When your spouse comes home from work and tells you his boss yelled at him in front of three colleagues, do you one-up him with tales of the client who reamed you out in a meeting—and later spilled his coffee on your shirt? If this sounds familiar you may be getting sucked into "misery poker." In a new relationship-focused Wall Street Journal column called Bonds, author Elizabeth Bernstein explores the phenomenon of funereal one-upmanship: trying to outdo each other with tales of woe.
Poll: Does Work Stress Affect Your Relationship?: Yes. I'm in a terrible mood after work, he hates to be around me. Sometimes. We try our best, but stress sneaks into our relationship on occasion. No. I'm able to leave my work stress at the office. Not anymore, I just got laid off!
During a recent study at Lafayette College, researchers studied the cortisol and oxytocin levels in 15 heterosexual, kissing couples. While both sexes saw a drop in corisol while kissing, it appeared that only men experienced a raise in oxytocin. Women, forever desiring more, more, more, needed "a romantic atmosphere of dimmed lights and mood music" to notice any cortisol upswing. Researches also think kissing my boost the body's immune system, since you mix and match so many different strains of saliva.
Work stress got you down? Monday blues getting the best of you? There may be a cure: more cuddling! According to a new study, couples that express intimacy, be it through snuggling, kissing or sex, have lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. The study supports past research that's found that married people are generally healthier than singletons (and we're not just talking health-care benefits) and that women who are in bad relationships have weaker immune systems.
While financial rifts are often listed as the leading cause of a breakup, it's what's behind the dollar signs that tears couples apart. Money issues are often just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to rocky marriages. Certain amounts of stress, hurt, and resentment just manifest themselves in the form of financial conflict. Martha Baer, a financial expert, explores the hidden stresses money often masks.
That men and women handle stress differently seems, well, obvious, but Dr. John Gray, the man who moved Mars and Venus from the science to the self-help section of the bookstore, thinks acknowledging this inherent disparity is an important first step. Why Mars & Venus Collide: Improving Relationships by Understanding How Men and Women Cope Differently with Stress (on shelves January 22) explores why we deal differently and how to improve our communication that inevitably gets wonky with stress.
Occasional bickering is one thing, but constant fighting is another. Especially if you have the same argument over and over. Below, how to know when it’s time for a professional intervention. A new baby at home? Stress leading you to avoid your partner? Marriage counseling might help.
Planning the wedding isn't the only stressful thing about getting married. Troubleshoot this exciting time so that you can walk down the aisle without any weight on your shoulders. Most brides are afraid to give in to their sadness and fear, thinking that once they turn on the faucet, it'll never shut off. In reality, emotions work the opposite way. What helps brides most is to embrace reality instead of remaining wedded to their fantasies.
All of you would be wedding guests know that attending a wedding can be stressful. Wedding etiquette demands that your attention remain focused on the bride, but what about the pressure it puts on you and your budding relationship? Tango investigates. "Any bride will tell you—at great length—how stressful it is to plan a wedding. But what about the guests? Rarely does anyone acknowledge their pain. Every year there are around 2.2 million weddings in the United States, and roughly 300,000 weddings here in the U.K. Multiply that by the length of the average guest list—about 200, in both countries—to get a sense of just how many of us go through the familiar routine: pick main course, pick present, pick outfit, pick date. If you’re in a serious relationship, the last choice is already made for you, but you can still find yourself picking—at each other. The truth is that these lovely, sacred events—opportunities for voyeuristic romance and, hopefully, some amour of your own—often wreak havoc on relationships that are, shall we say, at the tipping point."