DEALING WITH ANXIETY IN MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIPS
Three days ago I talked about 5 causes of anxiety in marriage relationships. Many people in marriage don’t recognized the fact that their partners may be going through anxiety and for that matter your partner’s relationship with you is being hampered in one way or the other.
Anxiety is like a blinking yellow light that tells you “Potential danger ahead!” In this regard, anxiety serves important purposes as an alerting mechanism with our dealings with the physical environment including people.
However, anxiety can become a problem if instead of gathering information and creating a plan of action to deal with the apparent difficulty, you stay helpless. If you find it difficult connecting with your spouse to discuss issues that are affecting you emotionally and psychologically, find out if you want to get to know more about anxiety.
This feeling will prevent you from engaging with your partner and forming healthy bond and enjoy intimacy with your partner. If you feel unable to do something that will move you forward toward resolving a difficulty, anxiety will linger and may loom ever bigger.
Anxiety can undermine relationships if it blocks you for talking together about issues where you differ. Do you worry about trying to discuss sensitive relationship issues? Fortunately, the better your skills for communicating as a couple the more likely that confidence will replace your fear.
How do we deal with anxiety then?
- TRUST YOUR PARTNER
Trust is the belief that someone is honest and will not harm you, cheat you etc. You must trust in the honesty and goodness of your spouse knowing that he or she would not do anything untoward to hurt you.
Many a times some people have negative feelings in their marriages without any cause to do so. Your partner is human but that people can be honest and your partner can be too. Don’t spend all your time thinking about what can go wrong instead of dwelling on the positive things that can go right with your partner.
If your partner embark on a trip, do you have the confidence in him or her that all would be well and he or she would come back safely? Do you withdraw from him or her after coming back? Check your feelings and deal with it because there is no cause to go on that path unless they made it possible for you to think so or disbelief them.
The issue of trust in marriage relationships can’t be grossed over but there are honest people like your wife or husband. They have good intention for you and their marriage. There’s no cause to ring the alarm bell.
2. DON’T BE SELFISH
People with anxiety related problem tend to be selfish in order to protect themselves without recourse to how their attitudes affect their partners. Such people may withdraw emotionally and physically from their partners.
Don’t take solace in alcohol, drug or overwork yourself in order to keep yourself occupied from your partner. You have only one life and don’t waste. Seek help quickly with professionals, but involve your spouse in this treatment arrangement, so that he or she can support you to succeed.
3. ACCEPT YOUR CURRENT SITUATION
I know financial security matters to all of us. Everybody wants to be financially successful so as to stop thinking about money challenges. Yes, you should be concerned money but don’t be overly obsessive about your money problems in your marriage.
If the financial situation in the family is adversely affected as a result of business collapse or job loss, you should not kill yourself over things you have no control over. You have no control over the micro and macro economy of your country. Your family may not be the only one going through this difficult financial crisis.
Assist your spouse to look for alternative job or think of starting one in your neighborhood. If the two of you can bring your experience together, you have no idea what can come out. Turn your current financial difficulty into a business venture.
Many businesses came to being as a result of difficulties people have gone through. Instead of thinking to be depressed, take action and do something now. Let me leave you with a quote from Wallace D. Wattles “No one is kept in poverty by a shortness in the supply of riches. There is more than enough for all” If you are reading this post, it means you have what it takes to be successful. Don’t stop yourself from achieving your dream of living a good life. Read and learn about how to start and grow a small business.
4. RECONNECT WITH YOUR SPOUSE
Do you know people disconnect from their spouses due to anxiety. Yes, I know people do. Whatever the issue may be you need to come together to deal with your problem.
Experiencing joy requires a sense of safety or freedom. Anxiety makes us feel either fearful or limited. Also, a brain and body trained to stress may have a much harder time enjoying sex and intimacy. Negative thoughts and fears impact a person’s ability to be present within a relationship, potentially sucking the joy out of the moment
In fact, people take themselves too serious as if they are carry the whole world on their head. Don’t take yourself too seriously. You can use your sense of humor to overcome anxiety. Remember to laugh and play with your partner. Physical smiles and laughter heal and comfort your brain in ways that are vital for a healthy marriage relationship.
Don’t only talk about the kids and bill payments when you are together to enjoy yourselves. Relax before your spouse.
5. REMOVE FEAR AND WORRY FROM YOUR LIFE
These are two strong words that can strongly trigger anxiety in our marriage. Fear is unpleasant feeling of being frightened or worried that something bad is going to happen and worry is a problem that you are anxious about or are not sure how to deal with it.
Worry and fear are twin devils that can rob you from enjoying your relationship with your spouse to the fullest.
First I want you to know that our thoughts (conscious mind) are like seeds that we plant in our subconscious mind. What we feed into the mind eventual produce result that we see in the physical realm. According to Dr. Joseph Murphy, your subconscious mind is a matter of belief in your mind.
Cease believing in false beliefs,opinions, superstitions and fear of mankind. Begin to believe in the eternalverity (fact about life) and truth of life which never change. If you canmaster to remove fear and worry in your life, you would see the actual beautyof life and enjoy a healthy relationship with your spouse.
6. DEAL WITH REPRESSIVE BEHAVIOR
Why should you be angry with the least issue with your partner? Instead of staying anxious, you ignite in quick anger. Others, and other people tend to be shy, give up on what they want and find themselves experiencing a depressive collapse of their self-confidence and optimism.
Still others escape from the discomfort of anxious feelings via distraction with alcohol, drugs, or obsessive-compulsive habits like over-eating, over-working, or becoming a sex alcoholic or sports alcoholic. These ways of decreasing anxiety decrease even further the likelihood that you will get an outcome that you want.
If you want a positive outcome, learn to deal with behaviors that are repressive in your relationship.
Below is part of an extract from somebody whose wife was suffering from anxiety and the effect it has on the relationship at the time. I reproduce this with his permission for you to see the serious of the problem. Extract is in italics
I often think that love, real love, is doing whatever you can do to make that person happy and immune from any hurt. The best feeling in the world (having not had kids yet) is to see the person you love smile, laugh and genuinely content and knowing that you’ve played a part in that.
Equally, the worst feeling in the world, is to see the person you love on the floor at 6AM having not slept and a body that is shaking, a face that is white with fear and knowing that whatever you suggest, whatever you do, doesn’t seem to be able to help.
That you can’t ‘cure’ her. That you can’t make it all better. That this person is suffering and all you want is to stop that, and you can’t. That right there is the worst feeling in the world.
Anxiety is a mental health condition that I knew nothing about. I thought it was just a phrase for someone who felt a little nerves from time to time. It is so much more than that — it is debilitating and can even feel life ending for the person who is suffering. Because it is a mental health condition it is also difficult to explain to people what it is, as you can’t see it.
This puts you, as the person who isn’t suffering in a difficult position at times. For example we may have to cancel events/plans because they’re too much, or they’re in a bad place, or you are worried you’ll get home late, not sleep and this will cause anxiety the next day. It is difficult to say you’re not going because you’ve got anxiety because people just don’t get it. And I understand why.
So what can you do about it?
So we were in a place where we were just surviving. All we had was each other. Our lives were consumed by talk of anxiety and there was no obvious way out. But the thing we had in our favor is that we talked — I was as understanding as I possibly could be. I read about anxiety, we read books together and even attempted meditation together.
Turns out I am not the meditating type! But I gave it a good go! We identified what we thought were triggers and eradicated them — for example, a simple thing like buying a train ticket the night before instead of that morning removed a very small anxious thought. We created what we call “positive routines” — things that were good habits to get into — like planning our meals for the week.
We tried to identify if foods and drinks contributed in some way and modified diets. Truth be told she modified her diet, and I continued down the chocolate and biscuit route. The end of extract.
7. DEAL WITH ANXIOUS FEELINGS
There is a bible verse that says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to the Lord. (Philippians 4:6-7)
If you want to look things around you and react with everything that goes around you, you might be creating problem for yourself and your spouse. Don’t be anxious says the bible, take your issues into prayer and wait for the Lord to help you address the problem.
Examine what’s causing the anxious feelings and see whether you can do something about it. Indeed, your will is under your control, handle it with care and don’t allow it to control you by the way you deal with everyday issues around you.
8 .DON’T SECOND GUESS YOUR PARTNER
Most guesses are based on worse fears. Most interpretations of others’ thoughts and feelings are therefore misinterpretations. Mind-reading most of the time comes up with wrong answers. “I know that you think I…” therefore is a needlessly anxiety-inducing habit.
Second guessing our partners mind often lead to negative emotional attitude towards them.
Take a look at a practical scenario below:
Josephine believed that her husband James thought less of her than of his ex-wife, Adelaide. Why else had he been more financially generous with his ex-wife than with her, Josephine? Feeling less-than in the eyes of her spouse, Josephine felt angry. Not wanting to make the situation even worse by berating James for treating her as a second-class citizen, Josephine withdrew emotionally from him.
The outcome? James felt rejected. To avoid the pain of experiencing his wife cold and unloving, he coped by stretching out his business trips. When he traveled he tended to enjoy himself, burying his anxieties in long work days and TV in his hotel room at night. Josephine however interpreted James’s increasingly lengthy business trips as further signs that her husband did not love her.
Anxiety arises because there’s a problem ahead. Anxious tensions therefore are perpetuated if there is no attempt to discuss and resolve the difficulty.
Josephine tried to discuss with James her feelings of being less-than in his eyes. Unfortunately, her skills for raising difficult topics were insufficient. Instead of engaging James’s empathy, she inadvertently sounded accusatory, inviting a defensive retort.
In addition, James felt ashamed that because he was afraid of his ex-wife’s anger he did in fact often act in a manner that was overly solicitous and generous with her. In response to James’s defensive counter-attack, Josephine dropped the discussion lest it lead to a fight.
We have been able to discuss anxiety in marriage relationships and identified practical ways we can deal with the problem. If you start to implement what we’ve discussed in this post anxiety can be eliminated in your marriage relationships.
Have a lovely Saturday and look up for my next post on Monday. You can’t afford to miss it.