by Laura Lifshitz | Your Tango
Don’t tell her to stop worrying. It’s useless.
You’ve found a beauty and are ready to call her yours, but you realize that for some reason, no matter how much you reassure her, your dame worries. A lot.
You feel sort of hopeless. You don’t want her to stress, but it seems as if she just can’t help it, no matter what you do or say. Do you rip your hair out trying to solve her worrying?
If you answered yes, stop right now and find out everything you need to know about dating a woman who worries:
- She simply can’t help but worry.
It’s the way her brain is wired. It’s not that she can’t do anything to stop it. She could go to therapy, do yoga, run, meditate or perhaps take medication if it’s really that bad. But overall, it’s something she’s born doing.
It’s most likely in her genes, or maybe she had a very anxious parent or life crisis that changed her dramatically. Either way, it’s not something you’re doing but something that’s in her.
- Don’t use her worrying triggers against her.
If you know a trigger of hers that brings on the worrying, don’t pull the lever. Some people know the hot spots of a worrier and they still press the button. Don’t be that guy who pulls the trigger when he’s mad at his worrying woman in order to injure her. It’s not right. Do your best to understand the things that really make her fret and try not to do them.
- Never tell her to “stop worrying.”
Just don’t say that phrase. Ever. Because if you do, she’ll only worry more. And besides, you’re wasting your breath. She will never stop worrying completely. She can reduce it, but to eliminate it isn’t being realistic.
As someone who worries, I’ve worked hard to improve, and day by day I see a huge difference. But will I never NOT worry again? Highly unlikely. Even the average, everyday “non-worrier” worries. Telling her this is an exercise in futility.
- Redirect her thinking when she starts to panic.
This isn’t to say you should ignore her, but you should remind her that worrying may be taking over. Ask questions that remind her of what’s an actual reality or an imagined fear.
For example, if she has to see a doctor about a lump, address her fears that it could be an actual medical issue, but remind her that it could also be completely benign; that right now, nothing has happened, so don’t create a problem that isn’t there yet.
Redirect her by focusing on what she’s done to help herself (making the doctor’s appointment and taking care of her body), and try to get her to do something she loves or enjoys to distract from the issue.
Remind her that things will be OK. And if not, she will handle them and it will be fine. That the worst-case scenario has NOT happened as of right now.
Redirect her by asking how you can help, reminding her of what she’s doing positively. Offer to listen and after listening, distract her with a new activity or topic.
- Offer alternatives to take her mind off the worry.
Your worrier may have trouble sleeping or have stomach aches/headaches. She’s not sick per se, but her worrying might be doing a number on her. Want to be a supportive lover? Recommend these things (or attempt to):
- Offer a back rub or head rub.
- Take care of errands or chores to alleviate one more thing on her plate.
- Talk to her about what’s bothering her, and encourage her to write in a journal or online blog to let out some of her anxieties.
- If her sleeplessness interrupts yours, ask her to sleep separately from you for the night.
- Get started on an exercise program together. Or if you’re total exercise-haters, take a nightly or daily walk around the neighborhood and cruise as slowly as you’d like to.
- Remind her that it’s just her worry taking over and to try and let it ride out.
- Suggest therapy to her.
Suggesting therapy may not go over very well, but if you think she’s consumed too much by anxiety and worry, sit her down and talk to her about this. Don’t pose it in a way that makes her feel like she’s ill or being attacked; telling her she’s got “problems” or that you’ve “had enough already” won’t help. Instead, word it this way:
- “Your worry seems to make you sick and I hate to see you not feeling well. I want you to be happy and less stressed. Would you be open to talking to someone?”
- “Would you like us to go together to see how I can support you in freeing your life of some anxiety?”
- “I know you always worry frequently and some people do, but it seems to be taking up too much space in your mind. Have you considered therapy?”
- “How can I help you with your worry and stress?”
- Help her realize times when she’s carefree.
Does your babe become unhinged and relaxed when she’s cooking or reading a book? Spot her when she seems her most relaxed and tell her how happy you are to see her at ease.
Tell her that you see how she worries less when cooking, reading, or doing a specific activity. This may help her note her calm times and activities that help her get centered when stressed.
- If you can’t help her, then go away.
If you aren’t very helpful when she’s worried or you seem to make it worse, walk away and let her have alone time. She may not be able to communicate or listen openly when worried. Giving her some time to herself could help her come around.
- Don’t pick at her.
Telling her how she worries constantly and calling excessive attention to the problem— whether it’s during a fight, or with underhanded or sly comments — isn’t the way to your woman’s heart. Don’t pick at her.
If you love her, accept her and help her get the help she needs while understanding her weaknesses at the same time. Trust me, you have them as well.
Whether you’ve loved a worrier for two days or two years, a little empathy and understanding goes a long way for lasting love.
This post originally appeared on Your Tango: 9 Brutal Truths About Loving A Woman Who Worries