Dealing with stress

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By Pure Matrimony -

Source : Like A Garment Email Series by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi
One major difference between a man and woman is the way that they handle stress. This is especially manifested when an argument occurs.

Frivolous arguments are inevitable in any marriage – whether it’s to do with who does what chores, or not living up to an expectation, or making a comment that was deemed inconsiderate. When two people are living together, friction is simply unavoidable. However, the way one spouse deals with stress can sometimes compound the problem, and propel a trivial dispute into a serious argument. Having an understanding of the way men and women deal with stress helps to alleviate some of the pain.

Men generally deal with stress by thinking through the problem – by withdrawing into an imaginary bubble (some have called it a “cave‟) and having some silent time to reason through the issues. Women on the other hand, want to talk through the problem with someone and reach a solution via communication.

If a petty argument occurs, typically the woman wishes to communicate her feelings in an expressive manner, which irritates the man and causes him to leave the room. This is a recipe for disaster. Whatever issue the couple was arguing about becomes secondary. What goes through the woman’s mind is “I can’t believe he left me in this state! I’m trying to solve the problem with him and he just walks away!” The man, on the other hand, thinks to himself: “I can’t believe she got so emotional. I need to leave this stressful area, calm down, and think things through!”

During a heated argument, the last thing a man wants to do is talk about the issue. And the last thing a woman wants to do is not talk about the issue. So what is the solution, as both want opposite things?

  • Men need to understand that when they walk away to be alone, the woman feels that he is acting heartless and therefore doesn’t love her anymore. To her, communication equates to love. The time that he is silent and alone is the most painful time for a woman.
  • Women need to understand that if a man stops talking and leaves, it just means he needs time to himself to think things through. It does not mean he doesn’t love her or doesn’t care; in fact, if he didn’t care he would not be stressed and would not need to think things through! For a man, staying and talking about things will make it worse and cause him more stress.

Such scenarios can be dealt with by each spouse communicating his or her needs. The husband tells his wife that he wants some time to think things through, that insha Allah the two of them will work things out, but he can’t concentrate on a solution when she is so emotional. The wife, in turn, understands that his wanting to “withdraw‟ is his way of trying to solve the problem, and asks for a time when the two will later talk over the issue. This way, the man gets his space, and the woman knows that she will get to a conclusion.

Of course, throughout all difficult situations, Muslim couples should always turn to Allah and ask Allah to make their affairs easy for them. Remember that ‘duaa’ solves all problems if done properly! And remember what Allah has promised in the Quran to couples who have a serious argument, and yet they are sincere in trying to reconcile and take all the proper steps:
“…if the both of them truly desire reconciliation, Allah will bring about a reconciliation between them” [Nisaa; 35].
Source : Like A Garment Email Series by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi

4 Comments to Dealing with stress

  1. Why Men so cruel……every time i think about what m y ex did to me………….my heart burns like something i can’t describe………… and the tears coming flowing down like the raining sky….. how do you get over something like that……….he was men of deen……….

  2. I understand the need to think, but its so selfish men can just go on for days and days and are happy not talking. I am ALWAYS the one who has to initiate the discussion to try and get passed the problem. The longer they go on silent the harder and more painful the situaion gets.

  3. Unfortunately, both sides haven’t yet been able to grasp how the other thinks (well most haven’t anyway).

    Women want to talk everything out to get to a solution or make sense of it all. Men on the other hand need the time to think so they don’t make things worse than what already is. Women don’t understand this issue men go through of being scared of hurting them more than they already have.

    Men are protective creatures and when they hurt someone they love all they know is to fix that which is broken. A solution by trial and error is not on any mans mind for this type of scenario. It’s one solution to fix the problem and unfortunately, is a way that women just can’t understand.

    It’s understandable to think that the best solution is to lay everything out on the table and then find a solution from that. The only issue is, men think of the consequences of each thought and try and way up what the outcome will be for each. This is why they need their alone time. Their time to think things through. Once they’ve gathered these thoughts, they will be ready to talk. But, until then, they should be left alone as it will make things worse. Men are susceptible and will often give in to anger when they see no other way out. If it ever comes to this, then the regret alone will mean they need a longer period of time to think things through. Women in these situations must be able to control their emotions and be the bigger/stronger person and give them this because they will then get what they want – to converse – and find the solution to their problems in a controlled and argument free environment where emotions are not being strained.

    I know from personal experience that when you’re being pressured to be open and honest, you find that the easiest of options – not one you would normally pick – you go for to get out of that situation. This is something I’ve done. Now, I’m a very rational person and can handle immense stress and pressure, but recently found that after all these years, my physical and mental health were being affected, which, in the end, was what caused me to snap when faced with this. But, having those that understood around me to support me helped me get back on my feet and resolve all the issues a lot quicker than people expected. I just hope that this may help someone out there somewhere, just needing something to believe, so it can help them move past whatever problem they are facing. Stress is a dangerous state to be in (when it’s over and above the normal daily amount – differs from person to person) and should be dealt with carefully and accordingly depending on the sex, the individual and the resilience level.

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