7 Reasons For Stress In A Relationship & How To Deal With It

Learn how to manage relationship stress to keep your bond intact.

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Every relationship has its highs and lows. Stress in a relationship is normal, but if it pervades, then you should reflect on what is happening and figure your way out. High points reinforce your love and help you have beautiful moments together, while low points stress you out and make you feel exhausted. Continue reading this post as we talk about signs of relationship stress, what causes it, and how to deal with it.

Signs Of Stress In A Relationship

The first step towards dealing with stress is to understand and accept that there is friction between you and your partner. Stress in a relationship can manifest in the below ways:

  1. You become highly irritable:You get irritated by everything your spouse does or doesn’t do. You can’t tolerate if they are sweet and kind to you but don’t like being ignored too. The longer the duration of stress, the higher is your irritation.
  1. Your communication weakens: When you are experiencing anxiety, your state of mind is disturbed and so is your communication. You do not know what you want, and you do not have the mood to listen to what the others are saying. Either way, it affects your communication abilities.
  1. You see no hope in your relationship: Pressure can put the best of relationships to the test. You view your relationship to be a big failure and a mistake of your life.
  1. You get attracted to other people: Stress-related anxiety can make you dream of a rosy relationship where there are no fights but only love. It might lead you to find new relationships while neglecting your current one.
  1. You are obsessed with your phone: When pressure is weighing you down, there is dissatisfaction in your relationship, and you tend to find that elsewhere in the social media or among your friends. This keeps you hooked to your phone.
  1. You perceive negative things: You see things negatively, especially those related to your partner. Whatever they say is wrong for you, and you may think that they are trying to mislead, manipulate or make fun of you.
  1. You tend to overthink: Your thoughts race and you just can’t stop the flow of your negative thoughts.

You enter a relationship only if you think you can be happy in it. Then why and how do things change?

Reasons For Stress In A Relationship

Here are some of the common causes of stress in relationships:

  1. Criticism: If your spouse constantly criticizes you, calls names and makes fun of you, it affects your morale, you lose confidence, and things turn stressful.
  1. Work pressure: If you have an issue in the workplace, deadlines to meet, or rifts with co-workers, they reflect on your personal life as well.
  1. Financial concerns: When your finances are not enough to run the household, then you always think about making ends meet. This puts tremendous pressure on you.
  1. Unmet emotional needs: If your partner doesn’t meet your emotional needs, then every interaction is going to be painful and stressful.
  1. Lack of appreciation: You might be doing everything for your spouse, but they fail to appreciate you. This leads to stress as you feel unloved and uncared.
  1. Arguments: Frequent arguments over petty things build up a fear in you that your partner would disagree with whatever you tell them.
  1. Illness: Regular illness of your parents, kids, spouse or yourself is stressful for the entire family.
  1. Sexual problems: Lack of sex removes the physical pleasure from the relationship, leading to stress.
  1. Death in the family: Death of a family member or a close friend can cause unsettling differences between the partners.
  1. Infidelity: If you or your partner has had or are having an affair outside the marriage, it saps peace out of your life.

Note that your partner too might be under stress due to your attitude towards them. You might be equally responsible for the discontentment in the relationship. And this is going to impact your overall life.

Consequences Of Stress

Chronic stress affects your physical and mental health. Here’s the impact it can have:

  • You will get restless, moody, and irritable.
  • You will feel overwhelmed and isolated.
  • Frequent episodes of stress weaken your relationship.
  • You tend to become forgetful.
  • It causes insomnia (1) and impairs the functioning of your immunity and digestive system (2).
  • Stress hormone cortisol shrinks the size of your brain (3).

Stress can harm you and your partner both physically and mentally. Therefore, it makes all sense to come out of it at the earliest.

How To Deal With Stress In Your Relationship?

Manage your stress to reduce the harm done to your relationship. You can deal with it in the following ways:

  1. Identify stress symptoms: Most often couples get used to living with stress. They accept it as part of their life and fail to see the damage it brings about. So you need to identify the signs of stress.
  1. Accept the situation: When things are not in your control, accept them and deal with them positively. For example, if you are having a financial problem, make efforts to cut down your expenses until you find a solution to it. Acceptance is the first step towards dealing with stress.
  1. Make a plan: Create a plan on how to handle tension. Identify the triggers and address them positively.
  1. Communicate effectively: The root of most relationship troubles lies in poor communication. Express your feelings and concerns honestly and clearly. Your silence will only worsen things and build anxiety.
  1. Ask your partner: When you see your partner stressful, be compassionate and ask your partner, “What is bothering you?”, “Is there something I can do to help you?” Invite them to share their fears and feelings with you.
  1. Support your partner: If your partner is stressed, help them process their emotions. When you offer help, they feel cared and loved for, and that helps strengthen your relationship.
  1. Comfort your partner: Couples get so involved in solving the problem that they forget to comfort each other. First, find solace in each other’s company and then resolve the problem. Comforting, in itself, is a de-stressor.
  1. Work as a team: If the stress is due to an external factor, then deal with it as a team rather than individually. Put aside your ego and think about facing the problem together.
  1. Prioritize your commitment: If you think that your relationship matters more than the cause of the stress, then you should prioritize your relationship over anything else. Prioritize your partner over their behavior. Spend quality time together.
  1. Be empathetic towards your partner: Listening and understanding your partner makes things clear to you and help you see their point of view. On the other hand, if your partner is stressed out, you can help them come out by being empathetic to them.
  1. Take up activities together: Join your partner in cooking, gardening or playing a game. It helps you both bond well and enjoy each other’s company.
  1. Address the problems: If your partner is stressed out for some reason, know their daily schedule to identify the reasons for stress. Help your partner find a solution to their problems.
  1. Exercise and meditate: Eat right, sleep well, and exercise regularly. Practice meditation and yoga. They are great stress-busters.
  1. Seek help: When your partner’s infidelity or unruly behavior is the reason for your stress, seek help from your family and friends, or go for professional counseling.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can stress make you stop loving someone?

Prolonged stress and anxiety may deprive people of emotional energy, causing them to draw away from their partners. They may try to block their partner because they don’t have the mental bandwidth to deal with them. Thus, continued lack of intimacy and communication may gradually make them lose feelings for their partner.

2. Why do some people need space when stressed?

Some people are able to process their emotions better when they are alone. Hence, if your partner asks for space, do not take it personally or believe that this is the end of your relationship. On the contrary, respecting their boundaries may help your relationship grow deeper.

Stress in relationships is expected at some point or the other. However, what matters is the way you deal with it. As popularly said, nothing lasts forever, and stress, too, shall pass. It is better not to keep unrealistic expectations from the partner that might take your relationship downhill. Therefore, you must take charge of your life and work patiently to fix your issues to build the relationship you dream of. You must know that all the power lies within you to change your life towards making it stress-free.

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