5 Ways to Control Relationship Stress

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“Your relationship suffers and so do you when being right becomes more important than the relationship.” No relationship is easy and effortless every moment of every day. No partner is  perfect.

People are human and they make mistakes.

We forget things. We often forget what’s really important. We can have good intentions and still get caught up in moments of frustration, and become upset and overwhelm. We get stressed and take it out on our partners. Unfortunately, the intimate connection of the relationship pays the price. While relationship stress can be brutal, it doesn’t stop there.

It spills over into other areas of life.

In my private coaching practice, I see the stress from struggling marriages impact people’s job performance, decision making, leadership abilities, and health and happiness levels. While some experts applaud the fact that  divorce statistics are below the long touted 50% stat, the  sobering reality is that divorce and infidelity are still taking their toll on far too many relationships and families.  In my experience, the fastest way to control stress in a relationship (and potentially avoid a breakup or infidelity) is by taking control over what you do daily when you interact with your partner.

1. Have a clear vision

Know exactly what you want your relationship to ultimately be like. If you could have the relationship of your dreams, what would it look like? How would your day-to-day interaction with your partner feel? There needs to be something larger to which to aspire and work towards that is compelling to you. If not, everything else will come first. A compelling vision can help unite and align any couple. Do something every day to make your vision a reality.

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2. Assess self-honesty

There are probably some things that you are doing that aren’t beneficial to the relationship. Stop doing anything that isn’t supportive to the relationship. It’s easy to take your partner for granted. Assess your personal commitment to your partner. Are you bitter, resentful or hurt and is it affecting your willingness to give fully to your partner? What’s your role in the struggling relationship? Stop all behaviors that are not helpful to sustaining love and connection. Self-honesty is a powerful tool for transformation.

3. Take 100% responsibility

If you have a vision and a reasonable amount of self-honesty, then you understand that in order for things to change you must take 100% responsibility for the relationship. Own your part in making the vision real. Take ownership of your mistakes and apologize right away. Initiate the repair of any disagreements. Be in charge of your own mood and tone of voice. Take control of YOUR emotions when you interact with each other.

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4. Lighten Up

Life is busy, hectic, fast paced and mostly superficial. We all make things more important than they really are. If you want to have a peaceful home, become more peaceful. Soften your interactions with your partner no matter what kind of mood he or she might be in. You can bring more laughter, lightheartedness, playfulness, and fun into the relationship dynamics. Both you and your partner will enjoy it.

5. Understand Relationship Dynamics

There are distinct differences between the needs of the masculine and the feminine participant in intimate relationships. Get curious about your partner and what he or she might need the most from you. In order to get what you want from the relationship, you will likely have to give first. If you are waiting for your significant other to give you what you really need then nothing will change. Be willing to go first. No relationship is staying the same. You don’t go through the honeymoon phase of marriage and expect it to last forever all by itself. People often forget that in order to sustain anything it requires effort. A business requires effort just to sustain sales. If there is no effort, the business will ultimately fail. Turning a business around requires even more effort, just as shifting a troubled relationship, restoring love, deepening connection or rekindling passion does.

Your relationship is either growing in love, or the love is depleting around the edges. The connection is either deepening or slowly severing. Want more inner peace? DO some these five things and watch your relationship stress begin to disappear. Nothing changes until you do.

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Jeff Forte CSIC, CME author of The 90-Minute Marriage Miracle and founder of PEAK Results Coaching is an Executive and Peak Performance Coach specializing in team and relationship dynamics. His clients include Fortune 500 Executives, Business Professionals, Attorneys, Surgeons, Professional Athletes, Teams and Couples.

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