5. Do not treat them like a sick person.
Anxiety is very real and very scary – but that doesn’t mean you should treat someone as though they’re a sick patient and disabled. No one suffering from any illness – mental or physical – wants to be treated as any less of a person due to their illness. Treat them like a human. Do not belittle them. Do not look down on them. Do not treat them with less respect or admiration.
6. Be realistic with your needs & vise versa.
Not everyone is fully, emotionally and mentally capable of dealing with anxiety disorders. It’s okay to be open and honest and admit when your needs are not being met. In return, listen to your partner when she’s discussing her needs. Sometimes, you two may not see eye-to-eye and realize, it won’t work out. It’s okay to admit when it isn’t working out – don’t hide your uncertainty because you’re too scared to hurt someone who is “fragile.” Be up front and honest with her, allowing her to find someone who is better suited for her.
7. Don’t assume everything is “because of her anxiety.”
When you get into arguments, don’t pull the anxiety card out – it’s a low blow. Some things in your relationship may differentiate in their outcome because of her anxiety, but, that doesn’t mean every disagreement or difference in opinion is a direct result of it. Don’t blame her anxiety for everything wrong, don’t use it as a cop out during fights to get your way.
8. Do some research.
The best way to understand something you aren’t personally going through is to read and educate yourself. No, you don’t need to go and buy 17 books on anxiety disorders and how to cope with them, but read up on a few websites on just how people react to anxiety and ways to help aid and combat it. The more you know, the better you’ll understand.
9. Focus on the positive aspects of your relationship.
There was a reason you fell in love with her in the first place – despite any anxiety she feels. Focus on the positive things you two have together and what makes you both happy. Don’t focus so much on her problems and focus more on ways in which she enhances your life and makes it better. Giving her that validation will not only make you see the bigger picture, but it’ll also ease her worries.
10. Realize the bigger picture.
Sometimes, they’ll double text you. Sometimes, they’ll wonder if you still love them just as much as in the beginning. Sometimes, they’ll be uneasy about you going away. It’s not because they don’t trust you. It’s not because they are doubting you. It’s because they’re scared and they worry – they worry that you’re going to have enough of their anxiety and walk away – finding someone more “normal,” “easier to deal with,” “more laid back.” They worry because they love you and don’t want to live life without you.