5 Ways to Deal with Couples Who Have Anxiety Disorders


Someone who has an anxiety disorder is synonymous with always being overwhelmed by feelings of excessive worry all the time. It is not easy to be in this position, especially for those of you who are directly faced with the challenge that your partner has an anxiety disorder. 

If this is what you are going through, of course it is difficult to understand what is really going on with your partner. In fact, sometimes you may even feel like you are about to give up on your relationship with him. However, this is actually not a barrier to continue to accompany your partner through difficult times, you know!

Spouse has anxiety disorder, what to do?

Reporting from the Psychology Today page, a study conducted by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), found that people with any type of anxiety disorder often find it difficult for them to truly have healthy and harmonious relationships. 

On the contrary, even though you as a couple have tried hard to continue to maintain this bond. Don't be in a hurry to despair, have you applied some of these things in dealing with couples who have anxiety disorders, haven't you?

1. Understand about anxiety disorders

There are different types of anxiety disorders. Have you understood everything? Or at least, understand correctly about the types of anxiety disorders experienced by partners. This is supported by a statement from Kevin Gilliland, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist and lecturer at Southern Methodist University, United States. 

According to him, you cannot fully understand the condition of your partner if you do not know anything about the medical problems he is experiencing. At first glance he may look normal like other people in general, but in a short time he can change drastically with his uncontrollable anxiety.

So, there's really no reason not to study anxiety disorders if you really want to continue to be with your loved ones. 

2. Listen to his complaints

While you learn to understand what is being faced by your partner, try to try to be more "sensitive" to current conditions. Be a good listener in all situations, especially when he is talking about his complaints. 

Avoid overly imposing personal opinions that will only cloud the atmosphere and anxiety of the partner. It's okay to give him advice, but it's best when your partner asks you for advice. Make sure the delivery is subtle, doesn't spark emotions, so it's easier for loved ones to understand. 

In essence, act as a pair of ears that are willing to hear his complaints whenever needed. That way, they know that you really care and love them. 

3. Don't be afraid of his emotions

There are times when your partner will be excessive when expressing what he is feeling. For example, by crying, shouting loudly, to raging violently. The response of people who see it is certainly not always the same, including you. Yes, there are those who can stay calm or there are those who tend to be afraid to the point of not being able to do anything. 

No matter how you feel at the same time, the key is to control your own fears. The reason is, being too rash to show inappropriate behavior will only worsen the couple's condition.

Instead, just take a deep breath, think about what is the best solution to the problem, and try to stay calm. 

4. Find ways to reduce your own anxiety 

Paulette Sherman, Psy.D., a psychologist from New York City and author and author of Dating from the Inside Out, explains that anxiety is an energy that can be contagious. 

You may unknowingly develop anxiety because you are constantly close to a partner who has anxiety disorder. Even if you're not worried about anything. 

Well, this anxiety in yourself will make it difficult for you later to understand your partner. Therefore, as much as possible try to find ways to keep yourself calm and not affected by the anxiety of your partner. For example by doing meditation, yoga, or me time. 

5. Remember you are not the therapist 

Your role here is as a partner who should support, guide, and accompany loved ones who are experiencing anxiety disorders. Not the other way around, acting as the main "manager" of anxiety experienced by your partner. 

Sherman recommends leaving it all to a third party, namely the therapist, whose job it is to help relieve the couple's anxiety. However, make sure that you are always on hand to help your loved ones deal with the anxiety they are experiencing.