Every relationship involves a certain degree of stress, and solid partnerships give you the space and support to work through tough spots together. However, if your partner is the root cause of your stress, that complicates the dynamic. These nine signs often indicate that your partner— and therefore your relationship — stresses you out beyond a reasonable degree.
1. You don’t look forward to spending time together.
Of course, even people in healthy relationships can appreciate spending time apart. But if you never look forward to the times you plan to spend with your significant other- or, even worse, if you actively dread those occasions- then that’s a strong indicator that your relationship dredges up unpleasant emotions for you, which likely include some measure of stress.
2. You start overanalyzing every interaction (or lack of interaction).
When a relationship feels more stressful than not, it’s natural to put every interaction with your partner under a figurative microscope. Minute conversations, tiny gestures, habits that you never even noticed in the past- they can all become fodder for intense analysis. At the same time, if you and your partner aren’t interacting as often as usual, that can become equally anxiety-inducing when you’re in a stressful relationship.
3. Your stress starts to manifest in health concerns.
Does relationship-related stress keep you up at night? Do you find yourself particularly susceptible to colds, flus, and mysterious bugs when you’re not in a good place with your partner? When your health becomes compromised by concerns involving your partner, that certainly suggests “too much” stress.
4. Your libido seems significantly lower than your norm.
According to Psych Central, “stress causes spikes in adrenaline and cortisol, which suppress the hormones needed to get in the mood.”
5. You’re hesitant to share outside problems and concerns with your partner.
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your stresses with your partner in general, that might be because they’re part of your regular rotation of stressors. When something goes wrong at work or you get into a nasty disagreement with a friend, can you go to your partner to unload and receive comfort? If not, then it’s likely that they’re part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
6. Fights and arguments either become far more frequent...or you find yourself going to extreme lengths to avoid them.
Everyone gets into spats with their significant others from time to time. But if you notice these arguments popping up far more often than usual (and if the fights take longer than usual to blow over), that could be a byproduct of a stressful partnership.
7. Small habits and quirks of your partner's become distracting annoyances.
Even if your relationship is in a healthy and functional place, it's possible to feel irked by minor mannerisms of your partner's. However, if you find yourself unable to ignore your partner's tendency to bite their fingernails or use a tonal uptick at the end of every sentence, that could be a byproduct of larger relationship-related stress.
8. Your goals for the relationship no longer point in the same direction.
The communication issues inherent in a stressful relationship often result in partners focusing on different priorities. Sometimes, these priorities don't serve complementary purposes, which leads to alienation and a weakening of the bond between partners.
9. You've lost the "team" dynamic in your relationship.
Of course, individuality is essential to a strong relationship; partners should have interests and pursuits separate from each other. However, when you and your partner no longer function as a united front in any capacity, that's a sign that stress is taking a powerful and damaging toll on your connection.