Relationship stressing me out

9 Signs Your Relationship Is Making Your Anxiety Worse

If your most frequent text to the group chat is “omg, my partner is stressing me out,” it might be one of many signs your relationship is making your anxiety worse. And the sooner you can spot these signs — and hopefully make a change — the better you’ll both feel.

“It is really important to understand what is happening with your anxiety and whether it is due your relationship, something else altogether, or perhaps a bit of both,” Briony Leo, a psychologist and head of coaching at the self-care app Relish, tells Bustle. “That said, our relationships are often responsible for at least some of the anxiety that we're feeling — particularly if there are issues between you and your partner, or your relationship is going through a period of adjustment.”

If you think your relationship may be affecting your well-being in a negative way, take a look at the signs your relationship might be adding to your anxiety, as well as some suggestions for moving forward.

1. You Feel On Edge Around Your Partner

If you constantly feel on edge around your partner, take note. “This is a sign that your anxiety is related to the relationship,” Leo says, and that something is definitely off in terms of the way you interact with each other.

To see if it’s fixable, let your partner know exactly how you feel. Tell them that you’ve been on edge and want to make a few changes — whether it’s by having clearer communication, spending more time together, etc. — to see if it helps you feel better.

2. You Think About The Relationship 24/7

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It’s one thing to be so in love you can’t stop thinking about your relationship and how happy it makes you. But it’s something else entirely if you catch yourself mulling over every conversation and interaction.

“It means your emotions and thoughts are being overtaken by concerns about the relationship,” Leo says, which will only make your anxiety worse. The thing is, overthinking is a major symptom of anxiety whether there are actual problems or not. So start by seeing if you can soothe yourself.

“Focus instead on self-care and meeting your own needs, whether this is spending time with friends, exercising, or catching up on sleep or your favorite TV shows,” Leo says. “This means your mood and mental health will be boosted — and you can escape the trap of overthinking.”

3. You Have A Hard Time Being On Your Own

Ever heard of attachment styles when it comes to relationships? If you have an “anxious attachment,” you might experience trouble being on your own, an intense need for validation, and ongoing worry and concern about being abandoned.

According to Dr. Jennifer Rhodes, a psychologist and dating expert, if you end up in the wrong type of relationship — aka, one that triggers your attachment style — you might find it extra difficult to function. Instead of helping you feel loved and supported, your partner might accidentally play into these fears and make your anxiety worse.

To make a change, let them know how you feel and see if they can find ways to better support you. Then seek out the support of a therapist, if possible. By examining your attachment style, and becoming more aware of how it impacts you, you may be able to feel less tense in your relationship.

4. You’re Often Emotional

Anxiety can make the most mundane things seem overwhelming, which is why big emotional reactions don’t automatically mean your partner is doing something wrong or that your relationship is necessarily unhealthy. But it is something that requires a closer look. If you always cry during arguments with your partner, or feel deeply sad or angry, Leo says it may indicate your relationship is triggering anxiety.

5. You’re Never Sure If They Like You

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If you’re constantly worried about whether your partner is really into you, Dr. Dan Auerbach, B.Com, MCACPA, MPACFA, a psychotherapist and relationship counselor, tells Bustle it’s time to have a conversation about where you stand as a couple. So go ahead and ask questions about commitment levels, the future — or whatever else weighs heavy on your mind.

“It's time for an open talk where you bring yourself vulnerably to your partner and openly ask them,” Auerbach says. “Sometimes that can lead to defensiveness in which case the relationship might need some outside help. If you feel the relationship is worth working for it's time to bring in a relationship therapist.”

6. You’re Always Waiting For Something Bad To Happen

If an ex cheated on you, Auerbach says it’s possible you’re carrying that bad experience into your current relationship, where you now expect the same thing to happen again. Your partner’s action might lead you believe the same scenario will happen again. So guess what you need to do? Talk.

“Be specific and calm and give them a chance to repair the bond with you,” he says. “Often fears about cheating are grounded in worries about your partner's commitment to you, so make sure to address that directly.

7. You Don't Look Forward To Spending Time Together

According to Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a clinical psychologist, you might notice that you get anxious around the time you’d normally see your partner, like when you both get home from work. You also might feel immensely relieved — or even excited — when they leave the house or go out of town. And these can all be signs your relationship is triggering your anxiety.

While it’s great to spend time away from each other, and to be down with the solo hobbies, it’s clear your partner is making your anxiety worse if you’re always a million times happier — and calmer — whenever they’re away.

8. They’re Critical Of Your Every Move

If your partner is critical and demeaning, it’s definitely going to impact your mental health, Dr. Tina B. Tessina, a psychotherapist and author, tells Bustle. "Anxiety is often rooted in low self-esteem, so criticism makes it worse," she says. Look for red flags like name-calling, controlling behavior — whatever leaves you feeling bad or uncomfortable.

9. You’re Afraid To Talk About Your Concerns

When you’re anxious, it makes it difficult to approach your partner and talk about difficult things. But that’s precisely what you need to do, not only for your own well-being, but for the well-being of your relationship.

“Poor communication amongst partners forces us to ‘fill in the blanks’ with information that is not always accurate,” Jason Phillips, LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker, tells Bustle. “For example, if your partner is distant, you may internalize their distance and believe it is a sign you are doing something wrong.”

How To Move Forward When Your Relationship Is Making Your Anxiety Worse

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Once you’ve reflected and pinpointed which habits and problems may be exacerbating your anxiety, talk to your partner about how you can better support each other. “It might be that you want to discuss 'defining' your relationship and moving to the next level,” Leo says, “or perhaps it is an issue with intimacy and trust, and you need them to provide you with some reassurance and security.

If, however, your partner is stressing you out to the point your well-being is at stake, it may be time to look at other options, such as couples therapy, taking a break — or even breaking up.


Briony Leo, psychologist

Dr. Jennifer Rhodes, psychologist and dating expert

Dr. Ramani Durvasula, clinical psychologist

Dr. Dan Auerbach, B.Com, MCACPA, MPACFA, psychotherapist and relationship counselor

Dr. Tina B. Tessina, psychotherapist and author

This article was originally published on

What to Do When You're Both Stressed

“Every relationship is going to have arguments. And at worst, arguments can result in hurt feelings, loss of respect for the other person, or loss of a close relationship,” says Debbie Opoku, a licensed psychotherapist specializing in couples and marriage counseling in Barrie, Canada.

“If we speak and react in the heat of the moment, our words will come out as accusations — or worse as a personal attack against your partner,” Opoku says.

Words carry a lot of weight in an argument, and saying something in anger (even if it feels justified at the time) can still have lasting effects long after the argument has concluded — and these impacts can contribute to even more stress down the road.

And at-home stress doesn’t only involve your partner.

Other ways stress affects your home

You may not always notice all the ways stress can affect your body or home life. But if stress persists, it can ripple out and impact your:

  • pets
  • baby in utero
  • children
  • sleep
  • sex life and intimacy
  • bowel movements
  • blood pressure

It’s easy to let financial stress broil, parenting pressures mount, or fall into old argument patterns — especially if the two of you are locked together in close quarters.

Making time to go outside your house will help break you out of patterns and allow both of you to feel like you’ve escaped the usual.

Change the scenery and take a break

“I would recommend couples walk around outside and discuss their issues,” says Nicholas Hardy, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist out of Houston, Texas. “In addition to being outside and enjoying the weather (if it is nice), you are not forced to look directly at each other.”

“It takes the pressure off of the conversation, which sometimes allows people to be more open,” Hardy adds.

Staying in one place during an argument can make you feel like you aren’t moving toward an endpoint. Try to put the heat of the argument on pause, take a break, and revisit things after you’ve cleared your head.

When “you” causes trouble, try to use “I” instead

It may seem like a simple word choice, but using “you” and superlative statements too often in an argument can lead to longer fights and more stress for your partner if you aren’t careful.

“Using ‘I’ language is often better received than ‘you’ language, which comes off as accusatory and can lead to defensiveness,” explains Jennifer Henry, licensed professional counselor and director of the Counseling Center at Maryville University in Missouri.

“For example ‘I feel really disappointed and unimportant when I’m planning on a date night and you end up canceling it’ taps into the way the situation makes you feel versus ‘Every time we make plans for a date you end up bailing at the last minute,'” Henry says.

Ask for help or ask how you can help

One of the hardest things to do when you’re stressed out is to ask for help.

Sometimes you may feel too overwhelmed to ask for help, or be in such a high-stress situation that you don’t even know what kind of help you need. If you’ve ever felt this way, your partner has definitely felt it, too.

That’s why the best thing you can do is take a breath and ask them what kind of help they need. For example, a pile of dirty dishes may not normally be a big deal to your partner, but if they feel stretched to the limit already, that pile of dishes is going to look impossibly large.

“You can respond to your partner’s stress by simply ‘asking’ them about it and how you can support them. We are more likely to miss the mark when we assume,” Hardy says. “I would recommend taking something off their plate… When you give them less to worry about in other areas, you are supporting them inadvertently.”

Hear them out instead of planning your defense

An argument can sometimes feel like a competition where the goal is to score the most points over your opponent. While it may feel good to win the argument, it doesn’t do anything to de-stress your partner or the situation.

If they’re expressing their anxiety to you — even if it’s not in a calm or productive way — try to hear them out. Even if you don’t agree with them, stopping to take the time to actually hear what they’re saying will help validate their point of view.

You can learn how to be a more effective active listener here.

“Listen to each other,” says Opoku. “If we listen to the other person and give them an opportunity to explain their point of view, chances are they’ll be more open to hearing us out. When someone is making a statement that we disagree with, our common response is to start thinking of a rebuttal while the person is talking.”

Consider the root of their stress

If you’re in an argument with your partner, it would make sense to assume that the source of the problem was you (or something you did) that upset them. However, even if the argument is being had with you, it might not really be about you.

External factors in your partner’s life may be contributing to their increased stress.

Try to think about what may actually be causing the tension in your relationship and work to address the real reason they’re feeling stressed.

“When we are stressed about work, family, etcetera, we carry this into our relationships,” says Hardy. “Our patience is reduced, and we don’t always have the emotional capacity to handle issues appropriately. Therefore, I recommend that couples take time to rejuvenate, take care of themselves, and evaluate if they are taking other issues out on their [partner].”

If you can help your partner reduce the external stressors in their life, it might help diffuse similar arguments in the future and show your partner that you’re being supportive and sympathetic.

Couples counselors are always available to help

Even after you’ve committed significant effort to de-stress your relationship, it may still be too difficult to entirely handle it on your own.

Especially if there’s a deep hurt or there’s been prolonged periods of stress, you could consider couples counseling to help improve your relationship, communication, and manage stress in your lives.

“Having an objective party sit with you and help you talk through your challenges can be tremendously eye-opening and can lead to so much growth and healing,” says Henry.

“A counselor can give you and your partner new approaches for working through your concerns and can help you both to really express your feelings and feel heard,” Henry adds.

Need a place to start? You can check out our list of the best online relationship therapy services.

When you take steps toward improving your relationship and de-stressing, you’re proving to yourself and your partner that you believe there’s something special worth working at.

When you and your partner commit to supporting one another, you’ll be surprised by the progress the two of you can make.

“If both partners truly want to save their [relationship], have the humility to work on themselves, and have the commitment to work hard on growing their relationship, many [relationships] can be healed and recover from prolonged stress,” Henry says.

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  • Elena Savinova
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whether the feeling is real. And we don’t even think about whether we love or just imitate passion, because fears, complexes, neurotic aspirations interfere.

But in vain. After all, there are a lot of cases when a person (unfortunately, this happens more often with women) thinks up great love for himself, and then wonders why she is unhappy and why she constantly steps on the same rake.

Here are some signs that you are not in love, but rather neurotically attached.

Pie in the sky

It's hard for you to be yourself, instead you try to play perfection in everything. After all, having finally “found” the husband or girl of your dreams, you are afraid to lose them. You do not want to repeat the mistakes of previous relationships in which you did not look your best.

Now I won't let go of my happiness, you think, and you start working hard. You are the best cook, and an attentive listener, and an interesting companion. There is no need to talk about intimate relationships. Sharon Stone, compared to you, nervously smokes on the sidelines.

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Your partner is, of course, delighted. He did not even expect to find such happiness. At first he admires, then he gets used to it and begins to take everything for granted. But you, tired of the role unusual for you and emotional overload, and not receiving the expected "thank you", splash out irritation on your loved one.

It becomes a cold shower for him. After all, he believed that he really met a supergirl. You feel guilty for once again breaking loose and not being able to be perfect.

The most annoying thing is that you think that your relationship did not work out again precisely because of your imperfection. In fact - because of the discrepancy between your idealized "I" of your own real life. Instead of love, you were guided by a childhood fear of being abandoned. And to prevent this from happening, they say, you need to earn love.

A self-confident woman should ask herself if she feels good in a relationship, if she feels joy, if she can relax, talk about any topic or just be silent - and her lover will understand her.

Image copyright, Getty Images

Favorite or necessary

You feel you are needed and it makes you happy. Women often become good helpers for their chosen ones. Remind them not to forget about an important meeting, call their mother. They write reports for them, wash their clothes, listen to how the boss treated them unfairly at work. There are many men who bind to themselves with such care.

In fact, such a tendency to "help" is nothing but a desire to deprive a partner of independence. The main indicator of the "prudence" of such assistants is that they never help to the end. For example, they would teach their husband once and for all how to iron a shirt, fill out some kind of receipt. Or they would do everything to ensure that the girl finds a good job and does not depend financially. But then the guardian will lose power over ... one would like to say - a victim.

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And this is almost a Freudian slip. Because deep down, assistants treat the object of their care down, considering them a little stupid. And the desire to help is a veiled desire to control.

Opposition - stop being comfortable, do what is necessary and interesting only for you. After all, a person who feels that someone lives by him and his interests will sooner or later try to get rid of such guardianship.

Will outweigh the desire for freedom and unwillingness to bear responsibility for the one whom he unwittingly "tamed".

Happiness - when you are understood?

You always "understand" your partner. Even when he insults you or someone in your presence. Or when he commits unworthy deeds, you justify everything by his difficult character, difficult childhood, by the fact that he was driven to death. True, all is not lost if you are waiting for an apology and an explanation of the reasons for misbehavior.

image copyrightToa Heftiba / Unsplash

In fact, many prefer to be patient and keep quiet. After all, there is a stereotype that if a woman is inclined to sort things out, her beloved will think that she is an unbalanced brawler and leave her. And that a real wife - hello mom - should be soft, endure and forgive. And they love those.

In reality, as we see, they love different people. We don't owe anything to anyone but ourselves. With this approach to life, it is easier to meet "your" person.

Is it necessary to "keep it simple"?

You are trying to be "humble". There are many deep reasons for modesty. This is low self-esteem, and fear of conflicts, and the expectation of protection from the raging world. And also - the expectation of rewards. For example, that your partner will appreciate your pure soul and gentle nature. Especially compared to those bitchy women with whom - and you have no doubt about it - he had to deal with before you.

An unnatural desire to be in the shadow arises in many women even when they feel that their partner is a little behind them in the intellectual or material spheres. Therefore, in order to get married, they decide to "be simpler."

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After all, there is an allegedly generally accepted opinion that men do not like smart or successful women. But that's not your problem, is it? Let them love or dislike anyone or anything. Self-confidence and naturalness in relationships have always been highly valued. And there are a lot of smart men who can love you for who you are.

We just need to get rid of our own complexes and false attitudes about what we should be in order to please someone.

Instead, be yourself and listen to your own heart.

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How to end a relationship that hurts


A woman and a man meet and enter into a relationship in order to give each other joy. Tenderness, attention, good sex, care - we all get something from a loved one. Relationships change our lives for the better. Otherwise, there is no point in mutual obligations. Pain and devastation are sure signs that things are going wrong between you. Most likely, with this person you are not on the way. There are several options for how to get out of a situation that is destroying you.

1. You still love him. Despite the pain and resentment, this man is still dear to you, and the hope is stubbornly glimmering that everything will change. As long as you keep your hopes up, the situation will not get better. If such a chance exists at all in reality, it must be properly implemented. Reproaches have already been tried by you and did not work. You need to gather your thoughts and talk to your loved one about your decision to leave. He must believe it.

Explain to him that you love him very much and experienced happy moments with him, but now your relationship brings nothing but pain and tears. Without indulging in accusations, describe what exactly you don’t like and what changes you would like (I don’t like that you drink beer late in the evenings with friends, and we only go out in the evening together once a week. I would like this at least three times a week). Tell him that you respect his right to live the way he wants, but you also have the right to be happy. Therefore, if what he does cannot be changed, then you make the decision to leave such a relationship.

Believe me, this approach will pay off. A woman who knows how to politely but firmly state her needs cannot command anything but respect. He may reconsider his attitude towards you, or maybe it's too late to change something. Then you need to put an end to it, as promised. But then your relationship will end beautifully and with dignity, freeing you from pain.

2. You are confused and just go with the flow , not daring to break off the relationship. Before moving on, think about what you really want. To have an attentive and caring man nearby, or is it just this man who is now, but attentive and caring? If the latter, then you need to talk.

To do this, arrange a romantic dinner at home and seduce. Sexy lingerie, lubricants and erotic toys are here to help. After you both enjoy sex, touch on a topic that bothers you from afar. Remember how beautiful and romantic everything was between you at the very beginning. Describe your experiences before dating him. Let him also share his memories with you.

Next, tell him that now this relationship does not bring you any joy, only disappointment, and that you ask yourself why all this should continue. Ask your man what he thinks about this, and why he does what hurts you.

He may be surprised that everything is so bad in your eyes. Explain why you are hurting and what you would like to change between you. Do not be surprised that he may also have his "claims" on you. The main thing is not to give in to emotions and the desire to scandal. Perhaps, as a result of this conversation, you will decide to “start over”, realizing your mistakes. If not, then you will peacefully disperse, freeing each other and maintaining good relations.

3. You no longer want anything from this man , and perhaps even hate him. Endure pain because you are used to being the victim. If your case belongs to the latter category, you should go to a psychologist. It will help you better understand the reasons why you are in this position. It's not the man's fault that you like to endure pain and be unhappy. You choose this path for yourself. But you can also refuse it.

Think about what this relationship is for you. What joy they bring to you. Financial gain does not count. If nothing comes to mind, it's time to make a decision. Let the picture of your desired future help you - a caring husband, children, a cozy home. This is all real for each of us, you just need to decide on changes.

Tell the man that you have made a firm decision to leave, explain the reasons and say that the decision is final.

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