My fiance has a stressful job as an attorney and she usually brings that stress back home at the end of the workday. Inevitably, some of her stress gets taken out on me (unintentionally). What can I do to alleviate some of the tension? My "everything will be fine honey" response is beginning to wear thin.
"Stressed By Her Stress"
Dear "Stressed By Her Stress",
Engagements are stressful even in the best of times, so I can imagine work related stress has just made everything feel unbearable for you and your fiance. One of the benefits of being in a committed relationship is having someone at the end of the day to confide in and unleash some angst. Of course, if the stress is just breeding more stress then something has to change. Instead of telling your finance that her complaining about work stress is taking a toll on you, I suggest you do the following. This weekend, when you are both in a relaxed mood say the following to her - "Honey, I know how difficult work has been for you lately and I know its even harder that when you come home you can't stop thinking about the hard day you've had. I think it would be better if we established a set amount of time a day (for example, 15 minutes) to discuss work issues. Once we have addressed what's on your mind let's try to focus on conversation that uplifts us and relaxes us. Nothing will really be accomplished by going over and over your work stress, and I want you to enjoy our evenings together." Then, when she gets home from work on Monday, after you have discussed work stress for the decided amount of time, sweetly say "Honey you deserve a break. Let's leave this conversation until tomorrow and let's focus on doing something fun." Go out for a drink, or go to the gym - or whatever you two enjoy doing together. If you make "work talk" a limited part of your evening schedule, it will force your fiance to focus on other things and let go a bit. Hope this works!