Does Relationship Anxiety Ever End?

Among the many questions that dart through the mind plagued by relationship anxiety, the one that can cause either hope or despair is, “Will this anxiety ever end? The short answer is yes: the acute anxiety that you’re experiencing – the one that wakes you in the night and causes you to lose your appetite, will end when you receive accurate information and can douse the flames of “What’s wrong with me?” with a good splash of truth-water. But the shelf-life of deeper layers of the anxiety are directly correlated to your ability and willingness to pull the projection off your partner and take full responsibility for your well-being. The equation is simple: if anxiety is a call from soul to wake up and heal then the depth of our healing is in direct proportion to the depth of our willingness to hear and heed the call.

That said, every once in a while one of my longterm clients – someone I’ve been working with for six or seven years who found me prior to getting married when they were dragged into the trenches of relationship anxiety – will have a spike. These are clients who are in solid, loving relationships that hum along nicely most of the time, but when they’re in transition or caught in a stress-spiral of life, the relationship anxiety can re-emerge.

Luckily, because of the work they did when relationship anxiety was at its peak, the spikes no longer drag them down the rabbit hole. And because they’re still steeped in their inner work and they understand that projection in all forms – especially and including relationship anxiety – is an indicator that something is off-kilter in one of the three channels the comprise a marriage (relationship with self, partner’s relationship with self, relationship with each other), they’re not hooked by the anxiety. In other words, just like a headache often indicates dehydration or blood sugar drop, the anxiety is pointing to a disconnect or need, and instead of latching onto the initial fear-based hook of “this must mean I’m in the wrong relationship” they’re quickly able to turn the magnifying glass into a mirror and ask, “What is happening that needs my attention?”

So to ask, “Will relationship anxiety ever end?” is kind of like asking, “Why do I keep getting headaches when I’m dehydrated?” The acute layer will end, but once we understand that anxiety is a symptom and a messenger, our entire perspective on the anxiety shifts from one of shame and alarm to curiosity and compassion, and instead of treating the symptom at the level of the symptom we delve into exploring the root causes.

An offshoot of this question is, “Will I have to work on myself forever?”, which I understand to mean, “Will I have to keep using the tools that you teach in your courses if I’m going to feel better?” Again, this is akin to asking, “Do I have to keep exercising and eating well if I want to feel good in my body?” There are certain actions we must take in order to feel alive and well. Because of the explosion in consciousness around physical health in recent decades we understand that exercise and healthy eating are precursors to well-being, and that these actions require time and effort. The mental-emotional health consciousness is catching up but we’re not quite there yet, which means that we still have a lazy attitude when it comes to inner wellness and believe that it should somehow happen effortlessly once we take a course or read a few books. If you want to feel a sense of meaning, purpose, and well-being, then yes, you have to use the tools on a daily basis. But the beauty is that, once the tools are integrated, it doesn’t feel like work anymore. It’s just becomes part of the fabric of how you live your life and approach your inner world.

It’s always inspiring to connect with people years later who were once in the trenches of relationship anxiety to hear about how they’re doing now. I recently checked in with “Leo”, whose full story is contained in the free Conscious Weddings E-Course Sampler and the Break Free Sampler for Men, to see how he’s doing five years later after he first contacted me and took my course. Here’s his response:

To update you on what things are like 5 years after, I must say that marriage is and has been great. More than great, really. It has grown and evolved beautifully, just as we did over time and through the challenges, victories, losses and changes of life. It’s something that takes two people to nurture, but provides such infinite rewards.

In our short 5 years together, we experienced many happy days and our share of dark periods of despair, but what’s important is that every morning I get to wake up to a person I love more and more. Love is indeed not just a feeling, but an action, a choice, and a decision, and it takes time to fully understand that. And this is what the e-course helped me do. This doesn’t mean that occasional projection doesn’t strike, but when it does, it is so much easier to disarm than I ever thought possible using well-practiced tools.

When I found the Conscious Weddings E-Course course, I knew right away that this was the approach and the tools I needed. And so I did the course, then another, and then a number of sessions with Sheryl, because I wanted to truly understand it. This work is not a one-time shot, and I don’t think it’s meant to be something you do for the rest of your life over and over, but it’s almost like learning how to drive, or learning a new language. Once you invest yourself into learning it, it becomes a part of your life toolkit, and a part of who you are. Then it becomes simply a matter of practicing it. It took concentrated effort at first, but after some practice it became an ongoing part of my self-care. It is almost like having an owner’s manual for a sensitive mind.

The tools I learned helped me with many other highly stressful transitions: switching jobs, moving, buying a house, infertility and pregnancy loss, and providing care for my extended family. They also helped me to understand other people, to recognize other sensitive minds, some of whom like me once, don’t understand or refuse to acknowledge their own sensitivity. I came into this work just wanting a quick fix to my projections and pre-wedding anxiety, but ended up learning so much and healing so much of my inner self. Breaking free from anxiety let me reconnect to my sensitive inner being, and to enjoy life, love, pursue my hobbies and interests instead of spending days ruminating and projecting. Doing this work has been one of the most important things I’ve done for myself.

To all of you who are in the trenches, hang on. Trust that the anxiety is here for a reason, that it is, as hard as it feels sometimes, a gift and a messenger, and that once you incorporate a mindset of growth and practice effective tools you will open your heart to a lifelong path of learning about love in all ways. As Leo said, it’s like having an owner’s manual for the sensitive mind. Buckle up, read the manual, practice the tools until they’re integrated, and you will find your way to the open-heartedness that you’re longing for.

82 comments to Does Relationship Anxiety Ever End?

  • Emmy

    You’re truly a blessing Sheryl… I needed this as a reminder today as my projections have been pretty intense as I’m in the midst of picking between two careers. Thank you!

  • Meghan

    Hi Sheryl,

    Your blog has been immensely helpful to me – thank you. I am currently in the throes of relationship anxiety, which is fairly intense now that we have a baby (planned) together. That being said there IS some conflict and disconnect in our relationship, which is making the anxiety worse. Do you have a specific blog post that would help me get perspective (i.e., how to juggle anxiety and real problems)? I am considering your course at some point as well. Also, I am looking for any posts or information you may have regarding relationship anxiety towards your baby/child. Sigh.

    Thanks!
    Meghan

  • Brittany

    Thank youSsheryl. I really needed this. I’ve been doing inner child work for about 3 years, have half-heartedly done the break free course (to the extent that it absolved me of the acute anxiety), and my projections are very up right now. My partner is on a 5 week long trip abroad by himself, so I know this probably has something to do with it. But mainly it’s showing me that when I’m alone, I still have lots of anxiety. This is mine – it lives in me. Thank you for the reminder to pull my projection off my partner. I’m always so relieved when I hear from you that it’s just a projection and I don’t have to believe my anxiety, but I do feel the need to recommit to my work. It’s been years and I still get pulled down the rabbit hole of relationship anxiety even though every time I come out the other side, I see with clear eyes.

    I see that it’s really up to me how much I want to heal and feel alive, happy and vibrant, and in love with my partner.

    Thank you, as always, for this blessing of a blog.

    • Yes, time to recommit to the work, especially with this most recent confirmation that the anxiety lives inside of you. That’s the biggest piece of the work and once you really assimilate that in your bones, things can shift and heal very quickly.

  • Awesome article. Love all your work. It’s helped so much. Still working through breaking free ecourse. So many life changes coming up this year!! Susan

  • MB

    I echo everything Leo said. I took the e-course in 2013 before I got engaged and it was the best thing I’ve done for myself and my relationships. While the acute anxiety was debilitating, it was temporary thanks to the tools I learned to manage it. I’ve learned so much about myself and have had improved relationships not just with my now-husband, but also with girlfriends and my family. Thanks to this work, my anxiety was and occasionally is a precious, although challenging, gift.

  • Dave

    Hi, I’m looking for some help.
    I broke up with a girl after some intense anxiety last spring that came on after two months. I am dating another girl now and have had anxiety since week 1 or 2. I am really wondering if I am just not into this girl and am trying to force it. That’s what I have felt for the last month or so. Really difficult to sift through the emotions.
    I am also realizing I am a child that was emotionally neglected and have a real hard time sorting through my emotions.

  • Kitty

    So good! Today was a STRESSFUL day for reasons which had nothing to do my relationship but it was exactly the kind of thing that would have normally sent me into a tailspin. I am a week into your relationship anxiety e-course and I have been using the tools I’ve learned everyday to keep me focused and mindful of when I am projecting. It’s been such a life changer already!
    Thank you!

  • Dee

    Thank you Sheryl,
    As like many, this is just what I needed to read. Through reading previous authors works on anxiety and having counselling I got back in the driving seat of my anxiety, but the road was still very bumpy and undulating. I then, only recently found you and your work and immediately the road became easier to drive. I’m now trying to focus on my inner self to break free and this week’s work confirmed what I experienced and became aware of only last Thursday.
    I’d had a stressful day at work with some conflict and I noticed on Friday and Saturday that my projection was bubbling away to a level I’d not seen for a few weeks. I got the ‘I don’t love you’ thought when glancing my wedding photo. I had the stomach flip and an immediate ‘a aah, there you are, reminding me all is not well in my soul.’
    I then practiced some self care and love and the anxiety has now gone down to a very slow simmer.
    I now just need to work on getting to the root of the anxiety, but I’m happy I recognised a bad day at work doesn’t equate to me not loving my husband of 11 years (my partner for nearly 26 years).
    Thank you for your work. You are one very special person.

    • Excellent re-wiring moment, Dee! Now to keep practicing exactly what you did until you create a new neuro-pathway in your brain that starts to equate anxiety with a message around self-care instead a warning sign about your partner. That’s the critical moment right there.

      • Dee

        Hi Sheryl,
        Thank you for the reply. Can I ask, does the break free course provide strong guidance on tackling and rooting out the cause of the anxiety? My Relationship anxiety seemed to pop out of nowhere.
        Also, did you mean ‘now’ rather than ‘not’?
        Thanks again.

  • Sarah

    Hi Sheryl, another beautiful blog post and so true. I am not struggling with anxiety about my relationship right now – more with a lot of anger and irritation towards my partner. Would you consider these as offshoots of fear? How does one go into relationship with them? I find them very hard emotions to take and feel guilty and ashamed after I lash out at my husband. I feel like I never knew they were within me and I don’t really know where they come from.. just that they have been activated by being in relationship. Self-compassion must be the answer but it is so hard to muster. Thank you for your work xo

    • Yes, anger and irritation are often offshoots of anxiety, as well as normal reactions to being in close relationship to another person. If you google “conscious-transitions + irritation” you’ll find several posts on the topic.

  • Mich

    Sheryl I love your blogs so much. I’m getting marred in 2 months and due to stress and over thinking my anxiety has flared up. I have also learnt that even happy situations can flare it up. Any kind of stress or positive change can trigger it and due to that and having Relationship OCD then automatically you project your anxiety towards your partner which it is not. I also want to suggest that I am currently on anxiety medication that helps me cope. Genetically my whole family has GAD and I have tried to come off my meds but unfortunately due to mine been so genetic I unfortunatley cannot come off them, but with any of you out there, sometimes a small dose of anxiety meds may help you cope as you might also have a bit of GAD. You will still get your dips, it’s not going to take the anxiety away completely, it will just help you cope better during a dip. I also grew up with OCD as a child and if any of you have had it or have it, it can also be part of why you projecting your thoughts onto your partner. It’s literally a fear/obsession. I have also read an article which helped me understand ROCD and it is more common than we think and quite a few doctors are finally becomming aware of it and doing quite a few write ups on it.

    It’s not doubt, remember it is a form of ROCD and even if you were with Brad Pitt you would get it. You will get it with anyone. Just know that when someone pure and stable comes your way and they love you unconditionally don’t throw it away. You will know deep down that they are for you and as time goes by your dips will get less due to your relationship becoming more solid and the love will grow and just get better and better.

    The dips are as shit as hell and when we hit a dip we forget how we felt when we didn’t have a dip or how much we love our partner, just like when you have flu you forget what it’s like to feel well.
    We will always have our dips but you just have to fight through them. Here is the article. I think it will also put alot of you at ease.

    https://ocdla.com/rocd-relationship-ocd-myth-of-the-one-3665

    Thanks again for you for your wonderful blogs Sheryl. xxx

    • Yes, this a very good article on ROCD. The author, Sheva Rajaee, is a lovely woman and she reached out to me about a year ago so she could learn more about my how I work with clients and she has now incorporated some of my techniques and philosophies into her work. There is definitely more consciousness around this very common source of anxiety than there was ten years ago, which is wonderful.

  • Lori

    Thank you for writing this, Sheryl! Your comparison of the effort required to be healthy physically (exercise, eating well) to the same level of effort required to be healthy mentally (taking responsibility for our own happiness, doing the work regularly) is so helpful, and insightful. It should be no surprise that both kinds of health require regular effort and care, yet it still feels like a revelation to really *get* this. Reading your post this morning, I feel like I’m *getting* this insight at a new level, and feel encouraged in my healing journey. As always, I so appreciate your guidance! I’m so glad I found your work a few years ago.

  • Giddy

    Sheryl,

    as i was lying in bed next to my boyfriend of 2.5 years this morning, and wondering why he had not kissed me in a few days, why do i constantly need him to show me his love, does he even love me anymore, and then I move on to… do i need this? Would putting a ring on it solve these anxieties?

    so lying there i was wondering if you have a particular article from your site that I could show him to explain a bit of what i suffer. He is a doctor and quite clinical. When I tell him about relationship anxiety, he shows compassion, but i’d like to move it to understanding. I’m just too cool and reliable and together for him to actually know that there’s a lot going on beneath the exterior.

    This morning he actually did kiss me and the last few hours where my stomach was in knots relaxed, and the stress of the last few days went away… and i could comfortably communicate to him my needs but not until he came one step closer to me

    (yes sometimes i feel like I’m doing more chasing and if it’s a few days in a row, it eats me up – not that I’m ONLY expecting him at all times to be first)

    Thanks!

  • This is such a wonderful post. Recently my partner and I decided to take the plunge and move in together, and through the stress of the move, I found all my usual anxieties pop up – Am I really sure about this person? What if he’s not good for me? I’m so proud of myself because instead of getting wrapped up in it this time, I looked inward and was able to breathe through it, realizing what was really going on – I was scared, and also, because of the logistics of the move, it had been a long time since I did any self care. Noticing these things calmed me right down and I feel so much better now 🙂

  • Marlene

    I hesitate to reply, but I don’t feel anxiety anymore. But I look back now, after 11 years of marriage and I’m not sure if I had anxiety or just lived out what I absorbed growing up. I still struggle with attraction to my partner and I feel disappointment in my relationship. I don’t feel, as I read others in others comments, that this person deep down is so wonderful and right for me. My husband is a good, moral person and we have a lot in common. But I don’t feel deep down that it’s what I always wanted or had hoped for. Any suggestions?

    • You seem to go up and down in your comments, Marlene: some weeks responding with a big YES to your inner work and, thus, to your marriage and other weeks writing a comment like the one above. My sense is that you’re still expecting your husband to fill your well of Self and are making him responsible for your well-being instead of filling your own well and, from that filled-up place, considering how you can give to your husband instead of ruminating about what you can get from him or “what’s missing”. Love is what you give.

  • Chantal

    Thank you so much for this article, Sheryl. It’s so helpful and refreshing to read. I think a big part of my healing is working on filling my well of self, but I feel like I always get stuck. I have a history of trauma and betrayal by immediate family figures (which I am getting help by a therapist), where I really lost myself 3+ years ago. Since that day and having full on RA, I’ve had an “ick” (I think it’s a pit in my stomach?) feeling that often appears. It has gotten better when working with the therapist, but I find that whenever I go to do things to help myself, I get the “ick” and feel like I’m paralyzed. It’s also frustrating because I want to get better and my partner has definitely noticed me not being myself for over 3 years. I want to get better to get rid of the “ick”, but when I go to do the things that will help me to fill my well of self and make me feel like my old self again (ex. dancing, music, going outside – this one is a big trigger for me), I feel the “ick”. I’m not sure if this makes sense. Any thoughts?

    • When you have a strong trauma history it’s essential to heal the trauma alongside doing the work in the Break Free course. I’m glad you’re seeing a therapist and I hope you’re doing some kind of direct trauma-release work, like EMDR, somatic experiencing, or brainspotting.

  • Alex

    Hi Sheryl! You are God sent, your blog and E-course was my saviour four years ago when I got married, thanks a lot!
    As if you know what I was going through today, I had a little spike three days ago after we went to see our doctor, we have been trying to conceive for over two years, and it’s really making me anxious whenever I think about it, when people ask me about our plans for baby, or when a family friend have a new baby. Though I don’t want my wife to know that I am worried about it.
    Please Sheryl, do you have any blog post on trying to conceive/infertily?

    • Hi Alex! I don’t have a post on trying to conceive but it’s been on my mind for years to create a short course on the topic as, having walked several clients through the process (all of whom have babies now), I know how incredibly challenging it is. In the meantime, please know that what our culture calls “infertility” is rarely true infertility, which means you must be very mindful of how easy it is to fall prey to the fear culture and instead come back to the practices that fill your well and anchor you to your foundation of wellness.

  • Eve

    I definitely think its time for me to recommit to some of this inner work. The other day I felt anxious about something my partner had done at work (went to work sick when he could have spread the flu instead of staying home), and instead of being supportive and on his team, the anxiety led me to check and question his actions, and he turned around and said he really sometimes feels like I’m not on his team, that I don’t trust him, and that I care about protecting others more than him. This was very painful to hear, but also very important because when I’m stuck in an anxious cycle, it always becomes a story about him not being “moral” enough, and then I check and investigate and make him feel really uncared for, which doesn’t enhance our relationship or make me feel any better about the intrusive thought. Having him be clear with the impact it has on him I really hope will push me to take responsibility for my thoughts, and not act on them in a way that hurts or alienates him. He is ALWAYS on my team and supportive and respectful of my choices, and I would love to be able to do the same for him, but it is so hard when the fear/painful thoughts arise.

    • This is exactly how we grow in partnership: when our partners finds the courage to express how our fear-based actions are effecting them it gives us a greater pusher to meet these fear-places in a different way, and primarily without acting them out.

  • Angela

    Hi Sheryl,
    I love this Sheryl, Its all about putting ourselves first, exercise is important. Beiing a spontaneous type of woman. I have struggled with routine. Me and my husband have stayed true to our word, with our New Years resolution. From the first dsy of January 2018, We have committed in exercising everyday, without fail. We have changed our lifestyle, diet eating habits, we heard from other people, such as my brother who is a gym junkie, that exercise should be a priority in our lives. January is a very hot month here in Australia, and we have still managed to exercise regarding the weather. We feel so amazing. We cut down on carbs, physically and emotionally we feel alive. Our moods have improved for the better.
    Thank you so much 😊 for guiding me through these transitions 😘😊🤗❤️

  • Cat

    Thank you so much for your work, Sheryl. I’ve spent a lot of time reading through your archives and still was taken by surprise by the mention of “partner’s relationship with self” as one of the main channels of marriage. I found that surprisingly affirming. I’ve been doing a lot of work on tending to my own anxiety about intimacy, and have at times been hard on myself about that. Recently, as we have been facing the reality that my partner is likely dealing with bipolar and BPD, I’ve been processing a new understanding–peeling back another layer of the onion, if you will–about the ways that some of my difficulty with letting my guard down has to do with just this: my partner is nothing but loving to me, but struggles so much to keep her own well of self full, and tends to want, I think, for the relationship to serve that function.

    Where might I learn more about this piece of things?

  • rochelle

    Thanks for Sharing Leos story Sheryl, seems like he is in a great place!
    I understand that the acute anxiety, loss of appetite and sleep etc will end (as we couldn’t live like that forever we would make ourselves ill) but what about the ambivalence that plagues us? The uncertainty whether we should be in this relationship or not?
    From what I understand from some of your other posts and doing the course is that we will still have questions from time to time like “is this right” etc but we can answer those questions and not attach them to anxiety or ruminating. And instead answer the question “is this right” with “yes” or “yes but perhaps we/I need to focus on X, Y or Z”

    Also another question is when you write:

    “…is an indicator that something is off-kilter in one of the three channels the comprise a marriage (relationship with self, partner’s relationship with self, relationship with each other)”

    What do we do when the issue here is partners relationship with Self.

    Thanks

  • Anetij

    Dear Sheryl, I know it should not upset me (continuous work), but it does. The fact that you have clients for six, seven years dealing with RA – constant ambivalence and doubt is spikey. Does the levels of ambivalence and doubt change over time or do they remain consistent throughout as in the beginning after the end of most intense phase?

    • I think you may have misunderstood the point of the article, Anetij! If you do your inner work, relationship anxiety falls away and what you’re left with is clarity and as well as the tools and practices that help you navigate through the rest of life. For those who remain stuck in relationship anxiety for years it’s because they haven’t taken true responsibility and are mired in resistance.

  • Anetij

    Dear Sheryl, thank you for answering the question. I do have one more if you have time, linked to previous question and RA course. Can one choose to do the course as a way to stop shedding past life and false beliefs out of fear where it may lead? As a way to stop confronting ones deeper desire. I sometimes have wondered if it is my case. Could you advise?

  • Megan B.

    Sheryl, this past week has been hell on me. I’ve been in the throes of anxiety for almost 4 months and I’ve noticed that the thoughts and anxiety always get worse when it’s time for my monthly cycle. I go through depressive periods, emotional periods, and, recently, even occasional periods of aggravation. I’m currently in the week preceding my cycle and things are beginning to really ramp up, like they usually do but everything feels so different this time. I feel like giving up on my relationship, I feel like calling it quits will make the anxiety go away and that’s what my anxiety is trying to tell me. Sometimes I really feel like I’m holding on for no reason, like I’m just going to end up breaking up with my boyfriend regardless. What I struggle with even more is that I really love my boyfriend and when I’m not in the middle of anxiety I can say that I ‘want’ to be with him and I even see a future with him. He genuinely makes me happy and I don’t want that to change. But when I’m in the middle of all of this, I don’t feel like I ‘want’ to be with him. I feel like I’m just hanging on because I’m comfortable and I don’t want to experience the heartache and change.

    I’m so hesitant to change anything that I’m doing because I’m afraid and I feel like the end result will be the same: We’ll breakup. I’ve stopped hanging out with my bestfriend, I rarely see my family, I’ve become reclusive. I only want to be around my boyfriend (we live together). I won’t pick back up on yoga, or try to continue meditation because I’m so scared that my inner voice is going to point me in the direction to leave and I feel like it will. All of these things, aside from money, are the reason that I’m so hesitant to start a program. I just need relief.

    • Alyssa

      Hi Megan,

      If Sheryl doesn’t answer your post here, I hope I’m able to help a little bit. What I see Sheryl say all the time to people here concerned about your same fears, is that it’s classic textbook anxiety. One of the main fears of those on this site is that they are afraid they’ll do the work and realize they should leave their relationship, just like you! However, none of her clients that she knows of who have taken the Break Free course have left their partners. Look at the Break Free from Relationship Anxiety course page and read the content there – she speaks about it! Another good article to read is:

      http://conscious-transitions.com/what-if-i-learn-to-trust-myself-and-then/

      Relief is possible, clarity is possible, just hang on!

  • Megan B.

    Thank you, Alyssa. I’ve been dealing with this daily for what seems like forever and it is incredibly terrifying when I begin to cycle into a depressive state. I begin to not care at all. I feel as if I don’t want to be with him and I could care less if we broke up which, in turn leads me to believe that those thoughts must be true and I become emotional. Through reading, I’m beginning to realize that I’m not happy with anything currently, not for any particular reason, and that is something that caught my attention several months ago when I had repetitive panic attacks brought on by feeling that I should be doing more with my life and not knowing what I wanted to make my career. I know that I have inner work to do but I’m afraid that I won’t be able to move past this, that our relationship won’t be able to move past this. I almost feel as if I have to close this chapter to grow even though I don’t want to.

  • Julie

    Hi Sheryl,
    I wanted you to know that I think that your server is down. I tried to email you and Kathryn a few times throughout the day but the emails would not go through. Just FYI.

  • Em

    Three or so years ago when I was going through my dark days of relationship anxiety, I couldn’t imagine a day when it would end and I would feel “normal.” I would see the testimonials from people who had come out of it and I wouldn’t really believe them, or I would assume that I was different and couldn’t possibly feel better. I guess feeling anxious, and waking up in a panic just became my normal, and I could hardly remember life before it started (I was anxious 24/7 for about two years.)

    I am SO happy to say that I am now very happily married, relationship-anxiety free, and so so grateful everyday for Sheryl and her work. It didn’t happen all at once, but everyday I did the work, and slowly slowly I felt like I was coming out from the fog. I (of course) still feel anxious sometimes, but about other stuff now, and the skills Sheryl taught me I can apply to my new worries and I haven’t been pulled under like I was before.

    I just want to say, please don’t give up! Hang in there and keep doing the work, you will get there too. (I wouldn’t have believed me, but maybe you can.)

    And thank you Sheryl, from the bottom of my heart.

  • Stacey

    My partner and I have put an offer in to a buy a house which has been accepted and we are just going through the next steps and my thoughts have been up the wall. “You don’t really love him” “you are just staying with him because you are scared to leave” I find I’m testing my feelings again, kissing him and seeing if I feel anything, if I feel anything by looking at him etc. I feel so scared. We have been waiting for this moment for months and now that it’s acrually happening I feel so scared.. I’m scared that my thoughts are the truth. I’m scared that I am just convincing myself to stay. But I so badly don’t want that to be the case. I want to be with him and have a happy home/life together 🙁

    • Stacey

      I just feel kinda numb and obviously I should be over the moon. The last thing I want to do is hurt him. I look at him sometimes and try to imagine what it would he like breaking up with him and it’s horrible because he would he absolutely heartbroken, I think I know deep down I would be aswell but these thoughts make me think that I wouldn’t be and if that was to happen then I would be free of all these thoughts. But breaking up with him and not being with him is the last thing I want. I just get thoughts that it would be the best thing for him and that he could have the chance to be with someone who is 100% sure of their feelings and doesn’t have all this. I just feel so bad/sad for him and like he doesn’t deserve this 🙁

  • Julie

    Tried today as well and it won’t go through. I really just want to know how to access the forum. I don’t recall my username.

  • HSP

    I have a question that I’m struggling with understanding and thought it was worth asking here. As a highly sensitive person, you have helped me better understand some of why I feel the anxieties that I do, even though I’m just beginning to work on them. But, here’s where my anxiety trips me up and makes me doubt myself a lot. As highly sensitives, we have always been deeply affected my our feelings – they have been a barometer for so many things in our lives to tell us what or who is safe, what we truly want to pursue in our careers/hobbies/etc., and, at least for me, they’ve been my measure for everything in my life. My feelings have been my core identity and I’m slowly learning to embrace that I’m highly sensitive and that feeling so much and so deeply is not a curse. So, when I don’t have confidence in my feelings, when they are not intense toward my partner, when I feel numb and anxious instead of passionate, how am I supposed to not take this as a warning sign? My feelings have driven and given me a roadmap all of my life and now, in one of the most important decisions of my life, I’m just supposed to accept that my feelings can’t be trusted? It feels so counter intuitive. As someone who’s dealt with forms of anxiety all of my life, I certainly understand that anxious feelings need to be managed and sometimes even ignored because they are NOT reliable indicators of danger/threats, but I guess it occurring from the beginning and throughout my long term relationship blurs so much for me. Ultimately, my biggest struggle is – if my feelings are not the roadmap for my life, then what is and who am I? If I cannot trust my own feelings to guide my life, what do I trust? As a HSP, this has left me reeling.

    • It’s a good – and common – question. Your feelings can and must be trusted; it’s in the interpretation of the feelings where we get into trouble. The feeling says “fear” or “yuck” or “repulsed” and we interpret that to mean we’re with the wrong person, when the reality is that those feelings could be arising from a variety of sources. This video says it so well:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNdGrXLcWqs

  • Stacey

    I bought the book “the road less travelled” and I practically read all of it today. The bit that stood out to me was that he said in a section of the book that most people confuse Cathecting with love. I’m assuming cathecting is the feelings that myself and others think love should be. I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time believing that love isn’t all feelings and that you don’t feel it all the time, and that at some point the feelings do go away once you merge as one. I just can’t seem to shake the thought that love is all feelings and you know you love someone if you feel it. That’s my biggest struggle.

  • SJ

    Hi Sheryl,

    Thank you so much for your work, it has helped me more then you. I have been on an awful journey since my amazing, loving and kind boyfriend proposed. After 8 years of complete bliss the day after he proposed I had debilitating anxiety, to love lost, feeling numb and ruminating dout and I have found myself at a very odd stage and one that worries me more then all the others.

    I now tell myself I don’t want to be happy with my fiancé, that I love him more then anything but don’t want too and get cross with myself that I do. What does this mean? I’m so scared I have these thoughts. I’m hoping this is a stage that will also pass

    Any advice would be grately appreciated. I’m saving up to do your course as it sounds incredible and currently I don’t think my therapist is helping me xx

    • SJ

      After sending this message I was feeling better, I felt more in control of my thoughts. However last night I had a massive spike. I was watching a trailer for a new movie about a guy who was gay. And out of nowhere WHAM ‘what if I’m gay?’ My whole body went into a panic, I didn’t get any sleep. Today I have moments of pure panic thinking of it and then feeling relaxed with the thought. I am confused, this is come out of nowhere and I don’t know how to move movement.

      I love my boyfriend so much, what am I supposed to do?

      Any advice would be grately appreiciated

      • As soon as you can afford the course it will guide you through exactly how to work through the panic and spikes. In the meantime, read through my site from the beginning as many people have been helped through my blog alone.

        • SJ

          Thank you Sheryl, all your blogs have helped so much. I honestly don’t know where I would be without them. This latest spike is worrying me the most, can you ever get over wondering this? I really can’t believe this happened, we have such a perfect relationship and I feel like I’m finding ways to ruin it 🙁

  • Sandy

    Dear Sheryl ,

    I would like to ask you how can I handle the anxiety , especially in the morning , when I wake up with my boyfriend . I know that I am projecting and deep down I know that he is not my main reason of the anxiety but know we have planned a weekend away together and I would like some advise on how to handle the morning anxiety without panicking that I can not feel relaxed by his side . He understands that the anxiety is not about him and it comes from the wrong ideas that I have about love but I would really like to enjoy our time together . Before we go to sleep I feel calm and I love it when he hugs me and sleep together , but the mornings are difficult!

    I would really appreciate some advise until I can afford the e course

    Than you for your great work !

  • Sandy

    After reading so many articles from Sheryl’s blog, i have come to realize many things about myself, about the way fear keeps me from feeling happy, from letting me thrive. Fear to me is like the boogeyman.

    Last night, after having spent a very tiring and stressful day at work, I was finally going to meet with my boyfriend at my place. All day, I was able to manage my anxiety and my thoughts and I was able to recognize when an intrusive one would attempt to “attack” me. I let the thought be, I made room for the anxiety to sit, and I kept on with my work.

    Unfortunately, my boss had been determined to ruin my day, and being more fragile lately, we had a fight. This fight had me shutting down emotionally. The first think that my mind alerted me with is “oh, you cannot feel love for your boyfriend now, that must mean something” and I must admit that it took several minutes before I stood up and told myself “no, this means that I am tired, really exhausted and overwhelmed by the fight, my boyfriend has nothing to do with it and this is just a projection of the real problem to my relationship “. Then the thought stopped been so aggressive but the “numbness” was still there.

    I went home and I just let it be. In the past I would have probably freaked out and I would pressure myself to feel. But not this time. This time, I let the “numbness” sit there quietly and just drove home.

    When my boyfriend came, I just stood up, gave him a big hug , and there and then the “numbness” started to retreat . Then I felt this warm feeling and everything seemed better. We ate dinner , we cuddled talking about how my anxiety feels better when I am with him , but I realized that the fear had me thinking “ yeah , only when you are at your place you can feel calm , when you go out you will feel anxious and then you will get scared”.

    Yes, this is true, but that happens because of fear too. Because at the very first week of the anxiety, we were out and I would feel stressed and I would panic. But now I know, I know that fear is just fear. It is trying to protect me from re-living these anxious moment. But this time I will go out with my boyfriend and even if I got stressed , I will still give , I will still hold his hand and I will still kiss him. Until fear realizes that there in nothing to be afraid off

    • Thank you for walking through your thought process and how you’re wrestling with fear. This will be very helpful to those who are at the beginning stages of struggling with the thoughts. I absolutely love this: “But this time I will go out with my boyfriend and even if I got stressed, I will still give, I will still hold his hand and I will still kiss him. Until fear realizes that there in nothing to be afraid of.” Great work!

      • Sandy

        Hello everyone and thank you Sheryl for letting me know that fear is just that , it is just trying to protect us , but it does not know the truth! The truth is our choice ! The truth is that we have been blessed with having by our side loving , caring and kind partners who will be by our side! There is nothing greater than that. Think how many times we have been brokenhearted , by unavailable partners , by people that we thought we “loved” only to find out that we were just living inside a “fairy tale” with no true meaning , no true compassion , no true willingness to give and receive.

        I have come to understand that even if my fear is telling me otherwise, i know that have by my side a wonderful man , who has stood by my side many times . Times that i am sure that NONE of my ex boyfriends would understand and support me. This is the second time that i am in the middle of relationship anxiety with my BF and i this is the second time that he is still next to me , holding me , making jokes so we laugh and lighten the mood . The first time i was just crying… without wanting him to leave but my anxiety was terrible. But deep down i knew that i do not want him to leave. My mistake was that i never did the work that must be done. To turn inwards . I just fought it for 6 months and then it slowly “slept” somewhere inside of me. 4 years later and “poof” here it is again. The same feeling , the same anxious state of mind and heart. But this time , i am determined to find what causes it.. what triggers it.

        I have one question for our dearest Sheryl or anyone else who has purchased the e-course. How have you managed the journaling and the “time traveling”? I find it hard to reach to any conclusion as to why i feel that fear. I feel it , i know that it is just a projection , but i can not seem to find the answer that i am looking for. Is this because i just started the course and it takes time? Because every time i can not conclude what the root of my fear is , i get a little disappointed.

        I would really appreciated some advise

        Thank you all and thank you Sheryl!

        • Once you’ve had the course for two weeks you’ll be able to bring all of your questions to the e-course forum. You’re doing great and hang on!

          • Sandy

            Thank you Sheryl ,

            I am just so impatient, i know that the course takes time and a lot of work , but i am thinking that there will be a time that i will be back to myself and happy with my man and i really look forward for this moments that it makes me a little more anxious 🙂

  • Rachel

    Hi Sheryl,
    I’m 30, and 4 months in to a relationship with a fantastic guy. This is the longest I’ve ever dated anyone as in the past I have really struggled with anxiety and have broken up with several guys because of it. I’ve been mulling over your website and considering your course for a while now and have finally decided to go for it! I’m really excited about what I will learn about myself and my relationship. Can’t wait to get stuck in!
    Thanks,
    Rachel.

  • Shelley

    Yes, the anxiety will end. I became part of the solution for myself when I signed up for Sheryl’s program on relationship anxiety. I had gotten engaged and was planning my wedding when I had a total panic attack, cancelled the wedding and searched the internet where I found Sheryl Paul. I worked her program, worked on myself and above all realized that the fear I was feeling was unfounded. I took things one day at a time. Slowly but surely as I confronted my fears they went away. When I am triggered and anxiety strikes, I now have the tools to talk myself off the ledge called “anxiety.”

    I’m happily married to a wonderful man for over a year now. The lessons I learned here have given me the tools not only for my relationship with my husband, but with relationships in general. Thanks Sheryl for your insight in the sensitive soul.

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