Skip to main content

Got Stress?

Photo above courtesy of
Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash

While writing a check for a major expense recently, Mel said, “You seem agitated.” to which Mark replied, “This is a lot of money!”  Mel’s light-hearted response was, “They’re only numbers.”  Mark paused, and then laughed, “Yet another example of how we are completely opposite.”  And we smiled at each other.

            We all handle stress in our own way – from letting everything roll off with a chuckle to brimming just below the surface ready to shoot out steam.  Hopefully you know how you handle stress individually.  If not, ask your spouse – they have an idea!  The real question we want to ask is: How do you help your spouse when you see they are stressed?

MARK:

When Mel encounters a highly stressful situation, she usually sets aside the situation to focus on managing her stress.  She might start cleaning a room or pull some weeds or escape into a Netflix show.  At these times, I try to give her the space she needs to deal with the stress.  I also offer to help with the situation.  Most importantly, I stay in contact with Mel in whichever ways she is open to at the moment – discussion, hugs, smiling at her when we make eye contact, etc.  I want Mel to know that she doesn’t have to take on stress on her own; we are in this together.

MEL:

            When Mark is stressed, he dives deeper into the situation and lets the stress keep building.  If it’s a situation I’m able to help him with, I stop what I’m doing and lend a hand in any way I can.  He appreciates the support, which eases his stress.  If it’s a work situation that I have no ability to help with, I look for ways to chip away at his stress level.  I offer to make him some food, give him a hug, and listen to him vent.  I want to convey that I’m there for him in any way he needs me.

Whether it’s helping with the situation or with stress relief, there are so many ways we can support each other in coping with stress.  Regardless of how different our styles of managing stress are, we've come to realize that when one of us is stressed, we're both stressed.  We’re in it together!  How do you two face stress together?  What is your attitude about your spouse’s stress?  Are there any ways you can improve?

Photo courtesy of
Noah Buscher on Unsplash


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Great Sex!

Sex between a married couple is not only good, it’s very good. If you read the research and surveys, you will find that married couples experience better and more frequent sex than non-married couples. Married couples are healthier, happier, and live longer. When we went on a WorldWide Marriage Encounter weekend, we were more than a little surprised when a priest told us that our love-making is good, is important for us, and is important to the world. He encouraged us to “make mad passionate love!”
    So, why has married sex become something else? Society and media portray sex for married couples as dull and lifeless, a tool used to manipulate, something to joke about, and something that - beyond the newlywed phase- gradually drifts away. We’ve been sold this bill of goods, and we often buy into it! What we really crave in our sex life is to give and receive something powerful- to experience the depths of our passion and love for each other, to be as intimate as possible. Our freq…

Advice From a Divorce Lawyer

Yes, this is a strange twist.  We recently heard about James J Sexton's book, "If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late."  James is a divorce attorney from New York, who started noticing some patterns after 20 years of working with couples whose marriages were ending.

Marriage Manners Matter

"Fine!" and "Whatever!" These 2 powerful words have the incredible potential to bring nearly any discussion to a screeching halt.  They send the insensitive message of "I don't care. Discussion over.  Period. Full stop!"   As married couples, we have probably used these or similar words.  And, if we have raised children we have probably employed time out, taken the car keys or other forms of discipline.

Those 2 little words are not  the focus of this blog.

Sex on Days Ending in 'Y'

Lovemaking is one of the most important aspects of a healthy marriage.  Yet there are so many impediments and inhibitions to making love once those wonderful Honeymoon years are over.

Tone of Voice

Something that we’ve become increasingly aware of in our marriage is how our tone of voice so significantly affects our communication – for better or for worse! It is remarkable how something so seemingly small can make such a huge impact on whether our communication is healthy, productive, and enriching or debilitating, disheartening, and provocative. Believe it or not, tone of voice is huge. WE would go as far as to say tone of voice is at the root of most of the small hurts we experience in our relationship.
Perhaps it would be easier to make our case using an example. Recently, we were trying to get out of the house to go to church and be on time. I (Stephanie) have to admit I am typically the one who is running behind trying to get one last thing put away or rushing because I did not plan my time well. Paul will often playfully turn the hall light on and off letting me know he is by the door ready and waiting. Usually I will laugh it off and tell him I am coming. This particular…