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11 Great Ways to Cope with the Stress of Marriage
How to Cope with the Stress of Marriage
Marriage is a stressful institution. You have to deal with internal stress, such as the annoying ways your spouse treats you or the pressure your spouse puts on you in an effort to get you to please him or her. Furthermore, there is external stress from friends and family members who also want you to give them your time and attention. This causes some married people to complain that, “My husband or my wife is causing me stress! Stress in my marriage is making me sick. How can I cope with the stress of marriage?”
In this article, I will share with you a few things you can do to keep stress from hurting your marriage.
First of all, let’s take a look at some of the factors that cause stress most in marriages.
10 of the Top Stressors in Marriage
Ten of the things that are most likely to cause stress in a marriage are
- spouses wondering whether the relationship will last;
- doubts in the minds of spouses as to whether their partner loves them;
- failure of spouses to control their anger;
- poor communication skills, such as poor listening skills and fear of telling a spouse how one feels when he is hurt;
- unfaithfulness of a spouse;
- an unfulfilling sex life;
- arguments about finances;
- one spouse thinking that the other is trying to dominate him or her;
- jealousy of a controlling spouse which leads to frequent fights; and
- verbal and physical abuse.
So, how can you manage these situation and others that will arise so that you can cope with the stress that you will experience in your marriage?
Do Not Compare Your Marriage to Other Marriages
Sometimes, we compare our marriage to the marriages of our friends and relatives. We think our cousin is treating his (or her) wife ( or husband) better than we are treating our spouse. We feel our friend’s husband is more responsible than our husband or our friend’s wife is more beautiful than our wife. All these kinds of thoughts can breed anxiety in us and make us fret, and this can result in stress.
To deal with such stress in marriage, refrain from comparing your marriage to the marriages of people around you. Learn to be content with what you have. Every day, think to yourself that, “My marriage is the greatest marriage in the world. Even if it is not a good marriage, we will work on it and make our marriage the best marriage we can make it.” This will help to take pressure off you and you will feel relaxed.
Learn to Be Patient
When you get agitated and frustrated at every little irritation or at every offensive word your spouse says to you, it can help to stress you out and increase your blood pressure.
On the other hand, when you react calmly to issues, take things in their stride, and try to control yourself when you are provoked, it will give you a sense of serenity and inner peace, and you will be able to live in a stressful marriage without allowing the stress of the marriage to get to you.
How can you learn to be patient?
- Do not speak immediately, when you are irritated. Rather, sigh heavily and take a deep breath. Then think something such as, “Be patient. You do not need to react immediately.”
- Think before you speak. Ask yourself, “Do I need to react to what my spouse said? Will it help to improve the situation or will it make matters worse?” If you think speaking will help to clarify some issues and make things better, then speak. On the other hand, if you feel speaking will make things worse, just sigh again and keep quiet.
- Try to think about something funny when your spouse provokes you. Then say to yourself, “There is a lot to be happy about in the world. I will not let my spouse spoil my mood and make me unhappy.”
- Say something such as,” “I will not overreact to this hurt. I will wait till another time to respond to Isaac. Calm down! Calm down!”
Poor communication is one of the causes of stress in marriage. Communicating poorly can lead to misunderstand in the marriage. As a result, there could be disagreements and fights which can increase the tension in the marriage and cause stress to both spouses.
To prevent poor communication from causing stress in your marriage, learn to communicate in ways that will make your spouse understand you and respond to you in the proper manner so that there will be peace in the home. Talk with your spouse in a respectful manner and try to control your negative emotions when you are angry.
A marriage will exact a toll on you physically. You will need to have the stamina and energy to satisfy your wife or husband, make time for your kids, and also perform to the satisfaction of your supervisor work. Therefore, you will need to be strong and full of energy in order to fulfill all these responsibilities.
One way you can develop this strength so that you can deal with relationship stress is to do aerobic exercise every day. Aerobic exercises will help to reduce chemicals in the body which make you feel stressed out. Moreover, chemicals which make you feel good are released into your blood when you exercise, and these chemicals will make you feel relaxed thereby helping you to deal with the stress of marriage.
Therefore, plan to have an aerobic dance session as a couple every weekend. Grab your spouse’s hand and dance around your room or the garden for about thirty minutes. Make it even more interesting and romantic by taking short breaks to affirm your love for each other and to show signs of affection for each other. Doing so will help to deepen the connection of love between the two of you and as a result your marriage will become stronger.
Laughter is another thing you can use to manage marriage stress. When you laugh, natural pain killers known as endorphins are released into your bloodstream and these endorphins will give you a sense of well-being. Furthermore, laughter will help you to reduce your blood pressure thereby preventing hypertension, and as a result it will make you a healthier person.
Therefore, laugh for about ten minutes every day, whether there is something funny to laugh about or not, if you are dealing with stress in your marriage. Alternatively, watch funny videos or listen to jokes so that you can put yourself in the mood to laugh.
In addition, use laughter to diffuse tension between your spouse and yourself when you are having a hot argument. In the middle of the disagreement, just stop and laugh. Furthermore, when tragedy strikes your marriage and it is threatening to make you stressed out, crack jokes at each other and laugh, and it will help you to cope with the stress.
Are you lazy when it comes to cooking? Do you love eating out at restaurants instead of cooking at home? Well, I have news for you. Cooking can help you when you are in a stressful marriage. It can help you to calm down, slow down your fast-paced life as well as give you time to focus on what is really important in life, which is to have time for your spouse.
Therefore, try to cook together with your spouse, even when you come home tired in the evening. As you cook together and talk about your differences and how you can resolve them, you will learn how you can co-operate better in the marriage. Moreover, it will give you time to discuss some of the stressors in your marriage so that you can take the necessary steps to remove those stressors or deal with those stressors in the marriage.
Be Generous to Your Spouse
Research has shown that when a person is generous, it helps to reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in his body thereby helping that person to combat stress. Therefore, practice generosity towards your spouse, if you want to keep stress from hurting your marriage. Buy gifts for your spouse regularly. Take your spouse to lunch and pay the bill instead of expecting your spouse to pay the bill. Furthermore, help to pay for some of the bills in the house and do it with gladness in your heart.
Moreover, have gift days at the end of every month when you receive your salary. On these days, give a gift to your spouse and tell him or her how wonderful they have been as a spouse. Then, give gifts to your children too and tell them about the benefits of giving gifts so that they will also learn adopt this habit and use it to reduce stress in their marriages when they marry.
Listen to Music
Research has shown that when you listen to the music you love, it relaxes your arteries and as a result it can help you to reduce your blood pressure thereby helping to reduce stress.
Therefore, make it a habit to play your favorite music whenever you have some free time on your hands, if you live in a stressful marriage and want to cope with the stress. You can decide to play it early in the morning as you go about preparing for work, during lunchtime at work, and in the evening as you have dinner and talk about how your day went.
Alternatively, you may choose to listen to only gospel music because the words in gospel music are normally inspirational, soul-uplifting words that lift the soul, strengthen the spirit, soothe nerves, and help one to calm down.
Studies done by scientists have shown that when you dance it can lead to a reduction in the levels of hormones which cause stress thereby helping you to feel more relaxed. It is therefore a good way to deal with stressful marriage depression.
Therefore, get your groove on! Have dance parties at home with your spouse and the children. You may decide to set aside every Saturday evening to party as a family. Even if the children have moved out of the home, invite them from time to time to have these parties with you. It will lift your spirits and help you to feel more relaxed after a stressful week.
Strengthen Your Social Network
One way of coping with stress is to develop relationships with your friends and work colleagues so that you can share your cares and worries with them when your spouse is giving you stress. When you talk to these people who love you and will offer you words of encouragement and motivation, it will help you to calm down.
Furthermore, seek the help and support of elderly people in your community or in your family who have been married for at least 20 years, when you are dealing with marital stress. They have experience in dealing with the stress of marriage and so can say words to you to help you assuage your fears and worries when you share your concerns with them.
Are you stressed out because your spouse is having financial problems? Are you worried your spouse cannot fulfill his or her financial commitments to keep the home running? Well, I have good news for you! Praying for your spouse can help in dealing with marital stress caused by financial problems. Research has shown that you can cope with the stress of marriage better when you pray for your spouse.
Therefore, develop your spirituality and make it a habit to pray for your spouse daily. You may decide to pray a prayer such as, “Dear God, You are Jehovah-jireh, the Almighty provider who takes care of 7 billion people. You are the God who has provided for our financial needs from our childhood up till now. You have graciously provided for us since the start of our marriage up till now. Lord, we need your help. We need money to pay the school fees of the children, pay the electricity and water bills, pay the rent, and so that we can fix the car. Please make ways for us to solve these problems just as You have provided for us in the past when we needed finances. Teach us to profit just as you showed Peter what to do to catch a great shoal of fish after he had toiled throughout the night and had caught nothing. Bless the work of our hands and touch the hearts of people to help us so that we can pay our debts. Amen.”
When you focus on your marriage and avoid comparing it to other marriages, when you exercise regularly, entertain yourselves, try to be patient in all situations , and seek God’s help to solve some of the problems you will encounter in your marriage, you will be able to cope with the stress of marriage. It will make your marriage stronger, increase the chances that your marriage will work, and help to make your marriage a happy one.
How to Cope with the Stress of Marriage
Do you dance with your spouse at home?
© 2017 Isaac Yaw Asiedu Nunoofio