Our life’s stresses can strain our relationships, and sometimes, it can destroy our marriages and relationships. People get stressed from many things such job insecurity, problems at work, financial concerns, health problems, kids struggling in school, and so on and so forth. When these types of situations require your attention, they can strain even the most resilient and healthy relationships or marriages. Let’s face it, situations like these are stressful and are detrimental for any relationships to grow and thrive, so this is an important thing to recognize.
In reality, most of us are unable to do that and project our pain and disappointments onto others, especially our partners, and eventually we add to their grief. But what if your problems in your relationship aren’t because of the stress? The problems get deeper when we take this understanding about stress and how it contributes to creating tension, and use it to distract us from a larger pattern in the relationship. For example, when there are kids, most couples tell themselves that their lives will become less stressful and they’ll be happier once again once the children grow older. We assume that we’re unhappy because of all the challenges of raising young kids. Raising children is a 24-hour job, and is physically and mentally exhausting. It’s very stressful balancing your kids, your job, your life, etc., all at the same time. It's what many married couples say to themselves that when their kids are bigger, they’ll finally have more time for their partners. They believe if they pass through this stage. Eventually, things will be back to normal. But, “back to normal” isn’t that great as we expect it to be.
Stress in life like childcare, career issues, or financial concerns, impact a relationship, which increases the chances of both conflict and connection. They key difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship is the approach we take in resolving these conflicts and how we turn them into connection or disconnection.
In healthy and happy relationships, couples have conversations about their thoughts and feelings that surround around life stressors. When things get hard, they lean on each other and treat one another as friends. Whereas, couples in unhealthy relationships, have a tendency to withhold their thoughts and feelings, and project them onto their spouses resulting in blame and criticism. They don’t seem each other as friends and think that their partners are the source of their unhappiness. In unhealthy relationships, couples often don’t disassociate themselves from blame and criticism. All they do is tell that their partners aren’t his or her, which only creates more disconnection among themselves.
So, why do some couples remain in the unhealthy relationships? It’s mainly because of our preconceived notions about our roles as spouse and parents and spouses. These preconceived notions are often unspoken, pretended concepts. A healthy couple focuses on these differences and discusses them; reaches an agreement on how they can fulfill these roles. When you’re in a relationship, you’re 100 percent responsible for where you are. If you’re willing to handle the stress in the right way get curious with yourself and your partner. If you aren’t interested, then it’s clear that you’re choosing pain over freedom.