Anxiety: Three Tips for a Deeper Relationship Through Marriage Counseling.

Are you suspicious about your partner being unfaithful, or loving someone else? Do you need a lot of reassurance that things are ok? Do you get impulsive and quickly jump to conclusions? You (and your partner if they do this too) may have some normal ANXIETY issues. Marriage counseling can help.

Significance of anxiety
Anxiety is the most common mental health issue, with over 19 million sufferers in the USA, according to research. An accurate perception at times can be helpful, when anxiety warns us of danger, or pushes us to achieve what we want. Stress and physical issues can become extreme, however, when our over-the-top anxiety keeps us on “high alert”, which can generate more problems than it solves. SOCIAL ANXIETY is the most common, such as when a shy person is challenged by a new job with a number of new people. Or, social anxiety can happen when a perfectionistic person can’t maintain their self imposed standards any longer without physical or emotional outcomes.

What Causes Anxiety?
Most anxiety isn’t passed down genetically, and it’s usually an anxious or controlling parent that contributes to its development. The child of an anxious parent may develop a world-view that the world is a dangerous place, with a habit of fear towards the world. Or, the child of a controlling parent might end up with a belief that “I must be perfect”, along with unattainable standards that they put on themselves to do things right. In addition, early losses or divorce can be part of a situation growing up that leads to anxiety.

Treating Anxiety and Having a Deeper Relationship
Anxiety can be treated with therapy, and sometimes with medicine. Marital therapy can help your relationship work with normal anxiety in a number of ways. When your relationship feels suspicious to you, remember you may be gathering data that is fueled by your anxiety, and therapy can help you be open to NEW data that does not support your worry habit from the past, as you find new solutions.
When looking at normal neediness, marriage therapy can teach you how breathing techniques will help you sooth yourself. In other words, you can learn how to become more self sufficient instead of asking your partner to comfort you most of the time, which can take the pressure off them and the relationship. With less pressure, your sex can improve since you’re more relaxed.
With impulsiveness, relationship therapy teaches couples to SLOW DOWN, and practice techniques such as REFLECTIVE LISTENING. Learn how to be mindful and peaceful more of the time, so that you take things less personally. Couples that I work with happily report that there’s less anxiety when they practice “win-win” with each other instead of “win-lose”. Hint: set a time to talk about things in a “win-win” way, so you’re both ready.
Through marriage therapy, come to an acceptance that bad things don’t always happen! Also, go deeper with your partner as an adult, compassionately confronting beliefs that served you when you were little, but become roadblocks to sexual intimacy as an adult. When you know you have a safe place for relationship therapy, you can look at your old COPING STRATEGIES, which helped you not feel the scary feelings, as they were too much for you as a kid. As you learn to self-soothe as an adult, and be grounded in your body, you will be better able to MOVE SCARY FEELINGS THROUGH AND OUT OF YOUR BODY! In these ways you will be more peaceful with your self, open hearted, and your relationship can go deeper, with increased sexual intimacy!


Jim Bowen MA LPC has been assisting individuals and couples since 1992, with offices in Boulder and Denver. Contact Jim with email or call him at 303-534-8717. Why not call for a free consultation?