Don't Let Fear Destroy Your Relationship
How to overcome the fear of losing your partner and not let your fear of loss in a relationship prevent you from enjoying it to the fullest. If their love relationships continue to fail, most develop emotional armoring to protect themselves against future losses. They don't want to. Whenever I considered leaving a bad relationship, I felt paralyzed by two similar fears: the fear of losing my chance at fulfillment by staying, and the fear of losing.
At its worst, our anxiety can even push us to give up on love altogether.
How to Overcome Fear of Loss In A Relationship
Learning more about the causes and effects of relationship anxiety can help us to identify the negative thinking and actions that can sabotage our love lives. How can we keep our anxiety in check and allow ourselves to be vulnerable to someone we love?
What Causes Relationship Anxiety? The more we value someone else, the more we stand to lose. On many levels, both conscious and unconscious, we become scared of being hurt. To a certain degree, we all possess a fear of intimacy. Get out before you get hurt. It can promote hostile, paranoid and suspicious thinking that lowers our self-esteem and drives unhealthy levels of distrust, defensiveness, jealousy and anxiety.
Basically, it feeds us a consistent stream of thoughts that undermine our happiness and make us worry about our relationship, rather than just enjoying it. When we get in our heads, focusing on these worried thoughts, we become incredibly distracted from real relating with our partner. We may start to act out in destructive ways, making nasty comments or becoming childish or parental toward our significant other.
For example, imagine your partner stays at work late one night. Can you really believe her? She probably prefers being away from you. You may act angry or cold, which then sets your partner off to feel frustrated and defensive.
Instead of enjoying the time you have together, you may waste an entire night feeling withdrawn and upset with each other. When it comes to all of the things we worry ourselves about in relationships, we are much more resilient than we think.
In truth, we can handle the hurts and rejections that we so fear. We can experience pain, and eventually, heal. However, our critical inner voice tends to terrorize and catastrophize reality.
It will completely distort reality and undermine our own strength and resilience. Just put your guard up and never be vulnerable to anyone else. When we feel anxious or insecure, some of us have a tendency to become clingy and desperate in our actions. We may feel possessive or controlling toward our partner in response.
Conversely, some of us will feel easily intruded on in our relationships. We may retreat from our partners, detach from our feelings of desire.
How do I Progress A Relationship With A Fear Of Loss? - development | Ask MetaFilter
We may act out by being aloof, distant or guarded. These patterns of relating can come from our early attachment styles. Our attachment pattern is established in our childhood attachments and continues to function as a working model for relationships in adulthood.
It influences how each of us reacts to our needs and how we go about getting them met. Different attachment styles can lead us to experience different levels of relationship anxiety.
How to Deal with Relationship Anxiety - PsychAlive
You can learn more about what your attachment style is and how it impacts your romantic relationships here. What Thoughts Perpetuate Relationship Anxiety?
The specific critical inner voices we have about ourselves, our partner and relationships are formed out of early attitudes we were exposed to in our family or in society at large. Sexual stereotypes as well as attitudes that our influential caretakers had toward themselves and others can infiltrate our point of view and shade our current perceptions. Critical Inner Voices about the Relationship People just wind up getting hurt. Relationships never work out. Men are so insensitive, unreliable, selfish.
Women are so fragile, needy, indirect. Name the underlying fear. Fear of falling apart, fear of rejection, fear of not being understood, fear of being judged, fear of being alone, fear of loss, fear of change, fear of aging, fear of being overwhelmed, fear of your needs being ignored, fear of boredom, fear of lack of control, fear of failure, and fear of helplessness.
Tell your partner that you have some fear arising inside of you, and share those fears. Own your fears instead of blaming your partner. Do not belittle, humiliate, shame, and threaten the fear. For example, if your partner voices a fear of boredom, you may interpret this to mean that he or she is judging you as not being interesting enough, and you may feel a deep fear of rejection.
On the other hand, it is also important that you make some room for your own fear, letting your partner know how you feel. Focus on the fear and do not get detoured into specific details of the relationship. And then stick to that plan! Contain the fears within boundaries. Kindly support each other to move on and enjoy life once the fears have been named and heard.
No one is very good at this. It goes against our lifelong patterns that have been set up to push fear away. Even if we move slowly in this direction, however, it can lead to a triumph of love over the destructive potential of fear, and make the difference between a relationship living or dying.
Why You Cannot Truly Love The Person You Are Afraid To Lose
That is not to say that love and acceptance transforms fear into rainbows and butterflies. Even within the arms of love, fear is still raw, painful, and deeply unsettling. Grossman, California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializes in relationships, loss, anxiety, codependence, and addiction.
She works in private practice and consults by phone. Contact her at or www.