According to Judy Ford, a licensed clinical social worker and author of Every Day Love: The Delicate Art of Caring for Each Other, “stress affects our love relationships more than we are aware of or acknowledge.” Stress is ingrained in our daily lives, which contributes to the issue. “Stress has become such a common occurrence in everyday life that spouses have become oblivious to the symptoms and warning signs,” she says.
Ignoring stress just makes things worse. “Even when a couple attempts to ignore tension, it is sensed and absorbed like static in the air.” If partners do express tension, they can not know what to do about it, according to Ford.
“Stress is contagious,” as well. Ford likened stress to ping-pong, in which the tension “bounces back and forth” between partners. She claims that partners lose their ability to relax and enjoy each other. Stress “shows up in our actions, our behavior, and both verbal and nonverbal communications,” so it’s bound to affect not just both partners, but their relationship as well. Couples that are under a lot of stress. “Stressed-out couples fight and argue more often, disconnect from one another, feel isolated, sad, depressed, and angry.” Unchecked stress can lead to more serious issues. “Long-term stress may lead to depression and loneliness, resulting in a relationship that is frozen and distant.”
Ford offers tips on recognizing stress, soothing your partner, and overcoming stress as a couple.
Here Are Top 10 Helpful Tips On How To Fix Your Stressful Relationship
1. Recognize the signs and symptoms of stress.
“Couples often become so used to unchecked tension that they rarely notice and often ignore the harmful ramifications,” Ford says. So, how can you tell if your partner (or yourself) is stressed? There are some simple symptoms of stress, according to Ford:
“Either one or both partners are irritable, withdrawn, moody, pouty, teary, ornery, furious, impatient, hyper, irritated, or overly excited.
Drugs, alcohol, food, and other forms of self-medication are used by one or both partners.”
2. Go closer to your partner.
If you see signs of tension, gently and compassionately inquire about your partner’s situation. ““Are you having a bad day, honey?” it might be as plain as that. Come sit next to me and tell me everything,” Ford said.
3. Pay attention.
“We want our partner to understand, and we feel cared for when we are listened to,” Ford said. Remember that listening is an ability that only a few people can master. The same is true when it comes to interacting with your partner. Read this article to learn more about how partners can become better listeners and speakers.
4. Put your comfort first.
Often couples forget to comfort their friends and instead try to fix problems. “Comfort each other first, problem solve second,” Ford said. Since your partner might be searching for stress relief rather than a detailed brainstorming session, this is the case. The relief will come from simply embracing and softly touching your partner.
5. Get active together..
Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to relieve stress. Plus, engaging in new activities will help to rekindle your relationship. (For more information on increasing your relationship’s passion, click here.)
6. Make a list of stress-relieving habits.
Each partner should make a list of their “comforting rituals,” according to Ford. She clarified that this could be anything from taking a bath to reading a book to working in the garage.
7. Take note of the stress level.
It can be difficult to console each other when both spouses are anxious. Ford’s approach, on the other hand, allows couples to deal with their problems on their own. “You can’t console your partner until you’ve comforted yourself first,” she says. Calm down first, then reach out to your partner in support.”
Each partner should take a “stress temperature,” as Ford describes it. This literally entails assessing the stress level on a 10-point scale (10 being “extreme stress” and 1 being “relaxed”). Let each other know how hot or cold you are. If it’s higher than a 4, Ford says each partner should do their own comforting routine.
“Support each other in identifying and managing stress levels,” she said. When the temperature rises, just like when a person becomes ill, he or she will do whatever it takes to feel better. Encourage your sweetheart to take proper care of himself.”
8. Find out what you can do with your partner.
Asking your loved one directly how you can assist them is an effective way to show your support. “Is there something I can do to make your day run more smoothly?” you may ask, according to Ford. “Notice what would be beneficial and do that,” says your partner if he or she is unsure. It could be anything from doing some housework to giving them a soothing back rub.
9. Keep track of your partner’s activities.
Knowing your partner’s regular schedule allows you to identify possible stressors and offer assistance. Is there a major presentation or client interview on the horizon? Is it an exam in their most difficult class? Is their pal going through a tough patch? Is it time for them to be evaluated every three months?
“Find out what your companion will be doing and coping with at least once during the day.” Ford suggests specifically telling your partner what’s on their mind: “Honey, what’s on your mind today?”
10. Think about whether there’s something more you can do.
Of course, you won’t be able to absolutely relieve your partner’s anxiety. You should, however, pay attention to whether they’re satisfied and see what you can do to assist them. “Am I doing everything in my power to contribute to my partner’s happiness?” Ford suggested.
Stress that goes unchecked can sabotage a relationship, causing frustration and disconnect. However, there are several steps you may take to relieve your own stress while still supporting your partner.
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