Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

How can I support my partner to overcome relationship anxiety?

Community Member


my partner and I have had a really beautiful time together, a few weeks ago he finalised his separation from his ex-wife (he had difficulties letting go of the perception of false safety but they had been separated for a year and he had called it quits). Since the finalisation of the separation, he is suffering from anxiety, mild depression and racing thoughts all the time. We have had to dial our relationship back to the very beginning, i.e. only see each other rarely, have little date nights, are intimate but he is terrified of staying over or travelling with me (although we had already done all of that plenty of times).

I have read up a lot and I am trying to be understanding, comforting and positive to show him with every bit of interaction that he can trust me and the relationship. But I wonder, is there any more I could do to support him? He is seeing a psych to deal with childhood trauma which has very much brought forward the relationship anxiety and unhealthy withdrawal patterns he applied in his past relationship. So he is actively seeking to work through it to be able to have a healthy relationship going forward. He is also actively challenging his fears by spending time with me instead of going to his "safe routine" as he did the past few weeks. I think that is great and I give him positive feedback on that. But I wish I could do more to allow him to relax and trust.

Also, do you have any other tips on how he could calm his mind down? He has racing thoughts, feels he is overwhelmed, doesn't sleep well etc. He knows of mindfulness but does not always practise it or it doesn't work so well. Are there any great tips he could employ? I know he will get through this in time but I wish I could help him get through it a bit more easily. Any tips would be very welcome! Thank you.

4 Replies 4

Community Member


I am still hoping for some advice but I thought I would add another question. My partner says that he was ready to charge forward and felt so strongly about us before the finalisation of his separation completely stopped him in his tracks about 5 weeks ago. Now, he says, he feels quite numb about everything and like everything has flatlined (not just his feelings for me but for everyone and everything).

Do you think this has to do with a level of depression I believe he is currently experiencing or do I need to be worried about him no longer being in love with me all of a sudden. He said himself that he felt it before and that he assumes he is just numb but he feels confused by this experience. He also said that when he sees me or spends time with me, he feels really good and he feels joy but he doesn't seem to reach the next level of intensity.

Is this normal or should I be worried. I feel it is because of his current situation only because I can often sense that he is quite down. Even a friend said the other day that she can definitely see he is down and not his usual self. Am I safe to believe it has something to do with his mental state and it will come back and become better again some day? Thank you.

Hi there

Some people (many perhaps) don't cope well with change. Even if it's only symbolic change, given that you say he's been separated for some time. Maybe this is just an adjustment period where he needs to just think his way through to the other side. Of course, overthinking can be problematic too, as can lack of sleep. Chemists have over the counter type sleep medication that he could try - my GP advised this when overthinking was keeping me awake. Also, meditation apps are great too for creating space in your head when you find yourself on the thought train. Exercise is also beneficial for boosting endorphins, which make you feel good, and help you sleep better.

It's lovely that you're being so supportive, and wanting to do more. Do you ask him "what do you need from me?", and "what would be helpful right now?" when he's worried. As someone with relationship anxiety, I would have loved my partner to ask, rather than speculating.

As for whether he's depressed, or his feelings have changed, no-one can know but your partner, and at the moment perhaps not he either. It's great he's working with a therapist. If he so chooses, he can also work through issues around your relationship, with the therapist.

If you love him, just hang in there and give him a bit of time, and let him know you're there for him.

Take care and look after yourself too


Hello ReeCar, I think I can understand why this has happened and for him to say that he is ready 'to charge forward and felt so strongly about us', is slightly different than actually believing that his ex-wife is still in the background while being with you.

What I mean by saying this doesn't indicate his love for you as he does, but the realisation that finally the separation has ended their marriage and whether he has depression and anxiety is something we can't say as we're not qualified, but from experience, this needs to be determined by GP, who may refer him onto a psych.

I hope you know what I'm trying to say.


Community Member
Hi All,
I know I am looking for external soothing but I just need to run this past someone to understand if I am just worrying about nothing or not. My partner has difficulties committing after a painful separation and lots of emotional exhaustion. We are good and I try to be very positive for him to keep supporting him staying in a positive mood. We communicate well and openly. Today, I had a bit of a tough time after work. When he called me, we had a lovely conversation and laughed a lot. At one point, he told me that a movie we want to watch together will be out on iTunes soon and he said we could "catch up and watch it". I said to him "hmm, you always put this so non-committal". I said it with a smile and he apologised (in a happy way) because we had recently spoken about his jokes sometimes tripping me up at the moment because I wonder whether he means them or just jokes around (and he confirmed it's the latter). We continued talking further and at one stage, I was joking about something and then said to you him that I will keep him (insinuating he was a keeper). He said in a jovial way "I might keep you too" and again my first response was (in a jokingly manner) "oh you damn non-committal man". I never swear at him so it was really said in a purely jokingly manner and he got it that way. He apologised again and said "oh, I did it again, I don't even realise how I put these things". I said it was ok and then continued joking about it to try save the moment and not make him feel bad. We then continued talking nicely about things and it was all nice and positive. But for some reason, I cannot shake what I said and I feel so stupid about it. I feel like I said the worst thing to someone who is struggling with commitment. And although I did not mean any harm and I know I am only human (plus our recent weeks and months have been tough because I have tried my best to stay positive for him). But I still feel so bad about what I said. Do you think this was very bad? I don't want him to think he needs to distance himself again. Every time it gets scary for him, he likes to withdraw. I really don't want to be the reason. We texted a while afterwards and he seemed fine but I just don't know how he may have taken it. Oh dear, I cannot believe I am going so crazy over this, I should be ok to say what I say, I am not perfect? I am beating myself up so much about things like that because we are finally making slow progress.