Are you looking for Christian relationship help to understand the various causes of anxiety in relationships? Anxiety is mental or emotional distress or uneasiness because of an underlying fear. Relationships evoke deep emotional reactions-many of which we don’t really identify fully. These emotional reactions are often experienced as mild to severe anxiety. Here are eight common causes of anxiety in relationships and their underlying beliefs:
Disapproval – People are anxious when they are disapproved of because they fear being rejected. The underlying belief is often that you can’t stand disapproval and rejection and that if someone isn’t approving of you that it means there is something wrong with you.
Perfection – When you believe that you are not good enough unless you are perfect, you will experience anxiety any time you are not good enough. This leads you to feel bad about yourself and to be more anxious about your performance the next time.
Loss – When you believe that you don’t deserve what you have or when actual circumstances threaten to take away what you have, you will be anxious and feel suspicious, cautious, negative, and worried.
Distrust – When your past experiences have shown you that people are untrustworthy, you will have difficulty trusting people–even if they aren’t the ones who have actually been unreliable. It is even worse if the person you are with now was the one who was untrustworthy because you will have a reason to be anxious.
Abandonment – When past neglect or present circumstances lead you to fear abandonment, you will be anxious and even panicky about the possibility of being left. The underlying belief is that you will die (emotionally) if the person you care about leaves. Past abandonment carries over into the present by making you believe someone is abandoning you when he/she isn’t.
Loss of Control – The belief that you need to be in control leads you to feel anxiety when you cannot control people, places, or things. This need to be in control results in you fixing people, telling people what to do, being overly responsible, being hyper-vigilant, and being pushy.
Change – The belief that you don’t want change or can’t handle change leads you to fear anything in your life that is different. Even positive change requires adjustment and has an amount of the unknown; however, change is necessary and people do adjust.
Distance – People have a comfort level for connection in relationships and will experience dis-ease and anxiety when the comfort level isn’t what they need. The belief that you can’t tolerate someone closer or further than you are comfortable with causes you to feel anxiety when it happens.
God created us with the ability to feel fear and to recognize it so we can protect ourselves when we truly have something to be afraid of. Anxiety in relationships is often related to beliefs rather than real situations. In order to be healthy and in control of our reactions, we need to understand that the anxiety is a sign that an underlying issue needs to be dealt with. Proverbs 23:23 says, “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline, and understanding” (NIV). When you seek wisdom and gain understanding about yourself, you will be able to choose healthier responses in your relationships.
Next, if you need more practical tips and Biblical truths to help you change your relationships, get my FREE “15-Day Relationship Challenge” designed to give you back the power over your life.