Know your Stressors – Coping with Stress in a Relationship Series

First things first: we need to understand that there will always be stress triggers, stress in a relationship is impossible to avoid. We will always experience challenging situations and there will always be some kind of misalignment with our partner.

The key to successful stress coping is to find a conflict management style that works for both partners. However, coping with relationship stress always starts with You. There are things that You can do to manage your stress and thus relieve some tension. Most importantly, self-composure and a healthy stress response will determine your success in stress coping. But what does that mean concretely? Let’s dive into it.

This article is part of the series: Coping with Stress in a Relationship. Check out the overview to find more useful advice on relationship stress.


The 3 Sources of Relationship Stress

The 5 Signs of Stress in a Relationship

Coping with Stress – The Longterm Solution

1. Forgive your partner

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Though it sounds easy, it is actually very hard. Forgiving your partner can be extremely challenging. Especially in situations, in which you are convinced that you are right and they are wrong. Or in situations, where you simply can’t understand or disagree with their reasoning. Though it is very hard to be forgiving in these moments, it will pay off eventually. You will be able to better cope with stress and will also help your partner with their stress level.

2. Accept the relationship for what it is

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Sometimes, it is just not helpful to control what happens in your relationship. Things often don’t develop as you expected and your partner might think differently about things than you. Don’t stress yourself too much about it and let it be. Identify and accept the things you cannot control. Even for things which you could control it is sometimes wiser to just acknowledge them as they are and move on. You will be more successful at coping with stress if you accept your relationship for what it is.

3. Be grateful for everything your partner gives you

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Enjoying every moment with your partner may in a wholehearted, authentic way will give you enormous relaxation. Even the small things in your relationship are worth appreciating. Think about the people who want to be in a relationship but are single. Or the people who lost their partner. Feeling your partners warmth before falling asleep, having a breakfast together, or telling them how your day was are so enjoyable, yet we take them as a given. Coping with stress in a relationship also means to be thankful for the little things.

4. Adapt your expectations

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Expectations can be a mighty source of disappointment. If you have high expectations and your partner does not fulfill them, you will experience stress. If you share your expectations, you are effectively trying to control them, putting stress on them. Instead of expecting a lot, we should again just accept our partner for who they are, with all their flaws and edges. He forgets about important key dates – so what? She is not appreciating your efforts – let her be. Focus on your own behavior and expectations towards yourself and it will be much easier to cope with relationship stress.

5. Pay close attention to your partner’s feelings and desires

couple talking about stress
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Small stressors may be a sign for a bigger issue. In knowing what is important to your partner and appreciating their thoughts and feelings you will be able to anticipate stressful situations. Coping with stress in a relationship also means to engage and to take part in your partner’s thoughts and feelings.

So that’s how you can deal with stressors coming at you. Do these five things and you will have a much more relaxed relationship. Still, the stressors will occur and there is another mighty stress source which we can turn into a stress coping tool: Our Filter.

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