What Your Partner’s Nagging May Be Really About
Is your wife constantly nagging you about cleaning the garage and other chores at home? She never seems to be satisfied with your help? You are criticized for your way of doing things, or your lack of action? At nights, she tries to isolate herself from the family but never seems to get relaxed? Well, unfortunately, there are 40 million Americans out there going through this epidemy called anxiety.
Whatever the reason of the nagging, the excess of criticism or fears, they can be a symptom of anxiety. We all are living in a very demanding world that can impact our emotional and physical health. Anxiety is one of those consequences of the stressful world we are living in and, as such, can be very disruptive to our marriage and family life.
Can Anxiety Affect Your Marriage?
Absolutely. Now, let’s see how anxiety can affect most marriages:
Anxiety brings negative feelings to marriage like, frustration, anger, mistrust, and resentfulness.
It can disrupt communication between the couple.
Intimacy can be hurt.
It may get in the way of parenting well.
When anxiety perpetuates in time, it can be the cause of a breakdown in the relationship.
Now that I’ve got your attention: Are you wondering if your spouse suffers from anxiety?
We can have a long list of signs of anxiety. Signs can be both emotional and physical. Let’s review some of them:
A hard to control worry
Feeling nervous, tense
Panic or doom
Feeling tired or weak
Gastrointestinal (GI) problems
Sexual issues (too little sex or too much sex)
Increased heart rate
Let’s understand that anxiety is not the same as stress. You can be stressed because of a job interview or because of unforeseen financial obligations. Now, anxiety is another level of stress… a deep one that permeates in day-to-day activities.
But, listen to this: Relationship issues can exacerbate anxiety issues, becoming a vicious cycle at home. It may look like this: The partner with anxiety may get triggered, nagging or shortness may happen, an argument may occur, which leads to more anxiety, as well as marital issues.
So, it is very important that as your partner’s support system, you learn how to support one another.
Because the reality is that we all have some quirks and issues, right? And a marriage is all about making a choice to love one another every day.
SO, HERE’S HOW TO HELP AN ANXIOUS PARTNER
Learn about anxiety: Get as much information as you can so you can understand what your partner is going through.
Learn her triggers: Anything can trigger an anxiety episode. It can be from money worries to feeling like a failure. Be curious, pay attention, ask questions, and you’ll discover them.
Learn how to compassionately talk about anxiety: Remember that the anxious partner needs a safe space to talk. Talking may help appease some of the worries by focusing on validating his/her concerns.
Explore the difference between Overprotective vs. Encouragement: This is the difference between doing things for your significant other versus providing words of encouragement.
Focus on the positives and find humor: Life doesn’t need to be taken so seriously! A joke can be a good medicine to release a little bit of the stress and get in the mood to see things in a positive way.
Don’t ignore your spouse or react negatively to it - This is the most important tip! Be understanding and compassionate. For every time your spouse is "nagging," it may be a way she or he is trying to connect with you. Imagine reaching out to your spouse and she is not there, or she gets angry? Feels sad, right?
Research shows that solving issues together, as a team in a relationship, has long lasting effects. So if you are in it with your significant other to experience less nagging in your relationship, it will create the feeling that we are in this thing, called life, together! For better and for worse, right?
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To your relationship success!
Your Therapy Friend,
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Relationships & Parenting Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationships. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens, an evidenced based program. She is also a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). She is a passionately committed therapist, who thoroughly takes pride and joy from her job. She enjoys working with a culturally diverse population and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an active volunteer of the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining. Read more about her at: www.infinitetherapeuticservices.com and follow her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/infinitetherapy/