Experiencing stress in a relationship is normal. But how should you deal with relationship stress? And how does relationship stress impact your daily life?
Meet Dr. Ashley K. Randall
Dr. Ashley K. Randall is an Associate Professor in Counseling and Counseling Psychology at Arizona State University, USA. Her area of expertise is how couples cope with stress in the context of their relationship.
She has also presented and published internationally on these topics and is the Co-Chair of Division 52’s Science Committee and the Editor-in-Chief of Personal Relationships, the flagship journal of the International Association for Relationship Research.
A Fulbright Alumna (Switzerland, 2007) and Specialist (Indonesia, 2023), she is dedicated to international educational exchange. She is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association’s Division 52 (International Psychology).
About the episode
In this episode hosted by Aditi Kutty, Dr. Randall defines relationship stress as ‘stress that originates inside a relationship’ and can be caused by difficult habits of a partner, different relationship goals, or other factors within the relationship.
However, she also emphasized that external stressors outside the relationship can worsen the stress felt within the relationship. This stress spillover can lead to negative emotions, increased frustration, and strained communication between partners.
Furthermore, she said that if these factors are not managed effectively, relationship stress can have a negative impact on the relationship, causing decreased communication, exacerbation of problematic traits, mutual alienation, and potentially even relationship dissolution.
She added that there are practices that couples can do to manage relationship stress, like verbally expressing their stress to each other, and that it is crucial to listen, reflect, and offer support and empathy.
It’s important for couples to recognize and address both internal and external sources of stress in order to reduce their negative effects on the relationship. Challenges may arise, but through effective communication and expressing one’s emotions accurately, couples can overcome them.
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