Can relationship problems cause anxiety

Fear of commitment

People are social beings: we long for love and a partner who understands us. But not everyone can allow this closeness. You can read here where the fear of commitment comes from and what works against it.

What is fear of attachment?
What are the causes of attachment anxiety?
What are the symptoms of attachment anxiety?
How does the doctor recognize fear of attachment?
How is attachment anxiety treated?
Can i prevent it?
What are the chances of recovery?

What is fear of attachment?

Anyone who suffers from fear of attachment has problems to enter into a lasting partnership. The desire to love and be loved is overlaid by the fear of emotional and physical closeness. This can lead to a ambivalent behavior lead: On the one hand, the person concerned longs for a fulfilled relationship, on the other hand he tries to keep the (potential) partner at a distance.

To ensure this, relationship phobics develop different ones Avoidance strategies: People with active fear of attachment find it difficult to commit to one partner, have casual affairs or rush into work. From them you can hear sentences like “The right person wasn't there yet”, “I need my freedom” or “I just don't have time for something special”.

Even so, people with active attachment anxiety can live in a relationship. However, in this case they often refuse to take responsibility and to talk about planning their lives together, such as building a house, getting married and wanting to have children. The behavior towards the partner is often cool, distant or even aggressive.

In addition, psychology knows the concept of passive fear of attachment, which has the following meaning: Those affected prefer to look for partners who are unreachable - for example because they are already taken or because they live far away. Sometimes they also choose a partner who is obviously not good for them and say sentences like “I always fall in love with the wrong person.” Since many people are not aware of their fear of commitment, it is unclear how high the number of those affected is. The only thing that is certain is that it is not a purely male problem: both Men as well as women can be relationship phobics.

What are the causes of attachment anxiety?

The reasons for developing a fear of attachment often lie in the early childhood: If the relationship with the parents is disturbed, this can have far-reaching consequences. In particular, a repellent, little loving mother can make a child feel that they are not meeting the demands of others. This reduces self-confidence and promotes it Fear of failure as well as the fear of closeness. In order not to be injured again, those affected avoid strong ties.

But also one overprotective mother can negatively influence the later relationship behavior of your child. People who grew up extremely sheltered often find long-term partnerships overwhelming or threatening and therefore prefer to avoid them. Last but not least - possibly unconscious - Abuse experiences behind it when people suffer from fear of attachment.

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The relationship between the parents also plays a role. For example, did the attachment phobic as a child have the painful one Separation of mother and father Experienced first hand, maybe even had to decide on a parent after the divorce, this can shake the belief in the meaningfulness of a stable partnership. In addition, there are one's own experiences from previous love relationships: who in the past hurt or cheated or was with a clingy, restrictive partner may have trouble getting involved with another person again.

What are the symptoms of attachment anxiety?

People with fear of commitment often avoid long-term relationships. You are afraid of not being able to or not being able to fulfill your partner's wishes unrealistically high expectations in yourself and others. Your worry that the relationship will fail is greater than your fear of being alone. In order not to be dependent on another person, to have to show feelings and thereby become vulnerable, relationship phobics keep others at a distance. This can apply not only to (possible) partners, but also to friendships. Non-binding flirtations or these people often simply end affairs Break in contact.

But even within a committed relationship, many people affected have found strategies to keep the partner at a distance: For example, attachment phobics catch dispute for no reason or deny physical proximity. The reason for this is not inevitable sexual aversionbut the fear of opening up fully to another. A lack of responsibility, exaggerated accusations, and a sudden breakup can also be part of the behavioral repertoire of a relationship phobic.

The person concerned often suffers from his own behavior, because attachment phobics can also miss the (lost) partner. Various physical symptoms come like feelings of oppression, palpitations,Panic attacks, nausea and irritable bowel syndrome.

For the partner, life with an attachment phobic often leads to one Vicious circle: The more the person concerned withdraws, the harder the partner tries to lure him out of the reserve. This can in turn be interpreted by him as brackets, whereby the person concerned continues to distance himself. The futile efforts to "save" the loved one and thereby win them back can even trigger depression in the partner. The one who has been pushed back probably asks the question: is my counterpart afraid of commitment or not interested? Often this is followed by separation, possibly even one Contact lock - and then the new beginning. Because even On-off relationships are typical of people with fear of commitment.

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How does the doctor recognize fear of attachment?

Many people do not even know that they suffer from fear of attachment. you justify their behavior often with the desire for freedom or the fact that you simply cannot find the right person. Whoever admits his problems and one Psychologists or psychotherapists visits, has therefore already taken an important step.

There are several ways to determine whether the person concerned really has difficulty getting involved in stable relationships and to determine how strong the fear of attachment is Test questions. For example, the therapist will want to know if the patient is reluctant to talk about their feelings, if they spend a lot of time alone, and if they are putting off family planning. Subsequently, the reasons for the fear of attachment of the person concerned are worked out together.

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Psychotherapy can help people with fear of attachment. (c) Chinnapong / Fotolia

How is attachment anxiety treated?

Once the patient has recognized his fear of commitment, the question naturally arises as to what he can do about it. The good news is: In principle, it is possible to overcome the fear of attachment. As part of a psychotherapy the affected man or woman can learn to formulate personal needs and to allow closeness. The patient's self-confidence is strengthened, allowing them to see that they don't have to be perfect to “deserve” love. Little by little, the attachment phobic learns that a stable relationship doesn't have to be threatening.

It can make sense to involve the partner in the therapy or to do one together Couples therapy close. In order to take away the fear of attachment from the relationship phobic, the partner should exert as little pressure as possible and show a lot of understanding. Correct behavior can, however, look completely different depending on the type and severity of the fear of attachment.

It is helpful, for example, to give the attachment phobic positive experiences to show how beautiful and fulfilling a partnership can be. This gives the patient confidence and a feeling of security. Exchanging ideas with other people affected can also help, for example in Online forums or in one support group.

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Can I Prevent?

It is not possible to specifically prevent fear of attachment as an adult. As the foundation for what will come later Relationship behavior in childhood parents should try to raise their offspring lovingly without restricting them too much. Because both a hypothermic parenting style and the much-cited “helicopter parents” can damage the child's development.

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What are the chances of recovery?

The duration of therapy varies from patient to patient. It depends, among other things, on the causes of the fear of attachment and on the individual's ability to find access to their own feelings.

Anyone who opts for deep psychological treatment can submit an application to the health insurance company to cover the costs. The Chances of success are relative Well: If the patient takes regular sessions and works consistently on himself, he can overcome his fear of attachment.

Of course, not all relationship problems have magically disappeared - after all, occasional friction is healthy and completely normal. But thanks to professional support, the patient can learn to master any crises without destructive behavioral patterns.