Why Can’t I Be Apart From My Partner?
Do you struggle when you and your partner are apart? Does it impair your everyday functioning? Do you worry about them constantly? Are you asking ‘why can’t i be apart from my partner?’
If you answered yes to all these questions you might be dealing with separation anxiety.
What’s The Difference Between Clinginess and Separation Anxiety?
If someone you care about is away on a holiday or at work, it’s normal to miss them and wonder if they’re safe. If your love language is touch, it’s natural that you want to be around your partner all the time, especially in the first months of your relationship.
However, when you have separation anxiety, your thoughts are consumed by your partner. When they’re away you might imagine worst-case scenarios and struggle to focus on anything else.
This distress might be accompanied by physical symptoms such as nausea and sleep problems.
What Causes Separation Anxiety?
The exact cause is unknown but possible explanations point towards being rejected by a parent as a child, family history of anxiety disorders or traumatic experience that involved a loss or a separation from a loved one.
How To Manage Anxiety When My Partner Is Away?
If your partner is going away for a while, you should prepare for it in advance. Ask your partner to share their schedule with you and agree on daily communication. Prepare a to-do list for yourself; apart from your usual commitments, it should include things you like doing that can distract you and ease your anxiety.
Make sure you focus on self-care and treat yourself to nice food or a bath every day. When separation becomes too much, speak to a trusted friend. To cope with being separated from your partner when they’re at work, try to put things into perspective by keeping a diary.
Write down every time they’re at work and notice how they come back safe each time.
What To Do if I Suspect Separation Anxiety?
Raise concern with your partner and ask them for an objective opinion. They might have noticed your behaviour but didn’t want to call you ‘clingy’ or ‘controlling’.
You can also analyse your family history to see if there’s anything that would indicate fear of separation. If everything points towards separation anxiety disorder, consider seeking professional help.
If the symptoms of the disorder aren’t managed, they might lead to a range of mental health issues such as depression and other anxiety disorders.
If you are asking yourself the question ‘why can’t i be apart from my partner?’ then please feel free to contact My Family Psychologist for a confidential chat and discuss your options.