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Effects of Anxiety in a Marriage


Effects of Anxiety in a Marriage


In its most ideal sense, a marriage is the union of two souls who commit to be with each other until the end of their lives. In reality, many couples go through their daily lives burdened by anxiety. Whether you are newlyweds or if you have been in the game for a while, having anxiety as a third wheel in your marriage can result in conflict, hurt, and damage to your relationship.


Causes of Marital Anxiety

As exciting as marriage can be, it can, however, breed anxiety within the home and family. When one or both spouses have feelings of uneasiness, worry, or apprehension about the uncertainty of the future, it can be difficult to enjoy the life you’ve hoped for since the wedding day. Anxiety has a way of ruining a marriage and can lead couples who were once very close with each other to feel “miles apart.”

Research shows that so many things can cause either serious or less serious anxiety in a marriage. This includes growing domestic demands, pressures of modern society, toxicity within the workplace environment, substance abuse, and more; which can heighten the anxiety level, and when left unresolved may find its way within relationships between couples. While this difficult emotion can be an individual struggle, anxiety can be a shared experience in couples.


The Impact of Anxiety in Marriage

A lot has been revealed about the effect of anxiety on an individual’s physical, emotional and behavioral health. It is equally important to consider how anxiety can impact the health of your marriage. It may be that only half of a given couple has an anxiety disorder, but both spouses can feel and witness how anxiety can negatively affect their marriage. Here are some of the most common effects:


  • Anxiety cuts off the connection and destroys trust. The fear or worry caused by anxiety can numb your basic responsiveness in a given moment. You can become oblivious to your partner’s opinions and what they may require of the bond. You may feel overwhelmed and worried about what can potentially happen, resulting in it being difficult for you to be attentive to what is going on around you. This can interfere with your emotional availability, thus it is not surprising if you and your partner feels it difficult to connect intimately.


  • Anxiety disables self-expression of true feelings. There is difficulty acknowledging real feelings. Keeping what you feel or need within yourself may lead to the downward spiraling of your emotions, causing you to feel overwhelmed and defensive. The lack of intimate sharing can cause partners to hold back their emotions, which is detrimental to the relationship.


  • Anxiety impels you to focus too much on your own concerns or problems. You may desire to protect yourself in your marriage, but your irrational fears and worries are putting unnecessary pressure on your relationship. Anxiety in marriage builds up resentment and may cause couples to react by displaying selfish attitudes and perspectives.


  • Anxiety can result in it being it difficult for you to accept daily situations. There is the tendency to reject or avoid things even if they are not dangerous or might be beneficial. Anxiety can also prevent you from doing what is necessary to change unfavorable situations because you feel hopeless or stuck.


  • Anxiety deprives you of joy. The negative thoughts and feelings caused by anxiety prevent you from enjoying joy and intimacy. When intimate moments have become an obligation, it is one of the eight signs your marriage needs help. Anxiety hinders your ability to be present emotionally within a relationship, robbing you of the joy of a moment.


  • Anxiety can lead to despairing behavior and jealousy. There is a desperate need for affection or attention from your partner. When not responded with warmth and care, the feeling of anxiety is accompanied by insecurity even if nothing is really wrong. The anxious partner tends to magnify and give unrealistic interpretation even to the smallest comments or actions of the spouse. Jealousy caused by anxiety can lead to controlling behaviors.


  • Anxiety can disable you from performing your responsibilities. With anxiety, it can be difficult to carry out your part in family responsibilities. This can cause stress to the other partner due to the additional load of work to be shouldered.


  • Anxiety can be emotionally draining for couples. The anxious partner may often feel nervous, edgy, and stressed out. The non-anxious partner, while feeling concerned for the spouse, may feel worried about the future of the family and angry over the situation, at the same time.


Married to Anxiety

If you or your spouse has anxiety, your distance between each other can be filled with fears, worries, stress, etc. Anxiety can ruin your marriage in the presence of the following:

  • Lingering questions or doubts about your competence in your relationship
  • Excessive fear of committing a mistake or wrongdoing that may drive the other person out of the house
  • Struggle with self-esteem in order to feel worthy of the other partner’s love and tolerance
  • Apprehension about the status or nature of their marital relationship
  • Projection of worries and fears onto the other partner

Communication is an important element in marriages. However, it can be quite challenging to know how to communicate in the midst of anxiety. It can be difficult to express feelings and know how to behave. Anxiety as a third wheel can drain enjoyment couples usually feel when together. With all these challenges present because of anxiety, couples can drift apart and isolate themselves away from each other. The possibility of resorting to alcohol and substance abuse in order to be insensitive to the difficult emotions is not farfetched. The risk of infidelity, domestic violence and divorce is also common when marital stress reaches its limit.


Common Symptoms of Marital Anxiety

  • Feelings of insecurity or tension when your partner is not physically around and a strong desire to locate his/her whereabouts
  • Physical manifestations include panic attacks and symptoms indicating an increased risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Clinginess or persistent need for affection and attention
  • Low level of self-esteem
  • Difficulty in trusting partner
  • Excessive Irritability or anger
  • Jealousy
  • Self-harming activities or destructive behavior toward spouse or others


Freeing Your Marriage from Anxiety

Anxiety, regardless of its level, can be detrimental to the healthy relationship within a marriage. Admittedly, it is a challenge, but it does not mean anxiety has to forever interfere and ruin a marriage. Whether you or your partner is affected by an anxiety disorder, you can do something together to reinforce your marriage. Although you may want to alleviate anxiety on your own, it may be more beneficial to consider a creative approach by turning to the experts for help.

If anxiety is ruining your marriage, you have the power to beat it and transform your relationship into something that can make you and your partner feel lucky in love. The more you successfully reduce the grip of anxiety on your marriage, the more you can feel safe and connected within your relationship. What you may need to do is to release the pull of anxiety on your marriage with the help of the right fit professional independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC, on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks, and realize the joy of a healthy marriage, without fear, doubts and worries.

Call now to request an appointment.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC

Counties: Harnett County

Areas: Cameron NC, Linden Oaks NC, Sprout Springs NC, Anderson Creek NC, Olivia NC, Pineview NC, Johnsonville NC, Spring Lake NC

Zip Codes: 28326, 28327, 27332, 28394

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express


Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Individuals, families, PTSD, Trauma, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Adjustment Disorder, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, communication skills, and Parenting Skills, Behavior Management, Life transitions, Family Conflict, Difficulty Coping, Relationship Problems, Depression, Anxiety

InsuranceBCBSTricare, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted and Apple Pay

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Shirlisa Daniels, MS, LPC, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Teens, Adults and Individuals, Families, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, ODD, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Conflict Resolution and Life Transitions
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Holly Ring, LMFT

Specializes in: (Ages 7+) Adolescents, College Students, Individuals, Couples, and Families, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma (child and adult, TFCBT certified), Relationship Issues, Coping Skills, Adjustment Disorders, Life Transitions, Suicidal Ideation, Self-esteem, OCD, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting Skills, LGBTQ
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

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Carolina Counseling Services - Cameron, NC
35 Plantation Drive, Suite 100B and 100C
Cameron, NC 28326

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Fayetteville, NC 28311

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