Updated: Jul 21, 2020
This is a question I used to ask myself INCESSANTLY when I first started dating my husband.
"Am I in the right relationship?"
"What if I'm in the wrong relationship?"
"What if he's not the one?"
The questions were never ending. And I thought that since I had anxiety and was asking these questions, that it meant I was in the wrong relationship. You hear so much in our culture that "when you know, you know."
And sure, maybe that works for some people, but for those who have anxiety...that's the WORST thing you could possibly hear.
My anxiety about my relationship stemmed from many different things. I was a perfectionist who was terrified of making a "wrong" decision. My parents got divorced when I was young AND I had my heart shattered in a past romantic relationship. From what I saw and experienced, love only leads to pain.
Needless to say, this was a recipe for anxiety.
So, when I started dating my now husband, the anxiety would SCREAM at me. I would often have anxiety attacks and feel sick to my stomach. My body would shake and sweat whenever doubts and questions about my relationship arose in my mind. I felt trapped inside my head.
I knew I had strong feelings for him and that he made me feel safe and seen like no other relationship. But the anxiety made me doubt that...big time. I even tried to break up with him TWICE within the first year of dating because the anxiety was so unbearable. I thought the anxiety was my intuition telling me I was making the wrong decision.
I even went to traditional talk therapy for years to try and figure all this out...but that often made it worse because I was still ruminating on the same questions and then NEW questions would arise the more I talked about it. I was trying to "figure out" the answers and hoped that my therapist would just tell me the answers to these obsessive questions.
When we try to deal with our anxiety from the level of the mind, of thought, it just doesn't work. It keeps us stuck in the endless loop of thoughts, spinning around and around.
It wasn't until my Dance/Movement Therapy program that I finally began to loosen the grip of my relationship anxiety. Because body-based therapy does not ask the mind. It asks the body. It takes you OUT of your head and into the wisdom of the body.
And that's what those of us who suffer relationship anxiety need. We need to access the fear responses in the body, release them, and rewire our nervous systems to feel safe in relationships. You learn to trust your body and not rely solely on your mind. We don't need to keep asking questions, because those will never end. We must directly communicate to the body and become present with the feeling. Which is fear. Unprocessed fear due to harmful beliefs and experiences. And once we release the fear from the nervous system, the mind begins to naturally shift. The questions become less, and when they do pop into your mind, you don't get sucked in. You can come back to the body.
So, to answer the question "does anxiety mean you're in the wrong relationship?"
The answer is no.
But anxiety does mean that there are unhealed parts of us that just want our attention.
If you're ready to be free from anxiety and feel fully connected in your relationship, I invite you to schedule a free and obligation-free 30-minute Relationship Assessment. You'll learn how to release fear and anxiety from your body so that you can be free from anxious thoughts and stop sabotaging your relationship. You'll also learn what it takes for you to trust yourself and your decisions so that you can be present in your relationship, without constantly questioning your feelings for your partner.
All you have to do is click here to begin your journey of healing.