Can Anxiety Ruin Romantic Relationships?

Everyone experiences some level of anxiety from time to time. Maybe you get stuck in a traffic jam while you are trying to make it to an important appointment, and you start to get stressed out and worried that you’ll miss the appointment entirely. Maybe you haven’t heard from a close friend in a while, and you start to worry about their well-being. Maybe you have to give a big presentation in front of a large group of people, and even just thinking about standing up in front of a crowd and bearing your soul makes your palms sweat and your stomach climb into your throat. Feeling anxious is completely normal – however, there is a big distinction to be made between general, fleeting feelings of anxiety and true anxiety-related disorders.

How Anxiety Affects Relationships

Most anxiety disorders include excessive and intense feelings of fear about daily situations and experiences. Men and women who struggle with diagnosable anxiety disorders typically present a wide range of symptoms that interfere with their day-to-day lives, symptoms that are difficult to control and that generally begin sometime during childhood or adolescence. There are many different types of anxiety disorder. The more common types include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, separation anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. While the symptoms associated with each disorder very on a personal basis, some of the more common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Feelings of nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Breathing rapidly, which can lead to hyperventilation
  • Feeling an intense and impending sense of danger
  • Being consumed by thoughts of worry and concern
  • Related gastrointestinal issues, including nausea
  • Sweating profusely
  • Trembling or shaking uncontrollably
  • Actively avoiding people, places, or things that are known to cause anxiety

Individuals who suffer from anxiety will also experience a wide range of interpersonal consequences. In many cases, their romantic relationships will suffer. If anxiety is left untreated, it does have the potential to ruin romantic relationships entirely.

The Negative Consequences Associated with Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders have the potential to severely damage mental, emotional, and physical health. If an anxiety disorder is left untreated, the associated symptoms also have the potential to negatively impact the health of interpersonal relationships. If you have been grappling with an anxiety disorder for any period, you probably know how difficult it can be to maintain relationships while you are simultaneously experiencing a wide range of symptoms that are difficult to deal with. Below are several ways in which anxiety can work to damage romantic relationships – and several examples of steps you can take to repair these relationships while actively seeking the help you need.

Anxiety Disorders and Couples Counseling

  • Untreated anxiety can damage the trust that is essential to healthy functioning within a relationship. You might be constantly worried about what your partner is doing, how they are handling different situations, and whether or not they are happy with you. Seeking treatment for anxiety will help put these concerns at ease, and you will be able to work on trust and intimate connection.
  • Dealing with anxiety makes intimacy extremely difficult. Untreated anxiety disorders can weaken your relationship and rob your relationship of joy. Seeking professional help will allow you to bolster your romantic relationship and be there for your partner in a way you never deemed possible.
  • If you are dealing with anxiety, there is a good chance that you will be too afraid to speak up and voice your own needs. You might be worried that if you do express your needs, you will appear selfish or you will be a burden to your partner. Of course, voicing your own needs within a relationship is crucial to the overall health of the relationship.

Voices of Mental Health and Anxiety

At Voices of Mental Health, we have extensive experience working with men and women of all ages who have been struggling with anxiety disorders of any type of severity. Many of our staff members have overcome severe anxiety themselves, allowing them a unique and compassionate perspective. We know just how difficult it can be to navigate a mental health concern, especially when you remain unaware of what resources are readily available to you. We work to provide you with all of the resources and services you need while educating you on the ins and outs of anxiety disorders of all types. For more information on the services we provide, or to learn more about anxiety and romantic relationships, please feel free to reach out to us at any point in time. Our staff members are standing by 24 hours a day to help you in any way they possibly can.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Cayla Clark, BA

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.