Is the stress of everyday life weighing on your marriage? Do you and your spouse seem to bicker about the littlest of things? Or do you hold things in and then explode? I get it! The daily grind can put a lot of pressure on a relationship. Let’s change that! Here are 9 ways you can protect your marriage from daily stress.
Day in and day out we are bombarded with demands. Everything from work to relationships, bills, and keeping up with the house; they all compete for our attention.
After a while, these demands can start to take a toll on our marriages. Before you know it you and your spouse are irritable and snappy with each other.
Over time, all of this frustration can literally drive a wedge between you and your spouse. Eventually, you don’t talk to each other or even enjoy being around each other anymore.
It may even seem like you are just “business partners” in your home, simply taking care of tasks.
Sometimes, it can be hard to identify the root of the problem and what may have led you to this point.
I’m pretty confident that it wasn’t just one thing. Rather, it’s likely a combination of several contributing factors that have chiseled away at your relationship.
How Can I Overcome Stress in My Marriage?
Stress impacts us all in different ways. If you have been married long enough you can learn your spouse’s cues on when they’ve had enough. We all reach the tipping point at different times.
The good news? There is hope! Your marriage can be in a much better place. And I want you to know that you are not alone. All marriages go through these seasons of frustrations.
It doesn’t matter how long or how little you have been married, you will go through seasons that may be harder than others. But, you can guard your marriage from the harm of everyday busyness and stress.
Let’s look at some of these stress points so you can protect your marriage from them.
How to Protect Your Marriage From Everyday Stress
1. Know your stress trigger points, tired, hormonal, too busy, distractions
In order to protect your marriage from stressful influences, you have to know your trigger points. Are you overly tired or hormonal? Maybe your schedule is full and you have neglected some alone time with your husband.
This happens so easily. We don’t wake up in the morning and think to ourselves that we are going to intentionally ignore and disregard our spouse today. It happens over time.
Over-exhaustion and hormonal fluctuations can impact how we respond to our spouses. If you find yourself reacting in a negative way, stop and evaluate what may be behind that response. You can protect your marriage by being quick to apologize if you’ve spoken or acted in haste.
2. Learn to say no to over-commitment
Overcommitting to activities (whether for fun or obligations) can wear on your relationship. When you don’t get a chance to nurture your marriage, growing apart is inevitable.
Maybe you’re stretched too thin because you are not comfortable with saying no. If you find yourself having a hard time declining invitations or requests for something, let me encourage you to take a bold step out of your comfort zone.
Politely saying no to family and friends can be hard. Actually, it can be really hard. But your marriage trumps any other relationship. If you are feeling disconnected from your spouse, it just might be time to work on saying no to an overcommitted schedule.
3. Avoid communicating with words like “always” and “never”
“Always” and “Never” can be confrontational words when conversations get heated. They are also accusatory words.
Rather than spouting out these words to your spouse, explain how his action makes you feel. Otherwise, more than likely he will become defensive and things can go south pretty quickly.
Communicate things like, “when you do this, it makes me feel like this”. Instead of “you always do…” and “you never seem to…”!
Going the extra mile to become aware of what you might say to your spouse will help learn to fight fair (or as we like to call it, intense fellowship).
4. Get comfortable with apologizing when you’ve been short tempered
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:26 to not let the sun go down on your anger. We all argue as married couples. We all have shortcomings that we need to repent of.
For some people, apologizing comes easy. Some people struggle with saying sorry. But, in an effort to keep your marriage intact it is important to not harbor bitterness. Once that root takes hold, it can stick around for a while.
Apologizing quickly when we have spoken harsh words or had a bad attitude with our spouse is like pulling a weed right up before it has time to grow down deep.
Admitting you were wrong takes humility. But it can safeguard your relationship in the long run.
5. Be clear on who is responsible for certain chores and tasks
As humans, we get distracted easily. We forget to do things and not hold up to our end of responsibilities especially when it comes to keeping up with the house.
When our spouse doesn’t do certain things in the house we feel the burden falls on us to get them done. Next to money problems, this is a huge area of contention for a lot of married couples and can have a negative impact on the relationship.
Talk about household chores and responsibilities together. Know who is going to do what so it is clear.
For example, I don’t do yard work. My husband doesn’t clean the bathrooms. I will not put the expectation on him to clean the bathrooms and he will not expect me to cut the grass. Now that our kids are older they certainly help with these tasks.
There are other tasks around the house that we share, but if it isn’t something that we are delegating to the kids, we talk about who will do what task. This avoids false expectations that will not get but because it hasn’t been made clear.
6. Communicate love and appreciation all throughout the day
Spontaneous expressions of love throughout the day lets your spouse know that you appreciate him. Things like text messages or notes left where he can see them can brighten his day.
Letting your husband know that he is on more mind in spite of a busy day can help protect your marriage and keep the romance alive.
This is also a good way to keep his love tank full. When your husband’s love tank runs low, especially in busy seasons, he can start to feel neglected or unappreciated.
Communicate love all throughout the day and he will likely return the gestures.
7. Remember that you are both only human
Can I let you in on a secret? Your husband will disappoint you! Yep, I know when you are first married, he can do no wrong.
But over time, you begin to realize that he actually makes mistakes. He’s human. And so are you.
Expecting your husband to never make mistakes or let you down sets you both up for failure. Allow him to be human, and allow yourself to be human as well. A marriage that is expected to be perfect cannot withstand that much pressure.
8. Consult each other before making large purchases
Money is one of the main reasons why couples fight. Keeping large purchases a secret from your husband can lead to serious trouble and violate trust.
If you or your spouse struggle with spending money, come up with an amount that you both agree on that you will have to check in with each other before making the purchase.
For example, say you set your check-in amount to $50. The next time you are out shopping and you see something you need that is $50 or more, you would not buy the item until you have spoken to your husband about it. The same would go for him.
Trust me on this, it is a surefire way to save your marriage.
9. Pray with each Other and For each other
Last but certainly not least, I would encourage you to pray for your spouse. Pray for God to guide him to be the leader in your home. Pray for his health and well-being.
Is he stressed at work? Pray! Is he struggling with self-confidence? Pray!
In my opinion, prayer is the single most important way to protect your marriage from daily stress.
But, don’t stop there. Pray with your husband. Praying and seeking God together for direction in your marriage strengthens your relationship. If your husband doesn’t think that you really don’t need to pray together ask, God to change his heart to see the value in it.
I hope that these tips encourage you as you strive to make your marriage stronger. Becoming aware of the impact that daily stress can have on your marriage will help to put up safeguards to keep it going strong for a lifetime.