Relationships aren’t supposed to cause anxiety. No relationship is perfect. Couples learn how to argue in healthy ways because it isn’t healthy to be in total agreement without any conflict at all. Communication, understanding, and using tools for finding solutions are what helps couples stay together to reconcile their differences. When a mental illness is present in a relationship, simple maintenance routines like communication and understanding can be difficult. People have all different kinds of experiences in their life and in their relationships which cause them to have anxiety within their relationships. For example, adults who experienced divorce through their parents at a young age have a certain kind of anxiety. To them, the law has been programmed into their brains that you can never know when a partner might leave, when they are lying, or when a fight is going to lead to separation. Relationship anxiety can be caused by abuse, abandonment, and neglect, as well as just the presence of an anxiety disorder. People who are struggling with other mental illnesses might have relationship anxiety because of the shame and stigma associated with their mental illness. They feel that their mental illness makes them unlovable and that anyone would be right to want to leave them.
You can tell if you are struggling with the pressures of relationship anxiety by developing a mindful awareness of your thoughts. If you’re in treatment, or considering going to treatment for a mental health disorder, mindfulness will become a major part of your recovery. Mindfulness gives you the ability to non-judgmentally observe your thoughts by noticing your behaviors, paying attention to the circumstances, and becoming aware of what is going on in your mind at the time. You might notice things like:
- You find yourself having daydream nightmares about the relationship ending, instead of fantasy daydreams like getting married and having children.
- You are so worried about your relationship that you have a hard time being in it. When you’re around your partner you feel on edge, uncomfortable, and like you aren’t fully there with them. Worse, when they notice, you feel guilt and remorse about not feeling comfortable.
- You feel convinced that your partner thinks terrible things about you. You are convinced of this because you hear conversations in your head telling you all those things. Even though you know they aren’t real you can’t help but wonder if they might be true.
- You don’t feel like you are able to be your truest self. Everything wonderful and amazing about you feels like it gets lost somewhere in the mix because you’re so on edge with your partner. Your anxiety shoots down your self-esteem and confidence, causing you to lose sight of yourself.
Relationships can be a foundation for healing in recovery. At Avalon By The Sea we work with our clients and their partners through structured relationship counseling to make sure the healthy progress of treatment translates to the home. Our trusted primary mental health programs provide trusted results, which is why we are one of few certified mental health facilities in Southern California. For a confidential assessment and more information on our residential programs in Malibu, call us today: 888-958-7511