How Does Stress Affect My Relationship
Every relationship is going to have arguments. And at worst, arguments can result in hurt feelings, loss of respect for the other person, or loss of a close relationship, says Debbie Opoku, a licensed psychotherapist specializing in couples and marriage counseling in Barrie, Canada.
If we speak and react in the heat of the moment, our words will come out as accusations or worse as a personal attack against your partner, Opoku says.
Words carry a lot of weight in an argument, and saying something in anger can still have lasting effects long after the argument has concluded and these impacts can contribute to even more stress down the road.
And at-home stress doesnt only involve your partner.
Ways You Can Help Your Partner Cope With Stress
I Like You More Than I Care About Any Of The Other Stuff
When you have a partner who pushes themselves to their limits something that causes more stress its often helpful, per Trueblood, to remind them its them you value most. Often, these partners have a difficult time truly accepting this is the case, so reminding them of their value regularly with your words and actions can be quite powerful. Send a text that lets them know youre not only proud of their accomplishments, but, more importantly, youre interested in loving them no matter the situation.
Read Also: What To Do When Stressed About School
Make Them Their Favorite Comfort Food
A creative and nurturing way to way to help your partner de-stress is to cook some comfort food. What’s your partner’s favorite meal? What instantly puts them in a good mood? As Christine Scott-Hudson, licensed psychotherapist and owner of Create Your Life Studio, tells Bustle, making a plate of your partner’s favorite comfort dish can help to melt away their stress. “Our bodies crave carbs to ensure that we will have enough energy stored,” Scott-Hudson says. “Eating carbohydrates stimulates the brain to release feel-good pleasure hormones to reduce tension quickly and give us feelings of readiness and preparedness to handle whatever stressors come our way.”
Ways To Help Your Man De
There are lots of ways to help your man de-stress, activities you should really consider. We all have hard days, days when we want to curl up with a good book and a chocolate bar and never leave the couch again, but while you know how to cope with your own work-day disasters, do you know the ways to help your man relax? He might pass on the book and Godiva, but you need to help him unwind. If youâre at a loss, keep reading. Here are 8 tried-and-true techniques to help your man de-stress.
Read Also: Can Stress Cause You To Spit Up Blood
Plan Something Relaxing For Them
According to Rebekah Montgomery, Ph.D., a Psychologist and Relationship Expert, planning a special, relaxing event â like a nice dinner, trip to the spa, weekend getaway, or just a quiet night in â for your partner when they’re stressed is the perfect way to show them you care.
“This shows thoughtfulness and support and will help your partner get a break from all that’s going on,” Montgomery tells Bustle. “Self care in this way is invaluable when you’re stressed!”
Health Effects Of Relationship Stress
Did you know that relationship stress can actually make you sick? If youve moved from My relationship is stressing me out to feeling physical or mental health symptoms, thats a tell-tale sign that you have way too much stress in your relationship. Relationship stress can lead tomental health problems like:
- Anxiety when you are around your partner
- Overanalysis of your interactions
- Feeling depressed or withdrawn
- Problems sleeping
Studies have also proven that relationship stress can lead to physical health problems. One study even showed that ambivalent relationships where your interactions with your partner vary wildly from supportive to hostile areworse for your physical health than relationships that are entirely negative. Relationship stress results in the same negative health effects as any other form of stress:
- Stomach issues
- Increased risk of heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Weaker immune system
Its essential to ask yourself not only How does stress affect relationships? but also how stress affects your physical and mental well-being. It could mean a longer and healthier life for both you and your partner.
Read Also: Can Stress Cause Multiple Sclerosis
Tell Me Whats On Your Mind
Stress clouds the mind and makes you feel alone. Its important to remind your partner that youve got their back by giving them license to scream, shout and let it all out, says Dr. Tobin. Right now your partner needs a friend, and youre stepping up to fill that need, he explains. Youre telling your partner that he/she can express anything freely and uninterrupted while all you do is listen. Through the acceptance, support, and kindness of the gesture, your partner will understand and appreciate how committed you are to the relationship.
You Are Killin It In The Most Important Ways
Your partners stress may come from misconceptions about their importance and the stuff they may be nervous about may overshadow their actual accomplishments. When were feeling overwhelmed and stressed in one area of our life, its easy to overlook or discount all the other areas where were thriving, notes Trueblood Send your partner a simple message of verbal encouragement and acknowledgment to remind them how well theyre doing in other perhaps more important areas of their life. Ignore the losses in favor of the wins, no matter how big or small.
You May Like: What Helps With Stress And Depression
Ask Them To Tell You What They Need From You
“If you want to help your partner de-stress itâs important to remember that they have different needs from you,” international love coach, Michelle Baxo, tells Bustle. “While you may want to get away for a weekend when youâre stressed, that might make your partner more anxious than ever.” Just remember that your partner isn’t you. You might need someone to smother you with love and affection, but they might need time alone. The only way to figure out what they really need during a stressful time is to ask. Let them know that you see them struggling, validate their feelings, and simply ask what they need. If they ask for space, be sure to give it to them.
Couples Counselors Are Always Available To Help
Even after youve committed significant effort to de-stress your relationship, it may still be too difficult to entirely handle it on your own.
Especially if theres a deep hurt or theres been prolonged periods of stress, you could consider couples counseling to help improve your relationship, communication, and manage stress in your lives.
Having an objective party sit with you and help you talk through your challenges can be tremendously eye-opening and can lead to so much growth and healing, says Henry.
A counselor can give you and your partner new approaches for working through your concerns and can help you both to really express your feelings and feel heard, Henry adds.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Stress Induced Acne
Related Stories From Yourtango:
Stay calm and centered so you dont inadvertently contribute to his nervousness. Be loving, understanding and supportive without being intrusive.
Research shows that seeing their partner stressed and emotional only makes men more anxious and less supportive of their wives. Men are wired differently than women. Respect the difference. Wait to see if he seeks your assistance. If he doesnt, you can execute any or all of the other steps without him even knowing what you’re doing.
Just remember …
9. Be his wife, not his mother.
Regularly check your ego and make sure youre functioning from your heart so he doesnt feel like youre being bossy or a know-it-all. Your man needs his wife who adores him, not his mother who hovers and fusses.
In other words, dont nag him about what he needs. Be subtle and avoid any fanfare or you will contribute even more to his withdrawal and hell just worry about you worrying.
If hes not back to himself within a few weeks, you may need professional help.
If he has acute hopelessness, depression or recurring nightmares, consult a mental health practitioner, life coach, therapist, or spiritual guide for support. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has programs in almost every community, and many are free.
In the meantime, shower him with love, understanding, and patience. Your love has more power to heal him than you realize!
Men And Women React Differently To Relationship Stress
Men and women react differently to stress. One of the fundamental reasons for this has to do with varying stress hormones. When stress strikes, the body releases hormones called cortisol and epinephrine that raise blood pressure and circulate blood sugar level. Oxytocin is then released from the brain, countering the impact of cortisol and epinephrine by relaxing emotions.
Men release less oxytocin than women when they are stressed, meaning they have a stronger reaction from both cortisol and epinephrine. A study published in Psychological Review suggested that this caused women to be more likely to handle stress by tending and befriending that is, nurturing those around them in an effort to both protect themselves and their young. Men, however, release smaller doses of oxytocin, which makes them more likely to have the fight or flight response when it comes to stress, either repressing their emotions and escaping the situation, or fighting back.
So what does this all mean for stress and relationships?
That in many cases, a womans identity and sense of self-esteem are both closely linked to her feelings of adequacy in relationships. She is likely to appreciate feeling wanted, receiving expressions of comfort and caring, and generally being taken care of. So when relationship stress goes unmitigated, women are more likely than men to feel personally inadequate.
Also Check: How To Handle Mental Stress
Blog With Us About Dating Romance And Relationships
Sometimes confusion happens because the parties are not stressed on this continuum, didwhen talk about it, or stressed signs. This creates confusion. It’s best to be clear and set boundaries and expectations. Get agreement on where you are, and if you’d like to be further along the continuum, discuss the milestones required to move to the next step.
See His Anger As A Call For Help
Anger is a sign that something needs resolving. It’s like the light indicator on your car dashboard signaling you that something is off. In this case, that your husband is in psychological distress. Offer him assistance. Ask, “What can I do to help you feel better?” Making an effort to understand what’s angered him can help your husband relieve his stress and better face the challenge at hand.
Recommended Reading: How To Avoid Stress Eating
Change The Scenery And Take A Break
I would recommend couples walk around outside and discuss their issues, says Nicholas Hardy, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist out of Houston, Texas. In addition to being outside and enjoying the weather , you are not forced to look directly at each other.
It takes the pressure off of the conversation, which sometimes allows people to be more open, Hardy adds.
Staying in one place during an argument can make you feel like you arent moving toward an endpoint. Try to put the heat of the argument on pause, take a break, and revisit things after youve cleared your head.
How To Help Your Girlfriend With Depression
If you want to know how to help your girlfriend with depression, you need to understand the unique challenges she is facing. Girls and women experience many different hormonal shifts at certain points in their lives that can increase risk factors for depression. Some women also experience premenstrual dysmorphic disorder, which causes extreme mood changes around the time of their period. Despite this, depression in women doesnt always come down to hormones or even genetics. Clinical depression is a recognized medical condition that affects 10-15% of women in the U.S. every year, but the exact cause is often unknown.
Also Check: How Can I Stop Stress Eating
Know When To Walk Away
Part of taking care of yourself when youre dealing with a stressed out boyfriend is knowing when to walk away.
If it gets to the point where your boyfriend is stressed and taking it out on you, sometimes the best thing you can do is remove yourself from the situation. Especially if hes starting to become aggressive or abusive.
Take some time away from them and let them cool down. And if its a continuous issue, you need to question if hes someone you want to be in a relationship with. Offer to get them help if their stress turns into anger.
As much as you might want to help him, sometimes youll have to realize that theres nothing you can do except move on.
Is Your Partner Or Are You Able To Help
Ideally, youd offer each other emotional and practical support. If your partner appears unable to help and/or support you, try not to judge them. If this is out of character for them, then it may be that your partners own well-being is not so good at the moment. When you are feeling stressed it can feel as though everybody, including your partner, is out to make life difficult for you!
However, here are some potential alternative explanations
- Maybe unbeknown to you, there are adverse family circumstances or stresses at work that your partner didnt want to burden you with. I know from my work with police officers, for instance, that theyd often not want to tell their partner what theyve been involved in as it can be too distressing.
- It could also be that he or she interprets your stress-related grumpiness as you being angry with him or her.
Also Check: How To Feel Less Stressed At Work
Cook Their Favorite Meal
If you ask me, there’s no problem that a good meal can’t fix. When your partner has a stressful day, offering to either cook or order their favorite comfort food is a small gesture that doesn’t take much effort on your part, but will nevertheless go a long way.
“Not only will you take cooking dinner off your partnerâs to-do list, but also the gesture shows that you care and want to feel better,” Justin Lavelle, dating expert and Chief Communications Officer of online background check platform BeenVerified, tells Bustle. “Consider watching a movie while you eat to help distract your partner from his or her worries. A glass of wine may also help both of you relax.”
Tips For Dealing With A Stressed Partner And Helping Them Relax
Stress is an almost inevitable part of life.
Stress is, therefore, something you will face in your relationship.
When your partner is stressed, your instinct will be to help them.
But how can you do that?
Whether its your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend who is stressed, here are some handy tips to help you help them relax their body and mind.
Also Check: What Tea Helps With Stress
Caring Texts To Make Them Smile
Hooker, E. D., Campos, B., & Pressman, S. D. . It just takes a text: Partner text messages can reduce cardiovascular responses to stress in females. Computers in Human Behavior, 84, 485â492. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2018.02.033
This article was originally published on 11.12.19
When You Causes Trouble Try To Use I Instead
It may seem like a simple word choice, but using you and superlative statements too often in an argument can lead to longer fights and more stress for your partner if you arent careful.
Using I language is often better received than you language, which comes off as accusatory and can lead to defensiveness, explains Jennifer Henry, licensed professional counselor and director of the Counseling Center at Maryville University in Missouri.
For example I feel really disappointed and unimportant when Im planning on a date night and you end up canceling it taps into the way the situation makes you feel versus Every time we make plans for a date you end up bailing at the last minute,’ Henry says.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Deal With Work Stress