Want to Know How to Manage Stress in Your Couple Relationship?

Managing stress is part of life. Yet, this “part of life” is really overwhelming. There are so many things to feel stressed about. Money. Jobs. Relationships. Kids. Health. Family. On top of these there are other existential questions too. Why are we here? Am I truly happy? What is my purpose in life? Can I trust? Is hope foolish or courageous? 

Stress Might Look Like Irritability, Sadness, Numbness…

Many times we walk around with these questions and concerns just millimeters below the skin of our psyche. It’s just deep enough to be out of our awareness but close enough to cause problems. Our worry about these questions and our uncertainty about them can leak out. It might leak out in sadness, irritability, numbness, impulsivity, feeling distracted, or countless other ways. 

Everyone Has To Deal With Stress

Everyone has to deal with stress. Stress is simply tension in the everyday moments. A tension that is brought about due to uncertainty, fear, newness, change, physical health, etc. No one is above stress. We all deal with it, and we all deal with it differently. 

I (Stephen) tend to get quiet, irritable, critical, and highly structured in my stress. Now, imagine this kind of person walking around the house parenting and being a partner. In case you can’t get the image in your head, it’s not good. Erin and I have had countless conflicts because the way I am trying to manage my stress influences her and the boys negatively. The same can be true about how Erin chooses to manage her stress. 

However, we are able to recover from these moments more quickly because we understand each others individual stress response. Granted we ask each other to try and make efforts to cope in a way that is more conducive for the family. But we do not have to take things personally when there is poor management of stress. Rather we can blame the problem, stress, and not one another. 

What Is Successful Stress Management In A Couple Relationship?

Part of successful stress management in a couple relationship is knowing how it influences you and your partner. Knowing how stress can influence you and your partner and make you someone you would rather not be is important. From this place of understanding you can find compassion for one another, a language to call each other to accountability (for example, “Hey, you are doing that head in the sand I’m stressed thing”), and not take your partner’s stress response personally. 

Do you know how stress impacts your body, mind, and emotions? What about for your partner?