Facing Stress Together: How to Keep Your Sanity & Marriage Intact

By October 12, 2016 February 23rd, 2018 Communication, Conflict

Going through a stressful season or life event can take a toll on your marriage and family. How do you deal with the stress together, while keeping your sanity and marriage intact?

Today, we’re sharing some tips on how to deal with stressful times as a couple.

Remember You’re on the Same Team

When the going gets tough, it can be easy for spouses to become agitated with–or even pitted against–one another. We know this isn’t where you want to end up! So when you’re really feeling the pressure of whatever situation you’re in, breathe and remind yourself that the two of you are on the same team.

It can be helpful to remind your spouse that you aren’t enemies, if he/she becomes edgy toward you during this difficult time. Just remember to do it in a gentle, kind way. After the storm passes, your spouse will be grateful for it.

Take Care of Your Health

Stress, especially when it’s prolonged, can really take a toll on our bodies. When you’re dealing with a stressful circumstance or season, it’s important for you to work together to protect your health. Be one another’s accountability partner, eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, and take time to decompress together with exercise.

Once you allow stress to take hold of your life and your body, it’s easy to get stuck in a downward spiral of bad habits that will be very detrimental to your health and future. Work together to stay on top of this, and when the stress has passed, you’ll be glad you did!

Intentionally Focus on Positives

A stressful situation can be all-encompassing. This might make us to want to discuss the source of that stress all the time, until we finally have closure. If we’re not careful, we’ll quickly overpower all communication with the stressful topic before we realize what we’ve done.

Of course, there will be many occasions where you and your spouse have to have the hard conversations and address what’s happening in your life. But once in awhile, pick a different–positive–topic on purpose, and spend some time focusing on that. As time passes, you’ll feel less pressure, and it’ll become easier to spend time talking about happier things.

Have Some Fun

Stress sucks the joy out of life. It’s common to become sluggish and isolated when you’re facing difficulties. You might even become depressed and lose interest in things you enjoyed doing in the past.

Take some time with your spouse to just go have some fun. Go on a date (and ban all discussion of heavy and negative topics), play a sport together, take a walk, watch a funny movie, create something together–anything to hit that “reset” button on your inner world.

You may not be able to control everything that’s going on around you, but you and your spouse can definitely follow these steps to make life a little more bearable when you’re in a hard season. In time, this will pass, and when you come out on the other side you’ll still have each other. Lifelong love can take a lot of work, but it’s worth every struggle.

How did you and your spouse stick together through a stressful time in your life? Tell us all about it in the comments!

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9 Comments

  • Michele Najab says:

    We did not let fear of that situation overpower us. We encouraged each other with uplifting words of hope to see through the seemingly “dark” situation. Sometimes the situation is something that affects the one spouse more than the other but it is in that time that we can prop up the other and not get caught up in the emotion of it because it isn’t happening to us directly we can emotionally step out of it and find things to say to our spouse to see the light at the end of the tunnel.(With God’s help of course!)

  • Sharon Heffner says:

    This came to my inbox just in time – I go for surgery tomorrow! Thanks and God bless!

  • Open communication is the only thing that helps us get along peacefully and joyfully.

  • Mary carson says:

    I so admired a couple in my grief group. Their twenty something son had taken his own life. This husband and wife grieved so very differently, but soon after their son’s death they agreed they would not let their loss drive a wedge between them. They respected one another’s differences—each yielding at times their own preferences to their spouse’s wishes. This evidence of love under extreme sorrow has encouraged me in my marriage.

    • Terri says:

      My husband and I are in the midst of that journey right now. Six months ago tomorrow, we awoke to the phone call that every parent dreads; my stepson had overdosed and died. I am one who reaches out to others for solace. My husband has always turned inward to cope with pain, and told me that even though I am the safest person he knows, he still struggles to reach even to me. I have always been aware that he and I process things differently, and I allow him space and alone time. I ask him what he needs, and he sometimes doesn’t know because it can change from one minute to the next. Grace holds us together… the grace of God and extending grace continually to one another.

  • Lucy says:

    What different suggestions would you offer a couple raising a disabled child with physical, mental or neuro-developmental in nature issues -maybe more than one of those three because that is for a lifetime not a temporary timeframe. That might help other couples.

    • Marla says:

      Looks like we are in the same boat. My dear daughter age 10 is high functioning but now argues that she has special needs. I try to explain there are the neurotypical people and there are people who have e brains that are not. THEY ARE Aspie or have ADHD or SPD sensory processing disorder. It was painful to see her try to do a new dance routine today in dance class. She froze up… Didn’t want to get in her mark. Wanted to just do her own steps… Other girls staring at her. She refused to go to the special needs class….. She did talk to a girl in that class which followed hers about having stage freight. The girls said I have been dancing 3 years and it is easier the more you do it….. She said that girls does not seem like she has special needs. I said yes you are right but you can’t see her brain…. It’s probably just a little different like yours…. I am thankful for that conversation. My dear hubby doesn’t get to see that…. He doesn’t understand. He says I make excuses for her….. I encourage her but I k of things can be harder for her. He has a lot of resentment towards me and Dd…. I am praying for a resolution.

    • Hayley says:

      Yes i too would love 2 know & hear from anyone that has any insight or advice on this particular situation please!

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