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Relationship Anxiety: Are You Dealing with the Pain?

RelationshipRelationship anxiety pain anxiety can be a pain.

Do either you or your partner have relationship anxiety?

Or have you had to deal with anxiety and fear  in a past relationship?

It takes a toll.

Relationships don’t thrive in the grips of relationship anxiety. They flounder. They sink. They die.

Feeling anxious all the time can be a bitch.

Why Does This Kind Of Anxiety Happen?

There are many reasons. Here are the top 3:

Reason #1

Your unconscious mind is trying to tell you that something is not “right” with the relationship. These could be some of the things that aren’t right…there could be more…

  • Differing values. If your idea of a good time is sitting at home watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey or the newest Star Trek movie…and your partner would rather be propping up the bar at the local watering hole…you have differing values. Often, that can be moderated with compromise…but what if it can’t?
  • Bad communication. No, we aren’t all born knowing how to be great communicators…but if you work at it…you can get better at it.
  • Different goals. You see yourself going in different directions. Values factor in here, as well. While everyone needs to have individual goals, couples need to have goals in common…
  • Bad behavior. Are you putting up with bad behavior? Is your partner threatening to leave you? Is there no respect? Do you feel like you are being taken for granted? Is there any threat to your financial, physical or emotional safety?

Reason #2

Your unconscious mind is trying to tell you that you have a “limiting belief” about what you deserve, what you can have…or even worse…a limiting belief about who you “are”.

When you fill in this blank, what comes up for you?

I am ___________________________________

That is very telling…and can be the major cause of most relationship anxiety…if what comes up for you is something like this….I am a LOSER….or I am UNLOVEABLE…or something like that…how do you think you wouldn’t have relationship anxiety?

Reason #3

You have developed a habit or compulsion to worry. You play the same movie in your mind, over and over again…of all the things that could go wrong…you tell yourself, of course, that they will….

Anxiety empties today of its strengths

What Can You Do to Get Rid of Relationship Anxiety?

Talk to your partner. Open up a conversation and ask questions and clarify these:

  • Values
  • Hopes
  • Dreams
  • Goals

Are they the same? Are they different? Why? Why not?

If you have a limiting belief about relationships, men/women, or about yourself….

  1. Acknowledge it
  2. Learn from it
  3. Let it go

How do you let it go? Some people can do this, easily, on their own. Others need help. There are many modalities that work well. I prefer NLP, timeline, and hypnosis…but there are other modalities…like EFT and finding a spiritual counsellor.

What would you feel comfortable pursuing?

If you are a chronic worrier…who plays negative movies in your mind…complete with a thundering soundtrack…stop that.

An NLP exercise to help stop that chronic worrying :

Take that movie that you play so well…that imagining of all that can wrong… make that movie into a still picture…then and shrink that picture down… then make that dark…and smaller yet…that’s right…and then…imagine a new picture…one where it all goes right…just the way that you want it to be…and give that picture color…and sound….and see that picture begin to move…just like a movie…make it bright…big and bold…with all the bells and whistles…then take a deep breath….that’s right…

What you imagine, you get. So choose what you imagine carefully. If you have a problem with that…then ask yourself “What would happen if it did go right?”…

And remember this; you are only responsible for your own relationship anxiety. If your partner has relationship anxiety, only they can take care of it. If they don’t acknowledge it, learn from it or let it go…you can’t do it for them…or make them do it…can you?

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner

P.S. You don’t have to deal with the pain of relationship anxiety…anymore…make the choice to leave it behind…where it belongs…in the past… 


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I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Holly September 26, 2013, 3:05 am

    Thank you for this article. I have been with my boyfriend just over 8 months and he is lovely. At the age of 27, this is the longest relationship that I’ve had (previous longest lasted 6 months and was when I was 22..!) I’ve never been with someone where I felt so comfortable and happy as I do with my partner. And yet, a few months ago, I started to occasionally feel extreme panics and jealousy about little things. I build up scenarios in my head where he is off with other women. It’s exhausting and painful. I hate that I do it, especially as he is so lovely and has made me a big part of his life, introducing all his friends/family. I realise looking back that there have been many guys I’ve dated where I have had similar fears and pushed them away or broken things off. I think that this one has only survived so far because I’ve had my Mum and a close friend talking me through my panics.

    I clearly have stuff to address and have written to a counsellor. Hopefully having an assessment session next week. I am currently reading a lot about relationship anxiety and wonder if this is what I’ve had all these years. I had a happy, secure childhood but then my parents separated when I was in my teens. I think it shook me a lot and perhaps things stem from that. Looking forward to getting through this and dealing with it with my counsellor.

    • Sherie September 27, 2013, 10:10 pm

      Holly, so glad to hear that you are getting help with this. There is always one point in time…where decisions are made and beliefs are formed. I hope that you get to the root of this. Hugs…
      Sherie recently posted..This #1 Reason Why People Have Relationship AnxietyMy Profile

  • Sara August 8, 2013, 9:33 pm

    Anxiety has taken over my life. I can’t seem to function anymore. Cant eat can’t sleep. I’ve talked to him about how I’m feeling and what triggers my emotions but he doesn’t understand. I can’t seem to control my thoughts. Really feel like I’m losing it.

    • Sherie August 9, 2013, 6:44 am

      Sara, if anxiety has such a huge hold on you, it might be time to go see someone about it, know what I mean? You can’t let it affect whether you eat or sleep…because then you aren’t taking care of yourself…at all. In the meantime, take a look in your mind’s eye at that situation…is it a big and colorful picture that you have? If it is, then shrink it down…grey out the colors…and then see how you feel…if you can see yourself in the picture, then see yourself looking at the situation…instead of being in it. My dear, there is no shame in getting help. Start with your family doctor and get a referral to a professional, if that’s what they think you need to do, k? You are important.
      Sherie recently posted..Needy and Desperate? This Simple Guide to Feel Confident in Your RelationshipsMy Profile

  • Gwen July 22, 2013, 4:13 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. It really simplified things for me and you are spot on in saying that we create our own future, I have been suffering badly on and off with relationship anxiety ever since I got married, I love my husband and we have all of number 1 in common and I do not doubt my love for him yet there will be alot of anxiety there, I think i got so used of worrying it has most certainly become a habit and sometimes i feel sad and really do not even truly know why, i project everything onto him no matter why i am stressed i will automatically begin to worry am i happy with him when really he is the best thing that ever happened to me, it drains me emotionally so much and mainly because i couldnt let it go, reading this makes me feel like its in my hands and its easier to let it go then I know.

    I have guilt over the past fear and doubt which causes more fear and doubt, I have very low self esteem and I think you seriously hit on such a major factor in relationship anxiety there, my husband is such a loving caring man, no one ever treated me like he does, and when you do not love who you are or have confidence in yourself and someone else loves you so much it can be difficult you just want to push them away or find fault with “them” when really its within you the issues lay.
    thank you.

  • Olivia Redmond June 3, 2013, 2:02 pm

    I feel as if I fit into all 3 of these categories. I try so hard to suffocate my anxieties and deny that they are there but anytime something in my relationship changes, I feel ill and immediately think of the worst possible outcome and go off on a tangent about what could happen, causing me to become incredibly hurt and frustrated both at my partner and myself. I dont know how to cope

  • Sebastian Aiden Daniels May 14, 2013, 3:18 pm

    I enjoyed the article. I definitely fit into #2 and #3. I have an active imagination on top of my insecurities so I worry about everything that one’s mind can imagine.

    The #2 is also a big one because I have had a troubled past with mental illness and it makes me think that no one will accept me and I am unloveable. It is very hard to reconcile, but I am working on it slowly. I am slowly learning to love myself and care for myself and say that I am good enough for a healthy and effective relationship.
    Sebastian Aiden Daniels recently posted..Traumatic Childhood! How it affects a person and how to heal from it! Part 2.My Profile

  • T. Davis April 21, 2013, 7:44 am

    Great advice. Information everyone should know. Can apply not only to personal relationships with spouse or significant other, but also relationships you have with other family members.
    T. Davis recently posted..Are you In a Toxic RelationshipMy Profile

  • Helena April 8, 2013, 5:52 pm

    Great post Sherie! I think you are right on with your first reason for relationship anxiety. If you’re that anxious about the relationship, it’s probably because your subconscious is trying to tell you it’s not the right relationship for you.
    Helena recently posted..Does Fear of Rejection Put a Dent in Your Self-Confidence?My Profile

  • Sharon O'Day April 8, 2013, 7:50 am

    Some of the issues you mention are normal differences between two human beings and can be worked out through discussion, as you say. However, as a couple is moving beyond the initial period of elation … and settling into the more solid, day-to-day part of the relationship … it’s as if no one wants to rock the boat. I find the same thing occurs within couples in terms of talking about my subject, money. Yet taking that “risk” is what will give their relationship the greatest chance of survival!
    Sharon O’Day recently posted..Mamas, Don’t Let Your Daughters Grow Up to Be CluelessMy Profile

    • Sherie April 8, 2013, 8:26 pm

      Yes, Sharon, and money can be such a touchy subject with couples, can’t it? Yet, it needs to be talked about…sometimes what we perceive to be a “risk” is the very thing that we do need to do/talk about to survive…great insight!
      Sherie recently posted..Control of Your Life? Is it Really Possible?My Profile

  • sarah April 6, 2013, 8:10 pm

    i enjoyed reading your article. you are absolutely right that i need to be honest with my partner and work out the differences. i’m glad to stumble upon this article, thank you.

  • Pat Moon April 4, 2013, 9:32 am

    “You don’t have to deal with the pain of relationship anxiety…anymore…make the choice to leave it behind…where it belongs…in the past…” Your P.S. sums it all up.. getting through relationship anxieties requires us to let go of many things and leave them behind.. yes, they crop up occasionally because they are a part of our past but if we’ve dealt with them and moved on once, we can do it again. There is no way we could have made it to 51+ years of marriage without going through some tough times and leaving them behind.
    Pat Moon recently posted..Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Nutrition, and Autoimmune DiseaseMy Profile

  • Explode Your Business Online @Norma Doiron April 3, 2013, 11:42 am

    Acknowledge it, Learn from it, Let it go…wise advice Sherie!

  • Chester Liam April 2, 2013, 9:43 pm

    I guess communication is the most important thing to consider. It’s better to have quality time together to have a real talk about the relationship and individual concerns. Anxiety is hard to overcome but not if you have someone to lean on.
    Chester Liam recently posted..GranuFlo lawsuits to be handled by a single judgeMy Profile

  • This is a fantastic post on so many fronts, Sherie! Myself – I was very good at numbers 1 and 3 for years. It’s taken a lot of work, but I’m better able to do what needs to be done to deal with it early on – no matter the type of relationship – friend, sibling, parent…. I really liked your NLP exercise!
    Lisa Frederiksen – BreakingTheCycles.com recently posted..Screening for Alcohol Misuse and Secondhand Drinking – Alcohol Awareness MonthMy Profile

  • Daniele Holmberg April 2, 2013, 5:04 pm

    I think this relationship advice is important for any kind of relationship…I recently let go of a friend by acknowledging, learning and letting go. Great advice!

  • Moira Hutchison April 2, 2013, 2:46 pm

    I loved this article Sherie! You pulled together some powerful suggestions for good interpersonal health. What you’ve suggested here could apply to many different types of anxiety. I think the key is to look for the gift that the anxiety is presenting (which in effect is bringing something currently unconscious into your conscious awareness).
    Moira Hutchison recently posted..Cultivating A Spiritual RelationshipMy Profile

  • Meryl Hershey Beck April 1, 2013, 7:08 pm

    Wow Sherie, this is some great information on different ways we allow anxiety in relationships steal our strength. This is information everyone should know!
    Meryl Hershey Beck recently posted..Become Your Own Energy DetectiveMy Profile

  • Tom H April 1, 2013, 3:33 pm

    Great advice Sherie,
    I agree with your three step process of acknowledging, learning and letting go. If there are differences between partners, sometimes it is best to let them go and find common ground
    Tom H recently posted..Sol Cocina – Exciting New Dishes and Single Barrel TequilaMy Profile

  • MarVeena April 1, 2013, 2:50 pm

    Thank you for the great ideas!

  • MamaRed April 1, 2013, 2:19 pm

    Those limiting beliefs are such a big part of what we’re here to learn and to heal. Are they truth? Hummm…reminds of an old ad “Is it real or is it Memorex!”
    MamaRed recently posted..Rewrite Your Story When You Can’t Have Your PassionMy Profile

  • Alexandra McAllister April 1, 2013, 11:38 am

    Great article and tips, Sherie! I am not in a relationship but your advice can work for single folks as well. I like this: “If you have a limiting belief about relationships, men/women, or about yourself…. Acknowledge it. earn from it. Let it go.” Thank you!
    Alexandra McAllister recently posted..When To Begin Anti-Cellulite TreatmentsMy Profile

  • Elizabeth Maness April 1, 2013, 11:04 am

    What great advice Sheri! If we can leave old issues in the past what a better life we can have we the next person we add! You are so wise my dear!
    Elizabeth Maness recently posted..Is Your Blog the Center of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy?My Profile

  • Angela April 1, 2013, 9:47 am

    Relationship anxiety is a very well written article. The thing that really struck me was that you said you can’t fix your partners own relationship anxiety only they can do it.
    Angela recently posted..Rebirthing Your Business, The Essential IngredientMy Profile

  • Martha Giffen April 1, 2013, 9:05 am

    I think having core values is so important. It seems like if you agree on the core values, there is less chance of having relationship anxiety. Love the tips you share on what to do when it does raise it’s ugly head. Disagreements happen but the anxiety doesn’t have to be permanent!
    Martha Giffen recently posted..Why LinkedIn Endorsements Are SillyMy Profile