Your Partner Stresses You Out: What Can You Do?
“My partner stresses me out. He’s been in a really bad mood for a while and gets angry about almost everything. He’s always on edge and constantly picks on me when I do something wrong.” There are many people who feel trapped in this kind of emotional spiral with a loved one who harasses them, pressures them, or ‘infects’ them with their negative valence emotions all the time.
Naturally, it’s normal not to want a relationship that’s too demanding and challenging. However, perfect relationships only exist in the minds of those who don’t know what coexistence means. As a matter of fact, living together means understanding that we’re all complex and there’ll always be internal and external factors that put your relationship to the test.
Without a doubt, the most common of these factors is stress. In fact, everyone has to deal with more or less complicated times when you’re unable to give the best of yourself to your relationship. For example, worries, psychological anguish, pressure, or uncertainty can make you difficult to bear.
Therefore, stressing each other out in a relationship is common. However, what can you do in these circumstances? Let’s take a look.
Stress in a relationship
Stress can be compounded in a relationship in many ways. Usually, it happens little by little, like a mist that eventually settles and covers everything. When one or both members of a couple are subject to these characteristics, the first thing that appears is emotional coldness. Consequently, enjoyable activities are reduced and positive emotions get turned off.
Your partner may stress you out because of their way of being or because they’re dealing with a personal problem of their own. Furthermore, when this psychological state appears and is maintained over time, many things happen in your brain. Your cognitive resources are depleted, you stop thinking clearly, you become hyper-vigilant and irritable, and your communication and empathy skills fail, etc
At these times, everything annoys and worries you. In fact, in this mental scenario, it’s extremel y difficult to be receptive, affectionate, or emotionally available for each other.
The University of Florida conducted research that claimed that stress, and any stressful effect -external or internal- can be the cause of a break-up in certain cases. It all depends on how the situations are handled.
When your partner stresses you out
In general, when you feels that your partner’s stressing you out, you often experience the following:
- Feeling restless and upset because your partner doesn’t take into account your needs.
- Feeling that they only prioritize their own concerns.
- Feelings of anxiety when you’re with them. You feel hypersensitive and fear that at any moment they might criticize you or bring up something that you’ve done wrong in their opinion.
- Feelings of loneliness.
- You tend to analyze their every word and behavior. This overanalysis of trying to understand why they do what they do exhausts you.
- You notice that you no longer spend any quality time together.
- Feelings of anger and arguments arise more and more frequently.
- Your own and other people’s stress wears you down emotionally and physically.
Stress is a psychophysiological state with great emotional impact. In fact, it’s quite common that you end up ‘infecting’ each other, resulting in extremely exhausting situations.
What to do when your partner stresses you out?
“When my partner stresses me out I feel vulnerable and alone. His very presence puts me on the defensive.” This is a recurrent perception among those who experience this situation. In all cases, it’s imperative that a series of strategies are implemented to address the problem.
Define the origin of the feeling of stress
When a problem arises in a relationship, the first thing you tend to do is look for blame. Usually, you attribute it to your partner. However, this isn’t a good strategy. In fact, it’s advisable to carry out an act of self-reflection. Ask yourself:
- What specifically stresses you out about your partner? Is it their way of communicating, their attitude to problems, certain behaviors, the way they treat you, etc?
- Is there an external factor that’s mediating the situation? For example, financial, personal problems, etc.
- Is your partner going through a stressful situation on a personal level?
- Have you talked to them about what’s happening?
As explained in a study conducted by the University of Georgia, communication is key to satisfaction in a relationship.
If your partner stresses you out, you need to talk about it to understand the origins of the situation. In fact, regardless of whether that stress is due to the clash of your personalities or external factors, it needs to be addressed.
Stop reacting and start acting
Stress appears when you feel that you lack the resources to face a situation. If your partner stresses you out, it’s because there’s something that you can’t handle in your relationship. Therefore, it must be dealt with. You must act and stop reacting to the situation in a negative way, and blaming them.
- If the origin of the stress is due to a clash of personalities, you must address the situation. What should your partner do or change to improve your coexistence? What should you do to optimize harmony between you?
- In the event that there’s an external factor that’s stressing your partner and affecting you as well, this must also be solved. Supporting them and working out strategies together to deal with the situation can help.
Increase your positive experiences and reformulate the situation
When you’re bogged down in an atmosphere of stress, positive experiences stop happening. Furthermore, the physical cost to you is noticeable, For example, you don’t get adequate rest and you feel tense. Therefore, if your partner stresses you out, it’s time to adopt some new behaviors and start to enjoy some quality time together.
Communication, promoting changes that improve your coexistence, supporting each other, and breaking your routine to do something enjoyable are all important. For example, do something fun together, surprise each other, plan a getaway, etc.
Increasing your positive experiences dampens your feelings of stress and intensifies the link between you. Bear it in mind.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Lavner, J. A., Karney, B. R., & Bradbury, T. N. (2016). Does Couples’ Communication Predict Marital Satisfaction, or Does Marital Satisfaction Predict Communication?. Journal of marriage and the family, 78(3), 680–694. https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12301
- Neff, L. A., & Karney, B. R. (2004). How does context affect intimate relationships? Linking external stress and cognitive processes within marriage. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30(2), 134-148.
- Randall, A. K., & Bodenmann, G. (2009). The role of stress on close relationships and marital satisfaction. Clinical psychology review, 29(2), 105-115.
- Randall, A. K., & Bodenmann, G. (2017). Stress and its associations with relationship satisfaction. Current Opinion in Psychology, 13, 96-106.