9 Super-Effective Strategies For Dealing With Stress In Your Marriage

Improve your health by managing marital stress.

Couple stressed out Mikhail Nilov | Pexels

Stress in a marriage can take a serious toll on your relationship with your spouse, which impacts your health. But, what can you do to keep your love alive while dealing with stress? There are several strategies to deal with the everyday stress of marriage and strengthen your marriage. Arguing and worrying over family problems may lead to an increased risk of dying in middle age. "Stressful social relations in private life are associated with a two- to three-times increased risk of dying," said lead researcher Dr. Rikke Lund, an associate professor in the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen.


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Here are 9 super-effective strategies for dealing with stress in your marriage:

1. Talk openly about your feelings and emotions.

In times of stress, the tendency is to keep everything bottled up inside or to explode at the slightest disagreement. However, this approach will not work if you want your marriage to survive and thrive. In successful marriages, couples talk about everything.

  • Share with your spouse insights about everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
  • Make a conscious effort to hear what your spouse is saying with an attitude of acceptance.
  • Become each other's best friends with unconditional support, total trust, and complete honesty.

couple emotional support


Photo: MAYA LAB via Shutterstock

2. Approach all financial challenges with teamwork and open communication.

Balancing the family budget requires teamwork, especially when introducing children into your marriage, dealing with unusual financial burdens, or losing a job comes your way. People in love support each other through thick and thin; if you don’t work together to address head-on the economic challenges and stresses in your marriage, there is little hope of success.

  • Always talk about your finances; don't let a debt or an unpaid bill slip by unnoticed.
  • Work together to determine your financial goals and budget.
  • Never make a major purchase without talking it over with your spouse and sleeping on it.

3. Don't blame each other when things get tough.

The blame game doesn't work in love and marriage, and it is destructive. There is a natural tendency in tough times to blame the one you love for your collective misfortune and stress. But people in love don't blame, castigate, or chastise each other in challenging times.

  • No matter how you feel, always treat your spouse with respect and love.
  • The truth is, there usually is no one person to blame. Figure out how you contributed to the problem and what you can do differently in the future.
  • Give your spouse's opinion serious consideration as you work together to discover solutions to your problems.

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4. Don’t wallow in self-pity.

No problem has ever been solved by feeling sorry for yourself or your situation. Successful couples grab "the bull by the horns" and work for solutions. Making a family work is difficult even in the best of times and even more challenging when you have many stressors.

5. Make an effort to keep the flame of your love affair alive every day.

What type of priority do you place on making time for fun and romance with each other in your hectic lives? Doing so can help you overcome the challenges by reminding you of why you fell in love in the first place.

  • Make a point of touching your spouse lovingly at least ten times a day.
  • Carve out time to have a romantic date with each other: bring home flowers, get a hotel room, go for a long walk together, drink a bottle of wine watching the sunset, write a love note, or even snuggle in bed a little longer in the morning.
  • Plan a vacation (or even just a staycation). Nothing helps people reconnect better than a little time away from the daily grind.

6. Allow each other occasional time for privacy and aloneness.

One of the keys to a successful marriage is when both partners allow each other to have privacy and aloneness. We live such hectic lives at work and home that the time to be alone with our thoughts is paramount to our ability to engage in meaningful communication with each other. The quality of communication can only be enhanced between you after refreshing your mind and spirit with alone time. You have to belong to yourself before you can belong to others.

  • The amount of time available to satisfy these needs varies from one marriage to another and from one marriage partner to another and can increase during stress. Talk with your spouse about each of your needs and desires for privacy and alone time.
  • Work together to determine a plan you both will honor to allow each other occasional time for privacy and aloneness.

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7. Remember that the simple things matter in marriage, and they need to be practiced daily.

Thirty-two years of research on love and successful marriage has taught us many things, but first, no love has blossomed or been sustained without doing the simple things. Big things don't matter until your relationship has mastered the art of doing the simple things day in and day out. Too often, when we are engaged in stressful life situations, we forget to do the simple things for the one we love the most.

  • Make a list of 20 things you will do to make your spouse's life better. Examples include remembering to say thank you, calling when you are going to be late, or leaving a sticky love note on your lover's wallet or purse.
  • Be more generous with your time for each other.
  • Engage in simple acts of kindness and spontaneous feel-good moments.



8. Develop a network of support from family, friends, and relatives.

You and your spouse do not have to deal with the stress by yourself. Don't be deluded into thinking you can or even should do it alone. Your friends and family want to support you through thick and thin. Take full advantage of their willingness to help.

  • Cultivate good relationships with your family, friends, and relatives. They can be your best supporters in times of need.
  • Don't be shy about asking for help from your family, aunts, uncles, or neighbors.

9. Stay healthy and happy, both physically and mentally.

It is nearly impossible to take care of others when you don't take of yourself.

  • Live healthier: take your vitamins and medications, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and cut down the use of alcohol and nicotine.
  • Engage in a daily exercise program with your spouse.
  • Don't forget your annual physical exams.

Dealing with the many stressors in your marriage and life can be challenging. Dealing with them effectively could save your marriage and improve your health.

happy couple on a walk


Photo: Maruco via Shutterstock

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Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz are renowned love and marriage experts and multiple award-winning authors. Their best-selling book, Building A Love That Lasts, provides readers with insightful and practical tips from thousands of happily married couples.