Everyone handles stress differently and everyone has different triggers. It’s the way we handle stress that defines us as people and determines how that stress will affect our marriage. Even if your triggers have nothing to do with your relationship, stress can hurt your relationship if it isn’t handled properly.
Here are five ways that you can handle stress so that it doesn’t wreak havoc on your marriage:
If you have a demanding job, the last thing you should do is talk to your spouse as soon as you walk in the door. Yes, it sounds like the exact opposite of what you should do but, by taking the time to decompress, you will avoid unnecessary arguments. Think about it: don’t you tend to snap more quickly when you are stressed?
Make a marriage rule that you each get 30 minutes of alone time when you get home from work. How you spend your 30 minutes is up to you: read a chapter in a book takes a hot bath or sit on the deck with a cup of hot tea. Whatever activity or non-activity relaxes you is what you should do.
Recognize How You Deal with Stress
Every individual deals with stress differently. It’s important that you understand that you and your partner do not handle stress in the same manner. It’s also important to understand how you handle stress yourself. Do you tend to shut down? Do you tend to lash out? Knowing how you deal with stress is the first step in dealing with it in a more productive manner.
For instance, if you know that you are under stress and you know that you lash out, avoiding your spouse for a period of time may work for you. If you know that you shut down, and your spouse understands this as well, having your spouse encourage you to talk about your issues may help you better deal with your stress.
Ask for What You Need
How many times have you told your spouse that you aren’t a mind reader? Chances are that it’s happened at least once. Remember: your spouse isn’t a mind reader either. If you don’t ask for or express what you need, how can you ever expect to receive it?
If, for example, knowing your husband’s schedule will help you manage your own, communicate this. Explain to him that you aren’t checking up on him but that by knowing his schedule you are better able to plan your errands, the children’s extra-curricular activities or even your own work schedule.
If you feel as though one or both of you are not handling stress that occurs outside of the marriage as well as you could be, seek professional counseling. Your marriage doesn’t have to be in a shambles to seek help. The best outcomes are achieved by people who recognize a problem early on and take the steps to fix those problems.
Every person experiences stress and no matter how well intentioned, people bring that stress home. The key to not letting stress ruin your marriage is all in the handling. By being mindful of your mental state and that of your partner, you’ll be better able to use handle your stress in a healthy, productive manner.
About the Author
Marriage Counseling is something close to Marilyn Murphy’s heart, since it helped save her parents’ relationship and kept her childhood home intact. How to fix a relationship became a real focus of interest for Marilyn, as she furthered her education in helping others achieve positive outcomes.