• Mitchell Smolkin

Why relationships are harder during stressful times

Updated: May 1, 2020

Just like a boat trying to make it through a storm, the mechanics of relationships are stressed when there are more emotional demands. For instance, 7 out of 10 couples experience major distress after having their first child. It makes sense, it's a lot easier to negotiate Chinese versus Thai food for dinner then it is to handle a screaming baby at 3am; the latter might expose feelings that have not entered the relationship before and this is naturally scary.

Couples therapy helps reinforce our romantic bond by slowing these moments down and understanding the deep needs that we have hard time expressing in real time. Usually when we are hurt or upset, we are not very open, and this can lead to damaging conversations. When we are stressed, our brains turn on an important anti-social element in our biology that was designed to save us in dangerous situations. This is great for survival, but terrible for intimacy.

If this kind of cycle is getting in the way of your relationship, it is important to try and find time to meet with a skilled therapist to slow things down and bring understanding. Please feel free to contact me to discuss your situation.

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