Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

Reader Question: 

When mom and dad are so stressed from kids and work, what kind of strain does that put on marriages? And what about temptation?

Stress either pushes you closer together as a couple or moves you father apart. It also taps your resources and can wear you down if you don’t have the right kind of support.

Couples who support each during a crisis and remain intimate with God, do best. When stress hits, too many couples allow the stress to pull them apart versus band together. Unhealthy couples take out their stress on each other versus come together to get through a difficult time.

Looking outside the marriage for emotional support and distancing yourself from God, both put you in a position for an affair, addictions and other negative coping methods. It’s tempting to medicate or escape your problems with another person, food, alcohol, pornography, etc. rather than deal with stress.

So anytime stress hits hard, consider your resources.

1) People of faith always have God as a resource. He is the number one resource to prevent stress from taking a toll. Scriptures tell us to cry out to God, to cast our cares on Him and He will relieve the burden and bring peace. We can’t always prevent stress from happening and we don’t always have good outcomes to every problem, but God promises His presence and that He will walk us through a stressful time.

2) Turn towards your spouse when stress gets high and use each other to buffer stress, not create more stress. Couples who can do this weather storms much better than those who take out their frustrations on each other and turn away from the emotional support they could build in their relationship. This is how temptation begins to take hold–you feel someone else is a better listener, understands your issues and gives you attention. You allow negative thoughts about your partner–He is preoccupied, she doesn’t care, someone else is a better listener, etc.

3) Practice ways to calm each other down. For example, pray together, problem-solve, enlist the support of others when needed, take a few deep breaths, encourage each other, escape through a good book or funny movie to relieve a little pressure, etc.

 

 

For practical tips to break free from stress, click on Dr. Linda’s book, Breaking Free from Stress

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