Helping Your Partner Handle Stress At Work
Odds are, at least one of you – you or your partner – work outside the home. Even more likely is that both of you spend a significant amount of time at work. In today’s economy, it is a way of life.
Inevitably, you will experience stress in the workplace. There are a variety of factors that could lead to workplace stress – doing the job of more than one person, a horrible boss, lack of support, conflict with co-workers, underpaid and/or underemployed, a large project…
The list goes on.
Unfortunately, when we experience stress in the workplace it is easy to bring it home. It spills into our relationships with partners, children, friends, and other family.
If your partner is experiencing a lot of stress at work, you are in an excellent place to provide support to your partner. By helping them get through this difficult time, you are showing your unconditional love and maintaining the trust so important to the foundation of your relationship.
First, use empathetic listening. When your partner comes home, be their sounding board. Turn off the TV and put your phone away. Sit down. And listen.
Second, offer to help out a little extra as they are struggling. Give them a night off for some self-care and take the kids out to the park or a movie. Make a special dinner they enjoy. Do the grocery shopping while they are working late.
Third, tell your partner how much you appreciate them. Many times, when there is stress at work, we feel vastly under-appreciated. You want to provide a nice balance to that.
Fourth, ask your partner what they need from you. A nice statement to practice is… “what can I do to help you?” If there is nothing, your partner will say… “Just listening is helpful” or “There isn’t anything, but thank you for listening.”
Best Practices for a Marriage: Honesty, Trust, and Loyalty
Let’s pretend you’re in a marriage, and it’s on the rocks. Have you evaluated why? I’m not talking about the fights or little white lies here; I mean have you sought after the root of the problem? When honesty, trust, and loyalty are lacking, you can bet that the root of the problem lays in issues with communication and a lack of unwavering faith in your spouse. Are you both supportive, gracious, and kind to one another? If not, there may be some work ahead of you.
Telling the truth isn’t hard, and it’s important that both you and your partner are on the same page on this one. Be honest about your past and about your intentions. You don’t have to reveal your deepest darkest secrets, but don’t leave out some of the juicy details. Learning about one another occurs over the period of years and decades, show them who you truly are by being up front. They will appreciate the honesty and hopefully give it to you in return. Couples can be brutally honest and still remain polite.
Building upon honesty we have trust. Trust not only means that you know that honesty is present, but also that you trust you partner’s judgement and ultimately would put your life in their hands. Deep trust is developed over time and only occurs when both people feel safe and supported by the other. Also have trust in the relationship itself. Know and have faith that things will work out; through thick and thin. Remember those wedding vows? Stick by your beau through the hard times and the good times will come.
This one is a bit of a kicker. You’ve got honesty and trust but do you have loyalty? Someone who sticks by your side and supports you unconditionally. Being true to someone goes well beyond being faithful in the bedroom. Loyalty means going above and beyond for your love day after day, year after year. Loyalty is by some standards the single most important quality in a relationship or marriage.
A flailing marriage doesn’t have to be the end. Work on learning each other’s language; that is learning to communicate in a mutual way. Don’t interrupt, be respectful, and always stay calm when talking it out. Be the best you can be and see the results of your hard work. You will be surprised at the improvement in your marriage with attention placed on honesty, trust, and loyalty.
Communication don’ts for Relationships
Effective communication is critical to a healthy relationship. Avoid these communication Don’ts and you may avoid your next argument.
- Don’t read between the lines
Don’t over-think or over analyse what he or she said. You are using your own life experiences to make conclusions about what the other person meant. If you think there was more to it, ask – but don’t come to your own conclusions and then hold the other person accountable for them.
- Don’t beat a dead horse
If your partner did something years ago that upset you, don’t keep bringing it up. If you feel your are due an apology, ask for one, and get over it. Don’t use it as ammunition in every argument.
- Don’t make absolute statements
Saying things like “Always” and “Never” are for the sake of argument. If you are upset about something, be specific.
- Don’t start with an accusation
This one usually sounds like “YOU NEVER do the dishes”, or “YOU are ALWAYS late!” This is a double whammy of an accusation and an exaggerated absolute. This statement is usually the first of an argument.
- Don’t have a one-sided conversation
If you are doing all the talking, (or yelling), stop. Ask your partner to share his or her feelings.
- Don’t apologize for feelings
Apologize for what you did that upset someone, not for how they feel about it. Apologizing for someone’s feelings is like apologizing on their behalf. You have a right to your feelings and so does your partner, even if you don’t agree on it.
- Don’t assume
Assumptions about feelings, intentions, and responsibilities are to blame for many arguments. It is always better to talk to someone about what they are thinking rather than taking a guess at it.
There will be disagreements and misunderstandings. Talking through them without escalating to argument can ensure both of you have a chance to share your feelings and have your feelings heard.