

In order to be in a healthy relationship, you must encourage communication and positive rituals for your partner to undertake.

You must be flexible, open-minded, and a source of comfort. You want your partner to open up to you, not to shut down due in part to your frustration.

Rather than letting them close off, focus your partner’s attention on what it is they are feeling at that particular moment.

Give them time and remind them that you are there for them, give them the feeling of security, give them a confidence boost and celebrate their strengths, and give them unconditional support.

Even simpler, suggest rituals such as taking them on a walk around the park or planning dates to relax and listen to their favorite music. Any positive ideas are bound to ease your partner’s mind, creating a more comfortable environment for your loved one to be vulnerable.

If your partner is not up to going out, or feels the need to leave to go home, it is not a reason for you to build up a barrier of guilt. Allow them to do as they please, and appreciate the action of them trying.

Do not push them past their discernable limits; preferably, understand their reasoning behind not wanting to leave the house one night. Maybe they need you.

That one night of you partying that you won’t remember anyway, is not nearly as important as a loved one that may need comforting.

Most importantly, do not let your partner keep every feeling from you.

With perceivable judgement of the unique characteristics of your partner’s anxiety, try and help them open up.

With the given advice from above, one with anxiety might begin to open up, slowly.

Recognize your partner’s growth, and be sure to remind them how much they have overcome within their mind.

By being a backbone of constant love, appreciation, and especially validation, your loved one is bound to have an environment that makes them feel comfortable to reveal more of their mind.

Be patient. Love is not meant to be rushed, and neither is vulnerability.

While you should tend to your partner as much as you can, it is incredibly important never to forget yourself too.

If you start to feel overwhelmed or anxious yourself, take a breath.

Remind your partner how much you care about them, but also try and make time to be alone and do things that you love.

In any relationship, some distance is utterly nourishing. You should not feel guilty for leaving their presence for a short moment to focus on your well-being.

As long as you do not purposely ignore your partner or intentionally hurt them, they should be just as understanding that you have internal struggles as well.

Overall, both of you are pretty incredible human beings with an overwhelming amount of strength.

As a person in a relationship involving these characteristics, I can say that there is always hope.

Don’t give up on the person that you love. Make them stronger, help them grow, and watch yourself grow at the same time.

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