Anxiety is hard – one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with.
I know it doesn’t define who I am, but it makes me question everything in my life.
Being with someone who has anxiety wouldn’t be easy, but its also good for the other party to know a few things before they step into something serious w/ someone who has anxiety.
Below are some pointers I think are great for your partner to know if you are dealing with anxiety.
- Patience – This is the number one attribute that is needed to maintain a relationship with someone who suffers from anxiety. If you do not have patience, do not entertain the idea of entering the relationship. I can not stress enough that this is the number one thing that is needed in order to help and be understanding of what your partner is going through. There are going to be times where you will feel frustrated and just not understand. This is where patience is key.
- Focus – It is so important that you focus on who your partner is outside of their anxiety. They are not just their anxiety. There is a whole person there to be loved, and the anxiety, even if it is crippling, is still just a small piece of who they are. Always remember that you fell in love with them for a reason and it’s most likely because they are pretty awesome.
- Check Up on Them – This is something so simple and really shows that you are there for them. Whether it is once, twice or several times during the day, if you are away from them, see how they are doing. Shoot them a quick text or if you can, make a quick phone call. Sometimes all it takes is a quick, “How are you feeling?”.
- Do Not Tell Them to Relax – This is quite possibly the worst thing you can tell your partner when they are having an anxiety attack. It does not help, in fact it usually tends to make things worse. They do not have complete control over what their mind and body is doing. Think about it, telling someone who is having an anxiety attack to relax is like telling an epileptic to stop having a seizure.
- Do Not Surprise Them – I am not talking about small surprises. As a matter of fact small surprises such as gifts or even the tiniest gestures on bad days can make a world of difference. When I say do not surprise them, that means do not spring last minute plans on them. Most people with anxiety need to prepare themselves ahead of time for what they will be doing. Springing surprise plans or even changing plans last minute can, and probably will, send your partner into an anxiety attack.
- Learn Your Partners Triggers – Talk to your partner and ask them what their triggers are. Most people with anxiety can give you a list of things that send them reeling. Sometimes though, they have triggers that they do not even realize. This will take some time but watch and observe the things that trigger your partners anxiety attacks. Using this knowledge, learn to read a situation before you bring them into it.
- Do Not Judge Them – Never judge your partner for something they can not control. People with anxiety tend to have anxiety attacks at just the thought of people judging them. Their partner should be the one person who never will.
- Stay Calm – If your partner is having an anxiety attack, stay calm. They need you as their rock. The best thing a partner can do is ask this simple question, “What can I do?”. Odds are your partner will tell you exactly what they need. It may be space, it may be a certain thing, it may be as simple as you holding them, but do not assume. Those four words during an attack are the best thing you can do.
- Start Breaking Walls – This is not something that is easy to do. It may take time and if you don’t try to talk about it, your partner may never say anything. Get your partner to open up to you about their anxiety and drop their “Everything is fine.” attitude. You know everything is not fine so start kicking those walls down.
- Do Not Force – Do not force your partner to do anything they physically do not want to do. Pushing your partner into a situation that you know makes them uncomfortable and will most likely send them into an anxiety attack is not a way to get them better. Yes, there are therapies that do that but it is handled differently and by professionals. Forcing them does not fix the problem.
- Do Not “Rescue” Them – Someone with anxiety is not looking to be “rescued” or have someone “fix” them. Just like everyone else, they are looking for companionship and love. They need to figure out what works best for them in getting the help they need. Suggestions are always welcomed though. Most importantly they just want someone to have their back and hold their hand through the rough times.
- Research – The world is at your fingertips. Get on the internet and do some research. Learn more on your own about being in a relationship with someone with anxiety and put your knowledge to work. Your partner will think you are amazing. This not only shows how much you really care but your partner will be amazed at how you seem to know just how to handle things.
- Do Not Lose Yourself – Do not forget who you are. Make sure you still take the time to go out and do the things that you love to do, even if it means without your partner. Just because they may not be comfortable doing something you want to do, doesn’t mean you should put your life on hold and not do it. Your partner will not be upset, they want you to be happy as well. If you lose yourself, you will start to harbor resentment towards your partner.
- Know They Appreciate You – They may have a hard time showing it but they appreciate you in the way they trust you. It is hard for people with anxiety to trust people, so if your partner trusts you with everything about their anxiety, you better believe they love and appreciate you.
I hope the above has helped you 🙂
Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely day ❤