Yes, Anxiety in Women Can Interfere with Romantic Relationships
Posted byCounseling WiseonSeptember 9, 2019
As a woman, anxiety can affect your life in a variety of ways. You might struggle at work because you’re fearful of how others perceive you. Or, you might avoid social events or going out with large groups.
Unfortunately, anxiety can also interfere with your romantic relationships.
People with anxiety usually display it in one of two ways in a relationship: Either they are overly-dependent of their partner, or they are avoidant.
Both of these extremes are unhealthy ways of attaching yourself to your partner. As a woman, there are also unfortunate stereotypes that can linger if you’re viewed as either “clingy” or “cold.”
Being Too Dependent
It’s perfectly normal to want to be close to your partner in a romantic relationship. But, when that desire for closeness turns into a dependency, it can create unhealthy behaviors that may either make your partner feel guilty or may turn them away.
People who are overly-dependent in their relationships because of anxiety think they need their partner for constant reassurance. If that partner doesn’t respond to them immediately, it’s not uncommon for someone with anxiety to start to fear the worst possible scenarios.
As a result, these thoughts can lead to paranoia, fear of rejection, and a lot of trust issues within a romantic relationship. Without trust, it’s challenging to have a healthy relationship. You might find yourself arguing with your partner frequently about your assumptions or fears.
When those fears are unwarranted, and there’s nothing to be suspicious of, your partner might have a hard time knowing how to respond without feeling offended or that you’ll never be able to trust them. When that happens, they might be the ones who end up having a hard time trusting you.
Being Actively Avoidant
On the opposite end of things, some women with anxiety are more avoidant in romantic relationships. You might try to avoid negative emotions like fear or frustration. So, you don’t open up to your partner. You don’t let your vulnerability come through. You may even seem standoffish and cold.
As you might expect, this can create huge problems when it comes to communication in your relationship. If you don’t feel comfortable opening up, those negative emotions will get worse. If your partner thinks you don’t care or that you’re cold, they’re less likely to open up to you, too.
A relationship without healthy communication doesn’t work well, and it can lead to a lot of arguing and distrust. But, when you’re so consumed with anxiety and fear, it can be challenging to be vulnerable.
How to Foster a Healthy Relationship
How you handle anxiety in your relationship depends on how it’s affecting your relationship. If you’re overly-dependent, it can help to find strategies you can use daily to manage your symptoms.
Developing different ways to cope with your anxiety can make it easier to get through the day. When you recognize your symptoms, try to take a step back and assure yourself that anxiety, not reality, are fueling your fears. Practicing mindfulness and deep breathing can help.
In any case, though, therapy can benefit someone struggling with anxiety. If the fear you experience in your relationship has started to cause problems and paralyze your life, getting professional help is necessary. A therapist can help you to develop strategies that manage your symptoms. They can also help you to overcome some of those unrealistic fears.
You can also ask your partner to join you for therapy sessions. It’s an excellent way for them to have a better understanding of what you’re dealing with. Plus, they can learn different strategies to help you, too.
Struggling with anxiety doesn’t mean your relationship will fail. Don’t be afraid to admit the issues you’re facing. When you do, you can take the first steps toward getting help.
If you would like more information on anxiety, please visit my Anxiety Counseling page.
I am here to partner with you to transform your life. If you are ready to partner with me to transform your life, please contact me to set up a free 30- minute phone consultation.
About the Therapist
Gay A. Hunter, M.Div., LPC-S, is a licensed professional counselor who graduated from Brite Divinity School at TCU. She is committed to partner with you to transform your life. She owns a private practice in Fort Worth, TX. She specializes in online therapy. She is trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. To find out more about Gay click here: