1. They aren’t trying to push you away.
Chances are they need you now more than ever. Some people living with anxiety have to put up a strong front all day at work or out in public and when they are alone with you it is their time to relax and let their guard down. Sometimes that means just being around each other without saying anything at all. That quiet time is when they are at peace and as much as you want to chat about the NFL Playoffs or about the latest Jimmy Fallon video; they may just want you to enjoy those things on your own. When they are ready they will open back up and laugh at that lip sync video with you.
2. They do love you.
While their sex drive may be low due to the anxiety and possible self-consciousness, they do find you sexy and do want you. It just might not be as often as you wish. They do care about you.
3. They need more mental breaks than someone without anxiety.
When your partner takes a “personal day” here or there… don’t think they are being lazy or are giving up on their duties. They really need to take a break and do some yoga, practice meditation, or just sit and binge watch Parenthood in order to power up for the coming week.
4. They really do have scary thoughts going on in their head.
If your partner calls you or texts you and you don’t respond right away… it truly is causing them a lot of fear. They will think about all the horrible things that could have happened to you on your way to work. When you can just reply back to them and let them know you are OKAY. This will help them a lot more than you know.
5. They really do feel sick often.
You probably are getting tired of hearing about their stomachache, feeling faint, dizziness, and sweatiness… this is part of their disease. They really have these symptoms and they really just want you to show you care any way you know how. They aren’t trying to annoy you – promise.
6. If they need the kitchen counter to be spotless try and make sure it is just that whenever you can.
A stupid little crumb on the counter when they come home or any crazy “irrational” trigger can cause a panic attack. It seems absurd but it really does happen. Just try and recognize their triggers and do your best to help them through it.
7. They think. A LOT. – Like a crazy amount.
We think about every little thing that went slightly wrong earlier that day, what could still go wrong later, and what is going to go wrong all week. We think about whether or not everyone is mad at us or if we should have tipped the mail man at Christmas and if he is purposely giving us our mail late because of this. We think about the animals out in the cold when it is below zero and we think about whether or not they have a way to keep warm. We think about the email we forgot to send at work and whether or not we are going to get fired for every mistake we make. Just trust us… we think a lot.
8. Not having a plan actually causes a lot of stress for them.
Remember when I mentioned that we like to think? If there isn’t a plan we have no way of “thinking” about how that is going to go. The unknown is terrifying for us. Just telling us your plan or helping us make a plan will keep us feeling happier and lighter.
9. Telling them to “calm down” or “relax” may cause more harm.
These phrases remind us that we are behaving in a way that you think is irrational. We know we seem out of whack to you but it may be better to just rub our back or grab our hand. Calming touches go a long way. Actions speak louder than words – right?
10. Some days are better than others.
It’s not going to be a bad day every day! We do laugh, we do smile and we do have boat loads of fun! Don’t rule fun things out on account of our anxiety. We will let you know what we’re up for!