How Stress in Your Relationship Can Affect Your Overall Health

How stress in your relationship can affect your mental, emotional, and sexual healthNo matter how great your relationship is with your partner, sometimes they can cause a great deal of stress in your life. Whether it’s because of an argument or something less significant, no relationship is exempt from experiencing occasional issues.

The strain your partner can create may not even be intentional, as it’s common for people to take on their significant other’s daily stressors as their own. So, unconsciously your significant other may be the source of your stress without even trying.

The important thing is how you deal with the mental strain your relationship causes. Properly managing stress is crucial because failure to do so can result in health issues for both parties. Here are some ways your health can be affected if you don’t properly manage relationship-related stress.

Mental Health

When you’re experiencing issues in your relationship, it’s hard to think about anything else sometimes. The inability to think outside of your relationship problems can be harmful to your mental health. Instead of focusing on things that make you happy in life, negative thoughts and emotions are consuming your energy.

Stress in a relationship over things like the cleanliness of your house or who spends the most money is common in many relationships. However, if your self-worth is being damaged or you’re being broken down mentally, contemplate if the relationship is the best for you.

Your brain can only take so much before it needs relief. The emotions you feel when dealing with issues in your relationship can lead to larger problems like depression. According to a 2017 study done by the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. Depression symptoms may include:

– Fatigue
– Loss of Appetite
– Persistent Sadness
– Insomnia
– Suicidal Thoughts

These are just a few of the symptoms people can experience when going through a depressive episode. If you believe you may have depression, contact an experienced therapist.

What to do: To relieve some of the stress you feel in your relationship, make sure to take self-care days. These days should be dedicated to you and your mental health. Doing things that make you happy can be just what you need when you feel like you’re drowning. Not to state the obvious, but when engaging in self-care activities, do them without your partner. Sometimes some space away from your significant other makes for a more proactive time. It also allows you to reassess the situation with a clear, levelheaded mind.

Sexual Health

Stress and mental health can ultimately affect things for you and your partner in the bedroom as well. While sex depends a lot on physical well-being, your mental state also plays a large role in things like performance, confidence, and more. Sweeping arguments or relationship stress under the rug can severely affect your intimacy in the bedroom.

For men, it can result in performance issues such as erectile dysfunction (ED). When stressed out or experiencing some sort of anxiety, men’s brains do not send the proper chemicals vital in getting an erection. This, in itself, can lead to more mental strain as men who experience ED are prone to depression.

For women, relationship problems can result in a decrease in sexual arousal and/or overall interest in sex. This makes intercourse between a couple tough, adding to an already tense environment. Low sexual desire is strongly linked to depression as evidence from the National Library of Medicine shows.

Stress in a relationship can also cause fertility issues making it harder for you to conceive in the future. Chronic stress can lower how much testosterone a man produces and impact the quality of sperm.

What to do: Aside from putting off intercourse until your problems are fully resolved, try talking to a medical professional about the reasons for the stress that you are experiencing in your relationship. Talking to a therapist will give you not only an unbiased opinion but help you to mentally get where you need to be to get intimate in the bedroom again. Although it may be embarrassing, it’s important to bring up the sexual difficulties you may be facing as medical professionals can help you by recommending treatments for ED or refer you to a sex therapist to work around a low sex drive or other sexual difficulties for couples.”

This brief attachment style quiz will help you understand your own attachment pattern and what implications it might have for your relationships.

Emotional Health

How you deal with the stress that we experience because of our relationship can affect your emotional health. If you are someone who tends to avoid dealing with problems in your relationship or suppress your feelings for the “greater good,” you’re going to eventually explode.

Whether you release all of your emotions at once to a significant other, or you mentally explode by having a mental break, keeping your emotions bottled up is never good for anyone. Why? Because by allowing stress to build up, you are bound to start harboring negative feelings towards your significant other, leading to passive-aggressive statements and tension. What could’ve been a normal conversation between two people now has turned into an explosive argument.

To avoid this, learn who you are as an individual first. As people enter relationships, it turns from “me” into “us” and that’s okay, but it’s still necessary for you to understand yourself first. Without understanding your thoughts and feelings how can you potentially try to grasp someone else’s? Being more secure in your emotions will allow you to properly deal with your partner’s emotions, creating a healthier, longer-lasting relationship.

What to do: To understand your emotions a little better, try journaling. Journaling is a great way to keep track of how you’re feeling on a day to day basis. When you feel like you cannot adequately express your feelings to someone else, writing it down is an easier option. As you get farther in your journaling journey, go back to some of your old entries. This can give you a sense of clarity about yourself as well as your relationship. You can also practice effective communication skills for effective ways to get each other’s needs met.

Relieve Stress in Your Relationship With Help From A Therapist

When the stress in your relationship reaches a breaking point it best to take a step back and seek help from a professional. Eddins Counseling Group in Houston, TX has many experienced couples counselors. Reach out today by calling 832-559-2622 or booking an appointment online. We also offer free 15 minute consultations to match you with the right counselor to meet your needs.

Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP on Twitter
Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP
Rachel’s passion is to help people discover their personal gifts and strengths to achieve self-acceptance, create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body, and find meaning and fulfillment in work and life roles. She helps people create nurturance and healing from within to restore balance and enoughness and overcome binge eating, emotional eating, anxiety, depression and lack of career fulfillment.

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