Is Your Marriage Causing You Anxiety?
You may recall the first time you saw your future mate. Or perhaps you remember the moment you realized this was the person you were meant to marry. Those memories serve as special reminders of the thrill of a new relationship...of the euphoria that comes with falling in love. They are the kinds of moments you want to remember for the rest of your life.
Then reality hits. Perhaps it happened during your first month of marriage. Perhaps it happened within a year of your engagement. It might not have happened for another five years. In any case, you are suddenly under a great deal of stress, which you attribute to your spouse. There may be financial concerns, child-rearing, and concerns about where to live. At times, the conflict may appear frivolous—you may be engaged in a knock-down, drag-out brawl over who is to blame for the overflowing toilet. Or you could be dealing with more severe issues, such as a disagreement about when to have a child.
While we all wish for marriage to be a happy experience, the reality is that it is a stressful situation. There is the daily stress of simply trying to coexist in harmony and the occasional strains caused by various disagreements. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with cancer or a severe heart condition, the stress can be amplified. If your child has recently been arrested for drug possession, tensions may arise between the two of you.
Fortunately, much of the stress that comes with marriage is entirely manageable. For example, simply agreeing to spend more time together can alleviate a great deal of tension. Several couples benefit from planning a "date night" to spend a few hours alone. Dinner, dancing, or simply going for a walk in the woods can all be part of the date night. The important thing is to simply reconnect, to rediscover all of the things that first made you fall in love.
You might also find it beneficial to participate in a recreational activity together. Skiing, using nautilus equipment, or bowling can relax and help you manage your stress levels better. Exercise also enables you to see your spouse as a partner rather than a competitor. In the end, you may discover that exercise makes you both happier and healthier.
Another technique for dealing with marital stress is to hold a "couple's meeting" once a week. This is a time set aside to refocus on your priorities, discuss any issues that have arisen during the week, and plan for the coming week. During such meetings, you may have disagreements. But the most important thing is to communicate consistently.
But what if the strain in your marriage becomes unbearable? The most important thing is to maintain open lines of communication with your spouse. However, if you continue to be stressed, you should seek the advice of a third party. For example, you could arrange a meeting with your pastor to work out your differences with your partner. Alternatively, you could seek the advice of a marriage therapist who specializes in resolving conflicts between spouses. However, you must recognize that such sessions necessitate a significant amount of effort and emotional commitment. You cannot expect to be stress-free after just one session. It could take months for you to control your marital stress.
Marital conflict is a serious matter. If not handled properly, it can easily lead to divorce—a divorce you may come to regret later. Please commit to addressing marital stress as soon as it arises. That way, you can work to ensure that minor issues do not escalate into major ones, exacerbating your stress. You can recharge your batteries, reduce your stress, and fall in love with your spouse all over again by taking a few simple steps.
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