Romantic love. The very thing that gets us all excited about life, doing new things, having children or riding off to Camelot in the sky with our knight in shining armour on their white stallion. The plot of many childhood story books – the foundation of the rags to riches – Cinderella, Snow White and Beauty and Beast come to mind.
Wouldn’t it be nice if life was permanently like that? But it’s not unfortunately, although I like to believe that love makes the world go around.
Stress is often a problem in relationships for different reasons and it presents itself in different ways. For some, it’s the irritability that arises when things aren’t going well or the ongoing arguments that make life unpleasant. For others, it’s the one partner who withdraws from the relationship to have time alone, to ponder and work things out that annoys the other.
With Valentine’s Day done and dusted for another year, we may have been reminded about how our love is or used to be. It can draw our attention to a struggling relationship and despair, wondering if it’s possible to get it ‘back on track.’
We tend to struggle in the same way over time
Couples argue in different ways, although research explains that once a couple has a ‘set way of conflict and managing stress, they generally follow that familiar pattern throughout their relationship.
For example, if they tend to go through periods of ‘no speaks’ at the beginning of their relationship when they are in conflict, that tends to be the way they behave in the future.
Past behaviour is often a prediction of future behaviour
Signs your relationship is stressed
- Your level of communication drops. You used to talk all the time, now you do so when it’s necessary or when you must
- Your libido has decreased – You’re tired, exhausted and not sleeping well, so no wonder your libido has walked out the door. Research says that stress affects cortisol and adrenaline levels, suppressing the intimate drive. Maybe it’s time to give your relationship more attention?
- One of you is becoming ‘emotionally unavailable.’ One partner withdraws from the other and starts to share secrets and concerns with others
- You’re snappy and irritable, taking daily frustrations and annoyances out on each other
- You don’t enjoy each other’s company as much anymore, preferring to spend more time with other friends and family
- You seek comfort elsewhere – in the arms of another – a potentially lethal move to your existing relationship
- You feel anxious, stressed and depressed all the time, not enjoying the optimism you used to feel. Your mojo has gone
- You don’t sleep well or at all. Used as a form of torture in the second world war, sleep deprivation will kill you long before starvation or thirst will
What can you do
- Seek advice and help from a professional
- Look after yourself – take a break on your own
- Recharge your batteries – drop back your long work hours and try to rest
- Spoil yourself – have that long needed massage or new haircut
- Honour the relationship you have enjoyed – don’t walk away without trying to work it out and keep it together. Relationships seems very dispensable in our modern-day age, so try and keep in it as something you have valued in the past. Can you reignite the spark now?
- Accept you are both different people to the people you were when you met. Value and honour differences
- Don’t’ try to change the other person. Often when we look at ourselves and change our unhelpful behaviour, the relationship improves
- Never give up hope. Relationships take work. Lots of it and much effort, so keep going
- Are your expectations too high? Do you expect too much?
- Go to a relationship expert together and learn how to connect, communicate and reignite your relationship spark.
Women do so much in their life. We nurture, bear children, look after the family, ensure they are fed, take care of aging parents, many of us work full time and at home (second full time job) and quite frankly, at the end of the day we struggle to find time for our relationships.
But take heart. You can have a wonderful and happy relationship if you put the effort in to reconnect and make it the priority in your life.
The Be Unstoppable Program has been written for all women, no matter where you are, to help you take control of your life, feel more confident about you and give you ways to become resilient, manage stress well and communicate more assertively.
If not for you then your daughter, sister, friends, mother and aunt.
Enjoy a free trial on https://www.empoweringwomentothrive.com
Or you can chat with us about any concerns you have about how you would like to improve your life of if you would like some coaching.
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