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too stressed to connect?

how you (MIS)manage your Stress may be killing your relationship

Right now, you may feel tired, stressed, and frustrated. Perhaps you feel disconnected or lonely. You and your partner keep falling back into the same dysfunctional pattern, and you just don't know how to stop it. Neither of you mean for it to happen, but from the time you get home, you're arguing. Or worse--you're living in silent tension. 

If you're feeling tired at the end of the day, and all you want to do is completely detach every night, that's a problem. Even if you love your spouse, mismanaged chronic stress is a relationship-killer.

Thankfully, you realize that this sort of stress is killing your relationship. Maybe it's work. Maybe it's the kids. Maybe it's one of a hundred other possible stressors. But one thing is certain: you don't connect anymore.

Instead of talking, laughing, and spending time together, you've started turning away from each other as a source of stress relief. 

Seemingly "healthy" coping

Most couples don't realize that even seemingly healthy ways of coping with stress may be competing with your connection to the most important person in your life. To deal with your stress, if throw yourself into your "gym routine" every morning, waking up earlier than your partner, and going to bed earlier than your partner, if you're not prioritizing time with your partner, something else is winning. The result: you've become two passing ships in the night, leading parallel, but distant lives.

Staring at Screens

Like most modern couples, at night, both of you may rather be on your iPhones, or staring at the TV, but not interacting. Even if you used to love talking with your spouse, you may now simply want to "deal" with your stress in a way that doesn't involve your partner. Finally! Time to curl up on the couch, and just scroll through your smartphone. You're just so drained. The result: two screen zombies who don't know each other anymore.

A Dying relationship

But what does all that disconnecting mean for your relationship? You may think you're taking care of yourself by detaching from everything and everyone, including your spouse, but if you're not investing in your relationship anymore, it's already dying. 

A recent British study revealed one in four couples sleep in separate beds due to the stress in their lives. Maybe you, too, are experiencing emotional distance. Or you've have stopped having sex. Your inability to manage your stress is taking a toll on your relationship.

YOU NEED better skills

Most couples didn't intend to fall into these dysfunctional patterns. Most of us get married hoping to live happily ever after. But when stress starts impacting both of you in the real world, conflict can mount, putting your relationship on rocky ground. 

Stress happens to the best of us, and most of us weren't taught how to manage it in a way that brings us closer, rather than further disconnecting us. Thankfully, there is a research-based form of couples therapy based on thousands of couples, studied over decades, to find what makes the "masters" and the "disasters" of relationships.

The Gottman Method of couples therapy is not only research-based, it's educational, highly structured, and time-limited. You'll learn practical ways to create lasting happiness and real connection in today's stressful world. 

What Happened?

Stress and emotional distance often go hand in hand, but they don't have to. Relationships are prone to slowly cascade into disappointment and frustration when you aren't intentionally investing in maintaining connection. And even the healthiest of relationships go through periods of disconnection. However, if you barely see each other during these stressful times, and it becomes a pattern to disconnect, your few precious hours a week together may soon become uncomfortable and tense.

If you've already let this happen, you're not alone. It's a problem many couples face when one or both partners fall into a stress trap. But it can be helped!


Perhaps you tried other forms of "couples therapy" without success, and you're looking for something more effective.  You may have never tried couples counseling before, but maybe you have reached the point where something needs to change in your relationship, and you don't want to waste your time and money on something that doesn't work. 


At Couples Counseling ATL, helping couples is our specialty; we are proud to use the most effective and evidence-based form of couples therapy available today. Learn more about the world-renowned Gottman method of couples counseling here

Meet jessica

Jessica Settle, MFT, is an expert couples therapist, and specializes in helping millennial couples. She is particularly talented at helping couples struggling with chronic stress, phase of life (newly married, new babies), infidelity, multicultural differences, and trauma histories. She works at our Poncey Highlands office, and completed her Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling. Jessica explains in the video session below how she frequently helps couples learn to better manage stress using the "stress reducing conversation", a proven, research-based technique that couples can use to stay connected during stressful times:


Convenient evening availability

Jessica offers counseling Mondays through Thursdays, with convenient afternoon and evening hours.


Our Poncey Highlands counseling office is located the Poncey-Highland neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, which is centrally located near Midtown, Morningside, Virginia Highlands, Little 5 Points, Grant Park, Emory University, Decatur, Reynoldstown, Kirkwood, Edgewood, Ormewood Park, Peoplestown, and East Atlanta.


Call 678-999-3390 to speak with Tiffany Evans, our administrative assistant. Likewise, you may email us by contacting Tiffany at Jessica offers free initial 15 minute consultations by phone; we can discuss your goals and answer any questions you may have about our counseling services and how we can help you.


Get started today by scheduling your initial appointment or consultation online through our online scheduling portal, or by calling 678-999-3390 to speak with Tiffany Evans, our administrative assistant. Likewise, you may email us by contacting Tiffany at 

Thank you for being open to learning! We look forward to working with you!