We’ve all been there. You have a stressful day at work and you come home feeling down, angry, worried or on edge. The last thing you want to do is end up taking it out on your spouse.
While it’s completely natural to feel this way, it’s important that you take the time to find a way to manage your stress, so that it doesn’t spill over into your family life.
If work leaves you feeling stressed out, you’re definitely not alone. One report found that 80% of workers feel stress on the job, with 25% having felt like screaming or shouting because of it. With employees working longer and harder than ever before, it’s no wonder work-related stress has become an issue.
Some of the most common sources of work stress include:
• Heavy workloads
• Limited opportunities for career growth or advancement
• Low salaries
• Management style
• Interpersonal relationships
• Conflicting demands or unclear expectations
Feeling stressed out due to work-related pressures is not uncommon. However, it’s important that you find ways to cope with stress so that it doesn’t end up being a burden on your marriage.
Even when stress stems from outside your marriage, it can still have a negative impact on your relationship. If you’re feeling stressed out, you’re more likely to argue, withdraw from each other and end up feeling frustrated, disconnected, sad or angry. Avoid letting stress impact your marriage with these 5 helpful tips.
1. Take a Moment to Unwind
When you’ve had a stressful day at work, it’s important to take a bit of time to decompress so you don’t just walk in the door complaining. Take some time to yourself to calm down and unwind. Taking that time to relax can help you to feel better equipped to handle a stressful situation.
If you can, take a moment to go outside and get some fresh air. Go for a quick stroll, breathe in the fresh air and give yourself some time to unwind. Try making this part of your routine. Having a consistent ritual gives you something to focus on and allows you to take control over part of your day.
2. Try Talking to Friends and Family
It’s great having a partner you can turn to when you are dealing with a stressful situation. While it’s important to be open and communicate with your partner, you don’t want to overwhelm them with your stresses either. Social engagement is one of the best ways to rein in stress, so it’s good to have a network of friends who you can reach out to.
Sometimes it just helps having a friend to talk to who can provide a fresh perspective on things. Having other people to talk to will help you to avoid dumping all of your problems onto your spouse, while allowing you to release some of the built-up tension by simply talking about it.
3. Create a Plan
Once you’ve had a chance to think about what is causing you stress, it’s time to take action. Feeling like you have a lack of control is one of the main causes of stress, so it helps to take back that power. Write down as many solutions as you can and pick the best one. Feeling like you have control over the situation can help to lower your stress levels and address the problem.
There are lots of other great stress management techniques out there, so make sure you take the time to deal with your stresses. Whether you set time aside to meditate, exercise or simply schedule in quality social time, make sure you address the issue before it takes its toll on your relationship.
4. Focus on the Positives
If you find yourself constantly talking about the stresses of work life, try and take a moment to talk about something more positive. Start by expressing your gratitude and letting your partner know how much you appreciate them. You can also take some time to write down all the things you are grateful for in life.
It may sound a bit cheesy, but several studies have found that expressing gratitude can help to guide behavior and even change how you feel. Showing appreciation towards your partner can have a huge effect on relationship satisfaction, while helping to reduce stress.
5. Set Aside Regular Time for Each Other
It’s common for people who are dealing with stress to distance themselves from their partner. Make sure you remember to prioritize your relationship by setting aside regular time for each other. As little as 15 minutes a day can have a real positive impact on your relationship.
Schedule in time where you don’t think about work, avoid distractions and just focus on each other. That means turning off the TV, putting your phone away and just spending quality time with your partner. This will help to open up the lines of communication and strengthen the bond with your partner.
Stress affects most people, so don’t forget to check in with your partner and help them if you think they may be dealing with work-related stress.
Recognize the signs: People have different ways of dealing with stress, so it may not always be easy to recognize the signs. If you notice your partner has been snappy, moody, cranky or withdrawn, it could be due to stress.
Approach your partner: Try and remain kind and compassionate and take the time to listen to what they have to say. If they don’t want to talk about it, don’t press them. Remember, we all have different ways of dealing with our issues, just let them know that you’re there if they need you.
Help ease the burden: If they’re feeling like they have too much on their plate, try and help to temporarily ease the burden. Help out where you can and give them some time to deal with their stressful situation. Of course, you don’t want to forget about your own needs, so this should only be a temporary measure.
Stress has become a part of our every day lives, with people working longer and harder than ever before. While it’s natural to feel stressed out, it’s also important that you address the issue. Take some time to deal with your stresses and try not to let it affect your relationship.
Saskia is the creator of career and lifestyle blog, My Kind of Monday, which aims to help people find happiness in work and in life. For more ideas on how to deal with stress, read her post on How to Relieve Stress with Exercise.
Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.