He walked in the door with his shoulders slumped and the stress written all over his face. I hoped today would be different, that we’d have a reprieve from the stress, but one look at him was all it took to see that we weren’t there yet. No matter what I tried, he stayed distracted all evening, which added to my frustration.
Have you and your spouse encountered an intense period of stress in marriage? Perhaps it was financial, or due to loss of a loved one. Maybe there was something deeper that triggered the stress. Stress can impact every part of our life, and pours over into our marriage. So how do you deal with the times of intense stress in your marriage?
3 Ways to Cope with Intense Stress in Marriage
1. Realize that this is just a season.
I know that some seasons seem to linger. No matter what we do, we can’t ever seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Stop for a minute and think back to that last major stress that you experienced. I don’t mean the one you’re in now; I mean the one before this. During that time, it was hard to cope, but you made it through that season, so there is hope for this one.
I like to view the hardest times as “planting season”. God has a lesson for us, in every season of our lives. When I can’t understand what He’s doing, when life is overwhelming, I trust that He has planted me in that season for a purpose. Perhaps I will learn and grow through it, or maybe He will use me to bless someone else. Either way, I can trust that He will send the nourishment, and the rain, that will help me grow.
2. Pray. Then pray some more.
God is not surprised by anything that happens to us. There is immense peace in knowing that God is still in control. Honestly, though, it sometimes takes a time of prayer before I remember that God is in control. I run to Him and pour out my heart, often as if I’m filling Him in on my situation. That’s simply not true, though. He already knows.
Once I’ve told God all about my situation, I need to sit and listen to Him. Prayer is not just about talking to God; prayer is also about listening to Him. Sometimes, in those quiet moments, God speaks such truth to my heart. He already knows the way out of my situation. In those quiet moments while I listen to Him, He begins to work in my heart to unfold that plan.
So when those extremely tough times come along, pray; then pray some more. Open your heart to what God has prepared for you through this troublesome time.
3. Don’t neglect communication with your spouse.
I don’t know about you, but when I feel stressed, my natural instinct is to curl up and protect my heart. This is something I have to continually work on, as my husband keeps reminding me that we are in this together. We each need space to process the matter, but then it’s so important for us to come back together to talk about whatever we have going on.
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Often, if I try to process through a very stressful situation without talking to my husband, I can get myself to the bottom of a pit, feeling hopeless. But when I talk to him, I can share my feelings, and he can help to carry my burden by praying with me. He can speak truth and encouragement into my heart, and remind me to keep my eyes focused on Jesus.
While none of us like to go through these deep waters, we can navigate them with God’s help. Keep holding your spouse’s hand and remember what a blessings they are in your life!