Being in a relationship isn’t always easy. There will be days and times when things aren’t going well for one or both of you, or when you can’t seem to get on the same page no matter how hard you try. However, when your partner suffers from anxiety, it can be even more difficult. You may not always understand what they’re experiencing, and your partner may not always be able to communicate exactly how they’re feeling. However, there are still plenty of ways to love and support a partner with anxiety.
Don’t Tell Them Not to Worry
Telling a person with anxiety not to worry is like telling the sky not to be blue. It’s not going to change just like that. Plus, they likely already know that their fear isn’t rational, but their anxiety is making them feel that way, anyway. By doing this, you trivialize that they’re experiencing and will make your partner feel even worse.
Accept Them As They Are
Chances are your partner has struggled with anxiety since long before you came into the picture. Don’t try to change them or cure them. Remind your partner that you love them just as they are.
Ask What They Need
Don’t assume you know what your partner needs. Make things easier on both of you and just ask. They may or may not have a clear answer, but at least they’ll know you’re there for them. If your partner does want to talk, really listen to what they have to say without giving advice or your own opinion.
Give Some Tough Love
There is a fine line between being supportive and enabling. While you want to be sensitive to your partner’s needs, there may also be times when they need you to push them a little bit to keep them moving forward. Joint counseling can be a very effective tool in helping you figure out where that line is.