Why relationship stress can make you sick and how to reduce it

IT’S NORMAL TO HAVE ARGUMENTS IN A RELATIONSHIP AND DEAL WITH PROBLEMS TOGETHER. HOWEVER, THERE IS A POINT WHERE THE ARGUMENT AND PROBLEMS CAN BECOME A REAL BURDEN OR EVEN MAKE YOU SICK.  But how can you tell? And what can you do to save a relationship?

What exactly are relationship problems?

Relationship problems are disputes, crises and conflicts between two people, which negatively affect their well-being and everyday life and put a strain on the partnership. They take place regularly and go beyond the healthy norm. Causes of relationship problems may include a lack of appreciation, insensitivity, lack of interest, financial worries, different plans for the future, jealousy, lack of communication or raising children.

How stress affects a relationship

Relationship stress has a particularly heavy impact because often, the other partner is a primary source of support. Stress within the relationship can lead to depression and increase the risk of death. A 2014 study found that unhappy couples between the ages of 60 and 80 showed a significant increase in heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure.

 

Does that mean that you shouldn’t argue anymore? No. After all, arguments are important in a relationship. They offer a way to develop further in the partnership. But once arguments stop having any constructive effects and give way to snide remarks, they become harmful. For example, constantly bringing up old conflicts and the same accusations is destructive.

stress in relationship_communication

What to do about relationship stress ?

#1 Solve conflicts better

If an argument comes up that is no longer constructively or emotionally charged, you can take a break. It can also be a good idea to establish a code word with your partner and to use this if the argument threatens to get out of hand. You can then postpone the discussion to a few days later. During this break, you should give yourself plenty of space and be good to yourself and, if possible, your partner. If there is still cause for discussion after three days, you can broach the issue again with a cool head.

#2 Establish good communication

Good communication is the solution to half of the problems in a relationship. However, it takes a lot of practice and, more than anything, both partners have to be willing to work on it. During an argument, both partners should try to understand each other, listen carefully and allow the other one to finish speaking. If one partner is constantly interrupting the other, you can take an object and only the person holding the object is allowed to speak. It might seem a bit like you’re in nursery school, but believe me, if both of you really try to stick to it, it can help. It is also important to use “I” sentences instead of “you” sentences. These are less accusatory and more likely to show your own perspective and feelings.

#3 Organise regular dates

This is a classic relationship tip, and rightly so. Anyone who has been together for a long time knows that those exciting feelings and moments where you take time for each other decrease. Everyday worries, raising children and job stress take over and the relationship quickly becomes more functional than intimate and passionate. Going on dates regularly can make all the difference here.

organize regular dates

Some conflicts are very difficult to resolve as a couple and require professional help. If you are experiencing frequent problems and arguments in your relationship and would like to work on them, please contact one of our coaches.

written by Daniel Sigrist

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