Back to homepage

How Marital Discord Contributes to Your Anxiety Symptoms


How Marital Discord Contributes to Your Anxiety Symptoms


Marriage may make you less likely to have anxiety problems: a large, multinational study carried out by Scott et al. (2010) with over 34,000 adult participants showed that married adults had a lower risk of various kinds of emotional issues, including anxiety, compared to never-married adults.

However, there is no such thing as a perfect, smooth-sailing marriage, and there will come a time when marital discord enters the picture. When it does, it can have a significant impact on the quality of the marriage. Even the inherent support and stability of marriage may fail to insulate you from anxiety and other psychological, emotional, and behavioral health complications in such a situation.


Causes of Anxiety in Marriage

There are many possible things, including marital disagreements, that can contribute to your anxiety. The anxiety may differ in severity depending on the underlying factors that brought it on. In itself, anxiety is the body’s natural response to feeling threatened or endangered. In marriage, there can be both serious and less serious issues that cause anxiety. Some of the most common causes of anxiety in marriage include:

  • Loss of Trust—Serious things like infidelity can lead to a general loss of trust, or trivial issues like misplacing things around the house may become an everyday cause of marital discord. Trust is a very important ingredient in a marriage. When it is gone, anxiety sets in and you become uncertain why the relationship needs to be saved.
  • Arguing—Lots of arguments can easily contribute to anxiety. No matter the cause, arguments can result in a couple growing distant from each other. The real issue is the significant fear that can be triggered by this constant bickering. This worry eventually becomes anxiety because you are too afraid to say or do anything that may trigger another argument.
  • Negativity and Lack of Intimacy—When a couple stops being supportive and friendly to each other, the marriage may experience a lot of negativity. Jokes that were once playful may become sour. Often the words are used to criticize, spoken in an unfriendly tone, or taken to mean something derogatory. Constant negativity can contribute to anxiety caused by fear of intimacy and rejection.
  • Stress—The most common reason for marital anxiety is long-term stress. When you’re in a tense relationship or constantly feel tense, it’s not surprising for the symptoms of anxiety to manifest not only in your marriage, but out of it as well.

A bit of anxiety does not comprise a full-blown anxiety disorder, and most marriages can survive minor anxiety without bad consequences. However, all couples experience a certain level of distress and worry when marital discord interrupts an otherwise harmonious union. The main indicators that anxiety has blown out of proportion are if it interferes with the couple’s life and doesn’t show signs of improving. If the symptoms are not treated, anxiety may lead to further problems with the marriage.


The Damaging Effect of Anxiety on a Couple’s Well-Being

If the symptoms of anxiety are left untreated and not properly communicated between spouses, this brewing condition may fuel inner turmoil and ignite other psychological health issues. This is particularly true of unresolved past anxiety, wherein the patterns may recur and perpetuate a spouse’s personal insecurities and doubts about his or her competency to be in a marriage.

Unresolved anxiety not only hurts the person experiencing it, but often affects all areas of their life, including their marriage. In most cases, when anxiety is triggered, it is the family and friends who face the brunt of it. Without knowledge and understanding of the embedded issues, serious long-term damage can result.


Where to Turn for Help

Spouses with concerns regarding possible anxiety problems may benefit from professional help to manage the issue before it has a chance to evolve into large-scale marital concerns. If you or your spouse has symptoms of anxiety, it’s important to know that you are not alone and that anxiety is highly treatable.

At Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC, there are many forms of effective treatment for anxiety. Our independently contracted counselors are passionate and committed to helping individuals understand and overcome their anxiety issues. They provide a safe and comfortable environment where you can freely express your fears, worries, and doubts without judgment or bias.

The fastest way to make an appointment is to call Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC, at (919) 895-3222 or send a text message to (910) 308-3291.


Related Articles:


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC

Counties: Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Moore County, NC

Areas: Sanford NC, Tramway NC, Olivia NC, Broadway NC, Cumnock NC, Gulf NC, Goldston NC, Carbonton NC, Glendon NC, Carthage NC, Cameron NC, Lillington NC, Moncure NC

Zip Codes: 27330, 27332, 28327, 27505, 27546

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare,/Tricare Prime, Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Fetima Wellington, MS, LPC, LCAS-A

Specializes in: (Ages 6+) Children, Adolescents/Teens, Individuals, Couples, Family Therapy and Marriage Counseling. Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Addiction and Recovery, Relationship Issues, Post Partum Depression, Family Conflict, Crisis Intervention, ODD, Conduct Disorder, LGBTQ
 Insurance: BCBS,  Cash, HSA and FSA (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (919) 895-3222 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Other Contact Info

If you have a compliment, concern or comments please contact:

Contact Management:
click here

If you need to speak specifically to the owner
Click here and use our Contact Form

Carolina Counseling Services - Sanford, NC
304 N Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330