4. Flip roles with your partner.
Couples who are able to reverse the stereotypical male-female roles are the ones who successfully cope with catastrophe. A man who weighs his self-worth on his ability to provide for the family will be devastated if an illness prevents him from going to work — he might even resent his wife when she's forced to become the chief breadwinner in the family. Or a woman who always believed her husband would hold down an office job while she stayed home and raised the kids might resent her injured husband for not fulfilling her expectations.
In resilient couples, there's usually a balance between both member's needs as they each accept their new roles. The one partner thrives in assisting the injured partner and the injured partner accepts this help willingly and lovingly. If one person refuses help or if the other person isn't comfortable as a caregiver, conflict results.
By using these and other crisis-coping skills, the two of you can deal with any stressful event in a peaceful way that prevents arguments and shows you both how to feel more supported and loved.
If you'd like to know more ways to prevent that uncomfortable feeling you get when you take out your stress on your sweetie or to stop him from taking out his stress on you, sign up for The Indestructible Relationship free e-newsletter at www.indestructiblerelationship.com.