Mental health is a topic that shouldn’t be taken lightly; whether one is dealing with depression, anxiety, or some form of personality disorder, their condition should always be taken seriously and handled with care. Anxiety seems to be a condition that more and more people are realizing that they have some form of, but at what point does this become toxic to your relationship and how do we determine what it is that is causing our anxiety to be unbearable?
IN Magazine recently published an amazing article where one reader expressed their troubles with anxiety in their relationship and we could not be more touched by the doctors response. The exerpt shows a piece of the interview with “Flynn” and Therapist Adam Segal but we will provide the direct link below for you as well.
Rather than focusing endlessly on how more hurt could be on the horizon, see if you can fully acknowledge the ways you have been able to get through this and other anguished life moments. – Adam Segal
I really don’t want to lose this relationship that means so much to me. We’ve been together about five years and I really feel like I’ve met the love of my life. Two years into our relationship, I found out he’d had a one-nighter with a guy while away on business. I was so crushed at first, but I do have to say that he took full responsibility and reassured me that this was a mistake and that our relationship is the most important thing to him. We had several conversations about it at the time, and I gradually found myself forgiving him. At this point, I don’t feel scared that he doesn’t love me, but I realize how much that whole experience affected my self-esteem. I can’t shake the feeling that this wouldn’t have happened if I were more attractive. I’m checked out when we have sex and push away his compliments when he offers them. Before, I was so afraid that the betrayal would ruin our relationship, and now I’m afraid that my own anxiety will. I can’t seem to relax no matter how much I try to let go – how do I move on? —Flynn
When something really painful happens, it’s tempting for us to obsessively try to figure it out and come up with a clear reason for it. Searching for a concrete cause offers us an illusion of control – which is really attractive after getting painfully blindsided. We think that if we could just pinpoint exactly what went wrong, then we could convince ourselves that by being hyper-vigilant, we could pre-empt anything crappy from happening to us again. The only problem is that this doesn’t work (you aren’t psychic) and supports an unhealthy notion that we can’t handle painful things when they do come up.
Your anxiety is clearly exhausting you and infiltrating your connection with your guy – which is the last thing you want. It would be easy to fight your anxiety or try to arm-wrestle it into submission. But not only does that not seem to be working, it might be adding to your frustration. Instead, what if you could see your anxiety as a benevolent force that is trying to protect you from any further pain or feelings of inadequacy? Sure, this force isn’t actually serving you so well, but if you could see it as having good intentions but poor execution, you might just feel less controlled by it.