You can tell I’m stressed if I disappear for a while and come back with my toes freshly painted. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that’s one way I’ve learned to cope in the midst of stress. I back away and detach from the issue.
Stress swirls around many topics for married couples: money, sex, unrealistic expectations, family dynamics, daily house-hold responsibilities, parenting styles, long work hours, education choices for kids, damaging habits or friendships that create discord between a couple.
Good or bad, stress is a normal byproduct of life. And we all handle it differently.
It is assumed that stressful situations tear a marriage apart.
But what if there was a different way to see stress?
What if stress could be a signal for couples to come together, rather than be torn apart?
As a wife, I’ve experienced the most stress around the topic of money. After taking Financial Peace University classes by Dave Ramsey, we realized that I was the “free spirit” and he was the “nerd,” when it came to money. Because I lean more towards passivity than confrontation, our conversations never got nasty. But the self-induced pressure I felt around the topic of money was enough to shut me down for a week. So I avoided talking about it. Then imagine the disrespect Wyatt felt when I appeared not to care. When really, I was just in the bathroom painting my toenails because I didn’t know how to handle the pressure of mounting stress. No.Fun.
Then we found another way.
We intentionally prioritized sex before stress. Instead of immediately diving into debate and hashing out our differences about money (or any other stress-related topic that was at the boiling point), we learned that we did best when we had sex FIRST.
The conversation topic wouldn’t change, but the way we approached the conversation was 100% different.
Instead of tackling stressors from a place of division and frustration, we began approaching conflict from a place of unity and connection.
We approached what were really hot-button issues with a sense of tenderness, gentleness and grace. What seemed like an unconquerable mountain before we had sex, became a little speed-bump after sex.
The stress didn’t go away. But because we approached it as a unified team, rather than as distant enemies, the entire way we handled stress changed. We were able to sail through issues that once would have derailed us.
As we’ve practiced this way of handing stress over the years, we’ve learned there is power in fighting for each other, instead of fighting against each other.
We’ve learned to let stress drive us towards intimacy, rather than destroy our intimacy. This allows us to approach the things that normally divide us with an overwhelming sense of unity and connection that comes through the gift of sex.
The point of marriage is not to arrive at the destination divided, but to the enjoy the journey unified. –> click to tweet
For our marriage, the most stressful things have been finances and navigating our kids’ education.
For your marriage, it’s helpful to be aware of which topics create division and stress, and then use those issues to drive you towards each other.
Husbands: remember to be tender towards your wives.
Wives: this is yet another reason to love your husband’s sex drive.
Both: be ready to have sex first, then talk about the issue from a place of connection.
Do you have a question?
In the near future, I plan to do some video blogs to answer “Marriage-Monday” related questions from my readers, so feel free to comment below with questions, or head over my Facebook page and send me a Private Message there.