Why do we expect so much from each other despite our own inherent weaknesses? Don’t most contentions and strife in relationships indicate how fragile we are? Can the application of proven practical principles help us weather the storms of rocky relationships? What are the main triggers of stress in relationships? How can we overcome them? Read on…


Poor Communication

Proper communication in relationships is a skill that must be learnt and embraced to unravel some of the wonderful experiences a healthy relationship can contribute to your life. Proper communication must feed on attentive and respectful listening, with good eye-to-eye contact. When you listen attentively to what your spouse is saying, and integrating this with the right body language or posture, you demonstrate mindfulness, which leads to relationship satisfaction because it lowers emotional stress. Antagonism is less and the couples are more likely to come up with solutions and better coping mechanisms to overcome chronic stress in relationships.

Lack of Commitment

This is the ultimate relationship lifeline, relationships should be approached with the mindset of permanence, like the athlete who prepares for his marathon with dedication, commitment, practise and persistence. Commitment is understanding and a compromise of expectations, knowing that sometimes your relationship will be dire need of a floating life-jacket. There obviously will be highs and lows, challenges and trials, when it seems your relationships has hit a brick wall. What will sustain you through the rubble, when it feels too difficult to continue? Commitment will keep you on track beyond the inevitable rough patches. More reassuring is the understanding that affection, love and respect grow over a lifetime.

Lack of a Spirit of Give and Take: Compromise

You cannot always have your way and expect your relationship to endure. This is about balance and not who wears the pants or pay the piper. Compromise is an integral and an inherent part of any relationship, if you are not prepared for compromise in your relationship, then go solo. To make the relationship work, the partners must understand and cherish the necessity of compromise and sacrifice to overcome untoward stress in relationships.

Expecting a Perfect Mate

We are, each of us, angels with only one wing; and we can only fly by embracing one another.”.. Luciano de Crescenzo . 

Ever wonder why some relationships start out so well only to get extinguished or burn out? It is most likely that you suddenly realise that person is far from anyone’s notion of perfect, much less. I am reminded of The Rosie Project, remarkable book by Graeme Simpsion, which narrates Don Tillman’s obsession with perfection in his quest for a perfect partner. This university professor pens down an exhaustive list of flawless attributes he expects in his future wife: must be  a non-smoker, good cook, always punctual, extremely intelligent with a very high level of physical fitness. Many women were trashed out of his compilation down the line because they did not fit into the mold of a perfect wife, until he eventually met Rosie, a bartender who drinks, smokes and did not come close to measuring up in his criteria for the perfect woman. In their quest to find Rosie’s biological father, the unexpected happened; Don falls in love with her. This is a tangible vindication of the power of harmony in relationships over undue emphasis on physical attributes. Harmony fuels appreciable interest in your partner’s preferences over yours.

Take the front burner with me and unravel the destructive power of relationship stress. Dr Andrew Okpetu invites you to CLICK HERE and explore the potent power of harmony as a veritable tool to deal with stress in relationships.