8 Smart Ways to Overcome Anxious Attachment (Relationship Anxiety) in a Romantic Relationship
Overcome Anxious Attachment
Akua has been in a relationship with Kwabena for about three years. He loves her dearly. He treats her well. Kwabena is a faithful guy. And yet Akua constantly feels he will leave her for another woman.
He has re-assured her of his love for her many times. And yet she still feels he is not happy in the relationship.
How then do you overcome anxious attachment in your romantic relationship(s) so that it does not create confusion and hurt your chances of finding happiness with the person you love?
Identify The Root Cause Of The Problem
According to psychologists, if your attachment style in childhood was anxious attachment, you are likely to adopt this same style in your romantic relationship.
Furthermore, this disorder is reinforced when someone recalls painful experiences from the past often. Reopening old wounds, especially memories of neglect and rejection, can make one crave excessive intimacy and closeness.
Additionally, it can occur because you fear that someone will steal your lover away from you.
For example, certain circumstances played out for you to lose a lover to another person when you were younger. And you see those same circumstances reoccurring in this new relationship. As a result, you are apprehensive about the stability of your present relationship, although everything is going fine.
So do introspection. Were you pampered when you were a child? Are you an introvert who reminisces often about hurts from the past? Clarify these things and it will help you to know what angle to begin tackling the problem from.
Deal With Your Fears
Here are a few ways you can deal with fear:
- Imagine your relationship breaking up. Then imagine falling in love with another person who treats you even better than your current lover. It will help remind you that you will not be lonely and unloved even when the worst happens.
- When your partner or spouse does not show you affection, just think to yourself, “It is okay. There is nothing wrong with him. And there is nothing wrong with me. I do not need to worry. I do not need to be shown affection all the time. I can handle it.”
- Develop your relationship with God. He loves you unconditionally and He will comfort you (through His word and Spirit). The comfort and satisfaction you get from His love will not make you mind whether you lose your lover or not.
Encourage Your Partner To Communicate Well
Poor communication on the part of your partner, ambiguous communication and giving mixed signals, can increase one’s anxiety and create doubts about his or her future in a relationship.
So encourage your partner to communicate with you in clear, unambiguous terms. Let him clarify issues that you don’t understand concerning your future together whenever you communicate.
And on your part, be open to communication. Be patient with him when there is miscommunication. Give him an opportunity to explain himself thoroughly to help clear doubts.
Furthermore, let him feel that you will listen to him, and appreciate his point of view, when he feels inclined to communicate with you. That will motivate him to keep the lines of communication open.
Build Your Self Confidence
Remind yourself often that your lover is not doing you a favor by being in a relationship with you. Tell yourself that you are also enriching his life.
Additionally, think to yourself that no one can be a better lover or spouse to your partner. And back it up by showing constant love to your partner.
- Every day, say to yourself, “I am a great man (or woman). I am a great lover. I am the person who can make my partner happy. I am also smart, intelligent. My lover loves me and I love him.”
- Write down 20 things you like about your body. And believe them above and over thoughts that suggest you are not a great person.
- Write down 20 things you like about your character. Mention them to yourself when anxieties about the relationship start coming into your mind.
- Think often about the positive ways you have impacted on the relationship. Write down 50 ways you have contributed positively to the relationship. It will make you feel
- Think about all the words of love your partner or spouse has said to you. Furthermore, remind yourself of the acts of love he shows to you daily and trust his intentions.
Deal With Self- Doubts
Believe that you are still relevant to your lover and to the relationship. Furthermore, ask your lover or spouse whether they love you, regularly. When he or she says they do, take them at their word and let it help you to put your mind at rest.
Then, whenever you feel your self- esteem is dipping again and you start getting depressed, just say to yourself, “Isaac confirmed that he loves me. I believe he does. I am loved. I am a desirable woman. No one can steal Isaac away from me. Isaac loves me, and that is that!”
Learn To Be Independent
It will help you to focus on yourself and your identity. Reinforcing your individuality in the relationship or marriage will give you the space to feel that you can survive without another person.
Here are a few things you can do to reinforce your unique identity?
- Refrain from calling or texting your lover or spouse when you go to work, unless it is an emergency. Think entirely about yourself, your vision for your life, and your career aspirations when you are in the office.
- Refrain from logging onto your partner’s Facebook page, reading his text messages, or going through the call history of his cell phone. Instead, engage yourself in your hobbies alone during your leisure time.
- Spend weekends with your work colleagues or schoolmates without your partner. It will help you to develop your ties with others so that you can weaken your attachment to your lover or spouse.
- Live for periods of time away from your partner or spouse. Take a trip to a foreign country alone during the summer holidays. Travel to a poor country and volunteer there for the whole period.
Connect With Experienced Couples
Make friends with people who have also experienced anxious attachment, and who have learned to feel secure in their relationship. You will learn tips and tricks to help you grow more secure as your relationship evolves.
Seek Medical Advice
According to a study published by Mario Mikulincer and Philip Shaver, some diseases such as clinical anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and eating disorders are associated with anxious attachment disorder. It is possible that there may be a pathological condition causing your problem.
Therefore, if you have tried unsuccessfully to deal with the problem by yourself and you are still having challenges, see a doctor who is knowledgeable about attachment style. There are doctors who have a lot of experience helping people like you, and couples, deal with this particular problem.
Read God’s commandment in Philippians 4v 4–7 of the Bible. Then obey those words by requesting God to give you peace of mind and calmness of heart.
You may pray a prayer such as, “Dear God, for no reason I am insecure about my relationship. I try to be confident about my relationship with Isaac but I still have fears and worries in my heart. Lord, I want to give this burden to You. Please help me to overcome this anxious preoccupied attachment. Give me peace of mind. Let my spirit be at peace with the circumstances. And help me to feel secure about myself and the relationship. Amen.”
Keep on praying and thinking positive thoughts and God will honor your prayer and release you from the psychological and emotional bondage that you are in because of those negative thoughts and feelings.
To overcome anxious attachment in your romantic relationships, get to the root of the problem and deal with your inner fears. In addition, work on your confidence and see yourself as belonging to a secure relationship. And when these fail, see an expert.
© 2019 Isaac Yaw Asiedu Nunoofio