There really isn’t one singular thing that causes stress in a marriage. Rather, it is usually a combination of things.
It might pay to start off with a basic description of what a stressor is, then go on to talk about the different factors in a marriage that can be stressful.
What is the definition of “stressor”?
A stressor is an action, an event, or harmful speech directed at someone that causes extreme mental and emotional distress to that person.
Additionally, it can cause tension or personal discomfort. Many times this is unintentional; however, it is still a stressor if it makes a person upset or stressed.
How can stressors be harmful to a marriage?
Sometimes stress can be overwhelming for one or both people in a marriage. It can result in heated arguments or, at the very least, negative mood swings.
If a person is feeling stressed out, they may unintentionally direct that stress towards their spouse.
Can stressors have a lasting effect on a marriage?
If the cause of that stress is not eliminated quickly, it can lead to a difficult period of time between you and your partner.
It is important to get rid of the causes of stress to the best of your ability. Otherwise, it can result in a separation or even a divorce.
Visiting with a professional counselor can help determine the cause of your stress.
Lack of respect can be a stressor
If one or both people in a marriage demonstrate a lack of respect for their spouse, this is definitely a major stressor.
In order for any marriage to work, the couple really must respect each other and openly display that respect.
Financial matters can be stressors
Financial stress can happen to either person or both people in a marriage. Perhaps one of them got laid off from work and now the bills are starting to pile up.
This is absolutely a cause of stress, but it is one that you can work through.
It is important for the other person to be supportive of their partner and keep a positive outlook on things.
Emotional trauma can be a stressor
Has something awful happened to you recently? It could be a death in the family or a horrible, debilitating illness.
This can be a significant cause of stress in a marriage. It might not be something that can be fixed.
If this has occurred in the life of your mate, it is important for you and the family to rally around them. Help them work through this source of stress.
Although you cannot undo an issue like that, you can lessen their stress by being supportive.
Dishonesty is definitely a stressor
If an event has happened in your life that could affect your marriage, do not lie about it to your spouse.
Dishonesty in a relationship is a huge stressor and can do irrevocable harm. Always tell your partner the truth.
It will be easier for them to forgive a mistake than to overlook any lies about it.
Unwillingness to work at the marriage is a stressor
Marriage takes a lot of work on the part of both people. If one or both of you is unwilling or unable to do this, it puts stress on the marriage.
You will both make mistakes, that is inevitable. However, if you put some effort into working them out, your union will survive.
Lack of a sense of humor can be a stressor
If one of the two people has a sense of humor and the other clearly does not, it can be stressful.
The partner without a sense of humor will often be offended by actions that the other person meant to be humorous.
This is not a problem that can readily be solved. You cannot make someone else have a sense of humor.
Religion can be a stressor
How? If one person in the marriage has strong religious beliefs and practices them and the other does not, it can be quite stressful.
This also applies to children in the family. Who will determine what role religion will play in their lives?
This is an issue that can be discovered while you are dating somebody. You can always elect not to continue the relationship.
What you cannot do is force another person to be religious. Find out this kind of thing BEFORE you marry.
What about a lack of intimacy?
Yes, this can be very stressful. If one partner likes to have sex significantly more than the other, this can put stress on the marriage.
A lack of intimacy applies outside of sex as well. If one partner is more vulnerable and open while the other is more closed-off and guarded, then the marriage may feel strained.
Whether to have children
This can be a huge source of stress. It is also an issue that should be resolved prior to marrying. Do both of you want children? Do you want a small family or a large one?
Are you capable of supporting them financially? Make sure you discuss these things with your intended spouse. It makes a difference.
What about unruly children?
This is also a stressful situation for a couple to be in. If a child or children are always getting into trouble and misbehaving, it is very stressful for a marriage.
One or both parents must be firm with their kids.
If one parent wants to discipline their kids and the other lacks in this department, there could be arguments and rough times ahead.
Bear in mind that all children have moments like these. This is normal. However, if it is a constant source of friction, perhaps a children’s counselor is in order.
Working too much can cause stress
Of course, work is necessary for supporting a family. Sometimes both individuals need to work.
However, if one person seems to be addicted to work, the other person might feel neglected. This is absolutely stressful.
Another related issue is the type of job you have. If a spouse is uncomfortable with their mate’s occupation, or their own, it is very stressful.
If your job always leads to disputes between you and your partner, think about changing occupations. This can be done, and a lot of headaches can be avoided.
What are your goals for your life?
What does this have to do with the topic? Everything! If you have completely different aspirations for your life than your partner does, it is extremely stressful.
This cannot always be remedied before you marry. People, and their goals, change over time.
What you can do is talk about this with your spouse. If neither of you is willing to make concessions in your plans for your lives, your marriage will likely end soon.
The most important consideration here is the well-being of the family.
Marriage can be a major stressor
Yes, you read this correctly. For many people, the concept of marriage itself is a stressor.
Perhaps you married too early in life and neither one of you were really ready. This is especially stressful.
Then, when you add children into the equation, more stress is piled on top.
What can you do about this? Maybe not rush into marriage so soon. Give your relationship more time to develop before making that decision.
Sometimes waiting until you are financially secure will make a huge difference.
If you and your current partner are really meant to be together, surely waiting to marry will work in your favor.