Anxiety is a very serious issue. It keeps people from living a thriving life and hinders them from their full potential. Anxiety doesn't just go away once a person finds the "perfect" job, "perfect" relationship, or "perfect" circle of friends.
I would love to snap my fingers and "poof" my anxiety away. It negatively affects many aspects of my life, and the lives of those who are closest to me. And unfortunately, one of the relationships it affects most is my marriage.
Anxiety Can Cause SelfishnessWhat's one thing that anxiety is really good at? Making people incredibly selfish!
When I am feeling anxious, I feel as if the world should revolve around me (though this is usually subconscious in the moment). Everyone should drop what they are doing and affirm me, let me know my anxieties are lies, and tell me happy things until I feel better again. This feeling doubles when it's with Taylor because he's my husband and best friend. Lucky him, right? ;)
After times of high anxiety, I often realize how selfish I was being and have a moment of "sorry, not sorry". I say that only because when I feel most anxious, I feel like I cannot control my actions (even though that's not entirely true), so I think, "why should I be sorry? I couldn't help it". But then, the Holy Spirit convicts me of my selfishness, and the apologies ensue.
When I am at my worst with anxiety, no matter what Taylor does, he really can't win. Even if he most things right- reminds me to trust God, prays for me, and gets me ice cream- if he doesn't also make me read my bible, or affirm me, my anxiety will tell me that Taylor doesn't really care about me, and that our marriage isn't good, or that there is something wrong with us since we aren't perfect. In those moments, though I know I shouldn't, and though reasoning is flawed, I tend to make Taylor feel inadequate. I make it seem as though he cannot do anything right, even when he does a whole lot right. I want to make Taylor feel good about himself- talented, needed, and appreciated, but anxiety can prompt me to do the very opposite.
Anxiety Can Make Your Spouse Feel Inadequate
Anxiety Can Hinder Spiritual GrowthSpiritual growth is critical for every Christian. We need to know, love, and follow Jesus more deeply each day for our own sake, first of all. But for those who are married, spiritual growth is not only important for our own souls, but it is also imperative for the sake of our spouses.
See, one of marriage's greatest blessings is when a couple is pushing each other closer to God and closer to holiness. But if I am not growing myself, how can I push my husband to grow? And likewise, if Taylor isn't drawing near to God, then how is he going to lead me spiritually?
When anxiety hinders my spiritual growth-as it frequently does- it is not only hurting me, it is also hurting Taylor.
Don't Worry- There's Hope!So all this stuff I've been saying has been pretty depressing. It makes it seem like there's no hope for a good marriage if a person has anxiety. But please don't hear me saying that, because that's not true at all.
Taylor and I have a very blessed marriage, despite the anxiety. I have several friends who struggle with anxiety, yet they too have good marriages.
Anxiety may be a complete pain in the butt, but God uses it for His glory. He uses it to teach, stretch, and change me and Taylor both. Is anxiety hard on our marriage? Absolutely. But God gives us grace. And God has blessed me with an incredibly patient, godly man to walk through life with.
Marriage may be negatively affected by anxiety at times, but in a healthy, godly situation, marriage can also help relieve anxiety. This post is in collaboration with my blogging friend, Molly, over at Love the Everyday. Today, in a tag-team effort with me, she is sharing 3 Ways that Marriage Can Help Anxiety. I hope you will take the time to hop on over to her blog and check it out! Molly can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.