How to Deal with Relationship Stress


179227509Are you experiencing a lot of relationship stress? Are you willing to do anything and everything to hold on to your partner?  Is your relationship struggling under the stress of daily life or some other source of anxiety?

Stress, whether from inside or outside your relationship, is likely to affect the way you think, feel and behave. This invariably impacts on your partner and your relationship – creating a vicious circle.

Changes and Issues 

The situations that most commonly trigger these stress behaviors in my clients are relationship changes and issues. When someone calls me and is stressed about their relationship, they are concerned that their partner is slipping away, resisting a deeper commitment or trying to revive their relationship after a breakup. Relationships can be really stressful! More people call me about relationship stress than the stress associated with careers, parenting, serious illness and even death.

images (1)Decoding to Prevent Loss 

Are you trying to decode your partner’s behaviors, thoughts and feelings? 85% of my callers are. You may feel like your instinct is telling you they’re about to leave you and you’re fearful. Well, fear is an instinct, and instinct is not intuition. Fear is an adrenal response and should not be mistaken for a flash of insight. If you do that, you’re going to feel stress.

The Stress Merry-Go-Round 

Many of my callers fear losing their partner, and they are struggling to keep them. They are finding themselves in a vicious and exhausting cycle that triggers the stress symptoms I’ve described above. I like to call this vicious cycle the “stress merry-go-round.”

Holding, Folding, or Manipulating the Odds 

Can you prevent loss from happening? Many of my callers think so. They think that their partner’s patterns or behaviors indicate that they are about to break up with them and they want to know what they can do to prevent the breakup, so it doesn’t become an official loss. They want to talk to someone who can see into the future and tell them if they should hold or fold and they want to know what they can do to put the odds in their favor. They think having this kind of informationwill reduce their stress.

How to Win 

Other than the fear of loss, people with relationship issues call me because they want to know how to win. But in order for them to win, their partner has to lose. They start making strategic moves that give them the upper hand and they try to dominate their partner. The relationship becomes a tit for tat situation, with a lot of arguments, hurtful words and behavior, passive-aggressive acts and subversive or psychological mind games. It can get to the point where there aren’t enough bandages to cover the wounds caused by this kind of relationship stress.

Get Off the Stress Merry-Go-Round

Get off the stress merry-go-round! That’s the only way to fix things and salvage your relationship. I know it’s scary because staying on the stress merry-go-round keeps the relationship going, but is that what you really want?

imagesThe longer you stay on the ride, the closer you get to the end, and that’s why getting off the merry-go-round is better. It changes the direction of your relationship and forces you to either evolve your relationship or let it go. It’s a risk worth taking because if successful, it will infuse your relationship with a new, healthier energy. Conversely, it could cause your relationship to end, but an ending is the potential beginning of a new and better relationship with someone who is more loving.