Monday Mailbag — The Cure for Stress Fighting
We have had some real stressors lately. I lost my job because my company was downsizing. I have been looking for three months, and can’t find anything. So, Paul has had to increase his work schedule so we can make ends meet. He’s two semesters away from finishing his doctorate. So, he’s working more than full time and going to school. I have started care-taking his elderly grandmother almost full time, just to help out until I find a job.
I know this is going to pass, it has to, but I’m worried we won’t be the same when things get better. We are fighting a lot. I know it’s the stress because we’re fighting over things that really don’t matter. It’s all stupid stuff, but the fights are crazy intense.
I’m worried we don’t have better coping skills and I’m worried we will do serious damage to our relationship by saying things we don’t mean and hurting each other in the heat of the moment.
Katilyn is not alone. Since the economic downturn, divorce rates have plummeted. However, marriage satisfaction rates are on the decline also. This means that couples are staying together because they feel they can’t afford to divorce. They are less happy together, but willing to stay together less happy for longer periods of time. The longer a couple is on an unhappy track, the harder it is to fix.
What Katilyn is experiencing in her relationship is stress and anxiety induced bickering. It’s not so much a problem in the relationship, so much as it is problems outside the relationship having a negative impact. So, trying to address the bickering without addressing the stress and anxiety would be like putting a bandaid on a six inch surgical site. Fortunately there is one this Katilyn and her beloved can do that is clinically proven to reduce stress, depression, anxiety AND improve intimacy. They can fight less and make love more.
Sex reduces stress and anxiety. It has a clinically proven positive effect on depression. It’s a cardiovascular workout. It also increases Oxytocin levels, which have a proven increase on intimacy between partners. When the heat is on from stress, turning up the heat in the bedroom, is a way to take the edge off, and that’s not an opinion, it’s science.
Lisa Hayes is an LOA Relationship Coach and Author of How to Escape from Relationship Hell and the Passion Plan. She is also co-founder of Good Vibe Coaching Academy, specializing in LOA Coach training.