How to Cope If Your Partner is Stressed-OutSunday, October 23, 2016
In an ideal world, our relationships would be all hearts and flowers and every day would be perfect. Sadly, life and our partners are not like that. We are all human and like most people, stress sometimes gets the better of us.
Any number of things can cause stress. Your partner may be having a tough time at work because of an overbearing boss, or they could be struggling to cope with the workload of their executive masters in business administration program. Whatever the issue is, it is important that you acknowledge your partner is under stress and take steps to help them deal with it.
Spot the Signs of Stress
Stress affects everyone in different ways, so be alert. Many people have problems sleeping if they are stressed, so if your partner is waking up too early, tossing and turning all night, or suffering from insomnia, he is clearly stressed about something.
You may also notice that your partner is operating on a short fuse. Is he unreasonable, bad tempered or shouting at the kids all the time? Stress affects the mood in unpleasant ways, so a stressed person becomes an ogre, despite the fact they are usually reasonable and sweet tempered.
Stress can have an unwelcome effect on our physical health. If your partner is losing weight, or comfort eating and gaining weight because he has not had time to visit the gym, watch out. He may also be chewing acid indigestion tablets like candy or complaining of persistent headaches.
Lastly, people under stress often turn to alcohol or even drugs in an attempt to get a handle on their stress. It’s not ideal – for obvious reasons – but you need to show a little understanding here.
Own Your Feelings
The first thing you need to do is own up to your own feelings about the current situation. If your partner’s bad temper and stressful demeanor is affecting you and the kids, be honest about it. There is little point in trying to gloss over your feelings, as this only leads to resentment building up.
Encourage a Conversation
Try to talk to your partner about his stress, preferably in a neutral time. Open the lines of communication in a con-confrontational manner. Ask him how he’s feeling and whether he wants to talk about things. If you have kids, it is a good idea to wait until you have some adult time before you start the conversation, just in case things get a bit tricky.
The more you can encourage your partner to talk about their feelings, the better. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Try to be as supportive as possible, without taking on too much stress of your own. If you can help out more with the kids, or do more to create a calm environment at home if your partner is working towards an executive MBA degree online, let him know this.
At the end of the day, you are partners, so together you stand and divided you fall. Tough times make a relationship stronger, so offer your loving support and encourage him to let you shoulder some of the burden.