It is amazing to have a partner who can comfort and help you during stressful times. It is great to have someone you can run and talk to when the going gets tough.
Even the strongest of relationships can go through difficult times because of stress. When stress hits your relationship, you become distant and disconnected from your partner. Your partner’s stress is as much as yours because love is for the better or for, the worse.
Every romantic relationship wants intimacy, support, trust, understanding, and stability during stressful times. This makes your relationship healthy, which boosts your mental and physical health.
How Does Relationship Stress Affect the Couple?
What happens to the couple when relationship stress enters their life? What happens when the other person is feeling stressed? Research shows that accumulated stress can negatively impact a relationship. The effects of stress in relationships are:
- You resent each other
- There is no communication
- You step back emotionally
- You are no longer intimate with each other
- You are often angry
When you notice that your partner is dealing with stress, show them your support during their stressful time. Arguments often lead to hurt feelings, loss of respect for each other, or worse, the end of a relationship.
When your emotions are up, try not to speak for your words may seem like personal attacks to your partner. These words will forever leave a mark that can lead to further relationship stress in the future.
Working to earn a living for your family is important for the family to thrive. However, when work stress becomes unbearable due to work deadlines, pressure to earn money, office politics, and exhausting physical labor, stress levels will surely go up.
If your spouse is experiencing work stress, offer your love and support when they come home. You can help your spouse cope by making the family home bright and positive. Make sure the home is clean, tidy, and cozy when they get home.
A positive and happy home will surely make your partner feel a lot better after a day’s work.
How Stress Affects the Home
When couples are diving into a pool of stress, so many factors affect their family and home life. Stress can impact the following aspects:
- Sex and intimacy
- Blood pressure
- Bowel movements
When Is Relationship Stress Too Much?
Normal relationship stress involves occasional arguments and differences in expectations. However, when these normal occurrences are observed more frequently, it is time to reassess the relationship.
If your partner makes you constantly feel angry, sad, fearful, or disappointed, it means you and your partner have to work harder on your relationship.
What Is Dyadic Coping?
Dyadic coping is considered the best way for couples to have a healthy relationship. Dyadic coping is simply “coping with a partner”.
Dyadic coping occurs when the couple helps each other out in handling stress through communication. The couple listens and allows each other to convey their emotions, brainstorms ideas together, works on problem-solving strategies, and helps each other form a better perspective about their situation.
Couples who have established healthy communication skills have better management of their relationship. They can talk about the good things that happened during the day, and even the negative and stressful ones. Because of this, they can easily manage their conversation during stressful times, arguments, and disagreements.
External stressors are difficult to control, and dyadic coping is hard when both of you are feeling stressed. How can you possibly help each other out when both of you are stressed out? Dyadic coping can work only when you take turns helping each other.
Benefits of Dyadic Coping
Here are the benefits gained by couples who use dyadic coping in handling stressful situations:
- The relationship is stronger, healthier, and more satisfying
- It builds intimacy, lowers stress and negative emotions
How to Help Your Stressed Partner
Being in a romantic relationship has its own share of ups and downs. When sweet conversations begin to shift into negative ones, it is easy to feel the stress and anxiety. You and your partner can feel more stress due to financial reasons, parenting styles and pressures, or bringing back an old argument.
Whatever the reason may be, relationship stress is manageable, and you can help your partner cope. Here are some tips that you can consider:
Take a Break and Enjoy the Outdoors
Being in the comfort of your own home can trigger many arguments, such as chores left undone and the bills that need to be paid. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a serious discussion with your partner while strolling and enjoying the park? Being outside will calm your nerves and can start a conversation in a better mood.
Use “I” Instead of “You”
When you point your finger and blame your partner, this can cause longer and intense misunderstandings. Why not try restructuring your words and use “I” instead of “you”.
An example of the “you” statement: “Every time you promise to wash the dirty dishes, you end up sitting on the couch and playing on your mobile phone for what seems like an eternity.”
Example of “I” statement: “I am very disappointed that you don’t keep your promise. You promised to clean the dishes after dinner so I could put the kids to bed. Instead, I catch you playing on your phone.”
Ask For Help
When there is stress and tension between you and your partner, asking for help from each other is the last thing on your mind. So, take a deep breath and be mature enough to open the conversation. Ask your partner if they need anything or what help you can offer them.
They may not answer you right away. The best you can do is tell your partner that you are available to chat and provide help if they ask for it.
Listen to Your Partner
It is ubiquitous for couples to want to win an argument against each other. Being in a fight with your partner can feel like a competition at times. If your partner is stressed out, your desire to win is not helping them at all.
Actively listening to your partner when they feel stressed is important. You may disagree with what they are saying; still, listen and be their comforter and validate their feelings.
When your partner is feeling stressed, you can help your partner by taking care of yourself first. You can’t help your partner de-stress when you yourself are stressed.
You can show your support by practicing self-care. You have to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. You should also make time for yourself by getting a warm shower, exercising, and spending time with friends.
Find the Cause of Their Stress
If you think your partner is venting out their stress on you, think twice before you react violently. Their stress may not be because of you. Other factors could have contributed to their stress.
Instead of thinking that it’s your fault, talk things through and determine the root of the problem. Together, you can provide a solution and ease the tension in your relationship.
If you can sort out the problem, the argument will smoothen out, and your partner will feel relieved knowing that they feel heard and have a supportive and sympathetic partner.
Couples Therapy and Counseling Are Available
If you think you have extended your patience and have tried every trick in the book to calm and comfort your partner, only to find out that it is not enough, it is time to seek professional help.
You and your partner should consider couples counseling so you can both work on your relationship and manage your stressful lives well.
A counselor will give you objective insights on how you can handle the challenges of your life. They can serve as an eye-opener and help you grow and heal together.
Effects of Stress on Mental and Physical Health
Constantly experiencing relationship stress can make you sick. You will feel both physical and mental health symptoms when the stress is unbearable. Relationship stress can result in several mental health problems such as:
- Overanalysis of interaction
- Inability to control emotions
- Depression and withdrawal
- Sleeping problems
Relationship stress can also affect your physical health gravely. Here are some of the problems that you may encounter:
- High blood pressure
- Weak immune system
- Development of heart disease
- Skin issues
- Stomach problems
Stress is always present, may it be at work or home. If you desire to work on your relationship and seek help for managing stress, you both believe that your relationship can go places.
Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC) can provide couples counseling to help you and your partner handle stress and improve your relationship. KCC will guide you on how you can show love, support, and dedication to your partner, allowing your relationship to make giant leaps of progress.