How Not to Handle Family Stress

How Not to Handle Family Stress

Step 1: Worry that drama is on the horizon.

-Don’t kid yourself- you’re not “mentally preparing” yourself, or “bracing” for possible future discontent. You’ll get exactly what you’re waiting for, and all of your worrying will be little more than wasted time due to the fact that chaos cannot be accurately anticipated.

Step 2. Assume that you’ll be able to ignore/fix/will the problem into submission.

-Avoiding the issue won’t make the stresser calm down, nor will it make the issue go away. You can’t fix the problem on your own; it’ll take two parties to calm this stuff down. And, all that time you may or may not spend practicing your speeches in your head for that moment of glory when you can finally tell world just how strong you are, will go right out the window as the situation is never as neat as it is when you’re doing the dishes and thinking about how much you’re suffering. Take a breath, say a prayer, and talk to your husband (or roommate, friend, sibling- whoever you live with and are close to) before moving forward.

Step 3. Scream at your husband when he doesn’t do what you think he should when it comes to his family.

-Part of marriage is inheriting his family, and you’ll do well to remember that he knows how to handle them better than you do. This is especially true of his parents. Seriously, let him handle it, and support him as the head of your family, even if you think he’s making a mess of it. Encouraging him to be strong in the face of difficulty is different than giving him an emotional “to do” list to remedy the matter.

-It’s also vital to keep the comparisons to your family at a minimum. What’s annoying to you may be outrageous to him, and vice versa.

Step 4. Blab about what’s going on to everyone who will listen.

-No matter how wonderful your friends and family are, be careful to not overshare, as it may come back to bite you in the very near future. While sharing your burdens is important, the line between “sharing” and “gossiping” is very fine, and it’s important not to cross it. I hop this divide far too often when it comes to my family situation, so I say this as a reminder to myself as much as I do to share a bit of wisdom.

Step 5. Continue dwelling on the problem after it’s been fixed.

-Forgive as the Lord forgives us, and move forward. You won’t gain anything by grasping at your pain. Again, I say this from experience; I’ve spent nearly a year upset over a continuing situation that simply has to stop consuming my emotional energy.

Step 6. Think that God isn’t present in the situation.

-I’ll spend my life learning this one: we can’t shut Him out whenever life feels too messy to take to His throne. He is our Comforter, after all. Right? 🙂

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