Does Your Stress Interfere With Your Couple Connection?
There are so many stressors in our life these days. With the internet linking us to the world wide web, we can be addressing financial issues, work commitments, project management and career initiatives 24/7. There is increased pressure to find a balance between our personal lives and a busy work schedule and career responsibilities. This can be especially true when you are in a relationship, where you may be starting a family or have other ongoing family responsibilities.
Stress can become a constant in our lives, never able to fully getting away from it, never able to fully relax. This can leave you feeling constantly tired, with little or no emotional or mental energy left for your relationship.
What Happens When You’re Stressed?
When we are stressed we are less inclined to directly address any ongoing conflicts that emerge in the relationship. Instead we may find ourselves being more emotionally distant, making snappy comments, feeling more critical or judgemental or insecure in the couple bond.
Often couples say that they haven’t addressed recurring conflicts in their relationship because they were hoping they would just simply disappear. We all probably know deep down that conflict and relationship difficulties don’t just go away, but rather they tend to go underground, fester and appear when we least expect it. They may appear as an explosive disagreement or through physical and emotional distancing.
The best way through those feelings of tension and discomfort is getting into the habit of taking courage to take a step forward and address any tensions earlier.
Over time and with practice this builds trust, tolerance and resilience in your relationship. It adds a valuable emotional skillset in being able to hold and manage tense conversations with your partner and get through them to a place of connection and goodwill.
Sometimes couples need help with an experienced therapist to hold that space with them and build on tools for adequately addressing a conflict and c0-creating repair. Here are some tips for improving your connection with your partner:
1.Take Positive Steps To Address The Stress
Reducing your stress can improve your overall connection with your partner.
Make your own plan of action to take personal responsibility around managing your stress. Look honestly at where and how you may need stronger boundaries around your work schedule in order to make regular space for your relationship.
Think about the signals in your own body when stress starts to creep in and take action early on how you will address this.
There are many practical steps you can take to reduce your stress. These include:
- going for a walk in the park,
- making regular time to meditate quietly away from all your electronic devices,
- doing some form of gentle exercise like yoga or pilates,
- learning breathing techniques that help soothe and relax you,
- listen to music that is calming and helps you relax.
2.Address Any Conflict or Tension Early
When it comes to dealing with conflict in a relationship, the strongest couples can resolve conflict swiftly by soothing each other and discussing the issue earlier without blame or criticism.
When you’re able to address tensions earlier, it can be easier to let go of the issue and focus on ways you can restore your connection with your partner.
So it’s helpful to commit to an agreement together to never leave unresolved conflict for too long. If things get unaddressed too long they can start to create toxicity in your relationship.
3. Make regular time for simple pleasures
Make regular time, at least once a week to connect in a way that is fun, pleasurable and relaxing and has absolutely nothing to do with your problems. This is time to simply enjoy each other’s company.
This could be a dinner together, a walk together in your local park or neighbourhood, going out to listen to music or staying in and listening to music, going to a show or gallery exhibition. Whatever you decide is good for you both, just make sure that you don’t slide into talking about your relationship problems, issues, or difficulties. Use this time to remember what you appreciate about each other as a couple.
4. Schedule time for sex
If you’re a busy couple that has been together for a while, it’s also essential that you set aside time for sexual intimacy.
Once the honeymoon stage of your relationship is over (which generally lasts about 6 to 18 months) spontaneous desire for each other often reduces. This is a normal stage of couple development where spontaneous desire drops off as your relationship develops.
As a result, you need to make time to connect sexually so that you can maintain your physical intimacy and connection.
When you think about the top 10 things that you need to prioritise in your week, make sure that having sex is somewhere in that list. If it’s not in the list of your top 10 things to do, talk about what you could remove from your list of priorities to replace with sex. Attending to your physical connection is a vital part of any long-term relationship.
6. Be affectionate frequently
Display frequent physical affection with your partner such as gazing into each other’s eyes, touching your partner’s arm or shoulder, using a gentle and soothing voice when talking to your partner, hugging your partner when you come home at the end of the day, or holding hands when you walk down the street. All these physical gestures have a soothing effect on your nervous system, will calm your stress response, and help you feel more connected to each other.
For the modern day couple, there are many challenges to navigate. But to maintain your health and happiness as a couple, attend to your connection by dealing with stress, spending quality time together, resolving conflict quickly, and displaying frequent affection to one another. These are some of the most important things that will make your relationship a source of joy for years to come.
Do you need help with your relationship connection?
If you need help with your relationship, contact me for a FREE 20-minute phone consultation to discuss your situation and find out how we can help. You can call me now on 0410 324 134 or book your free phone consult online.