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5 Powerful Guidelines for Relationship Stress And Anxiety Relief

Updated on February 10, 2019
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Pat Fonda writes on a wide range of topics, especially life hacks, relationships, and self help/personal development.

Emotional wars in relationships are so draining and confusing and they’re a major cause of stress and distress. Draining because, if it’s a love relationship, we are now talking of being in conflict with someone you love and live with 24/7. Confusing because sometimes your spouse or partner will tell you how much they love you but then berate you at every opportunity they get! Are you guilty of confusing your partner – or you’re on the receiving end and are looking for relationship stress relief?

In many relationships it’s not even easy to tell…

This is because relationships are a tough challenging part of our lives. Especially when you’re dealing with matters of the heart. Good as it can make you feel, a relationship can in turn tear you apart from the inside in a heartbeat.

Causes of relationship stress/anxiety

Before we discuss our guidelines for relationship stress relief, it’s important you understand why relationships become stressed to begin with. So, what causes the conflict and stress in relationships?

Some couples love to fight. For some couples fighting is the fire that keeps their relationships alive. It lets them know that the other cares, things aren’t really over, and that sparks still fly between them. But what happens if one of them tires of the strife, or is not exactly in tune with this attitude?

Other partners in a relationship can bring stress to the relationship because they try to right the wrongs they have experienced in the past with someone new. This can cause relationship stress big time if the other party is ill-equipped to help the situation.

Some relationships experience relationship stress or anxiety during pregnancy or after having a baby.

And then you have people living in abusive relationships where confrontation and tension prevail on a daily basis. You find a couple where one partner describes being around the other as being like walking on eggshells…meaning that they can no longer be themselves in their partner's presence; that they fear their partner's reaction whenever they speak; that they are stuck, that they cannot move in either direction, for fear of upsetting their partner; and although they want to stop this feeling that is tearing them apart, they can't because somehow they’re imprisoned in the situation by their loved one…

Other times the conflict in a relationship stems from trust betrayal – or broken trust. Broken trust, especially if it involves infidelity, is one of the worst, because it is pervasive.

If you’ve not experienced broken trust in a relationship, consider yourself lucky. When there are trust issues in a relationship, the aggrieved partner typically finds himself/herself locked in a downward spiral in which personal and relationship stress skyrockets. These reactions and responses are typical:

  • Sleepless nights
  • You may feel like your stomach is eating itself through the lining
  • Feeling confused with what is real and what is not
  • Feeling like your entire world has just turned upside down
  • It isn’t unheard-of for people in this sort of situation to feel like maybe they’re better off dead!

To make matters worse, sometimes your partner will reverse the blame, or you get eaten up by your own doubts. We’ll get to how to reduce relationship stress and anxiety very shortly, but first, if you can relate to any of these scenarios below, you probably have a broken trust situation on your hands… That’s relationship stress zone…

Have you ever been totally blinded by your affection for your partner that you overlooked every warning sign of broken trust/betrayal?

Have you ever thought you caught a glimpse of a warning sign, but when you confront your partner about it, you believe them after some discussion, but then find you still have a lingering feeling of doubt?

Or perhaps the warning signs were real as your hand but when you tried to question him/her about it, you were made to feel like you were doing something wrong even suspecting they had anything to do with it… and yet in your gut you could not feel that you were wrong?

Did you once bring solid issues up to your partner, because you just needed to know, and all they did is get angry and accuse you of not trusting them?

In all these scenarios, the partner being confronted could be guilty or not – they could be guilty but have an honest excuse; or they could be very good at “reversing the attack”, making you feel like you are the wrongdoer in the end.

Or perhaps your partner just pretended they had absolutely no clue what you were talking about and brushed it aside, again making you out to be the problem if you persisted to question?

All these scenarios lead to FUD – fear, uncertainty, and doubt: a very potent stress inducer! If the betrayal involves infidelity, I will be giving you a link at the end to a good article on how to deal with infidelity.

Guidelines how to relieve relationship stress and anxiety

Like we’ve seen, relationships can be a major source of stress in our lives – because they involve some of our most sensitive emotions. But when you love someone, this shouldn’t mean that you turn a blind eye and agree with their every thought or decision. If you feel threatened or betrayed in a relationship you have the right to clear up those feelings. And naturally, the situation won’t change if you do nothing about it!

But you do not have to be confrontational about it. The guidelines below will help you find relationship stress relief and/or relationship anxiety relief safely and peacefully.

Stop Blaming

While you’re engaged in pointing a finger, and making your partner feel guilty, you cannot see what is really going on. Blame only serves to keep the fight or conflict alive. Quit the blame game and accept some responsibility for seeking a resolution of the conflict.

Rather than thinking of all the ways how your partner has hurt you, analyze the situation and especially watch out for what you could be doing to stoke the fires. Focus upon what your partner has done for you – and ways in which they have been kind to you. Express your gratitude when you get an opportunity.

Realize the price you are paying for the conflict

Unless you truly begin to realize the terrible toll that the confrontation or conflict is taking on both of you, you may not be motivated to take action to stop it. Take note of the consequences that the stress in your relationship is doing to your body and your mind and spirit. Then ask yourself, do I truly want this? Haven’t I suffered enough? Why not stop it today?

Choose to be happy rather than right

This is a simple mental switch – what’s the whole point in your relationship: to be happy or to win the high ground? When you find yourself feeling burdened by your relationship to another person, to the point that you feel you need help and relief from relationship stress, this is the time to expand your view.

Start to define success as being happy rather than being right. Take the effort to learn other tools and techniques which will de-escalate anger and make a positive relationship possible.

Build a strong sense of self-worth

All the causes of relationship stress we saw earlier lead to anger. And the best defense against anger is feeling good about who you are. Build a sense of self-worth. It has been said that you can’t give what you don’t have. When you like who you are you’ll find it easier to like your partner. Begin to treat yourself beautifully and treat your partner beautifully as well. Let go of any attitudes and emotions that stand in the way of doing this.

Help them to change, through example

When you keep a positive outlook and deal with your partner in a positive way (even when his or her approach to you is negative or confrontational) you may actually be amazed how quickly their attitudes and feelings towards you can change.

Example is a powerful motivator, for both positive and negative change.

Identify all the ways how your partner is hurting your feelings or treating you bad and do the exact opposite. Tit-for-tat is the natural response sometimes, I know, but remember it can only escalate the conflict.

Seek to understand before you seek to be understood! Oh, and don’t worry – if you do this well, and there is nothing terribly wrong with the relationship, your efforts will be rewarded.

In conclusion

If you can find the courage to let go of your anger and seek to relieve the stress from your relationship, not only will your health improve, but soon you could notice many kinds of wonderful, new people and experiences entering your life. Like they have said, we attract what we focus on. When you focus upon well-being, forgiveness, and love that is what will fill your life.

Apply the tips and techniques above and you can’t go wrong.

Are you in a confrontational relationship? This article shows you how to manage a confrontation. If the stress in your relationship is due to infidelity, this article discusses how to deal with that.

Video: How to deal with relationship stress

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