So Much Love

IMG_2203If I had said no instead of yes…

If I hadn’t given him a chance…

If I had listened to the lines of “We’re just good friends” and “He’ll be a great boyfriend… for someone else,” denying the undeniable draw I felt toward him…

If I had walked away from the first man who sounded home into every crevice of my soul…

…I wouldn’t be sitting here sandwiched between the two most precious boys I could ever imagine, a silver kitten making bread on the Berkshire blanket that warms us against the icy April wind, my solid husband painting down below as he keeps watch, his heart my home, the words so much love echoing through my mind.

I feel so blessed: this beautiful life sprouting like magic daffodils in the grass beneath each step; the gift of loving each other and all that has been birthed by our good, honest loving: our marriage, our kids, our home, our passions, our work in the world. If I had walked away I never would have learned how to address the fear so I could say yes to love, and then touch hearts around the world as I hold the lantern and show them the way.

Perhaps I’m making it sound easy, all kittens and daffodils. But there was nothing easy about this walk from there to here. We had a rocky start, then progressed to a deeply connected friendship, then chose the romance and sailed into a two month float on a calm, September sea. It was easy at first, nice and connected and romantic in all the right ways. And then in November our boat hit an iceberg: my wall of fear. By January we were hanging on by a thread. With the help of a master therapist and our devotion to growth and learning, after reams of dialogues and hours of crying as I shed the old ways and the false beliefs, we found our way back.

Here we are, in this blessing of a life that would never be had we not slogged through the swamp of fear and remained devoted to ourselves and each other. We’re still devoted. Marriage isn’t a one-time choice but an ongoing commitment to soften into our hard edges and let go of the myriad ways the fear and control attempt to keep us separate. It’s a commitment to take loving action even when you’re not feeling loving, to show up even when you’d rather hide in a hole. Marriage is at once a known entity and completely mysterious as you forge a shared life with your best friend and realize that there are places that you will never know or touch in one another. It is union and separateness, closeness and distance, connection and disconnection. The sweetness lies in breathing into the ebb and flow of marriage without holding on too tightly to the open places. The spaciousness lies in remembering that we will always be learning about love, and that there will be elements that we may never learn.

I could talk about the challenges, for there are plenty. I could talk about the qualities in my husband that I don’t like, and he could just as readily tell you about mine. But right now, in this moment, all I see is the love that grew from our love. I see my husband’s best qualities passed down to my sons: his goodness shining through their eyes, his passionate creativity exploding through their play, his science mind, his love of words, his kindness, his thoughtfulness. When the gratitude floods me, I run with it. I write about it and express it and share it with everyone around me. It’s the water that helps the garden of our marriage grow.

91 comments to So Much Love

  • Betsy (blm5126)

    Oh my goodness! This is so incredibly beautiful! And, here I am, at an earlier stage in my marriage, yet feeling so much love and appreciation for my husband I can’t believe I was ever afraid! Thank you for being a beacon of light to those in the darkness, as this journey doesn’t just lead us to a better, more fulfilling partnership, but also a better, more fulfilling, and authentic life!

  • Leslie

    I’m getting married in exactly thirty days and this article was EXACTLY what I needed to hear today.

  • Grace

    Sweet beautiful divine order.
    Thank you.

  • Luli

    This is beautiful. Thank you. I needed this TODAY, your website has been such a blessing to me.

  • Jennifer

    Sheryl, was having a rough morning when I read this. I am in tears as I write this. Was having some scary thoughts of leaving without a trace. This is my early, chronic material from my family.
    Thank you for sharing about the grace that you are noticing in working through your own fears, and what has grown from your partnership with your husband. We are both working through some tough things in the aftermath of multiple transitions, and finding our way back to ourselves and each other.
    I appreciate your heart, and your deep, soulful work that has made a difference in my life and marriage.

    much love, Jennifer

  • NicksBeautifulBride2Be

    wonderful! hoping to get through this anxiety so my fiance and I can have a blessed marriage and life as you have sheryl. you are such an inspiration!

  • dontworrybehappy

    Great job. A beautiful story we need to remember to realize everything will be ok. With work, the e-course, the forum, everything will be ok. Things are getting better and better. Thanks for your generosity!

  • neet

    Sheryl,
    Your genuiness and authenticity is inspirational! I am so happy to have found so many wonderful people that I feel connected to. Thank you so much for being real:)

  • Sophie

    Sheryl, this is a beautiful article. Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s so beneficial to be guided by someone who has gone through the ‘dark night of the soul’ and found her way through. Unless you’ve been through it you can’t truly describe it.

  • Marissa

    I can barely see through my tears, thank you so much for this beautiful and poignant message. After working through your book and your workbook, I can confidently say that I understand and echo an unconditional love and passion for my husband after 3 years of partnership and 8 months of marriage. After about one year of bliss, my fear exploded into every aspect of my existence, strangling me with one obsessive thought: My anxiety must mean that I am making a mistake. I was even a combination of anxious and excited the morning of my wedding, and your chapter on the wedding day brought me great consolation, even on my honeymoon, which was wonderful. Thank you for demystifying this intensely complex process of marriage anxiety, and for helping me to love more openly, fearless and with FULL heart.

  • hopeful

    Sheryl,

    It’s always such a warming reminder knowing you’ve been through what so many of us have gone/are going through and you came out with your beautiful relationship and family. Thank you for always sharing.

  • Maggie

    What a beautiful article Sheryl. Thank you!
    Maggie

  • jasprika

    so beautifully written Sheryl! I was moved into a loving place when reading this and felt so close to my fiance. thank you for writing and doing this work! you definitely hold that lantern well for the rest of us. :)

  • Sheryl

    This is one of the most beautiful heartfelt blogs that you have written, it is alive with your love.

    And for me a delicious reminder to pause and rest in the love. There is always growth, expansion, letting go, and the lows when we are in relationship with our Beloved, but sometimes you just have to be remember to rest in the love. Thank you for the reminder!

    Deep love

    Catherine x x x

  • ColoradoGirl

    I love this.. thank you so much for sharing! I’ve been feeling this love so much more lately. It’s nights like tonight that make it even more special.. all snuggled up with your family while the snow falls outside our doorsteps here on the front range. I’m here at home by myself tonight and even though I’m alone right now, I know it’s okay because my life is finally moving in the direction I want it to thanks to your e-course..I’m choosing love! One day in the not too distant future I know I too will be snuggled up with my family while snow falls outside and I’ll look back on nights like tonight and be so thankful for the journey and for finding your site!

  • Steph

    Sheryl,

    I can relate so much when you mentioned the 2-month calm you experienced before your anxiety hit. I had a very similar experience. Your entries have really helped me understand myself more and manage my anxiety. I feel our relationship growing as we continue to accept each other’s uniqueness and start taking responsibility for our own feelings. There will be days of connection and days of disconnection, but I feel truly happy and blessed regardless.

    Thank you for sharing this. :) You are an inspiration and a beacon of hope! :)

  • Ali

    Dear Sheryl,

    You do “hold a lantern” for others. I find it superb that you have the confidence to know, humbly, that this is true. (To use another metaphor, you are not blowing your own whistle, it is simply true.)

    One of the things I feel is particularly true in how you write is that you somehow slow down my thinking (on various issues), making more space between event and emotion/decision, allowing for more types of “normal” to be possible. Friends are awfully good at rapid “if he did this, it must mean that” and “if he did this, you must react like this” advice, but very often we are better to slow down our reaction, allowing for more possibilities of different reactions, different reasons… I think this is because you write from a place of experience, hence knowing, hence peace… and you convey the peace (“it’s ok”, “everything’s going to be ok”) so very well.

    I’m not sure that I wrote that thought very clearly at all – but the main point is to say thank you for your writing anyway.

    Kind regards
    Ali

    • Ali: Yes, that absolutely makes sense. Understanding creates spaciousness, as do mindfulness, being in nature, poetry, prayer. Slowing down the reaction time is key to healing; it’s how we transform habitual response to new, loving action.

      • Ali

        Thank you! You say that so succinctly and beautifully: slowing down reaction time is key to healing. Brilliant, memorable. Thanks again, always, for your writing. Ali

  • Jenny

    Thank you for your blog Sheryl. When I am feeling very anxious I always come back too it because its like you are the only person in the world who knows what I am going through but I know from all the comments that I am not alone.

    i also battled with the question of Do I love my husband or love him enough, it was there a little throughout our relationship but once we decided to get married and commit the anxiety hit me after the big day.

    In my heart and soul I know I love him more then anybody in the world, he is the only person that has ever accepted me for me and loved me for me. He is the only person in the world I trust.

    I have a fairly dysfunctional family and I find in times of stress with them,my anxiety gets really bad and I start to project it all onto that one question regarding my husband, it causes me so much pain and in my heart I know that it is the vunerability of loving and of losing him that is the real issue and not that I dont love him when i know I do.

    We recently had a beautiful baby boy he is the most beautiful boy and I find it just gets harder the more love i have in my life because then the risk of loss is higher, I saw a quote recently and it said Love is not one big thing but a million little things..I am sure I love him and I know that the question is just anxiety.

    I opened up to my family about it and my mother said well how do you feel when your around him, through all of this I have always been calmed by my husband even in the depths of the turmoil in my mind when i am with him I almost always feel better, its in the quite moments such as at night I think too much.

    My mother saying that triggered anxiety within me and i started to focus a bit on how i am when i am with him and not so much the question of Do I love him, this is further evidence that it is truly anxiety because now and i dwelling on my mothers comment which has absolutely no truth or grounding my reality with my husband.

    I have thought many times about joining your ecourse but i just fear that instead of helping me, it will be like me dwelling more on the problem.

    • Brianna

      Jenny,

      A lot of times when I am stressed with my family, I too get anxious and start questioning my relationship. I don’t know why that happens, but I thought I was crazy by feeling that way and I am so glad I’m not the only one it happens to! When my anxiety started my sister asked me if I didn’t want to be with my boyfriend, and that caused even more anxiety on me. I knew that I wanted to be with him and that I’ve never been happier in my life, but she planted a seed in my brain that has grown in these last three horrible months of my life! So know that you are not alone!
      My anxiety has diminished a little bit, but I still have bad thoughts and feelings Even when I am calm I feel empty,does that happen to you? If the anxiety never came I know that I’d be the same Brianna as before it. I blame myself for thinking of something so stupid that should have never caused all this anxiety and over thinking! If I could change anything about myself it would be not to over think, dwell and question the relationship that I’ve always dreamed of. I curse that day.

  • Isabella

    Beautiful article Sheryl! I know that there is hope for me. I was just wondering if after the anxiety lessens if it is normal to still feel an emptiness. Please someone answer and let me know if you have felt that.

  • jenny

    hi brianna,
    i have had a empty feeling. I am not a trained therapist but from my own experience all of the questioning you put yourself through causes a reaction of stress and despair in your mind and body which if your are not careful could lead to depression.

    I definitely notice that when i am stressed about completely different things,i tend to project that stress onto worrying about my relationship.

    I totally empatise with the guilty feeling,im currently going through that.

    • Brianna

      Yes, I have felt really depressed. I went to counseling and they said that all my symptoms were signs of depression. I’m always feelings guilty because my boyfriend is the most amazing thing to ever happen to me. If this gets ruined I know its all my fault. I should have never questioned anything out of annoyance. There are days were I start to do better and then the next I’m back to my anxious/depressed self. I can’t do this anymore.

      • Patricia

        Brianna

        I bet what you hate the most is feeling guilty, i feel like this too and im more calm now that i know Im not alone.
        When the feelings of guiltness approach don’t u ask yourself if your staying because you just feel guilty?
        I really hate it, but you know what i make fun of my anxiety at times haha because the thoughts re scary but at the same time funny is like revenge

      • patricia`

        okay. I’ll email you in just a sec

  • Anna

    Isabella, I feel the same. I’ve been very anxious about my relationship. It started almost a year ago (after being perfectly happy with my boyfriend for almost a year). The last three months I feel less anxiety (after a extreme anxiety attack in December). At first I was very happy and relieved because I was finaly feeling better. But now I’m stuck at a stage where I feel kind of ‘mwha’. At the surface I feel okay (I can go to work and to parties and talk to people). But I still feel a bit empty inside and I really want it to go away. It seems like the progress in how I am feeling is gone. And that triggers my anxiety again. I really don’t want to feel that emptiness and pain in my chest anymore, but don’t know how to get rid of it. I’m talking to a psychiatrist, but I don’t see a lot of progress… Hope that Sheryl or someone else can help us get trough this stage.

    • Isabella

      Yes! I feel that pain in my chest and my throat. As well as my head with these bad thoughts. I’m going to counseling. I feel better when I walk out of it sometimes, but it hasn’t really helped. Everyone says it takes time. My boyfriend and I were so happy! Nothing was wrong and then something popped into my head and it changed. I hate thinking that maybe ill be happy single because I know I wouldn’t think that if the anxiety didn’t come. I see him and our relationship differny and I cant stan it! I miss how things were. I just want my love an happiness back. Feeling that love for him made me so happy and because I can’t feel it I am so miserable.

  • Jenny

    you can Brianna, you will be fine, just accept that you will have good and bad days, I personally went on antidepressants a very low dose, it was the hardest decision and time of my life, I have a wonderful husband who i love and a beautiful son and yet I was suffering with anxiety and the questioning..
    I have went through weeks now where I am much better but I still get setbacks and I am so hard on myself when I do as it depresses me to think I put myself through this once again.

    Its a learning experience and each time it happens I learn something new, things that are so obvious but yet hard for me to see, when i was at home this time, I opened up to my mother and she said well how do you feel when you are with him. as i said in previous post my husband and I get along so well and he is my best friend, he calms me even when i am going crazy in my own mind I have never once felt uneasy around him, we just get on and gel so well but just because she said that, I started to worry that maybe I would feel differently around him now i had thought about it if that makes sense…its just crazy but I have to accept that it is me.

    Maybe my husband would not love me so much if I was exactly who you are.xx

  • Jenny

    opps i meant maybe our husbands would not love us as much if we were not exactly who we are lol…you know what I mean.xx

  • Brianna

    Lol I know what you mean. I know my boyfriend loves me enough to stick around after putting him through this. My boyfriend and I get along so well too. He is the first guy that I’ve ever really been myself around. He is my best friend and the kind of guy that I have always wanted. He has helped me out a lot through this.
    He annoyed me one day, and the reason is so stupid. He said he wasn’t the best boyfriend, but he is! No other guy treated me the way he treats me, so it really upset me when he said that. I had a bad dream of us that night and when I woke up I said the only reason I had it was because of what happened. So I was like “I don’t want to deal with his insecurities. Should I have stayed single?” And then the anxiety started. I was telling myself no thats not really what you want and then I said “next time he says that I’m going to scare him into not saying it again and be like if you”re going to have these insecurities maybe we shouldn’t be together.” I got hysterical after saying that to myself and the anxiety acted up again. Then I was telling my sister and she planted a seed. I was feeling better until she asked that question and for the past 3 months I’ve been like this. Its so stupid how it happened. What scares me though is when I can’t feel anything and think bad things. I know the root to the anxiety, but not feeling that love is killing me!

  • Jenny

    well I am the same, my husband was my first serious relationship, the only person who really loved me for me and committed too me, he also knows all of this and has stuck by me and been nothing but supportive which makes me feel even more guilt. We have the most beautiful son together it just takes my breath away.

    I want to enjoy the rest of my life with him and with our son and not let these insecurities take over, really it is just our own insecurities and low self worth.

    You will be fine but get help now and dont let it get out of hand, I know sheryl does counselling sessions on skype, i think you should consider counselling and get help for your depression too.

  • Brianna

    My boyfriend is my first love and it terrifies me when my family tells me sometimes people don’t end up with their first love. It gets me hysterical. When we got together I had insecurities because of the previous relationships that I was in, even though they really weren’t anything, but they were bad experiences.We’ve always had an amazing relationship and I just want to enjoy us also. I know I only feel this way because I got scared and brought on the anxiety. It just sucks when I can’t feel the love and sometimes I’ll feel single which really scares me because I don’t want to feel that way with him! I’ve always saw my future with him and its hard to think about tha now which also upsets me. I am going to counseling. I should have started it earlier than when I did, but I know it takes time and I am just hoping for the best.

  • Jenny

    well no matter what happens ye will be together even with your anxiety,look at it that way, that makes me relax a good bit.

  • Brianna

    I know know matter what he will be the one. I hope and I pray everyday. I never thought that I would have to go through this with him.

  • Jenny

    I know Brianna, it really is hell. I understand what your going through.

    • Brianna

      I can’t wait for this to be over with. It really is hell and the worst kind of anxiety to ever go through. I just want to be happy and I want my relationship back on track. I get so jealous when I see happy couples because it just reminds me of how my boyfriend and I were that happy couple and now I’m just miserable and I caused my own misery! That’s what’s kills me!

  • Jenny

    but you also have the power to reverse that, are your own parents together, I am just wondering what specifically could have brought this on, did you go through any recent trauma, just think of it as an illness and one you can get over, you have good days and before the thoughts you had great days which you are capable of having once again. try too look on the positive side.

  • Jenny

    I suppose what everyone in our position desperately seeks out is the truth.. are they truly in love with their partner, is it really the anxiety or are they denying the truth that they are not in love with there partner which then sends you into deep anxiety, but I suppose so what if you were not in love with your partner, you would just leave and it would not be the end of the world.. People that truly do not love there partner in my eyes would just leave because the relationship itself would not be working, you wouldnt have the bond you do when your not worried, things would not flow the way they do between you and lastly would you really get the anxiety that we all get now because of these thoughts…

    if it truly was true, there would be alot of evidence of that not just your own fear and worry. What is love anyway, love is caring for that person enough to go on a website like this and pour your heart out because you know you would be lost without him.

    Maybe this is true love and we are the lucky ones, we are so in love with our partners that we have built up a wall of fear and questioning in order to protect ourselves due to past hurts and rejection from either our own family or previous relationships.

    Count yourself lucky that you had a chance in this life to experience true love and see the pain and the hurt and questioning as a way to get over the past and pave the way for a brighter future, everytime you question just acknowledge that this is the fear and a sign you really love him so much, turn it around in your mind and thank the fear for coming because this is a true sign of your love and a stage of progressing further in your emotional connection to your partner.

    Sheryl sorry for taking over your blog comment page..

    • “if it truly was true, there would be alot of evidence of that not just your own fear and worry. What is love anyway, love is caring for that person enough to go on a website like this and pour your heart out because you know you would be lost without him.

      Maybe this is true love and we are the lucky ones, we are so in love with our partners that we have built up a wall of fear and questioning in order to protect ourselves due to past hurts and rejection from either our own family or previous relationships.”

      You got it, Jenny!

      • chelsea

        Great post I was just struggling with this the past few days,what if it really isn’t anxiety an I really just don’t love him? An your post just helped , thank you for all you do Sheryl I always read something that I need to at just the right time!! :)

  • Jenny

    Thank you Sheryl!!

  • Brianna

    Thanks Jenny. I truly agree 100% on that and I’ve told myself that countless times that this anxiety and getting upset is because I truly love him. If I didn’t I wouldn’t get scared or cry over the thought of not being with him, or like you said be on this website.My parents are together. The past two guys that I was with gave me bad experience. When the anxiety came I was scared that it was true. That if it was it meant my happiness would be taken away. That the best thing in my life and the future I planned with him would be taken away and it terrified me! I’ve gotten past those thoughts it just upsets me how I can’t feel those loving feelings all because of the anxiety. I know I need to relax and not focus as much on the feelings.

  • JTB

    Has anyone else found that all of the worrying about the relationship causes arguments with your significant other? My partner and I are both very sensitive people and have both had bad break-ups in the past. I had to break off an Engagement which was very traumatic, and he was married before. My anxiety over the relationship just takes over my thoughts, emotions and reactions to the point where I feel like I can’t control them. Does anyone have any advice as to how to stop yourself from continuing the argument and letting the fear go? I love him so much and feel deep down that I don’t want to live with out him. But, as soon as I think that thought, another though comes in my head that we are terrible for each other because we argue and are anxious people. And, if it isn’t that thought hijacking my happiness…it is another. This website along with the e-course has helped me stay in the relationship, but I’m afraid it is not long until it is ruined.

  • Jenny

    Hi Brianna,

    I know what you are going through, I hate myself at times, i hate myself for focusing on this worry and missing out on my sons life, I want to be as present as I can be and sometimes I am not fully here.

    Even though my rational mind knows I truly love my husband with all my heart, my worry mind still worries maybe you don’t. I have felt at times the only way to get away from it is to leave but my husband told me I would be miserable and lonely and I replied with no thought or hesitation so would I.

    I know that its not truly my husband is the issue, its me and my own pain, my own hurt, my own inadequacy, my own mistakes, and my own overwhelming fear.

    Sure I have had moments I can recall when I have felt bord or i have questioned and recalling those moments I cant seem to recall as easily all the wonderful moments we have had together, how we are so perfect for one another, but I suppose thats what the negative mind does.

    It truly is a struggle for me, but at the same time I am so happy, you are the only one who can make you happy, your partner is not responsible for your own insecurities, he is his own person and he should not have to bear that worry, we are the only ones with the power to heal our own soul.

    • Brianna

      Jenny,
      I agree. I can’t even go a day without my boyfriend and I know the anxiety won’t go away with a breakup. I know I only feel like this because of the anxiety. I also have a hard time recalling the good times or even creating positive scenarios. Thinking of our future before the anxiety always made me so happy. I find myself creating negative scenarios. I know I caused my own misery and heartache. If anything happens I know it’ll be my fault. I don’t know what else to do to make me happy. I just find myself sitting there waiting for my happiness to come back. I get scared that in order to focus on myself I have to be single, but I wouldn’t be happy without him.

      • Brianna

        Also, do you get anxiou around other guys or think about them? That gets me so anxious because I know I don’t want anyone else. Part of my anxiety was being scared I will meet someone else.

  • Andrea R.

    Sheryl: Thank you for your beautiful words that always bring me back to what is important. What we pay attention to in life grows and expands. The trick is to grow and expand the loving, good parts of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Doing so ultimately feeds and fuels the goodness in our relationships and enriches our lives. That takes a conscious approach of daily mindfulness, which you lovingly provide us here with this forum. Thank you for the blessing!

    I like to remind myself in my darkest hours of relationship anxiety that everything in life follows a predictable pattern…including love. If I neglect my car, it will break down. If I only feed my body bad foods, I will get sick. If I stop watering my orchid, it will lose its lovely flowers. Predictable pattern. Love is no different. If I don’t feed and fuel my love by recognizing the good things about my partner and our dance, the darkness will grow like a virus and eventually kill what is in its path. So when the negative thoughts come up, I have to remember to ask myself “do I want to feed this love or starve it?” It is up to me.

    • So beautifully articulated, Andrea. This is the reason why some couples make it look so easy and loving and others struggle. It’s not that the loving couples are inherently more loving or “right” in some way but that they probably naturally water their marriage garden through loving action. For those of us that don’t do this naturally (usually glass half-empty thinkers), we need to learn these love laws and practice them more intentionally. This is also what I’ll be teaching in my new program, “Open Your Heart: A 30 day program to feel more love and attraction for your parter.” I just love the way you identified this, Andrea. Thank you.

    • Could I have your permission to quote you for another blog post?

  • Andrea R.

    I am one of those naturally half-empty thinkers (although at one point in my life I liked to say that I was just a frustrated idealist), so I definitely need to practice it intentionally. I am very interested in your Open Your Heart program and might just open my heart and participate! I am so lucky to have a partner who knows how to love big and teaches me every day, but it doesn’t come as easy for me so any extra support, guidance, and encouragement I can get will certainly add the “good kind of fuel” to my love fire.

    It would be an absolute honor for you to quote me – and, yes, you have my permission.

  • Isabella

    I woke up yet once again thinking I don’t love my boyfriend, feeling so empty, feeling like my relationship is so different, thinking its going to end and that there is no hope! When will this end?! How did my anxiety do this to me?! How can anxiety make me feel like my feelings are changed?! I feel worse than I did when it first started. Help! I want this to go away so bad! :’(

    • Sarah

      I hear a lot of fear in your comments. It’s scary to go through anxiety. I remember too, “just wanting it to go away.” May I suggest something? Read some of Sheryl’s articles on dialoguing with fear. I know for a few months of my engagement I would just wake up with a negative feeling, and then spend most of the day trapped in my head as I analyzed the why’s, how’s and where it was coming from. I felt crazy, and was unable to feel anything other than anxiety.

      I think the breakthrough point for me was accepting that for whatever reason I WAS feeling anxious, and it probably wasn’t going to go away magically in a day or two…there wasn’t a “magic pill” (or feeling, or revelation) that would make me feel better. When I had a mental shift from “how can I get this to go away?” to, “how can I effectively respond to this fear?” I saw a marked difference. I was still often anxious, and would not describe the lead up to my wedding day as joyful, happy or peaceful. But instead of ruminating and analyzing each new fear, I began dialoguing with it…telling it it couldn’t control me…saying “wow…I got so scared while shopping for furniture with my fiance today…and why shouldn’t I be? This is a huge commitment, and my fear is normal, understandable and ok. But it doesn’t control me. It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be with him…that’s fear trying to protect me.” Then I’d usually tell my (then) fiance what I was feeling and cry really hard.

      It really is a hard and long process. But I’d encourage you to meet those anxious parts with curiosity and compassion…don’t just sit in it or wish it away! Good luck!

  • Kat

    I’ve been battling anxiety related to all of this for a year and a half now and I have just started coming around. The reason why it’s been taking so long is because I would just lay around wishing for the thoughts and anxiety to go away and wouldn’t actually do anything about it. Then I started to try to fight the thoughts but that only makes things worse. Now, I am making progress by practicing mindfulness which is not only helping my thoughts about my relationship, but it is helping my overall being! Everyone should practice mindfulness you will see your outlook on a lot of things change! Also, change your negative thoughts into positive ones. It takes discipline but it helps immensely!

    • Isabella

      Thanks Kat and Sarah!
      How do you practice mindfulness? And Sarah, is there any specific article that you recommend?

      • Sarah

        “Relationship anxiety: Fear eyes or Clear Eyes?” is a good example. Anything from the “fear of marriage/engament” categories. You can start to get an idea of how to write your fears out, and then respond to them from a wiser place, instead of running from them.

  • Brianna

    Does anyone else ever feel like you an your partner are just friends? Sometimes I feel that way and I hate it! Throughout our relationship my boyfriend and I always had that best friend vibe at times. But now, sometimes it feels like we’re just friends. It always upsets me and he even brought it up today and it made me cry. He said it because I dont wanna talk about sex. Is this normal?! Help! :(

  • Isabella

    I get anxious when my boyfriend is so loving and romantic? Is this normal Sheryl?

  • Jenny

    I don’t get that Brianna, but anxiety can manifest in different ways with different people, try to focus on yourself and not your partner, I have been looking into Mindfulness as well, I think someone here mentioned meditation. I am sure both would be very useful to you and me!! ;-)

  • Brianna

    I woke up so empty today. No emotions and little anxiety. I can’t take this anymore :( it makes me feel like everything is over. How did I ruin the best thing in my life?

  • Jenny

    Hi Brianna,
    Sorry to hear you have been struggling, I really do think you just need to let it run its course, sometimes i feel that your not really in control and you arent in many ways. like think of all the crazy thoughts that pop into your mind, this morning i woke up and I thought to myself I still love my ex and this is actually laughable, its just the importance you give a thought as Sheryls blogs point out but in alot better way then me, read them all and inform yourself and try to relax.

    I have a 6mth old beautiful son, and recently i was feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed and just not fully present for him, I am sure so many other mothers feel like this but I started to worry thinking do i still really love him like is the connection there, and when i looked at him and felt anything but pure love and unity I would fear and worry as to why I wasnt feeling like that all the time. I was fortunate enough to have such a strong bond with my son from the get go, his so cute and of course I LOVE my son so much, if I fed into that fear it could spiral but i am too aware of my personality from previous anxiety I have put myself through with my husband, in a way I feel my son is teaching me something that emotions arent always fixed or perfect, emotions are messy and beautiful at the same time.

    I feel like since he has been born he has thought me so much about life, I still feel inadaquate and when he doesnt laugh at my funny faces I wonder does he like me lol, it really is down to me, not my husband or my son. You have to realise this for yourself.

    Today I told my sister how I really felt better and how I am beginning to truly understand my own personality and anxiety, she replied positively but she also can be a little negative, she said well you “convinced” yourself and that why you moved on from the thought, that really did cause me to feel worried and think maybe I just convinced myself and thats why I feel better, its so stupid that one person can bring on this anxiety, this is a test and I really do feel like I have grown because I am not willing to feed into it, like someone said here I am going to starve it, its not positive or good for me and I know in my heart the truth so thats it.

    I am sorry once again for such a long post, get yourself some counselling or join the group here, I think it would really benefit you.xxx

  • Brianna

    Thanks Jenny, it’s always good to hear from you. I wish I could just go back and not let the thoughts control me. Now it’s just the emptiness that I feel that controls me and that is what really scares me.

  • Brianna

    Sheryl,
    My anxiety got caused by thoughts I was having. I know that the root to them was because I got scared to lose him. How does that cause me to question my love and make me feel empty? I don’t understand how one stupid thought can do that.

  • kim

    im so glad ive found this site because i thought i was going nuts . ive been seeing a guy for 5 months and im scared to take it to the relationship level cause of fear i know i love him lots on the days im not anxious and on those days i could shout it from the roof tops . but recently every few days i start getting anxious about us and all negative thoughts come into my head i start judging him and picking anything anything its like i totally dissconect from him and i want to be alone . his the best guy ive ever met so loveing and kind . im so scared this anxity is going to make me finish it with him , cause i cant stand this happening regularly it affecting my life . i hold onto the days when im anxity free cause there the days im totally in love with him . please tell me im not crazy

  • Jenny

    I am just wondering others opinions on this, I have a beautiful 6mth old boy, we instantly had such an amazing connection when he was born and no problem whatsoever bonding, I love him more then life but since about the 5 and a half mth mark, due to teething and not getting a break those amazing in love feeling waned slightly and this scared the crap outta me because i feel i should always feel the love all the time, I am just over reacting and worried but I am so worried that maybe I just dont love him as much anymore, is this anxiety?

  • Jenny

    Sorry I am just obviously looking for reassurance here and this is not really the platform for it, I am just wondering Sheryl why do I always feel I have to prove to others I love my son and my husband when I know I do, I just think maybe they think i dont love him etc, can you just offer me a little insight into this as I really dont understand it myself..

  • chelsea

    Sheryl, can your fear voice also ask “what if I don’t want to love him.” I have read blogs an know that love is so many things an a choice being one of them. An it use to be “what if I don’t love him.”? Then that got better an out of no where the new one(what if I don’t want to love him) popped out up an it tears me apart because my and is amazing an so supportive through all this an I care so deeply about him. Would appreciate some insight thanks.

    • Yes, Chelsea, these are all manifestations of the fear-based thoughts.

      • chelsea

        Sheryl,lately things have been good between me an my bf. But sometimes he aggrevates me which know is normal in every relationship, but I’m nervous it might get so bad I’ll get annoyed just thinking about him an I care about him I don’t want that to happen. Can that be just the fear?

  • chelsea

    Sheryl,the past few days have been kind of hard it’s as if I had a set of doubts worked on them an was fine for a few weeks an then a new set pops up. Is that common? Like do I want to love him, an is what I love about him enough, I admit I have a lot to learn as I’ve been blinded by the Hollywood fantasy of “love”‘but some days it’s as if I feel so disconnected an numb like no feelings at all, is this normal? It tears me apart to think maybe this relationship isn’t meant to be because I really have found an amazing man who is so very sweet,loving an caring. I know you will probably recommend a course I just can’t afford it yet but look to in the future :)

  • Toni

    Isabella I totally know what you mean about how you see your boyfriend And the relationship differently! I have that so badly, I don’t understand it, sometimes it’s like I’m not in the sane relationship I once was And I don’t know why. It’s like nothing changed yet everything has! I cry to him all the time saying that things feel different and he just tells me everything’s the same. Both of us are becoming exhausted by this And I fear ill never feel the way I did before. I still love him deeply but it’s like something’s been taken away and I can’t seem to get it back no matter how hard I try.
    I feel so hopeless, and I’m terrified my only option is to end things, but I know ill be devastated without him.

  • chelsea

    Is it normal to feel disconnected from your partner when you have anxious episodes? An as time goes on does it get harder to tell between the fear mind an rational mind, like before my anxious/fear got real I knew I wanted a life with my partner but now it’s almost hard to know which thoughts are real or false? Also does long distance effect this situation more? Thanks any insight would help!!

    • Brianna

      I know exactly what you mean Chelsea! It does seem to be harder as time goes on. I think its completely normal to feel disconnected during anxious episodes.

  • chelsea

    Yes indeed it does an that’s what makes it hard, an that’s a relief just making sure it wasn’t anything unusual.

  • Kim

    I’m going through the anxious thoughts at the moment I count my days I have with mine I’m up to day 9 . In my anxious days I can say its like I have a wall up and I push my partner away cause I feel so numb like I have no feelings at all for him . I look at him and think I’m not attracted to you I pick him to peices in my mind . I feel so sorry for him cause he loves me so much . But I know I love him because when I’m not in an anxious state and my minds quite I feel so much love for him and love being in his arms . I just wish I had more of those quite mind days :( if anyone wants to email me my email is . Kimmyangel78@gmail.com

  • Anxious too

    Chelsea it is normal.. I am going through the same thing while anxious. Feeling disconnected is so hard. Does anyone have any encouragment to offer? I hate feeling this way..