Stress is an inevitable part of life. While it can sometimes be good, pushing us to improve ourselves further, stress can often be more of a negative force. Such can become damaging not only to our physical health but also to our relationships.
Whether you’re casually dating, in a long-term relationship or married, here are some red flags and tell-tale signs that the connection between you and your partner is becoming much too strained.
You’re More Irritable AndTake It Out On Each Other
There are just some days that don’t go our way. You got to work late, forgot important documents at home, haven’t eaten all day, coworkers asked too many unnecessary questions at work: stress builds up. When this happens, we tend to be irate and annoyed over the smallest of things. Unfortunately, even our beloved partners aren’t safe from being on the receiving end.
If you find yourself irritated over small things that your loved one does – how they chew with their mouth open, leave the toilet seat up, or dump clothing on the bathroom floor – this might be a sign that you’re over-stressed.
To avoid this, try to find a better outlet for your stress, so you don’t take it out on your partner. Instead of being mad at them, you can try ranting or vent out about what’s making you tense. Let them be aware of and involve them in your struggles instead of creating new ones. Take note that Christina G. Hibbert, PsyD said ““When you allow yourself to feel the anxiety without resistance, you may find it’s not as intolerable as you think, and you may even learn more about the root of your anxiety.”
You Spend More Time With Other People
It isn’t unusual for couples to spend time apart, hanging out with their friends or family separately. However, when this happens too often, then this may be a warning that one or both of you may be letting stress get to your relationship.
Serious partners rely on each other to some degree for all forms of support, including emotional comfort and assistance. When you’re out spending all of your time with other people, then you won’t be able to be there for your significant other. It can lead to them feeling isolated or neglected, leading to further stress.
To steer clear of this problem, always try to allot some quality time for your loved one. If it works, set aside a specific day for date night. Even those with busy schedules can find even just five minutes in their day to talk to or cuddle up with their partner. Dr. Natalie Jones, LPCC, PsyD said “Communication is key to keep a relationship going, and a partner may cease to have effective communication skills after the dating period.”
You’ve Become Paranoid That They’re Doing Something Wrong
Another warning you’ll want to look out for is being paranoid and distrustful of each other. It isn’t uncommon for insecurities and stress to overpower logic. As much as we want to and do trust our partners, there are times when we just become anxious over small things. For instance, our partners talking to other attractive individuals could bring us distress and cause us to become suspicious even if our significant other hasn’t actually done anything wrong.
Try to bring up these insecurities and problems with each other, but also learn to trust. If you haven’t found any definitive proof that shows that you should indeed be worried, then it would be unfair to allow problems to be driven by your emotions.
In the end, you have to communicate with each other well and get to the source of your troubles and worries. Remember that your loved one is called your partner for a reason. They’re there to help you with problems that you encounter, and good partners work on these things together. Letting issues go unresolved will just lead to further resentment and bigger issues in the future.
Nancy Goldov, PsyD, BC-DMT said that “People want support and strategies for maintaining good connections with family members and friends.” As such, do not feel embarrassed if you want to ask for help from other people.