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how do you deal with your partner's stress?(6 Posts)
I think I may be being unfair and DP and I are at a kind of stalemate on this.
We don't live together and he works for himself and is very busy, trying to pay off his mortgage and improve the house he owns. He hopes that we will live together in his place one day. I work part time but work very hard in my compressed hours (more like a full time role paid part time), and pay rent, but I chose this lifestyle as I am not driven to have lots of new stuff and prefer to live simply with more time to myself.
Our problem seems to be that whenever I am at his place he will be working and extremely stressed, and I find this quite anxiety provoking to be around, although I do feel for him and see he is struggling with a huge workload. He needs to get in help but finds it hard to work with others or share the load. I have often offered to help if I can, asked him to put some time aside to show me some tasks but he seems unable to give that the time. Being around his complaining and groaning fills me with a kind of dread that any minute things are going to get worse and he will explode or cave in, although I have no evidence that he would, he is a very gentle person. It makes me feel very tense and that I can't really relax and be myself as I am constantly being 'careful'.
As a result I find I store my feelings up and when I raise topics that are on my mind that I really can't ignore if I am to be authentic and true to myself, I tend to let rip quite easily and he feels as if I am attacking him. I respond to this by saying that he is too sensitive and that my outbursts are in response to him, its a dynamic and my actions don't happen in isolation. He seems to understand this but he also feels that how I speak to him is too much for him to take.
I am now at the point where I feel as if we are on the verge of splitting up; I don't know how to lessen his stress and I cant deal with being around it. When he comes to me he switches off from work and is relaxed and we get on so well.
I need some advice, how do you deal with being around someone who externalises their stress without regard for how it makes others feel? He feels that he has to be able to express himself, but when I do this he blames and resents me.
I feel for you, I’ve been married over 20 years to someone like this. It’s pretty wearing however much you like/love them to be honest. I’m quite placid which helps but do find myself every now and then saying ‘give it a rest’
Thanks for the support, at the moment I couldn't imagine living with him!
how do would you describe your husbands behaviour or type?
My partner is very stressed at the moment - different circumstances though. I listen a lot. But it’s his troubles, not mine. So I don’t feel burdened by it.
If you’re taking on his stress it doesn’t bode well. Either he needs to make time for you at his place when he puts work aside, or you need to find ways to hear him without becoming emotionally involved with his work stress - or both.
To be honest, if you’re responding to his stress by having outbursts it doesn’t seem like the relationship will work. But it’s hard to be sure without more information.
I think it depends a bit on whether this is an unusually stressful time where he needs extra support and a bit of slack cut (as we all have short periods of during life - deaths of family members, redundancy, awful period at work etc), or whether this is his go to way of being for everything he might ever find stressful. The latter is an exhausting person to be around and you'll forever be treating on eggshells.
It is a stressful time as work is very demanding and having building work on the house.
But, he is generally like this, and I can’t live with constantly feeling uncomfortable around him. I know some of it is circumstantial; if we lived together I would be more likely to be doing my own thing and let him get on with his stress.
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