Relationships can be hard to navigate these days. Add anxiety issues to the picture, and you see things getting really tricky, really quick. Coping with a partner with anxiety can be daunting too. On some days, you might feel helpless in front of your partner or start feeling overwhelmed by how your partner’s feelings affect your life. But you’ve got to be cautious and sensitive.
Living with anxious thoughts can be extremely challenging. But a healthy relationship is more than possible. Recently, Dr. Elizabeth Fedrick, a popular therapist, took to her social media to share ways in which you can provide support to your partner with anxiety.
If you have a partner who is prone to anxiety, here are some ways recommended by the expert.
You, as a coping partner, should stay aware that your partner’s anxiety has nothing to do with you. Also, there could be heated moments between the two of you, and anything said by your partner under restlessness is not actually meant by them.
Your partner might try to encroach on your boundaries under the effect of anxiety. Learn to set clear boundaries around your space so that your partner learns to deal with them even if he/she is struggling.
You can say things like, “I’m not sure what to say right now… but I love you”, “I’m not going anywhere”, “I get that everything feels really big right now. How can I help you feel safe?”, “Even when you’re struggling. you are still my favorite part of the day.”
When you’re dealing with a partner struggling with anxiety, it is essential that you do or say things that your partner needs during those struggling moments. You may ask your partner directly about anything you can do to provide some reassurance that makes them feel safe.
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As much as you should be with your partner, you should also take your own space when you feel overwhelmed. Take your time to recover back with better energy.
Your partner’s anxiety is not yours to fix. You can only provide the means and support to help them in their healing journey.
If one of the partners suffers from anxiety, then that doesn’t make you any less worthy of an amazing partner. And, your partner’s choice to stand beside you doesn’t translate to him/her “putting up with you”. So, if you come across such an unhealthy message, understand that it is so much about them than it is about you.
Even if you are blessed with a reassuring partner, it is still your responsibility to be aware of your disruptive behavior that surfaces the moment anxiety sets in.
“Learn to talk openly about what’s going on and what you need, and express appreciation when they show up for you in the way that you need,” adds Dr. Elizabeth.