How to Keep Stress from Killing Your Relationship

How to Keep Stress from Killing Your RelationshipHow’s your stress level? Are there days when you feel overloaded? Days when, as much as you care about him, stress affects how you treat your guy?

Anna would understand. She’s a busy woman. She works fulltime, juggles an active social life, her boyfriend, and time in the gym, all while dealing with a 30-minute commute to and from work.

A few days ago, she was trudging home from a long day at work when she got pulled over. Speeding. There goes the shopping spree she was considering.

Then her boss called. Major problems with a big client. Yay.

Then she stopped off at the store for groceries. Distracted as she was, she forgot several things and had to go back in. And when she got home, she chipped one of her newly manicured nails while bringing in the food.

She was ready to scream.

That was when she ran into her boyfriend. He was delighted to see her, excited about dinner and a relaxing night. But it didn’t end up being the pleasant evening she’d been looking forward to.

Anna was past her breaking point, and her boyfriend paid the price. He hadn’t done anything wrong, but she was snippy and irritable. They ended up fighting when what she really wanted (and needed) was his support.

Maybe you’ve been there, too.

Stress is just a part of life. You can’t avoid it completely, especially if you have a packed schedule like Anna. Left unchecked, stress will have a negative effect on your relationship. Tense people tend to take out their stress on their partners.[1]

Since you can’t stop stress, how do you keep it from having a negative effect on your relationship?

The most important thing is to be aware of it. Recognize you’re stressed when you’re stressed. That’s essential.

Once you have that self-awareness down, there are a handful of practical things[2] you can do to ensure that your bad day doesn’t lead to a frustrating setback with your man.

Name your stress.

The simple act of acknowledging what really has you stressed out is powerful. Once you know why you’re tense, it’s easier not to take it out on someone you care about.

Let’s say you have a rotten day at work. Before you see your man, take a moment to remember your guy doesn’t know anything about your boss’s irrational demands, or that annoying co-worker, or that whiny client. He’s out of the loop on that stuff.

You’re more likely to make him an ally (see the next tip) if you can remember he had nothing to with the original stress.

How to Keep Stress from Killing Your Relationship

Make him an ally.

Then talk to him about it.

Tell him why you’re upset, and give him the chance to get your back. Make it clear that you’re upset at someone else. Then, invite his input and support.

Even if he’s just in the role of supportive ally, being a part of the solution will make it far less likely that the stress will drive a wedge between the two of you.

Break the circle.

One of the worst things about stress is how it feeds itself. You get stressed, you take it out on your guy, then THAT stresses you out more, so you take THAT out on him, too . . . and on and on.

If that starts to happen (and sometimes it will), stop the cycle dead in its tracks. Take a time out. Go for a drive. Go to the bedroom and curse into a pillow. Or just tell him you’re sorry.

Even if you slip a little, don’t let stress steamroll your relationship.

Putting it all together.

The core of the message is this: don’t let outside chaos mess with the sacred peace of your romance.

When stress gets cranked up, acknowledge that you’re tense and talk to him about it. And if you find yourself snapping at him, break the cycle and start again.

You can’t stop stress, but you can protect your love life. As often as possible, make your romance a refuge from the hassles of the world by keeping it stress-free.

 

[1] Smith, Sylvia. “7 Signs That Stress Is Affecting Your Relationship.” PsychCentral. PsychCentral.com, 10 Dec. 2015. Web. 6 June 2017.

[2] Masin, Pam. “How To Stop Taking Out Your Anger On Others.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 18 Nov. 2013. Web. 06 June 2017.


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6 thoughts on “How to Keep Stress from Killing Your Relationship

  1. Sandy said:

    I think this article is perfect, because I did help ruin a relationship by coming home every night from a job that I hated and took it out on my former boyfriend. He would have dinner ready and the place clean, and I couldn’t even get out of my stressed head long enough to appreciate that. Eventually he left, and it took me a year of hard learning to realize YOU are responsible for your own actions, and to treat an innocent person (man or woman) like that because you are not mature enough to communicate or handle stress, then that’s something you need to work on. I believe this article is taken from the viewpoint that you can’t control the guy, but you CAN control how you act, which is half of the ingredient for a great relationship. Thanks James!

  2. Donna kwikiriza(faith) said:

    Hi James, just know i just love all that am reading ,i mean, am seriously learning a lot and it won’t leave me the same.stress management is really something so vital.

    • James Bauer said:

      Thanks, Donna. I appreciate your kind encouragement.

  3. Jean said:

    Don’t do this to women. If she is stressed, he’s going to have to be understanding.
    Also, doesn’t this go both ways? In fact, I am sure it does goes both ways. Because the man should also be careful not to snap at his woman when he is stressed. The man also has to be careful not to drive a wedge between their relationship.
    So why are we always scolding and lecturing the woman and not the man, about what to do and not do in the relationship. Most of the relationship articles on the Internet, scold and blame only the woman.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Jean. This is a website for women. When I coach men on relationship issues, I explain the same concept and help him to see the ways his stress influences the relationship.

      I’m sorry you felt scolded and blamed. This article was supposed to empower you with information and ideas. I’ll have to consider some edits to this article given the negative emotional impact it had on you. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. Anna said:

    Perfect timing! I needed this article! Thank you

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