Stress in relationships
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Julie Crowley
9th June, 20140 Comments
Why do our relationships cause us stress? We have those people close to us because we care for them, and surely they should be helpful relationships?
Yes, they should. Relationships change - you change, they change, circumstances change. You can keep ahead of this by being mindful about what is going on and tackling problems when you first notice them. It doesn't need to take much - just a chat, or a question about what might be happening for each other, sharing your own feelings. Raising the issues is the only way to resolve them.
This can be at home or at work, or even socially.
Stress arises when we can't meet the demands placed on us by others or circumstances. We feel anxious with no answers, no options (or ones we don't really want!), and we don't know what changes we can make to improve things. So ask. Tell the other person how you're feeling and why, then ask them how they see things currently. Maybe they haven't noticed, if they are in a process of change or stress outside of your relationship.
You can only improve the situation by acknowledging it openly, no matter how uncomfortable. It might be that it's just a simple chat to clear the air, or clear up a misunderstanding. It might highlight the change needs to be with you, for you ...
Finding a third party who has limited interests in what's happening in your relationship - friends, relatives who can see the picture from outside, can help you resolve the problem. If not, an independent counsellor can facilitate the talking and insights.
It needn't be heavy, just curious and interested, not blaming, just asking for someone else's perception.
Identify what is missing from the needs you each need meeting in your relationship. If one of you can't or won't provide what the other needs any longer, the relationship changes and feels off-balance.
Maybe when you talk it through you can find compromises or see how you can each better manage what is missing or changing for you both. Ignoring the problem hoping it will go away just doesn't work and simply delays the inevitable discussion that's required to clear the air.
Understanding your own needs and your own circumstances often allows you to see the other person's situation more easily too, knowing they probably don't need exactly what you need but could provide it - love, security, leadership, fun, trust.
Just talk. It helps, it frees your mind from wondering and worrying and it moves your relationship to a new level - which can only be good!
Related articles from our experts
- What is codependency?
Gherardo Della Marta MBACP counsellor in Holborn, Camden and Queens Park23rd April, 2017
- Toxic mums - healing the wounds in adulthood
Saska Plowman Psychotherapeutic Counsellor (Integrative) RMBACP21st April, 2017
- Grieving the loss of a friendship
Una Cavanagh MBACP (Accred)20th April, 2017
- Will I ever be able to trust again after my partner has had an affair?
Becky Wilkes MBACP, MA Integrative Psychotherapy, BSc Hons Psychology12th April, 2017
- Emotionally abusive relationships: anger, men and feminism on International Women’s Day
Amanda Perl MSc Psychotherapist Counsellor MBPsS BACP (Accred) CBT Practitioner8th March, 2017
- Is there really sex with no strings?
Jill Mitev-Will BA(Hons) MBACP (registered)17th November, 2016
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.