My partner has been stressed out lately. This created more stress for me, which also put pressure on our relationship. Then we felt like we had issues in our relationship, which made us feel even more stressed.
The other day, I asked my husband what I could do to support him. When he feels supported, he’s less likely to take his stress out on me, and then we don’t continue the negative cycle. Here are three ways to support your stressed-out partner.
- Give more grace than usual. Wait until the season of stress is over until you get frustrated by the things that would normally frustrate you. My husband was trying to articulate that he had very little capacity to work on other issues until the source of his stress was no longer an issue. He was just in survival mode.
- Say affirming things. Be kind to them. Recognize that they need encouragement. Tell them that you are proud of the way they are handling things, or commend them for making a hard decision.
- Empathize. Recognize it's hard for them right now, and be compassionate. Be willing to be a listening ear. Ask how they are doing, how they are feeling and be a safe place for them to talk and process their emotions.