This is a collaborative post
I have always been upfront and honest about my anxiety with my partner but at the start of the relationship I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cause us any issues. I have problems with trusting people and it takes me quite a while to really let my guard down. I found that the more I talked about my anxieties I hoped that my partner would understand. I think this became easier to see when we lived together because it manifested in some ugly ways but talking about it really helped. We’ve now been together a long time and I think my partner has a pretty clear idea on my anxieties and that understanding has helped me feel less anxious.
It’s really hard opening yourself up and showing what you think are your biggest flaws and vulnerablities. To be more comfortable opening up with your partner, it may help to speak with a licensed therapist, like those at ReGain. Having an experienced professional that understands mental health issues and how the might affect relationships can better understand these conditions so a partner might relate to them a bit easier and find ways of helping their partner cope with their conditions.
For me, I spent a lot of time getting frustrated but I think it properly clicked with my partner when I explained how when a suggestion is put to me to do something, a very simple thing, where I know I will not be in control of the situation, my mind starts firing off every single possible outcome where something terrible could happen. No, it’s not rational, but that’s anxiety for you. By the time someone has finished inviting me to an event I have already tried to process about four reasons why it’s not a good idea to go. In the past it’s lead to me missing out on a lot of things because the overwhelm of the ‘bad thing happening’ is just so strong that I’d rather decline and have the relief of not having to deal with it anymore.
Anxiety is really common and manifests in many different ways but if you keep it a secret from your partner or hide it away from your relationship then you might really struggle to communicate and find ways of coping. Online therapy could provide a way of communicating with each other about certain mental health issues in a controlled and safe space. Ultimately, as someone that suffers with anxiety. all I want is to feel safe and secure and sometimes I think the worse of situations. It’s great to have a partner that encourages me to try new things but that also understands if things get too much or too overwhelming and doesn’t put pressure on me to attend.