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Marriage: Managing Stress Before and After

STRESS BEFORE AND AFTER MARRIAGE - Marriage stress, Inspiron psychological well being. Love marriage

Stress is a common part of everybody’s life and it can be influenced by several factors. But what is stress? It is a psychological and physiological response to challenging or threatening situations. Some common types of stress are work-related stress, financial stress, relationship issues, major life changes, health concerns, being uncertain about the future, traumatic events, daily hassles, overcommitment etc.

 It is important to understand that stress affects everyone differently and what may be stressful for one person may not be stressful for another. It is always advisable to seek support from people, whether friends and family or from professionals such as therapists, when one  finds themselves in the midst of overwhelming stress.

Let’s talk about marriage stress for a while. Getting married in general can be a source of joy and companionship. It can be a happy moment where two people take a step forward to spending the rest of their lives together. But it also comes with its own set of stressors. Understanding these stressors could lead to a healthier understanding towards the relationship and their partner’s needs.

What could be some of the stressors that bothers an individual before marriage?

  1. Pre-wedding stress – planning a wedding can be plenty stressful for any individual. There are hundreds of decisions to make. Indoor or outdoor wedding, food arrangements, deciding who to invite and sending the invitations, what to wear, financial considerations, if there are any religious factors involved and family considerations. The decision making process is just too stressful, regardless of how much help you have.
  2. Relationship adjustments – when two people decide to spend the rest of their lives together, there is a major factor to consider – adjustment. It could be a big issue very naturally. There needs to be clear communication, there needs to be some sacrifice on both partner’s part, there needs to be a lot of patience and understanding and empathy among the partners and most importantly the partners should want to be there for each other. Merging two lives can be challenging.
  3. Career and financial concerns – preparing for marriage involves financial planning, career stability, taking care not to spend extravagantly and thinking about their partner’s needs along with your own. Both partners need to have a stable career path before getting involved for long term stability.
  4. Family and societal expectations – expectations from families, friends or having to follow societal norms can also contribute to stress. When one gets married to another, it’s not just the partners who are marrying each other but both their families are forming an union. It can all be very stressful as now there are expectations not just from your partner, but their entire family too. 

What could be some of the stressors that bothers an individual after marriage?

  1. Work-life balance – juggling career responsibilities and personal life could become a stress for both partners. Balancing all spheres of life including your own and your partner’s is bound to become tricky without effective communication and compromise.
  2. Financial pressures – managing finances as a team could be hard, specifically if there are differences in spending habits or financial goals. Budgeting, saving, investments, spending, sources of entertainment could all be tensed discussions among both partners.
  3. Communication challenges – effective communication is one of the pillars of any healthy relationship. Being able to express needs, desires, healthy resolution to conflicts, being patient and willing enough to understand each others’ perspectives etc could all be challenges to effective communication.
  4. Family planning – decisions about starting a family, when to have children, how many to have, whether both parties are mutually taking the decision, sharing of responsibilities, future planning for the children, parenting styles  etc needs to be thoroughly discussed as gaps in communication could be a major source of stress.
  5. Intimacy issues – changes in physical and emotional intimacy may occur and its a normal part of life for all people involved. Navigating through these changes can be stressful for all couples. Physical and emotional intimacy  needs to be vigorously talked about to reach a sense of comfort for both parties involved.  
  6. External pressures – factors such as work pressures, family expectations, societal norms can all contribute to stress within the marriage.

 This in total could look very different for arranged marriages and love marriages. Both have their own types of stressors. In arranged marriages stressors could look like mismatched expectations, pressure from family, getting to know each other, cultural differences, social expectations, decision making process etc. In love marriages stressors could look like family acceptance, interpersonal conflicts, familial background and value differences, navigating through the change as it will definitely take effort to evolve together.

How does one cope with all such stress?

  1. Communicate everything! – Differences in communication styles and ability to express needs and desires and concerns can lead to stress if not effectively addressed. Communicating raw emotions and being honest about what you feel can always help in establishing a healthier relationship.
  1. Don’t forget yourself! – Prioritizing self care and an individual’s needs instead of keeping your hobbies and interests  aside can help individuals manage stress and maintain a sense of identity. Maintaining a sense of identity can keep sparks into a relationship long term. Both partner’s mutual interest in each other’s lives can help bring about a sense of harmony.
  1. Support system! – Identifying a good support system is the first step. Maintaining that system is beneficial during all chaotic times that a family might face. Seeking professional guidance from counselors and therapists can provide a neutral space to address issues and learn effective coping strategies. Being open to adapting and compromising in the face of challenges is important for a successful marriage.

Managing stress is crucial for maintaining the well-being of an individual and a couple together. It’s important to recognize individual stressors and develop healthy coping mechanisms to be able to navigate through life’s challenges and live harmoniously in union. Maintaining and continuing to nurture the romantic aspects of the relationship helps to keep the bond alive for a long time. Recognize that personal growth is a continuous process and that supporting each other’s individual aspirations and choices is important. It is crucial to  understand that stress will always be there, whether individually or together with your partner. Using effective coping strategies could help deal with them in an efficient manner. 

Written By –
Modhuja Adhikary

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