How To Help Your Partner With Anxiety: Eight Ways To Support Your Loved One

Updated May 13, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Anxiety can be a difficult mental health challenge whether you live with it yourself or are in a relationship with someone who struggles with it. If you have a partner with anxiety, it can easily disrupt life for both of you and impact your relationship as well. While you can't "fix" your partner or take their anxiety away for them, there are ways that you can support them through tough times. In this article, we’ll be discussing eight different ways you can offer your support when your partner has anxiety.

Knowing how to support a partner with anxiety can be challenging

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural response to frightening, stress-inducing, or tense situations. While most people have anxiety during stressful situations, some people experience it on a regular basis in everyday life. Anxiety can be brought on for any number of reasons. Some people are predisposed to anxiety, such as those that have a family history of it, while others experience anxiety as a result of an event that they have been through in life. There are several different types of anxiety disorders, and each one brings unique challenges. Receiving a proper diagnosis can be important so that you and your partner can know exactly what you're dealing with.

Ways to support your partner

While everyone’s experience with anxiety looks different, there are some general guidelines you can follow to offer your support to your partner. Being there for your loved one can make a big difference in them getting help and overcoming their symptoms. You can have a healthy relationship even if one or both of you struggles with anxiety. Below are eight tips that may be useful as you learn how to support your partner: 

Resist the urge to fix them

When you love someone, the last thing that you want is to see them hurting. However, it can be important to remember that it’s not your job to fix them. You're not their therapist or doctor; rather, you're their partner, and you still play a big role in their life. Your efforts to try to "fix" or help them can often end up making them feel even worse. Your partner may view your efforts to help as a reminder of their anxiety. Further, if your efforts don’t work, they may feel that they’re letting you down by not showing any improvement.  

Even if you have the best of intentions, your partner may need more than you can offer. Or they might need something that you hadn’t thought of. By considering their needs and offering support instead of quick fixes, you can learn how to be there for your partner in the ways that they need.

Accept them the way they are

When you let your partner know that you accept them just the way they are, it can give them peace of mind. Those with anxiety may feel the need to put on a brave or happy face even when they’re struggling. When they don't have to worry about earning your acceptance, it can allow them to focus on what they can do to improve their anxiety. If your partner feels that they must earn your acceptance, it may cause them even more anxiety.

Don't belittle their fears

Sometimes anxiety can cause our fears to get the better of us. We may end up worried and afraid of things that might not make sense to anyone else. If your partner has a lot of fears, avoid trying to explain them away. While you may not understand why they have the fears they do, understand that to them, their anxieties feel real and frightening. They may even realize that their fears are unrealistic to have, but nevertheless feel unable to control their thoughts surrounding them. Instead of adding to their anxiety by downplaying their fears, support your partner in overcoming them. 

Keep them in the know

If you know that your partner is highly anxious, you may be able to help them out by anticipating and preparing for situations or things that may make their anxiety worse. For example, if they're worried about your safety regularly and you find out that you're going to be working late, send a text or give a quick call to let them know. This way, when you don't show up on time after work, they aren't worried that something has happened.

Getty/Xavier Lorenzo

Be a safe place for your partner

Instead of passing judgment on your partner, love them for who they are. This may allow them to feel safe coming to you and talking about their struggles. You don't want them feeling alone and like they have nowhere to turn. Try to reassure them that you are there for them and that you're willing to help in any way you can. Take away the pressure of them thinking they must have everything figured out for your relationship to continue. Even if you don’t always know what to say, you can still offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.

Remember that it's not your fault

If your partner struggles with anxiety, it may impact your life in one way or another. If your partner struggles with anger and irritability because of their anxiety, they might blame you for their situation, but you don't have to own it. While you may feel tempted to believe their anxiousness is a result of your relationship, remember that someone else’s feelings are not your fault. While you can take steps to ease their anxiety and offer support, it can ultimately be vital that your partner accepts responsibility for any mental health challenges they’re facing. You can’t get help for your partner; rather, they must seek it on their own. Of course, you can encourage them along the way and continue to be there for them through the healing process. 

Keep living your life

If your partner struggles with anxiety, it makes sense that you’d want to be sensitive to their situation. However, it can be unrealistic to think that you can always switch up the plans to accommodate their needs and lessen their anxiety. You don't have to stop living your life because they aren't comfortable doing the same things that you are. It’s acceptable for partners to have different interests and needs whether it’s socially, professionally, or personally. Partners who love and care for each other allow one another the freedom to do the things that make them happy. You can find a balance between living your life and being there for your partner as well.

Knowing how to support a partner with anxiety can be challenging

Online counseling with Regain

Although you may not be able to fix your partner’s anxiety, a qualified professional could offer the appropriate support. It can be helpful for them to talk to an experienced therapist who can provide the support and guidance they need. Several different forms of therapy can successfully treat those living with anxiety, and encouraging your partner to go to sessions can help them make progress in overcoming their anxiety. A therapist can help you, as well. Regain provides online counseling for individuals and couples, meaning your partner can get help for their anxiety and you can find ways to support them through tools that the therapist gives you. Even if you have busy or opposite schedules, online counseling allows you to find a therapist and pick a time that works for both of you and connect from anywhere you have an internet connection. If you're looking for an alternative way to get treatment without having to go into a therapist's office, you can try online counseling and see if it helps improve your partner’s symptoms and your relationship as well.

The effectiveness of online counseling 

Counseling has been shown, through research, to be effective in reducing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). In one study, researchers assessed the efficacy of a remote cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention for those experiencing GAD. Results showed large effect sizes in the reduction of GAD symptoms from pretreatment to posttreatment regardless of the intensity of the treatment. Researchers concluded that “Overall, the current meta-analysis provides preliminary results to indicate that both low and high intensity remote CBT treatments are effective in the treatment of GAD.”


When your partner lives with anxiety, it’s natural to want to do everything you can to help them through it. However, while supporting your partner with their anxiety, you may start to neglect yourself in the process. This can be important to avoid, as taking care of yourself first and foremost can enable you to support others and the relationship. If your relationship is already struggling due to anxiety, it could worsen if neither of you is equipped with the right tools to care for yourselves while also continuing to build a healthy bond as partners. Counseling can be appropriate if you find yourself in this situation. A counselor can work with each of you to address mental health concerns like anxiety and give you tips and tricks for building a healthy partnership. Happy, satisfying, and stable relationships are possible even when one or both partners live with anxiety.

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