A quick tip for dealing with the impact of stress on marriage.
When life gets hard,
From employment and financial stress
From parenting struggles and sleep deprivation
From busy schedules or illness
From struggling with anxiety or depression
It makes marriage harder in a few ways:
We have different triggers. Different things upset us or cause us stress.
We express being stressed differently. We react differently.
You might ramp up. Your spouse may shut down.
We manage and cope with stress differently.
You may want to binge on Netflix. Your spouse may cope with shopping.
The differences all serve to make us feel more alone, misunderstood, overwhelmed.
They amplify the stress because it increases the negative self-talk, paranoia even and messages that
We aren’t enough.
This isn’t working.
We are broken.
We are failing.
We start to believe we’ll end up rejected or even abandoned.
Here’s one thing that can help: remembering
So much of marriage counseling is remembering.
Remember when your spouse looked up to you?
Remember when your spouse made you laugh?
Remember when your spouse was patient and gracious?
When they wanted to get to know you, talk for hours
When they took the time understand you?
Remember when it was hard not to be obnoxious about public displays of affection?
Remember when you did those things for them?
“That was in the past” you might say, how does that help?
Especially in the middle of the stress, or on the other side of the hurt and distance.
Well, remembering the past can give you hope for the future.
And a marriage without hope feels dead.
Remembering the past helps you remember what’s possible.
Not only what’s possible but what was real for you.
It helps you remember what could be real again.
If you can just find away to reconnect and work through it together, instead of on your own.
Find a way to remember together.