Separation Anxiety In Relationships – What Is It And How To Cope?

Once we hear ‘separation anxiousness’, our minds routinely direct us to the connection a toddler shares with their caregiver. We recollect how a toddler begins to cry profusely when their caregiver is out of sight. Nonetheless, we’re much less aware of the idea in the case of separation anxiousness in relationships. Sure, it does exist and you aren’t alone in case you are experiencing it.

Loads of {couples} undergo separation anxiousness. It’s stunning to see how little consciousness we’ve got about it even when it’s a pretty widespread expertise.

As a approach towards constructing that consciousness, trauma-informed counseling psychologist Anushtha Mishra (MSc., Counseling Psychology), who focuses on offering remedy for issues comparable to trauma, relationship points, despair, anxiousness, grief, and loneliness amongst others, writes about what separation anxiousness in relationships is, indicators and causes of it, the best way to take care of it, and the way it impacts an grownup relationship.

What Is Relationship Separation Nervousness?

Whereas anxiousness is the sensation of worry, pressure, and uneasiness usually, separation anxiousness is when these emotions concern an attachment determine.

Let’s break that down a bit. What’s an attachment determine? It’s any particular person who’s perceived as a haven with whom one doubtlessly sees themselves secured. That attachment determine could be anybody – a caregiver, a liked one, or a romantic associate.

Separation anxiousness in a relationship, primarily, is the sensation of worry, pressure, or uneasiness resulting from perceived, anticipated, or precise separation from the attachment determine – the associate on this context.

All of us really feel lonely in a relationship when our associate isn’t round. We miss their quirkiness, their heat, their laughter, and the way in which they joke round, however separation anxiousness isn’t simply that sense of uneasiness. Separation anxiousness in a relationship is when the misery is an excessive amount of to take and is past what you may management.

It may be a tough feeling to take care of. It might probably typically be complicated due to a lack of expertise round separation anxiousness in {couples}. So, let’s bridge that hole and dive deeper in an effort to perceive the causes of separation anxiousness in relationships.

Causes Of Separation Nervousness In Relationships

What causes separation anxiousness from associate? This query might need been lingering in your thoughts because the begin of this piece. It’s paramount we deal with this, as a result of solely as soon as we perceive why one thing is occurring can we do one thing about it.

A number of components can result in separation anxiousness in a relationship. It is necessary, nevertheless, to notice that simply because you might have been by way of the next, it doesn’t imply that you’ll have separation anxiousness. It simply means that you’ve got a better probability of creating it. With out additional ado, let’s see what the commonest causes of separation anxiousness in {couples} are.

Associated Studying: Attachment Kinds Psychology: How You Had been Raised Impacts Relationships

1. Previous experiences

It’s no secret that our expertise has a major impact on us. It shapes our perception methods and the way in which we type our ideas. Possibly there’s been an expertise prior to now the place the connection ended with none warning or indicators. Possibly there have been indicators of neglect or fixed battle within the relationship.

It’s solely comprehensible that there will probably be separation anxiousness when a associate is all the time within the worry that they’ll be left alone. They may dwell with the uneasiness of the previous experiences reminding them that their associate can simply stand up and go away.

Parental loss, baby abuse and neglect, and a chaotic house atmosphere are just a few different components that may trigger emotions of separation anxiousness from associate. We’re like clay and the extra experiences we’ve got, the extra we form the clay that approach. We’re all reflections of our experiences and on this approach, previous experiences play an enormous function.

2. Attachment kinds that we type in our childhood

We type our attachment kinds throughout our childhood years. The bottom of all of the relationships we type in maturity comes from the connection we share with our caregivers once we have been younger.

It’s essential for a kid to really feel secure and safe in these relationships. When this emotional and bodily safety is absent, it normally leads them to type an anxious or insecure attachment fashion.

This type of attachment fashion may be very generally seen in a person experiencing separation anxiousness in relationships. This may be distinctly seen when a associate is excessively insecure that their associate might abandon them and it will get tough to belief your associate after they say they gained’t.

 separation anxiety in a relationship
The connection a toddler shares with their caregiver is essential

3. Having a low vanity

Vanity is your total sense of self-value – mainly your personal opinion about your self. Vanity has an impression on how you’re feeling about your self and deal with your self. It additionally performs an enormous function in the way you permit others to deal with you.

With a low sense of self, comes a whole lot of insecurities and worries that are generally skilled feelings when there’s separation anxiousness in relationships. That is an especially widespread expertise youngsters undergo as effectively whereas going by way of separation anxiousness in teenage relationships. It’s because they nonetheless haven’t developed a correct identification, and their vanity depends on exterior components.

Low vanity is a vital issue to notice as a result of engaged on it in a secure area, comparable to what remedy offers, wouldn’t solely assist the particular person in constructing a constructive sense of self however would additionally assist in coping with separation anxiousness in {couples}.

Associated Studying: How To Overcome Codependency In Relationships

4. Codependency causes separation anxiousness in relationships

Codependency means extreme emotional or bodily reliance in your associate. When there’s a lot reliance in your associate to get all of your emotional and bodily wants met, there may also be emotions of extreme fear and uneasiness after they go away or are anticipated to go away even for a brief period of time.

A codependent relationship could be emotionally overwhelming for each companions because it includes an online of unhealthy relationship patterns. This net, particularly to a codependent relationship, consists of extreme emotions of unhappiness when both of the companions does something for anybody else aside from one another. This additionally features a horrible sense of vacancy once you’re not along with your associate.

Codependency and separation anxiousness may appear comparable within the methods they manifest however they don’t seem to be the identical factor. Separation anxiousness is part of a codependent relationship whereas a codependent relationship is a large umbrella.

It’s essential to notice that if in case you have separation anxiousness in relationships, that doesn’t routinely imply that the connection is codependent. It’d or may not be.

5. Historical past of any anxiousness problems

Nervousness is a standard and generally skilled emotion. Some quantity of tension is totally pure and is sure to occur in an individual’s life. Nervousness dysfunction, nevertheless, is fixed and results in overwhelming anxiousness and worry.

If an individual has a historical past of any of the anxiousness problems, the probabilities are that the anxiousness may also take the type of separation anxiousness in relationships. It’s like a gateway – the already current anxiousness provides solution to extra anxiousness except there’s a well timed intervention the place one explores alternative ways to take care of relationship anxiousness.

Indicators of Separation Nervousness In Relationships

Now that we’ve got some understanding of the causes of separation anxiousness in relationships, let’s look into the indicators of it. Typically, the indicators could be delicate however then at occasions, they are often very obvious.

In the event you’re relationship somebody with separation anxiousness, beneath are a number of the indicators of separation anxiousness that you would be able to look out for in your associate. In the event you’re making an attempt to evaluate if in case you have separation anxiousness or not, we hope this helps you in understanding your self extra.

1. Vital modifications in temper when the associate isn’t round

This one is an obvious signal that may be seen when one associate experiences separation anxiousness. When their associate leaves or is anticipated to go away, their temper normally modifications considerably.

The temper swings from anger to helplessness to unhappiness. When there’s anger, a number of ideas rush in, comparable to “HOW CAN YOU LEAVE ME ALONE FOR SO LONG?” Then come the ideas related to helplessness, “You left me alone, now what do I do?” After which kicks within the unhappiness, “I’m lonely in my relationship.”

2. Extreme fear about shedding the associate

As we mentioned earlier, separation anxiousness in {couples} is marked by extreme fear about shedding their associate. “What if” turns into registered of their vocabulary of self-talk.

Janice shares, “On the peak of my separation anxiousness, my thoughts goes into overdrive. What if he doesn’t come again? What if I’m left on their own? What if one thing occurs to him whereas he’s away?” These are just a few of the ideas that occupy the thoughts of the associate experiencing separation anxiousness.

Having repeated ideas of shedding your associate could be debilitating to your psychological well being, particularly when you’re experiencing separation anxiousness in long-distance relationships. LDRs are already actually tough for each the companions however when there’s the ingredient of separation anxiousness current between the couple, it might get exceedingly overwhelming.

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3. Unwillingness to go away the associate for even a brief period

With extreme fear concerning their associate leaving, the pure habits that follows is making an attempt to cease the associate from leaving. They wouldn’t wish to go away their associate or can be unwilling to let their associate go away, even for a brief period.

Since this comes off as ‘ being clingy in a relationship’ or ‘needy’, there are a whole lot of exterior in addition to internalized judgments that crop up which makes the entire expertise much more tough for somebody who’s experiencing separation anxiousness in relationships.

4. Persistent worry of being alone

Behind all of the unwillingness to go away their associate even for brief quantities of time and all of the insecurities are the core worry of being left behind, on their own. A associate who’s experiencing separation anxiousness in relationships is pushed by this innate worry.

This worry can stem from previous experiences the place the particular person having separation anxiousness in a relationship was rejected or deserted. This will go away an enormous mark on our perception system which might then inform us, “Being alone will not be okay.” It will additionally induce new relationship anxiousness whereas forming relationships.

Nobody desires to be alone. All of us need somebody’s presence round us to consolation us once we want it. However when the entire concept of being alone or away out of your associate can drive you to a fearful state the place you end up debilitated, it must be addressed.

5. Frequent nightmares about anticipated or precise separation from the associate

Nightmares are disturbing desires which are related to detrimental emotions of tension or worry that normally are inclined to wake you up out of your sleep. Triggers for nightmares are normally psychological. They embrace anxiousness, trauma, depressive temper, and extra.

The worry or anxiousness of their associate leaving can really feel weakening to the particular person with separation anxiousness in relationships, and this typically comes out in the way in which of nightmares. That is indicative that the physique is bored with operating with anxiousness.

can a toxic relationship cause anxiety

How To Deal With Separation Nervousness In Relationships

Being somebody who has separation anxiousness or relationship somebody with separation anxiousness can each be overwhelming experiences. As we already mentioned, it may give rise to a plethora of feelings starting from embarrassment to anger and disgrace in each companions.

Nonetheless, as daunting as it’d sound, it’s to not say that it’s a dead-end relationship. There are a lot of methods to manage and deal with this within the relationship and we’re right here that can assist you by way of this.

Beneath are some evidence-based methods to take care of separation anxiousness in relationships. In my apply as a counseling psychologist, I’ve seen these work for my purchasers, and so, right here they’re for you.

1. Identify and settle for your emotions

There’s no disgrace in naming and accepting the way in which you’re feeling a few scenario or an individual. As Carl Jung had put it completely, “We can’t change something till we settle for it. Condemnation doesn’t liberate, it oppresses.”

Get your self a ‘emotions wheel’ and establish the feelings that you’re feeling. Be it anger, disgrace, embarrassment, unhappiness, or helplessness. As soon as you realize what emotions are surfacing for you, settle for them.

Accepting emotions signifies that you permit your self to really feel your emotions for what they’re with none judgment. Inside judgments, like Carl Jung talked about, aren’t a approach towards liberation, they’re a approach towards oppressing your self.

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2. Talk, talk, and talk

I can’t stress sufficient how essential sincere conversations in a relationship are. Talk your worries and fears along with your associate, talk how you’re feeling after they go away, talk the way you take care of it, and the way you need them to assist you thru it.

It’s okay in case you are undecided about the way you need your associate to assist you, sincere conversations will lead you each to find that collectively. Clear pathways of communication solely strengthen your bond along with your associate and don’t weaken it.

Once more, it’s okay to not know all the pieces earlier than you provoke the dialog, it’s okay to discover collectively and uncover one factor at a time. Taking it sluggish is okay and what you’re feeling is okay.

3. Shift the main focus – out of your associate to your self

With separation anxiousness, there’s all the time fear and worry round any of your associate’s actions that you would be able to’t assist however correlate with them leaving you. Your focus is totally on them. It is very important shift that focus from their actions to yours.

Uncover issues that you simply love to do, issues that deliver you pleasure, issues that make you smile that lovely smile. Observe mindfulness, ensure you get high quality sleep, eat your meals on time, and stand up and get some bodily motion. Separation anxiousness out of your associate could be all-consuming, strive redirecting all that power towards your self.

Self-care is essential in coping with any form of anxiousness, particularly separation anxiousness. Be aware of your emotions, your ideas, and your actions. And don’t decide your self. Possibly strive meditation as soon as? And even journaling?

4. Search skilled assist

When extreme fear and worry begin affecting your day by day functioning, it’s a good suggestion to method a psychological well being skilled. Psychological well being professionals are educated to take you thru this journey of uneasiness and get you to the opposite aspect.

A few years in the past, when Michael was going by way of separation anxiousness from boyfriend, he realized that he wanted assist because it had began affecting their relationship. He says, “I had no concept that what I used to be going by way of was separation anxiousness from boyfriend. I assumed I used to be a nasty particular person for wanting to remain near my associate on a regular basis, and that I used to be overreacting at any time when I assumed he’d go away me. My therapist helped me perceive the place these ideas have been stemming from and the best way to handle them.”

Even when the anxiousness hasn’t began affecting your functioning, however you want assist in navigating it, attain out to an MHP. Asking for assist is an indication of energy, and also you do have that energy – all of us do.

5. Be type and compassionate to your self

In the event you deal with your self with kindness and compassion, it makes you extra more likely to forgive your self and pave the way in which for development. This fashion, you be taught and evolve into your greatest self. Being type to your self and studying the best way to love your self will not be a luxurious, it’s a necessity.

You could be type to your self by utilizing a sort tone of voice whereas addressing your self or speaking to your self. Nevertheless it’s extra than simply that. It’s additionally about being type to how your physique expresses your overwhelming or annoying feelings after which comforting your physique for that.

Once we expertise separation anxiousness in relationships, we decide ourselves so much and one way or the other blame our feelings for the way in which issues are going. Throughout such occasions, in case you are being harsh towards your self, remind your self to be type.

How Separation Nervousness Impacts Grownup Relationships

Separation anxiousness, if left unaddressed, may cause a whole lot of friction in an grownup relationship. Dylan says, “If I’d identified ten years in the past what I do know now, I might have saved myself from the worst results of separation anxiousness within the teenage relationships I had.”

It’s essential to establish what points of the connection are affected in an effort to begin engaged on them. There are emotional wants in a relationship that must be addressed however when there’s separation anxiousness in relationships, it turns into much more essential for each the companions to make efforts towards engaged on the anxiousness because it impacts a relationship considerably, if left unconsidered.

Beneath are just a few of the various methods during which separation anxiousness impacts grownup relationships.

1. Impacts the emotional well being of each the companions

We’ve mentioned earlier than the quantity of emotional turmoil an individual experiencing separation anxiousness in relationships goes by way of. The temper modifications considerably, keep in mind? Nevertheless it’s not simply the associate experiencing separation anxiousness who goes by way of that turmoil, a whole lot of burns are taken by the opposite associate as effectively.

This might have an effect on the psychological well being of each the companions. This may instigate emotions of misery for the one who sees that their anxious associate is unable to deal with their fear and insecurities.

Associated Studying: How To Deal With A Associate Who Makes You Really feel Insecure

2. May make the companions drift aside

Typically, separation anxiousness in relationships causes companions to float aside, particularly if there is no such thing as a communication between them about the identical. The emotional turmoil that each the companions expertise is likely one of the greatest causes for this, and the isolation that the shortage of communication brings with it.

Sincere communication is essential as a result of it helps deliver each companions collectively, particularly if they’re coping with separation anxiousness in lengthy distance relationship. Bodily interplay is already low, due to this fact, verbal communication must be sincere and fulfilling.

3. May give rise to insecurities

It’s a switch of emotions. Think about in case your associate is anxious and insecure each time you allow or want your personal area. It might probably get overwhelming for you, and the probabilities that you simply may develop these insecurities are excessive as effectively.

The one solution to scale back the insecurities of each companions is thru communication and sincere conversations. Talk as a lot as you may. In the event you really feel the dialog isn’t going anyplace, take a time-out after which begin from the place you left off, however talk your emotions respectfully, it doesn’t matter what.

4. May induce a scarcity of belief within the relationship

It’s solely pure that extra worry of being left alone by your associate might result in belief points within the relationship. Extra insecurities aren’t good for any relationship for apparent causes. It takes a toll on the psychological well being of the associate whose liked one goes by way of separation anxiousness, and may create a scarcity of intimacy and belief.

That is particularly the case when there’s a lack of communication and the anxiousness isn’t addressed. In the event you discover that your relationship is beginning to lack the specified belief, do attain out to your assist system or a counselor for assist.

5. Creates an unhealthy atmosphere for the connection

Insecurities and anxiousness result in an total discord in a relationship. This creates an atmosphere that isn’t very wholesome for the partnership to develop. The anxiousness may come off as being clingy or too controlling, and this may even give solution to dishonesty and lies within the relationship.

Separation anxiousness in relationships, if unaddressed, can impression the bond negatively. To keep away from that, it’s essential that we examine in with our companions repeatedly to see what’s occurring with them.

In the event you or somebody you realize goes by way of separation anxiousness in relationships, it’s essential to be type and compassionate and to supply assist by asking them to achieve out to a psychological well being skilled. That is in order that they don’t seem to be remoted within the technique of getting by way of the anxiousness.

Separation anxiousness in relationships could be debilitating and may look like a useless finish – virtually as if there’s no going again from there. However be assured that this doesn’t must be the case. By some mutual effort and constant communication, issues can flip round for the higher and may even make your relationship stronger.

Being aside out of your associate isn’t that nice. However the distance doesn’t must be all that dangerous. You possibly can make investments that point away out of your associate in your self. For a wholesome relationship, taking care of your self is as essential as taking care of your associate.

Speaking to a therapist or reaching out to a trusted buddy or member of the family could make an infinite distinction in coping with separation anxiousness in relationships.


1. Is separation anxiousness regular in relationships?

Whereas some quantity of tension, uneasiness, and emotions of loneliness are pure and customary when you’re aside out of your associate, if it turns into extraordinarily distressing and the sentiments spiral uncontrolled, it’s an enormous signal that this may require some consideration.

These emotions of misery transcend simply lacking your associate – they’re all-consuming and incapacitating at some degree. This isn’t wholesome for the particular person experiencing it and for the associate within the relationship.

Search skilled assist when the separation anxiousness in relationships turns into overwhelming. That is one thing you may navigate. 

2. Why do I get anxious when my associate leaves?

Bear in mind we mentioned anxious or insecure attachment kinds? It’s the worry that your associate will go away you unexpectedly. This attachment fashion has a job to play once you get anxious when your associate leaves. 

It might probably additionally originate from previous experiences such because the lack of an attachment determine, the expertise of rejection or abandonment, or a earlier relationship the place your associate left with out giving any purpose or unnoticed of the blue. 

It might turn into very overwhelming so that you can be troubled at any time when your associate leaves, however know that you would be able to attain out to an expert or discuss to somebody out of your assist system that can assist you with this.

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