Work stress can cause us to be impatient with our partners or to neglect our duties at home, creating a cycle of anxiety outside the office that makes work pressures even harder to face. To cope with work stress as a couple:
• Recognize that you and your partner may have different ways of dealing with stress. Neither way is “right,” so find ways to accommodate one another. For example, let a partner who needs downtime after work have 30 minutes alone, but ask that partner to engage more later — over dinner or out on an evening stroll.
• Resist the urge to compare stress levels with your partner. Learn to simply listen and offer help. Try to solicit your partner’s help and empathy in your own stress, without drawing direct comparisons or judging. Each partner is an equal, and all stressors are valid and important.
Adapted from “How Couples Can Cope with Professional Stress” by Jackie Coleman and John Coleman.