Relationship stress
How stress causes relationship problems and vice versa

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Printed words, stress, anxiety, depression etc

If you're dealing with relationship stress, I'm so glad you've landed here. I can help you to manage this, whether it's caused by problems in your relationship or by external sources.

Relationship stress can be caused by a drip-drip effect of, for example, never-ending criticism, shouting, arguments, abuse and so on. It can also come about as a result of a crisis, such as an affair, illness, the death of a loved one or other family problems.

Avoiding issues can provide temporary relief, but this may lead in the long-term to reduced resilience when you're confronted with stressful situations.

Stress, whether from inside or outside your relationship, is likely to affect the way you think, feel and behave. This invariably impacts on your partner - it becomes a vicious circle. I'm sure you're aware that there are physical consequences - the impact of stress can make you ill.

If this page doesn't quite provide what you're looking for, then hop over to Part 3 for links to related pages. If you're looking for general relationship advice, you'll also find my page 25 Common Relationship Problems useful in helping you to identify exactly what your relationship issues are.

Needing immediate help?

Before we go on to discuss stress and your relationship, I just want to tell you about some really useful resources.

Do you know your relationship needs sorting? Have a look at Save My Marriage/Relationship - even if your partner doesn't appear to be interested right now. You can make a difference, all by yourself.

Do you think your partner is just causing you too much stress? Has this always been the case, and do you think it always will be? In that case, I'd really like you to try my Relationship Compatibility Test

Do you think your partner might be about to leave you? Let me help you to be prepared for this by having a look at How to Try for a Reconciliation. Advanced preparation can help you to avoid spoiling any chance of you salvaging the relationship when it matters most.

Are you stressed, or is it your partner?

You and/or your partner may be suffering from stress from external sources. Each of you is ultimately responsible for your own recovery.

If you blame your partner, other people or ‘the situation’, you can get trapped in feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. It's also not healthy for you as you end up wasting precious energy on stuff you have no control over.

Is your partner - or are you - able to help?

Ideally you'd offer each other emotional and practical support. Neither of you are mind readers, have you asked each other what is happening?

If your partner appears unable to help and/or support you, try not to judge them. It may be that (without you necessarily knowing) your partner's own well-being is not so good at the moment.

Your partner isn't supporting you?

Maybe unbeknown to you there are adverse family circumstances or stresses at work that your partner didn't want to burden you with.

I know from my work with police officers, for instance, that they'd often not want to tell their partner what they've been involved in as it can be too distressing.

It could also be that he or she interprets your grumpiness as you being angry with him or her. You may have appeared over-critical.

I really do understand that when you're stressed everything seems just too much. It feels as though everybody, including your partner, is out to make life difficult for you!

Be clear about what you can and can't do

If you're supporting your partner, be sure to state what is and what is not OK for you. Tell them what you can and can't reasonably do.

Suffering from stress long-term may come at a cost to your relationship. It is vital, therefore, that you keep the channels of communication open.

It can be hugely helpful to discuss, in confidence, what is happening with an expert. You can Chat with an Online Qualified Relationship Counsellor right now.

Read Part 2 to find out how to start calming things down, and for my top 10 tips to help you Deal With Relationship Stress.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Related articles

Are You Really Compatible?
Fear of Commitment
Pregnant but No Support from Partner
Does Your Partner Suffer from OCD?
Free or Affordable Marriage Counselling

Pay it forward and help or be helped...

Post as a guest (anonymously or with your real name) or use your Facebook, G+ or Twitter account...

Image courtesy of: Masmett Tallahassee