|When your partner is under stress
If your partner is under extreme stress, chances are you're suffering too.
Poorly-managed stress takes its toll not only on our mental and physical
health, but also on those closest to us. If we become distant, inattentive,
irritable, or consumed by our own thoughts and worries, our relationship with
our partner is invariably affected. If you're wondering what to do about a
partner?s problem, here are 10 coping strategies to help.
Don't take responsibility for the other's stress. If you see it as your mission
to manage someone else's stress and relieve all its symptoms, you can set
yourself up not only for failure but also for a heavy stress burden yourself.
Be honest with yourself and others. Is someone else's stress is increasing your
anxiety, are you concerned about their health risks, or do you miss the time
spent together in less stressful times? Decide what is most problematic and
discuss your concerns honestly.
Accept that someone else's tolerance for stress, coping style, and the amount
of stress they can manage may be different from yours.
Keep a positive focus. Stress your concern, love, and willingness to help
rather than the negative consequences or amount of suffering you're
Refuse to feel guilty if you're not stressed. It's ok to have fun, participate
in activities you enjoy, and socialize even if your partner isn't able to do so
due to stress. You won't be able to provide emotional support if you don't stay
happy and healthy yourself.
Suggest a getaway from day-to-day stresses, even if for only an hour or two.
Ideally this should be an activity that both of you will enjoy. Be sure you
aren't burdening your partner with time commitments that they feel pressured to
Do your homework. Collect ideas for interesting and rejuvenating pursuits for
your mini-getaway. Your suggestions and concern are more likely to be effective
if you provide specifics.
Know the value of timing. Bringing up a discussion of your partner's stress
levels the night before her big deadline or while the kids are screaming might
not be well-received. Choose a quiet and uninterrupted time to talk things
over. If necessary, ask for an "appointment" just to talk.
Little things can go a long way. Finding small ways to brighten your loved
one's day can help reduce the stress and tension of a hectic schedule. Send an
unexpected card, a plant or flowers, or surprise him with a book or small gift.
Realize that your concern or desire to help may not be readily accepted, or
that your partner may deny it. If you meet with resistance, back off and wait
for a better time. Don't take it personally if an attempt fails.