Tips for Stressed-Out Spouses

Nancy and Howard Stevens

"Wow! I had anticipated that this would be a slow, relaxing day," I told my husband. "But challenging situations suddenly arose one after the other. I felt like I stressedmanonchairwas getting hit from all directions!"

Everyone experiences times when stressful events precipitate an adrenaline surge and yet you still seem to be racing just to keep up.

When one partner comes home frazzled from a hectic day and the other one provides comfort, a listening ear, and some tender loving care, the tensions seem to quickly dissipate.

However, when partners greet each other with an overabundance of stress hormones surging through both of their systems, creating a calm atmosphere can seem like an impossible feat. So what's the best course of action when you find yourself in that situation?

6 Tips for Dealing with Stress in Marriage

  1. Give each other some space and a few minutes to unwind.

    Changing into more comfortable clothing and slipping into soft slippers can start the relaxing process. Washing your face, taking a hot shower or bath, or putting your feet up and turning on some soothing worship music can help you refocus and regain your perspective.

  2. Even if you don't feel like talking about your day or about anything else, express your love to each other, rather than just clamming up.

    "I love you, honey, but I don't want to talk about anything right now," lets your partner know that everything is still fine between the two of you.

  3. Pick a time to discuss the day's challenges and your concerns, "We'll talk after supper," and then be sure to do so.

  4. Your partner will be quicker to give you the time you need to relax if he or she knows that you will follow through and share later.

  5. Be willing to listen without jumping in to dispense advice.

    Saying, "You should have done this," or, "You should do that," while your spouse is still telling you about the situation, may lead to an argument or your partner may decide not to share with you the next time.

  6. Be compassionate and diplomatic, yet Christlike and truthful.

  7. If your partner tells you that he totally lost his temper and told off his boss, your responding, "Your boss deserved it! I wish I could have said a few words to him too!" will only cause tensions to escalate.

  8. Study your spouse.

    Observe how your partner reacts under stress and notice which of your responses seem to lessen or increase the tension.

During times of great stress, remember why you married your partner.

Think of your spouse's good qualities and compliment him or her. Express gratitude for acts of kindness and thoughtfulness. Treat each other with courtesy, respect, and gentleness (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).Remember why you got married

Don't try to change your spouse--that's God's job! Pray for God's best for your partner. Ask God to give you insights as to how your attitude and actions affect your mate.

At the end of a rough day, don't forget to pray together.

God can do amazing things in your marriage when both partners ask for His guidance, grace, and peace and are willing to make whatever changes the Holy Spirit impresses them to make.

© by Nancy A. and Howard W. Stevens