More people than ever before seem to have some type of anxiety disorder, and while no one wants to have this illness, it can wreak havoc on even the strongest of relationships…

Many studies have been done on anxiety and what causes it, but despite all of this research, more people live with anxiety than ever before. Unfortunately, many people in the U.S. and worldwide suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder. In the U.S. alone, approximately 18.1% of people age 18 and older have anxiety, which equates to about 40 million people. 

No one should have to deal with anxiety on their own, of course, but getting into a relationship with someone new can come with a lot of roadblocks unless they show willingness to understand what you go through daily. You shouldn’t have to hide your anxiety in order to stay in a relationship, and you will have to decide on your own who will stay in your life based on their willingness to understand your point of view and mental state.

Anxiety can overtake your whole life and make any sort of decision or event difficult, but having a partner that understands will help the relationship go much more smoothly and make you happier long-term in the partnership.

Here are 5 signs anxiety is hurting your relationship:

1. You constantly worry about your relationship ending

Worrying about the demise of your relationship can easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more you worry about what you DON’T want to happen, the more you invite it into your life by putting your energy into it. Your partner will start to notice this behavior if you appear more clingy than normal, or become possessive or jealous. While you can’t always control your anxiety, you should make it a point to voice your concerns rather than letting them stew and grow into something unmanageable. Many times, your worries will probably go away once you express them to your partner, as they can help alleviate your stress and make you realize that your relationship is actually going well.

Many people with anxiety tend to overreact and blow things out of proportion simply because they feel things more deeply. Make sure to keep the lines of communication open with your partner so he or she can help you when your thoughts get the best of you.

2. You cling to your partner

Clinging to your partner will only make him or her become more distant. Think about it – if you smother a plant with too much water, it will eventually kill it. In the same way, if you smother a relationship with too much love, affection, and attention, you will give it no room to breathe. Your partner needs his or her space just as much as you need yours, so try to avoid suffocating the relationship. Even if you have insecurities, clinging to your partner will only end the relationship faster than you expected.

3. You wonder if your partner would be happier without you

Wondering about whether or not your partner would feel happier without you will only make your relationship miserable. Obviously your partner chose you for a reason, so remember this the next time you feel anxious about your relationship.

4. You rely on your partner to do the things that make you anxious

Relying on your partner to make a phone call to the doctor or go to the store to pick up a few things will only exacerbate and prolong your anxiety. While it might seem easy to run to your partner when you feel anxious and get them to pick up the slack, you can’t keep doing this forever – eventually, your partner will get burnt out. While they can help you with some things, you shouldn’t count on them for everything. Doing the things that give you anxiety will help you to overcome it, anyway.

Related article: 5 Signs Your Partner Has Hidden Anxiety

5. You restrict the things you do based on your anxiety

Another relationship killer is putting boundaries on what you can and can’t do with your partner. Maybe they want to try a new restaurant or go on a whitewater rafting trip, but you allow your anxiety to get in the way. A surefire way to hurt your relationship is to always turn down your partner’s ideas in favor of doing things that feel “safe” to you, such as staying in and watching Netflix, ordering takeout and following your normal routine. While you shouldn’t bend over backwards to please your partner, try to compromise and get out of your comfort zone sometimes in order to keep the relationship balanced and happy.

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