Decreased intimacy may be a sign of stress in your relationship

Stress isn't limited to your work life. There can be stress in your romantic relationship too. If you are fighting a lot with your partner or there is less intimacy, they might signs of stress in a relationship.
Stress and Intimacy
Stress leads to distance in intimacy. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 1 Jul 2023, 08:21 pm IST
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Whether you are moving to a new city, getting married, starting a new job or trying to meet targets, stress is something that will always accompany you. Positive or negative, you should take less stress in life. But that’s not always possible and there are times when it spills over to your love life. Being in a stressful relationship is clearly not healthy. Most women know that, but some are not able to identify or know the signs of stress in a relationship.

Health Shots consulted Gurugram-based clinical psychologist Aishwarya Raj to help you with spotting the signs of stress in a romantic relationship.

stress in relationship
Less intimate moments with your partner might be a sign of stress in your relationship. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Signs of stress in a relationship

The emotional or psychological strain that might be experienced by you or your partner too due to various factors within your relationship is what stress looks like. Raj says it can arise from conflicts, misunderstandings, unmet needs, external pressures, or any other sources that create tension and strain the connection between you and your partner. Here are some signs:

1. Increased arguments

Frequent arguments even over small things can be a sign of underlying stress. When stress levels rise, communication can become strained, leading to more frequent conflicts, explains the expert.

2. Lack of communication

Difficulty in expressing thoughts, feelings or concerns can indicate stress. If you or your partner withdraw or become hesitant to share openly and there is lack of communication, it might be a sign that stress is affecting your ability to communicate effectively.

3. Emotional distance

You two might be in the same room, but if you become emotionally distant, it can suggest that stress is impacting the connection. Emotional intimacy might decline, leading to a sense of detachment or feeling disconnected from each other.

4. Decreased intimacy

Stress can affect the level of physical and emotional intimacy within a relationship. A decrease in affection, sexual activity or a general lack of closeness can indicate stress-related strain, says Raj.

5. Increased criticism or defensiveness

When there is stress, you might become more critical of your partner or defensive about your actions or behaviours. This can create a hostile or tense atmosphere within the relationship.

6. Lack of support

If you are unable to provide emotional support or feel unsupported in times of stress, it can lead to further strain. Feeling alone or unsupported can worsen the overall stress level within the relationship.

7. Changes in behaviour or mood

Stress is a sneaky thing that can manifest in various ways, including changes in behaviour or mood. For example, you might become irritable, withdrawn or display signs of anxiety or depression. All this indicates the impact of stress on your well-being and the relationship.

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stress in relationship
Self-care should not be ignored. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

8. Neglecting self-care

When stress gets too much, you might neglect self-care. Focusing solely on relationship issues while neglecting personal well-being can contribute to increased stress levels, says the expert.

It shouldn’t be just your job to address stress in your relationship. Your partner should also work with you on managing stress in your relationship. You can have open and honest communication, engage in activities that help to relax or get support from trusted friends, family, or professionals while dealing with relationship stress. You can also set limits when it comes to responsibilities, personal space, and expectations. This will ensure a balanced and healthier bond with your partner. And if stress in your relationship becomes unmanageable, reaching out to a trained therapist or counselor can help to address the problem and underlying issues.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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