Anxiety Changes Relationships: How It Works and What to Do?

Anxiety Changes Relationships: How It Works and What to Do?

Anxiety can hurt relationships. Your friends and family might be worried to see your struggle but often they don’t know how to help. This is why we recommend individual or couples therapy. Let’s look into what anxiety is and how it shows up in a relationship.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety shows in different ways, from mild irritation to severe bodily symptoms. Anxiety can affect how you relate to others. It can impact your social life, work, and family. You might be worrying about many different things. These worries can be about money, work, or family. Sometimes you might feel tension and you don’t even know why.

Anxiety often comes with worries and fears. Those worries and fears that you might have experienced at a young age. Anxiety means ‘I am not safe’. We are talking about psychological safety when we know ‘I am ok because I have people around me who will protect me, stand up for me and love me no matter what”. Those feelings stick around and can cause anxiety when you feel ‘unsafe’.

It happens when there is a lack of support and care by the people close to you, especially when you need them the most. It can cause worries about being left alone or rejected by others.

Or, you might even feel you can’t rely on anyone and keep your distance from people to protect yourself. These feelings of anxiety come from your early relationship experiences and affect how you feel and act in the present.

How anxiety affects your relationships

Anxiety can affect the way we relate to others. Some people might become overly dependent on their loved ones seeking comfort, while others might keep it to themselves, because they don’t want to be a burden. This is how anxiety can impact your relationship.

How Does Relationship Counselling Work? | Modern Therapy Clinic
Becoming over dependent on others

Sometimes, your anxiety can make you rely too much on others for support. Anxiety affects our mood, we feel alone in our struggle. It can also make you doubt the choices you make, causing you to lean on others even more. You might be seeking more validation and reassurance from your friends, family, or partner. This dependency can lead to another layer of anxiety if you don’t get that reassurance. Anxiety can also heighten social interactions, for instance, if someone doesn’t reply quickly to your message or a social media post.

People who rely too much on their loved ones for comfort might struggle to communicate which hurts their relationships and lead to disconnect from the people they love, those people who could make you ease your feelings of anxiety.

Social isolation

Anxiety can lead to disconnection from others. If you feel upset or irritated all the time people don’t to be around that, and this can create tension. Also, you might pull away from loved ones if you are afraid to hurt their emotions.

It’s not easy to share your feelings, especially if you don’t know why you feel the way you feel. One part of you wants steak comfort in your friends and family, another part is scared of getting hurt or not understood. So, the fear of rejection might keep you away from those who you need the most.

You might appear distant and unfriendly, and that keeps people away, making it difficult to maintain relationship or making new friends.

Chronic tension

Chronic tension means feeling tight or stressed for a long period of time, which often happens to people with anxiety. It can show up emotional or physical tension, and usually are felt by people around you. When people notice your tense emotions, they might feel unsure about how to approach you, sometimes feeling like walking on eggshells.

This makes it hard for people to connect and communicate with you. If you are anxious you might have difficulty expressing yourself and people might have a hard time to understand what’s going on, and reduce communication to only surface interactions.

Need for reassurance

When you constantly seek reassurance from your partner, it can be really tiring for you both. It can wear you down and make you to feel upset. Your partner might start feeling frustrated because of the constant demand for comfort. This can break trust and reduce closeness over time, making it harder to deal with your anxiety. So, while it’s important to support each other, it’s important not to use your partner as a therapist.

How can you deal with anxiety and not to feel disconnect in your relationship?

Anxiety can persist throughout your life, making it difficult maintaining healthy relationships. However, proactive steps can help navigate these difficulties.

Taking charge of your worries

It’s normal to lean on your partner sometimes, but constantly relying on them to calm you down can hurt your relationships. To fix this, it’s important to learn how to handle your worries on your own. You can try calming techniques like meditation or writing down your thoughts. Also, working with therapist can help you to find the root of your anxiety, heal the wounds and practice techniques that calm down your nervous system. They can help you figure out what works best for you, so you can deal with your worries on your own while still staying close to your loved ones.

Other Benefits of Relationship Counselling | Modern Therapy Clinic
Overcoming social isolation

Feeling anxious can keep you away from others and causes even more isolation. You might skip meeting with friends or attend other, normally enjoyable, events because it might have no energy for that. Isolation can make your anxiety worse. Relationship counselling gives you a safe place to talk about these feelings and learn how to deal with them. The therapist will help you to figure out why you feel anxious around others and help you find ways to connect with people. A group therapy might also be something that would help you to deal with anxiety as you will meet others who are going through the same process. You will feel less alone. It’s very important to us to belong  and be surrounded with people who get you because they’re going through the same thing.

Managing chronic tension

It’s important to find ways to deal with this stress for your overall health and get along with others. Doing activities to relax every day can really help. Even 5 min meditation or simple relaxation techniques can loosen up your muscles. Breathing exercises can make a big difference in how you feel. Also, participating in activities you enjoy can refocus your attention and reduce anxious thoughts and feelings. Taking care of yourself and finding ways to cope with stress can help you handle your feelings better and have better relationships with others. 

Couples counselling could be a good support when anxiety is causing problems in a relationship. Anxiety can make it hard to communicate or trust each other, which can lead to fights or avoiding issues. In therapy, couples can learn better ways to talk to each other, understand what makes them anxious, and find ways to support each other when things get tough. Therapists create a safe space for couples to talk about their worries and feelings, which can bring them closer together. By working together, couples can learn to manage their anxiety and make their relationship stronger.

Other Benefits of Relationship Counselling | Modern Therapy Clinic
Educate Yourself

We need to understand anxiety and why people might feel worried, upset or tense. When you know about anxiety, you understand why your partner behaves certain way or feels certain emotions. This knowledge will help you and people you care about  to deal with anxiety better, together. Here are the benefits of learning about anxiety:


  • It Helps You Help Others: When you know what anxiety is and how it works, you can support someone so they are not dealing with it alone. You can offer comfort and help them find ways to feel better.
  • Makes Communication Easier: Knowing about anxiety helps you talk about it with others. You can share your feelings and understand better what someone with anxiety is going through.
  • Fights Misunderstanding: Some people might not understand anxiety and judge their behaviour and suggest to ‘snap out of it’. When you know what’s going on, you can help others to understand that that it’s a real thing and that people with anxiety need support, not judgment.
Seeking Help

Realizing you need help to deal with anxiety is brave. Seeking support and opening up is risky. But if you’ve tried dealing with it on your own, and you still feel anxious and worried, you might seek professional support. Therapists know ways to help. They will help you to work through the issue, first, by understanding the roots of the problem, healing wounds and past traumas, and by practicing strategies and techniques to recognize the signs of anxiety and ease the symptoms.

A doctor might also suggest medication, which can be useful as a temporary measure to bring you back to the baseline.

It’s okay to ask for help when you need it. It shows you’re strong and are willing to get out of your comfort zone to make things better for yourself and others.

At our Modern Therapy clinic in Vancouver, we understand the dynamics of relationships. If you’re facing problems with your partner, our team of relationship experts can help. Relationship counselling isn’t just about fixing fights; it’s about improving how you talk and reconnecting with what brought you together. Our tailored couples counselling sessions in Vancouver are all about you.

Our therapists specialize in couples therapy, offering a safe space where you can talk openly. Whether it’s trouble with talking, trust, or getting close, we’ve got you covered. In our sessions, you’ll learn better ways to talk, solve problems, and build trust. We believe every relationship can get better, and we’re here to help you and your partner grow stronger.

Don’t let problems steer your relationship. Start your journey to a happier relationship today. Book an appointment with our couples therapy experts at our Vancouver clinic. Your path to a happier relationship starts now.

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