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Couple trouble?

Follow these tips from married people on how they handle stress in their relationships and keep the fire burning

By Mylene C. Orillo

We all know that work stress can take a toll in anyone’s life, especially in married lives.

Gone are the days when life was so simple. wives just stayed at home, took care of the kids; while husbands were the sole financial providers for the family and they lived happily ever after.

In modern-day living, the needs of the families are getting more complicated. Both couples need to work to provide support for the family.

Most of the time, this work-related stress can cause quarrels and fights between couples. According to Judy Ford, a licensed clinical social worker and author of Everyday Love: The Delicate Art of Caring for Each Other, “stressed-out couples quarrel and fight more often, withdraw from each other, feel disconnected, sad, frustrated, angry.”

She added: “Ongoing unchecked stress can create bigger problems. Long-term stress can turn to depression and isolation resulting in a frozen and distant relationship.”

How to spot stress symptoms

When spotting stress, Ford advised couples to recognize stress symptoms. One or both partners are hyper, agitated, overly excited, teary, snappy, or cranky. He/ she sometimes relies on drugs, alcohol, or food for comfort.

“Approach your partner,” Ford said especially if you are seeing those signs. Ask your partner if he/she is having a difficult day.

If he/she speaks up, listen and comfort your partner first. Hugging or gently touching your partner can provide relief.

WebMD said in article that “kissing relieves stress by creating a sense of connectedness, which releases endorphins, the chemicals that counteract stress and depression.”

It further said that a recent study of 2,000 couples showed that those who kiss only during lovemaking are 8 times more likely to report suffering from stress and depression.

According to Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Ohio State University College of Medicine, conflict isn’t necessarily bad. It’s the way couples disagree that affects health.

She advised couples to try to keep the emotional temperature as low as possible. Take a deep breath and talk about the situation when you’re both calmer.

Couple love

No relationship is perfect, but how do couples stay married? Why do they seem to have perfect relationships and others don’t?

I talked to four married people who share how they handle stress and keep a loving and lasting relationship:

Couple trouble 21. Monette Dionisio-Ho, businesswoman, lived together for 15 years, married for 9 years

“We make sure that before we sleep at night, we talk about what happened during the day. If he’s stressed-out, I have to give way, keep quiet until he calms down. Then we talk about how we can solve the problem so it won’t happen again. We assure that we don’t bring work-related issues or stress at home. We date at least twice a week, just like when we’re still girlfriend/boyfriend. Always keep God at the center of your relationship.”


Couple trouble 32. Sharon King-Villaruel, guidance counselor, in a relationship for 11 years, married for 6 years

“Think positive, live positive. Trust each other and enjoy each other’s company. Be a mistress.Date without the kids – watch movies, go bowling, or dine out.Act as if you’re still girlfriend or boyfriend. We also go out with friends separately. If he wants to see his friends alone, I let him. I also see my friends.”


Couple trouble 4


3. Albert C. Andaleon, businessman, married for 11 years

“Financially, you need to find ways to earn extra income and handle expenses. You have to trust your spouse. Love, it doesn’t go away. It only gets tiring at times; the couple really has to work hard to keep the relationship. Put God in the middle of your relationship. Don’t try to look for another person, promise! Sasakit ang ulo n’yo!”



Couple trouble 54. Jherico Teves, technical supervisor, Cignal satellite cable, married for 4 years

“My stress goes away whenever I think about my kids. If there’s a problem, we don’t let a day pass by without talking about it. Trust is very important in a relationship.”

Every marriage goes through different seasons. At the end of the day, it’s not the number of good days, but how you survive even the bad days. Keep the fire burning and save your marriage from falling apart, not only for your sakes, but for your kid/s’ as well.D