Post # 1
So, Fiance has a pretty stressful job. Don’t get me wrong, we are thankful to even have jobs, but this comes from a place of years before the pandemic.
The stress is getting a little crazier. To be blunt:
How can I help him? What do other bees do to help their significant other “de stress” from work?
He isn’t a “talk softly and it will calm him down” type of guy.
So do you help your SO de stress from work? and how?
Post # 2
He has his own ways of relieving stress. He draws, plays video games, listens to podcasts. For the most part he doesn’t need my help to de-stress. Sometimes he’ll ask me to watch a show with him or play a video game with him to distress and I’m always happy to. Keeping our apartment clean helps both of us feel more relaxed and able to enjoy our de-stressing activities.
Honestly, someone hovering around asking how to help or trying to help when I’m stressed would probably do more harm than just letting me have my space and do whatever it is I like to do to de-stress.
Post # 3
I agree with PP. We’re both pretty good at destressing ourselves as we know what we enjoy! (We too will play video games alone, watch TV, read, go on walks, etc.)
However, if you want to help him feel more relaxed when he gets home, I think the biggest things are taking care of other stuff around the house so that he doesn’t have to worry about it when he gets home. Things like helping keep the house tidy, planning and preparing dinner, etc. are ways he can feel more relaxed when he gets home.
(However, be sure to not pull all the weight alone for a prolonged period of time! You mentioned you are working too, so while it’s great to be looking out for his stress level and doing what you can on occassion, it’s not a one-way street. Don’t take on more than you should!)
Post # 4
I agree that hovering with your well intended but nervous energy may not help.
As grown ups, we all need to know how to handle out own stress, and ask for help if we need it.
When FH is stressed, I make a point of clearing up clutter because clutter adds to his stress. I give him his space to unwind. He knows I’m there for him
Post # 5
My husband struggled with knowing how to destress on his own for a while. I noticed a trend that certain things/activities he did seemed to help relax him and other things made him worse. Some things aggravated his stress so badly that he would wake up with nightmares that affected both of us. I eventually voiced my observations. Video games make him worse. He paints as a hobby, that helps. His painting hobby is a bit expensive but he found a way to subsidize it other hobby creations he sells online. Spending time outside also helps him and sometimes I’ll invite him to sit outside on the deck with me.
Nagging doesn’t work of course, but I did have to get very frank and bold about choices he was making for a while because it wasn’t just about him. It affects me too and when we had kids, it affected them also. Getting him to admit that video games made him worse was difficult. When he gave up the gaming he’d been spending time and frustration and nightmares on, he realized he needed to never go back.
It’s different for everyone. So, I don’t destress my husband but I observed what worked for him and tried to steer him in those directions.
Post # 6
So roles are opposite in our house, I have the high-stress long-hours job and DH has the more flexible/more routine job (although somehow we both earn the same? ugh!)
While my job is always full on, there are definitely periods (of varying duration) where it is REALLY full-on. During those times he takes over all house/domestic duties so that I don’t have to worry about them – cooking, cleaning, dog care, groceries, errands, vacation planning, finances, laundry…I mean ALL of it. It’s incredibly impressive. He’ll also motivate me to go out and do my hobbies when I’m struggling to find the energy as I always come back feeling more relaxed. In really dark times, he’ll buy me gift certificates for a massage.
So basically, he creates the space for me to be able to do the things that help me de-stress.
Post # 7
In our house, I’m the one with the stressful job.
What helps me de-stress is having a clean/decluttered house, being given space to unwind without someone hovering, and minimizimg any external/additional sources of stress.
During the times when my job is even higher stress than usual, I need my spouse to step up and quietly do more than the usual amount of things like proactively do more of the dishes, cleaning the cat’s litterbox, laundry, etc.
Clutter and mess is probably the biggest house-related source of stress for me, and it really pisses me off to see dirty dishes and empty cans/bottles just piled in the sink.
Post # 8
I can’t even successfully de-stress myself from work lol.
Post # 9
I absolutely hate cleaning, and my husband is the clean(er) freak. So I clean for him, similar to other posters. It helps him chill out knowing that HE doesnt have to clean (which, normally he does 90% of lol).
Post # 10
I let him have some time for himself and leave him alone. I know he likes to play his games and workout/surf by himself sometimes to clear his mind. I don’t need to be constantly in his face especially now that we have been WFH full time.
Post # 11
My guy is also sensitive to things like dishes and dogs barking to go out/come in so when he’s more work-stressed than I am I try to handle the lions’ share. If he’s extremely stressed I may also try to run some interference for him with family.
And since @slomotion hasn’t jumped in with this yet: blowjobs. It’s a no-fail stress reliever around here.
Post # 12
Everyone handles stress differently. For some people, they just want to be left alone and given space to kind of chill out. Others might want something more concrete to help them relax at the end of a long day. My suggestion is talk to your SO at a time when you’re both already relaxed (so not right after he gets home when you can tell he’s on edge) and ask if there’s anything you can do in general to help him feel better or less stressed after work. For me a big thing is having dinner ready. The #1 thing that would always add to my stress after a long day at work was walking in the house and having my husband ask “what are your thoughts on dinner?” His works hours were shorter than mine (by a lot), he had less of a commute, and he’s a million times better in the kitchen than I am. So I asked if on X days (not every weekday because he needs a break too), he could either have dinner ready when I get home or at least close to ready. And that honestly helped so much.
Now with the quarantine that’s out the window because I work from home, but before that it was really helpful.
Post # 13
I would plan something for him to look forward to (when it is safe again to). For ex: weekend sports games – cathh a baseball, basketball, football game, take a roadtrip, go to a concert, go play golf together. Anything that will take his mind miles away from work.
Post # 14
Lol. This was my first thought too… Where’s SloMo when we need her?
Post # 15
My fiancée and I both have stressful jobs (we actually work at the same place) that requires us to be nice & listen to other people’s problem all day. I feel like we use up all our niceness at work so we don’t talk for maybe an hour or two when we get home to recharge. Making dinner together is a way we destress & something we both enjoy doing together. I also like to take the dogs out & clean a little before she gets home as I get home before her. Cleaning helps me destress & she doesn’t have to worry about doing it so it’s a win-win.