Whether you are moving to a new city, getting married, starting a new job or trying to meet targets, stress is something that will always accompany you. Positive or negative, you should take less stress in life. But that’s not always possible and there are times when it spills over to your love life. Being in a stressful relationship is clearly not healthy. Most women know that, but some are not able to identify or know the signs of stress in a relationship.
Health Shots consulted Gurugram-based clinical psychologist Aishwarya Raj to help you with spotting the signs of stress in a romantic relationship.
Signs of stress in a relationship
The emotional or psychological strain that might be experienced by you or your partner too due to various factors within your relationship is what stress looks like. Raj says it can arise from conflicts, misunderstandings, unmet needs, external pressures, or any other sources that create tension and strain the connection between you and your partner. Here are some signs:
1. Increased arguments
Frequent arguments even over small things can be a sign of underlying stress. When stress levels rise, communication can become strained, leading to more frequent conflicts, explains the expert.
2. Lack of communication
Difficulty in expressing thoughts, feelings or concerns can indicate stress. If you or your partner withdraw or become hesitant to share openly and there is lack of communication, it might be a sign that stress is affecting your ability to communicate effectively.
3. Emotional distance
You two might be in the same room, but if you become emotionally distant, it can suggest that stress is impacting the connection. Emotional intimacy might decline, leading to a sense of detachment or feeling disconnected from each other.
4. Decreased intimacy
Stress can affect the level of physical and emotional intimacy within a relationship. A decrease in affection, sexual activity or a general lack of closeness can indicate stress-related strain, says Raj.
5. Increased criticism or defensiveness
When there is stress, you might become more critical of your partner or defensive about your actions or behaviours. This can create a hostile or tense atmosphere within the relationship.
6. Lack of support
If you are unable to provide emotional support or feel unsupported in times of stress, it can lead to further strain. Feeling alone or unsupported can worsen the overall stress level within the relationship.
7. Changes in behaviour or mood
Stress is a sneaky thing that can manifest in various ways, including changes in behaviour or mood. For example, you might become irritable, withdrawn or display signs of anxiety or depression. All this indicates the impact of stress on your well-being and the relationship.
8. Neglecting self-care
When stress gets too much, you might neglect self-care. Focusing solely on relationship issues while neglecting personal well-being can contribute to increased stress levels, says the expert.
It shouldn’t be just your job to address stress in your relationship. Your partner should also work with you on managing stress in your relationship. You can have open and honest communication, engage in activities that help to relax or get support from trusted friends, family, or professionals while dealing with relationship stress. You can also set limits when it comes to responsibilities, personal space, and expectations. This will ensure a balanced and healthier bond with your partner. And if stress in your relationship becomes unmanageable, reaching out to a trained therapist or counselor can help to address the problem and underlying issues.