Sadie Holloway is a workshop facilitator who teaches interpersonal communication skills to help people strengthen their relationships.
Unhealthy Habits Take a Toll on Relationships
Over time, neglecting your emotional and physical well-being can take a toll on your marriage. No one goes out of their way to deliberately hurt their spouse, right? Most people want their marriages to succeed, at least on a conscious level.
But did you know that you might be unconsciously doing things that are hurting your marriage? Here are four unhealthy things that you and your spouse might be doing to cause unnecessary stress in your marriage:
- Letting boredom settle in
- Not finding the time to play and goof-off together
- Letting clutter get in the way
- Spending too much time inside
1. Letting Boredom Settle In
Feelings of boredom and restlessness can cause stress in a relationship. But many people think that boredom in the bedroom is the source of relationship problems when it could also be boredom in general. If you're bored with your career or your social life, that could have an impact on the level of stress in your relationship.
Boredom is usually a sign of dissatisfaction, not just a lack of things to do. People who have strong, successful relationships have a life outside of their relationship. Make sure that both you and your partner are engaged in stimulating, esteem-building activities both inside and outside of your relationship.
It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
2. Not Finding the Time to Play and Goof Off Together
When you and your partner start taking yourselves too seriously, that can put stress on your relationship. Lighten up. Laugh a little. Over-analyzing your relationship, fretting about the past, worrying about the future—these things can have a negative effect on you and your partner, especially if you aren’t finding time to goof off together.
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No one is saying that relationships are one big party; they do require time, patience, and commitment. But if you and your spouse have stopped laughing altogether, you’ll have no creative outlet for your relationship stress!
3. Letting Clutter Get in the Way
Is your home neat and tidy, or is it one big mess? Are you a clean freak and your spouse is a monster mess-maker (or vice versa)? Clutter may be causing tension in your relationship. Why not sit down with your spouse and make a plan to start cleaning up and decluttering. Working together as a team and focusing on an activity that will remove a mutual source of stress in your life can help boost feelings of overall life satisfaction.
If you are married or in a long-term relationship, it's normal to feel stressed out about your relationship from time to time. That's what's makes us human. Feeling occasional stress about your relationship is also a sign that you care, too. You want to make things work and you want to be with the person you love. Tackling stress in your relationship can be as simple as making sure that both you and your partner are taking good care of your health, getting regular exercise, and having fun every day.
4. Spending Too Much Time Inside
When was the last time you and your partner spent time together outside? Relationship stress can be reduced significantly when you and your partner commit to taking better care of yourselves through healthy recreational activities and regular exercise. You can choose activities that you pursue on your own and activities that you do together.
For example, you and your partner could make going for an evening walk part of your daily routine. Walking is an excellent way to reduce stress. You could also work on an outdoor project together on the weekends such as a garden or construction project. Being able to stand back to look at the results of your hard work say, “Wow, we accomplished this together!” is a great way to reduce stress in your relationship.
Ease the Tension and Relax
If you and your spouse have been feeling stressed out and disconnected from one another, there are things that you can do to ease the tension and feel more relaxed and playful around one another. You may find though, that your marriage needs a bot more work in order to get on track.
If you and your spouse are open to the idea, perhaps seeking outside support and counselling may help. Your doctor, healthcare provider, or spiritual counsellor may be able to provide support and/or a referral to qualified marriage counselling services.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Sadie Holloway