When it comes to fear and relationships, it’s important to understand that love and fear can both elicit strong emotions. But when fear is the driving force, it can create a relationship that feels unhealthy and chaotic. The good news is, overcoming fears can help you build a stronger, more openly communicative relationship.
A fear-driven relationship is characterized by feelings of insecurity, control and a lack of trust. Whether it’s one person in the relationship or both, the result is a dynamic that leaves you feeling drained and anxious. Signs that fear is in control include constant arguing, a sense of insecurity, and a lack of communication. It’s essential to work through these issues with your partner in order to find a more healthy and loving relationship.
Fear often takes on different forms in a relationship, but one of the most common is a fear of intimacy. This can manifest in a variety of ways, including feeling uncomfortable getting close to people or avoiding intimate experiences altogether. It may also manifest as a fear of rejection or abandonment. Philophobia, as it’s sometimes referred to, is often rooted in traumatic childhood experiences, such as witnessing a parent go through an argumentative divorce or experiencing abuse.
In a relationship driven by fear, one or both partners can end up acting out of character to cope with these fears. For example, a couple may become jealous of one another out of proportion, or they may engage in unnecessary arguments over small things that would otherwise be harmless. This is a sign that the fear is out of control and needs to be addressed before it can be overcome.
The first step in tackling these fears is to identify them. Take a few moments to reflect on the situations that trigger these negative thoughts and behaviors, then notice what kinds of responses you have to them. Do you run away, get angry or repress the emotion? This will give you clues about what kind of corrective experience you’ll need to tackle the fear.
It’s also helpful to remember that everyone fails at times. Even the most successful business owners, world leaders and accomplished artists have experienced setbacks on their way to success. Our society often shies away from talking about failure, but it’s an important part of the process for overcoming your fears.
Once you’ve identified your fears, you can begin to discuss them with your loved ones. It’s best to be honest and upfront about the challenges you’re facing, so your partner can support you as you tackle them together. If your relationship isn’t yet at the point where you can talk about these issues, couples therapy can be an effective tool for addressing these fears and moving forward..