We all respond to stress differently. Some become more productive. Some become more creative. But others become unraveled. If your partner happens to be among the latter, that can make life difficult for everyone. What you have to remember is that her stress is also your stress. In a relationship, nothing happens in a vacuum. When one person becomes incapacitated, the other person has to step up.
In this situation, stepping up can mean a lot of things. It means not giving in to the same stress and keeping it together. As Rudyard Kipling wrote:
If you can keep your head when all about you, are losing theirs and blaming it on you…
Stepping up also means taking initiative and diffusing the situation. But perhaps the best way to step up is to eliminate predictable stress before it happens. You can also help your partner cope by making her feel special and appreciated. Here are 5 practical ways to make that happen:
1. Marry Her
One cause of stress for some women is the lack of a public, legal commitment to the relationship. The stress can become more intense the longer the relationship lasts. That is because she has already poured so much of her life into the relationship, the cost is higher if it ends unexpectedly. It is not uncommon for a woman to work harder while the other partner completes an advanced degree. If the relationship ends, the partner has a great career. She has nothing to show for it.
A moissanite ring for your engagement can go a long way toward relieving stress concerning the future of the relationship. Marriage has benefits beyond the relationship. Insurance rates go down. Credit is easier to get. And interest rates are lower. Conversations about having children and buying a house go a lot smoother when you are both wearing rings.
2. Listen to Her
People tend to get louder and more shrill when they fell that no one is really listening to them. As that happens you very likely shut down and stop trying to listen altogether. This is a stress-generating feedback loop. You can break the loop by really listening when she is stressed.
We are often better listeners when the person is a stranger, but you may be at a loss on how to listen to a person who is in distress. By treating your partner as you would a stranger in distress, you will be less likely to shortcut the process and provide the needed support.
3. Make It a Spa Day
Another way to relieve stress is to take the direct route. Make it a day of stress relief and pampering. Start with the facial and move on to the massage. A mud bath followed by a mani-pedi is always a nice touch.
The point of a spa day is not the order of the events, or even the events themselves. It is about clearing the mind and body of the things that have been making it tense. If you need to have a good talk about serious matters, do it after a spa day. You will get a lot more out of the talk.
4. Pay Extra for the Stress-free Service
If you are going to move in together, do what it takes to make the move stress-free. That might mean paying for full service and having them come in and finish the packing for you. It costs more. But it can make a world of difference in how you feel about something as stressful as a move. Do the same for other services and major events.
Would you rather be right? Or would you rather relieve some tension in the home? It is not about taking responsibility for what you didn’t do, but about discovering the role you played and taking responsibility for that. Everyone always has something for which they should apologize. Find your something and own it.
Marry her. Really Listen. Make it a spa day. Don’t cheap out. And own up to your mistakes. These things will not create world peace. But they will bring more peace into the part of your world that matters the most.