Real Families. Real Hope.
Offer God's hope to hurting families.
Yes, I will help struggling families!

Working Through Worry and Stress With Your Spouse

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Close up of couple holding hands working through worry and stress
© fizkes / Adobe Stock
In times of crisis and change, anxiety can creep in and try to take hold of your marriage. However, many options lay before you to combat worry and stress.

It took my husband and me approximately 47 minutes to turn on each other when he came home to work. His office had made the decision to have staff work remotely to support a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

I was soon reminded that people respond to worry and stress differently. With scary unknowns swirling through my mind, my approach was to sit back and survey the situation before plotting a course of action. My husband’s approach, however, was quite different. He felt compelled to seize our new normal right now. Within moments of being home, he began making plans to convert our bedroom into his office.

I understood where he was coming from. The prospect of videoconferencing from a home where four young children reside would be daunting for anyone. And the lock on our bedroom door made that space an attractive option. But my own worries about how the next days and weeks would play out caused me to react with anger and accusations.

Closet built into an office
© Suzanne Gosselin

When worry and stress divide

The next day, after the dust had settled and we’d come up with a mutually agreeable plan (which actually wasn’t that hard), I wondered at how quickly we’d turned against each other. The fuel, like gasoline on a fire, was the anxiety both of us were feeling and trying to process in our own ways. I realized we needed to get on the same page by processing our concerns together.

The Bible has much to say about anxiety, but here are four biblical guidelines for working through worry with your spouse:

Operate as a team

I’ve heard it said many times that your spouse is not your enemy. Not only is this true, but Scripture is clear that your spouse is an asset! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 states it this way, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”

When worries attack, married couples have a built-in ally. Instead of allowing anxiety to divide you, come together to talk about how you’re feeling and create a plan for moving forward.

When Kevin and I sat down and had a calm conversation about what each of us was feeling, we were able to decide next steps as a team. I was concerned about the new schedule of full-time care of our young children while balancing my freelance work. He was anxious about overseeing teams and accomplishing goals from the home environment — something he had never done before. As we talked about it, we were able to brainstorm action steps that could help us both. 

Discover the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Marriage

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take a free marriage assessment to identify the key areas where your marriage could use improvement and the tools that will help you strengthen your bond with your spouse. Take the free assessment!

Give your worry and stress to the Lord

In times of worry and stress, I sometimes expect Kevin to be my rescuer. And while he does many things to serve me and our family, he is not the One who is supposed to absorb and resolve my worry. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast our anxiety on God because He cares for us.

The arrival of the coronavirus has brought up some big fears regarding health, finances and adapting to a new way of life. Most of us — no matter who we are — are experiencing lots of uncertainty right now.

Individually, my husband and I need to take our fears to the Lord instead of expecting each other to relieve them. Of course, we can serve each other in ways that make worry easier to bear, but our first emotional outlet must be our Strong Deliverer.  

Pray together

We can give our concerns to the Lord as individuals and as a couple. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Praying together about specific fears is a powerful way to alleviate worry and stress. Write a list of concerns and pray about them daily as a couple. Be sure to list things you’re thankful for as well. As you lift up your requests and thanksgiving, God will give you His peace and calm your hearts and minds.

Don’t fret about the future

During the last few weeks, I’ve felt a heaviness descend upon our home as we’ve navigated constant, restricting changes. At times, I’ve been nearly paralyzed by the “what-ifs” of tomorrow.

In Matthew 6:25-26, Jesus offers this encouragement: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

Yesterday some friends brought us a birdfeeder that looks like a sweet country church. “We want you to be reminded that Jesus takes care of the birds,” they said. “He’ll care for you, too.” Their gift was a helpful reminder that Kevin and I can choose to have a posture of trust and thanksgiving, rather than one of gloom and doom as we trust Him to provide for our daily needs.

church steeple bird feeder
© Suzanne Gosselin

Faith for the future

In this time of unprecedented change, Kevin and I will likely face many worries. The temptation will be to allow anxiety to divide us instead of unite us. But God has given us each other for such a time as this. We have a co-laborer in the trenches — a blessing and luxury not all possess.

As I write these words from the comfortable, tiny office Kevin set up in our bedroom closet (ingenuity at its finest), I am reminded of the opportunity before us — the opportunity to become more united as a couple. The opportunity to give our big worries to a bigger God. And the opportunity to approach an uncertain future hand in hand — trusting in the Lord together. 

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.
Book Cover: Aftershock A Plan for Recovery

Aftershock: Overcoming His Secret Life with Pornography: A Plan for Recovery

This book is for women who have discovered their husband’s struggle with pornography and other sexual infidelities. Based on biblical principles and psychologically sound advice, Aftershock is designed to help women heal, grow, and receive restoration for themselves, their husbands, and their marriages.

That the World May Know

Join renowned teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan as he guides you through the lands of the Bible. In each lesson, Vander Laan illuminates the historical, geographical, and cultural context of the sacred Scriptures. Filmed on location in the Middle East, the That the World May Know ® film series will transform your understanding of God and challenge you to be a true follower of Jesus.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

You May Also Like