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Navigating Relationships When You're Struggling With Anxiety With The Decoding Couples

Navigating Relationships When You're Struggling With Anxiety With The Decoding Couples

Struggling with your mental health is hard! And it can definitely make it challenging to navigate relationships while you’re struggling with things like anxiety, panic and agoraphobia. Trust me, I get it. I met my partner while deeply struggling with panic and agoraphobia, and our relationship not only lasted, but has thrived for over a decade!

I’m super excited to be joined by Rachel Facio, LMFT and Stacey Sherrell, LMFT on this episode. Rachel and Stacey are both therapists and relationship experts, who provide real tools for real couples. They’re also hosts of the Decoding Couples Podcast, and just two very relatable, down-to-earth, funny and helpful human beings!

Before we hit record, so many of you reached out with lots of questions on this topic, so be sure to check out the full episode to hear everything we dived into; this one is filled with lots of valuable tools and advice. Let’s get into it!

Can I be in a relationship while I’m struggling?

A question I hear all the time from people navigating relationships and anxiety is: “Can I be in a relationship while I’m struggling?” In short, the answer is yes! 

A lot of people worry that they can’t be in a relationship while struggling, or that they aren’t capable of being a good partner. Being fully healed is not a prerequisite to entering a relationship, and having a supportive partner can actually be really helpful in the healing process, if that’s something that feels right to you. 

We are all on a continuous journey with our mental health, and this might look different from person to person. Rachel and Stacey agree that no one person is ever fully healed (and that’s ok!), so it’s important to be aware of your own needs and boundaries when in a relationship.

How do I navigate a relationship with severe anxiety?

This is such an important question to ask, and again, one that comes up a lot in this community. When you're struggling with anxiety, it's easy to feel like you're a burden on others. You start thinking, "Is what I'm going through too much for everyone else? Do they have to put up with me being scared all the time, avoiding places, and not wanting to do stuff?" It's not just about romantic relationships; it's about all connections. 

Rachel and Stacey remind us that we cannot control how others perceive our struggles, and it doesn’t reflect on our self-worth. We have to accept that individuals have their own limits and may be dealing with their own issues when in a relationship, so it’s important to get alignment around needs and boundaries.

Accepting Support in Relationships

It can be tough to accept support from others when we are struggling, and we often feel like we don’t want people to have to deal with our issues! But, true healing involves being vulnerable and letting others in. It’s about ditching the idea that anxiety defines everything about you and realizing that sharing your struggles can actually be a step towards recovery. 

Rachel and Stacey had so much more insight to share, including answers to these questions:

  • How do I navigate conflict with my partner when I’m feeling so anxious?

  • How can my partner be the support I want without becoming the crutch I “need.”

  • How to fix the relationship and reignite the spark when anxiety leads to burn out?

To hear even more wisdom and the answers to these questions and more, check out the full episode!

Rachel Facio and Stacey Sherrell, relationship experts and the duo behind Decoding Couples

Connect with Rachel & Stacey!

Free relationship tools & support from two relationship experts! Head here!

On Instagram: @decoding_couples


Struggling with lots of what-if thoughts that lead to some really uncomfortable sensations and symptoms? Sign up for my 90-minute LIVE masterclass and learn how to approach your thoughts in a healthy (and very practical) way so that you can get freedom from them!

Feeling like you've tried everything but you're still struggling with lots of anxious thoughts, symptoms, panic attacks, and fears? Take my FREE 60-minute masterclass today and learn 5 shifts that will actually help you to overcome anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. And I promise, you won't hear any of the usual stuff from me - like doing breathing exercises, grounding practices, cutting out caffeine, and doing more exposures. Let's get you the peace and freedom you deserve without it being so hard!


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