Our Lady of Weight Loss

Our Lady of Weight Loss

Relationship Rescue: Sharing Stress with Your Loved One

Sharing Stress with Your Main Squeeze by Janice Taylor, Life & Wellness Coach, Cert. Hypnotist, NLP Practitioner, Author, Seminar Leader and 50-Pound Big-Time-Loser! (write Janice for a Free Consult!)
You are stressed to your last nerve. Things are piling up at the job. Things at home are out of control. And the weather is dark, grey and rainy.
You REALLY need to talk, let it out (lest you devour a jumbo one pound candy bar and at 170 calories per ounce that’s 2720 calories; two days’ calorie allotment) and in walks your main squeeze.
How much stress is appropriate to share with your spouse, partner, significant other … your main squeeze? What’s the difference between sharing and dumping?
True, you need to vent and an important part of a relationship revolves around sharing your life, letting the other person know what’s going on, as well as asking for support; giving support. Leaning on each other … all important parts of a relationship.
Nevertheless, before you dump‘talk at’ the other person, here follows a few truly helpful and useful guidelines:


  1. Ask Permission: “Is this a good time to listen? I need to share the gruesome details of my crazy day.” If the answer is “NO!” Respect that No! Ask, “Please let me know when it is a good time.
  2. Timing: Before you launch into your bucket list of upset, frazzled nerves and complaints (all justified, of course), do check in with your main squeeze to see if he or she is equally stressed.
  3. Be Clear: Are you sharing, looking for feedback, or just need a place to be heard. If all you want is to be heard. Start the conversation off with “Please, do not respond. Just listen -intently! I need you to be with me. That’s all.”
  4. Time Yourself: Vent, talk, share … dump … whatever you want to call it for a maximum of one minute and then check in and see if the person is still with you. Really 30 seconds would be better. Don’t take advantage of the ‘sharee.’
  5. Responsibility: Ultimately, it is your stress. Support is GREAT! But no one can singularly ‘fix it.

Special Note: For further insight into the machinations of relationships, I checked in with Peter Weinstein, LCSW, Psychotherapist, Relationship Expert.
Mr. Weinstein adds, “Being sensitive to your partner’s needs is one of the most important components of a successful relationship. Just as YOU want respect and appreciation, so does your partner/spouse. Putting yourself in the ‘others’ shoes and considering his/her needs (without sacrificing your own need) is true empathy and the cornerstone of relational/marital bliss.
“Janice gives great advice on how to orchestrate getting help and attention from your ‘main squeeze’ in a particularly stressful situation. Nicely done.”

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  • mel

    who would you vent to if your significant other refuses to be willing for you to talk about what is stressing you?

  • Tania Breard

    My husband is wonderful about being available to me; however I recognize there are times when it is not conducive to the health of our relationship for me to “share” with him.
    So many times after I have “shared”; he offers a frustrated fix, and I reflect and clearly see that I should have been in a different place with myself prior to allowing my stress to build thus leading to the strained conversation that resulted.
    See, life’s challenges have helped me to discover, for myself, that it is not what happens to us that is the biggest culprit to how we may become stressed, etc… But, it is where we are when we processing what we believe are happening to us and then how we proceed.
    I am learning to monitor how much I “share” with my husband and how I am “sharing.” The greatest gift I am unfolding is the gift of being my own best friend. Having control over my thoughts and run-away emotions is helping a great deal. My relationship with the Lord is the most important aspect of how I cope and find my way along life’s journey.
    My husband is my best friend, and I am so thankful for the intimacy we have and continue to develop. As cliché as it sounds, it is true…we must love ourselves and be able to stand alone in order to be in a healthy relationship.
    The way in which we stand alone does not create separation in marriage, but allows intimacy and connection to be about coming together instead of an expectation of your spouse to do something for you that only you can do for yourself.
    I am also embarking on a new endeavor. I am writing short stories about my frustrations and how I would deal with them if I were a superhero. My sixteen year old daughter read one of the stories last night… she was laughing and told me it made her feel good-GO MOM.
    If you want to check out the genesis of that project, take a look here:
    Dark Winged Angel

  • Patricia

    If my husband does not want to talk I call my sister-in law we are both in the medical field and she will listen when I need to talk about work or anything else. She and my mother are my confidants. Sometimes if appropriate my son who is 22 years of age I will share because he has some insight that a younger person sees that I sometimes do not. I have learned from my husband that he needs to unwind first before we can talk. Just as important asking permission is equally an important part of sharing. However, I did not know that giving a time limit is imperative. You see we as humans never stop learning and growing and being open to new and improved better ways of life make living life much easier for all involved. Patricia

  • DL

    What if your stress is caused by your main squeeze? It’s not so much what the main squeeze does but what the MSQZ isn’t doing.

  • Sherri

    There are husbands etc out there who arfe so involved with themselves that they do not participate in your need to vent, let alone share in your day, but who are so involved in themselves that they are the most important person in their own lives. When you do sahre their only comment might be WHAT THE HELL!!! and that is that. It is so wonderful to have a FRIEND who will allow you talk time. It makes the difference.

  • Anonymous

    Heard about the power of prayer? It really works. God always listens.
    He is honest saying Yes, No or Maybe if you ask the right questions of him. The older I get the more I believe in Let Go and Let God.

  • Anonymous

    I work at a Federal facility dealing with mental health patients. Alot of days I come home stressed. My husband and I take turns tell each orther about our day and what is on our minds. Most of the times he is not stressed but he is a good listener and gives me feedback on the situation and vise versa. I feel like time is not a issue just as long as you both are communicating and or listening.

  • Barb

    No my husband and I have been attending some classes and marriage counseling to assist in communication problems in our marriage.

  • alisa bowman

    Wonderful suggestions. Often it is so tempting to simply go off on someone without taking a minute to consider if this is a good time for them. I think it is also important that at the end of your tirade to give them a chance to vent as well.
    Quid pro quo as it were.

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