When a person is very stressed out and also very tired, they’re a ticking machine waiting to blow off steam. Stress is pressure. Fatigue is a weak point in the machine. Both lead to a break in the containment of emotions. The massive expansion of volatile emotions mean you say things you don’t mean that hurt, you do things that you don’t want to do that hurts, and you scar the heart of the very person you had promised not to hurt.
Romance requires a degree of self control and self awareness. Without it, one is prone act rashly and cause more harm than good when it comes to being tired and stressed out.
When a partner is counting on you to be cool and reasonable, it is in one’s best interest to figure how to remain so in the face of much stress and low sleep.
While it’s easy to type this advice, even if for entertainment purposes only, I can assure you that learning to keep cool is an art and a science. I’ve had to stay quiet and hold my peace for the sake of peace more than once in my love life. I’ve had to learn to do my own research into my emotions and figure how to explain them calmly at a later time.
Like good most good art with a science behind it, practice improves the skills. One can learn to manage their emotional expressions. One can learn to be cool under fire. This also takes well into account personality differences. Those impact how much of the skill one naturally has and will be able to improve with smart practice.
Writing is one way to process emotions. Taking a 24 hour break to cool off is not a bad idea. Having deep conversations in the morning instead of night time. Planning ahead when to have deep conversations. The use of code words to let your partner know they’re starting to hurt you with their approach… so they can stop before a fight breaks out.
I will say this. Never think that saying “calm down” works. It actually makes things worse. It’s like you’re verbally caging the person who is trying to convey something very important in a very expressive way. People hate to be “held down” and react very strongly to that. So, when you say “calm down” it’s like you’re creating emotional claustrophobia. They will lash out more instead. (I’m sure you’re picturing the angry response of “I am calm, don’t tell me to calm down!”)
If you ever get caught up in the vortex storm of anger fueled by fatigue and stress, please do not be above apologizing sincerely afterward. Don’t compound it by doing the waiting game to see if the other will crack and budge to apologize first. That’s not adult mature behavior. We teach kids to apologize… let’s do what we know is right.
By making the first move to own up to your half of the mess, you’re helping both of you recover. And, this may well open up doors for actual negotiations afterward. Apologizing doesn’t make you weak. It just means you’re owning your part of the damages the fight caused.
Speaking of apologies, never apologize for the feelings your partner have. “I’m sorry you feel angry about this”. That is not an apology. That is very condescending, rude, dismissive, disrespectful, and hurtful. Their feelings are just as valid as yours are. They have every right to feel whatever they feel.
“I’m sorry that I screamed at you yesterday when I was upset. I was not taking into consideration how you were feeling. I regret dumping on you my frustrations of the day. I will work very hard to find a better outlet for my temper. Will you forgive me?”
Now that’s a much better way to approach an apology! Own your mistakes. Own your response. And do better. They have the right not to accept your apology. You messed up, they don’t owe you anything. You’re beholden to them for forgiveness. You messed up. Leave the ego and pride out of your apology.
There is so much more to this topic. It is being spread across the various places I’m writing. However, don’t feel left out. I will continue in future posts this topic. It is important we keep a sharp focus on keeping our romance alive. Love is worth it. And when done right, most people want to have that one love with that one special person.
There is no need to let fatigue and stress rob you of love. It is a very much avoidable issue. It can be dealt with before it ruins love. One can learn to better manage stress, better adjust their schedule to have the right amount of sleep. One can learn to negotiate more fairly so the relationship wins. When the relationship wins, everyone in said relationship wins. Love needs not to be silently robbed of joy and happiness.
Hope this post helps start the thought process that could lead to productive negotiations with your partner so you are protected from the ill effects of fatigue and stress in your life. Life happens, but it does not have to wreck your love life.