Does your marriage stress you out? If not, there’s still a good chance that you’re bringing stress into your marriage.
Either way, how do you handle it?
The natural inclination for a lot of couples is to seek stress relief in non-relational ways that enable them to hide – things like drugs and alcohol, or even behaviors like shopping, gambling, excessive cleaning, or binge-watching television – all of which lead to addiction, unhealthy obsessions, or lashing out at other people.
We shut down.
We become silent and non-communicative.
Jesus modelled how to seek stress relief relationally. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus knew He was going to be falsely condemned, beaten, and hung on a cross to die. Luke 22:44 says, “Being in agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Matthew 26:37 says Jesus was “sorrowful and troubled.” In verse 38, he tells Peter, James, and John, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Jesus didn’t act out his stress or stay silent and hope his disciples guessed how he was feeling. He revealed what was going on inside of him and asked for support.
Your spouse can’t read what’s going on in your soul. You have to tell him or her. When you do, you’ll ease your stress, and you’ll deepen your intimacy with your spouse.
On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Growing Your Marriage in Times of Stress,” we’re joined by Milan and Kay Yerkovich, counselors, authors, and speakers, who can help you better understand how your family of origin impacts the relationships you have today as an adult. They’ll help you find ways to emotionally connect with your spouse, so that you can experience the comfort and renewal you need to move forward.
In my opinion, this is some of the best content that any couple can get their hands on. I can’t give a more ringing endorsement than that. Check out their book, How We Love. Let us put this resource into your hands. I’d like to do that for a gift of any amount. Give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) or check our website for details. If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you.
Milan and Kay Yerkovich have a passion for helping husbands and wives experience stronger, healthier marriages. Milan is an ordained minister and pastoral counselor. And Kay is a licensed marriage and family therapist.