Stress, if left unattended, can destroy a relationship. It creates a wedge between two people, pushing each farther away until they are a memory of what they used to be. Your goal should be to identity the sources of your stress and confront them head-on, before it’s too late.
Here are 8 signs of stress to watch for!
1. No ‘Me’ Time
When you don’t spend enough time on yourself, it causes a state of emotional overwhelm, which then isolates you from your spouse. This creates overall feelings of disconnect.
Schedule some time a day just for yourself, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Read a book, go for a jog, take a bubble bath. Do something that you enjoy. You’ll start to feel the stress come off in no time, which will make you (and, as a result, your partner) happier.
2. Lack of Sex or Intimacy
It’s normal to have more sex earlier on in the relationship. Everything is new and fresh, and it feels like excitement is around every corner. It isn’t unusual for the sex to become less frequent as the relationship progresses, but it is a cause for concern when sex and intimacy barely happen at all.
For a relationship to flourish, intimacy must exist. Communicate with your partner. Figure out what makes them tick.
3. Communication Problems
If one of you tries to have a conversation, and the other just gives short, one-word answers, chances are you have a lack of communication. Or, maybe your partner has chosen not to speak to you at all. It could be that he has other things on his mind, or maybe she is bothered by something, but doesn’t know how to express it.
The only way to find out is to ask.
4. Spending More Time With People Away From Your Partner
If you spend more time with others than your spouse, chances are your relationship has a problem. There’s actually a reason people do this, and it’s to escape an unsolved issue at home. Is there a behavior you wish your partner would fix, but you don’t know how to tell him/her?
Sit down with your partner. Be assertive. Tell he or she what is bothering you. If they truly want to make the relationship work and if they truly respect your feelings, they will be receptive.
You know that way he leaves the seat up? Or how she doesn’t clean up after herself? You used to not mind it, but now it’s intolerable. The mere thought of your partner doing these things makes you agitated beyond words.
Communicate these feelings to your partner. Don’t yell or berate them, but approach them in a calm and constructive way.
6. Drinking Problems
Some people turn to alcohol to relieve stress, and this can turn into a major problem. In some cases, it can lead to a dependence, but most of the time, it’s probably just stress. If you turn to alcohol to escape your problem, rather than solving it, it’s never going to go away.
Look inward. Pinpoint the problem. Then tackle it head-on. No excuses.
7. The “D” Word
Maybe one of you becomes so stressed that “divorce” flies out of your mouth before you realize it. And it can cause major emotional stress. Sometimes things get so bad that separation or divorce is the answer, but it’s best to discuss this logically before you finalize your decision.
Discuss this life-altering decision with a lawyer or counselor first. There still might be hope.
Something important happens in your life, and your spouse makes constant excuses why they can’t be a part of it. This is another way of emotionally disconnecting from the relationship. If it happens once, it’s an honest mistake. If it keeps happening, it’s a problem.
Talk to each other! Find out what the real issue is. If you can’t do it on your own, see a therapist. There are many who specialize in relationship and marriage counseling.