You feel like you don’t have any time to yourself
Sometimes, it’s too easy to get so caught up in your daily routine that you forget to make room for some me-time. If you find that you become overwhelmed too easily and don’t have time to do the things you want, that’s a clear sign you’re stressed. “Don’t let the weight of everyday issues overshadow the connection with your partner,” says Aniesa Schneberger, MA, a licensed mental health counselor who is also the founder of Tampa Life Change. She suggests scheduling breaks throughout the week that are reserved just for you. Whether it’s a few minutes of sitting quietly, calling a friend, taking a walk, or anything else that you enjoy doing, be sure to do it. Not having enough me-time can get in the way of couple time.
You’re not having sεχ as often as you did earlier on in your relationship
An ongoing preference to go to bed early instead of enjoying time between the sheets—especially when you both used to feel more frisky more frequently—can be an indication that stress is hurting your relationship. Although it’s not uncommon for the sεχual energy that was once extremely common during the romantic phase of your relationship to wane, every couple still carries with them those initial memories of romantic bonding, says Julia Breur, PhD, a licensed marriage and family therapist with a private clinical psychotherapy practice in Boca Raton, Florida. Even if you’re not in the mood for sεχ, look for little ways to touch each other: Hug and kiss every day or hold hands when you’re watching TV on the sofa. Make date night a priority and that spark will rekindle in time.
You’re not as interested in what your partner has to say
If you find yourself offering a lot of “uh-huh’s” and “that’s nice” comments whenever your partner tells you about their day or an idea they have, that’s a telltale sign that stress is taking over. Don’t let thoughts of tomorrow’s meeting or mounting bills disrupt your communication. Instead, Schneberger says that eye-contact as well as active listening between both parties is key, and can help foster enhanced communication. Do your best to lock eyes with your partner and focus on what they are saying.
Your partner spends more time with other family members than you
It’s not unusual to call or visit family members, but when it becomes an escapist behavior in which your partner interacts more with them than you, that’s a red flag. Breur explains that a host of assumptions enter the picture in this case, including the feeling that your partner is more comfortable talking for long periods of time about topics that should be reserved for the two of you. Similarly, your partner may opt to spend more time with your children or pet than you. The fix, Breur says, is to specifically convey to your partner how this makes you feel, while offering a compromise at the same time. For example, suggest that your partner still speak with their sibling, but tell them that talking for two hours daily is bothersome for you. Then, suggest reducing phone time and use the extra time to spend together.