Emotional meltdown is not something one has in mind when getting married. People get into marriage with the expectation of being happy.
It would make a significant difference if those planning to marry were well-educated on topics such as emotional meltdowns and how to support each other when one person in the relationship experiences an emotional meltdown.
This is something that can happen to anyone.
Emotional meltdown in a marriage: Meaning
An emotional meltdown in a marriage can be used to describe a personal meltdown in which a partner or the couple just doesn’t know how to deal with the current situation.
Emotional meltdown symptoms can include uncontrollable crying, withdrawal from the partner or each other, and an inability to connect with daily life.
“Emotional breakdown is a term used to describe when we are emotionally overwhelmed when we reach a breaking point.”
– says Robin Stern, Ph.D. And they are several triggers of an emotional meltdown.
5 common triggers of emotional meltdowns in marriage
Check out these 5 triggers of emotional meltdowns in a marriage:
1. Life changes
An emotional meltdown can be triggered by different life challenges. A month ago, I started a counseling session with a couple that lost a baby to COVID-19. Within that year, they got pregnant and now have a healthy baby girl.
Instead of celebrating, the couple has become emotionally overwhelmed, and the wife is finding the situation unbearable.
As demonstrated, life changes can sometimes lead to an emotional breakdown. This can include the death of a loved one, the birth of a child, a loss of income, or even getting married, which can be stressful and lead to an emotional breakdown.
Unfortunately, some couples have a proclivity to avoid resolving conflicts. Allowing conflicts to fester results in more disagreements, leading to more squabbles, which triggers more stress.
5. Overburdened or overscheduled
Taking on too many roles and responsibilities at once or even agreeing to too many social activities is a sure way to become overwhelmed. This is more prevalent for newlyweds as they try to adjust to the new life of marriage.
5 ways to support if your spouse is having an emotional breakdown
Emotional breakdown can be avoided, but if your spouse is affected, there are several ways to show support and care so that they can recover and return to their normal selves.
Use the strategy of shared identity
Use “we” instead of “I.” When discussing the relationship and the issues at hand, use plural pronouns.
This method will help both parties, but especially the person having a meltdown, deal with stressors because they will be able to understand and feel confident that the stressor or challenge is something they must face together with you.
Avoid the temptation to serve as an advisor.
The best way to support your partner is to listen to them rather than give them advice. When your partner complains about a problem or situation, it’s often not about the problem itself but about how they feel about it.
So, instead of giving your partner a solution, give them space to talk and make them feel heard.
Keep your word
Most people who are experiencing an emotional breakdown require reassurance. Don’t let your partner down by breaking your word (unless it’s a matter of life and death). Your partner needs to believe that they can rely on you now more than ever.
Devote time to them
A person experiencing an emotional meltdown will have both good and bad days.
They may lose interest in the activities they used to enjoy and may not always feel like going out, but if they do feel like hanging out with you, try to spend time with them doing activities you both used to enjoy.
Keeping them occupied and providing distractions where possible is critical, but make sure these are within or close to their comfort zone. Sometimes they just want to be left alone, which is perfectly fine.
Simply check in with them on a regular basis and send them a message to let them know you’re available when/if they need you.
Recovering from an emotional breakdown can take a long time, and it is critical that everyone moves at their own pace. Therefore, be prepared for relapses or gradual recovery. As a result, patience is extremely important.
What they really need right now is your unconditional love and support. Show how much you care about them by listening to them and accepting them for who they are.
How to recover from an emotional meltdown in marriage
Know how to recover from an emotional meltdown in a marriage:
Changing your stressors, such as your job or a bad relationship,
Reduce responsibilities that may have become too much
Ask family and friends for assistance with responsibilities you cannot eliminate, such as childcare.
Spend more time relaxing and doing things you enjoy.
Get a good night’s sleep every night
Take a step back from whatever is causing you too much stress. This does not mean you have to quit your job or marriage. If something is causing you stress, take a short break from it. Even a single day away from work can be beneficial.
How to avoid an emotional meltdown in marriage: 10 ways
How to deal with meltdowns? Here are 10 ways to avoid an emotional meltdown in a marriage:
1. Avoid being afraid of opening up
Fear of opening occurs when a person finds it difficult to openly share their thoughts and feelings, as well as to get emotionally close to another person, because they are afraid of being hurt, rejected, or judged.
As a result, they keep their distance and play it safe. Being open to each other in a relationship is important because it increases intimacy. It also helps to relieve stress and emotional distress.
Know the importance of vulnerability as Amie, the dating coach, talks about it in the video:
2. Seek assistance
Contrary to popular belief, seeking assistance is a sign of strength. If you find that the responsibilities you’ve taken on are becoming too much for you, don’t try to be superhuman.
Don’t let your pride, shame, or fear of failing stop you from talking to your partner and figuring out how they can help you.
3. Avoid assumption
The biggest mistake that one can make is assuming that your partner understands what you are going through.
The fact that you are married doesn’t mean your experience of events will be the same or your partner will have full insight into what is going on in your mind. Assumptions lead to ‘shut down’. This can lead to an emotional meltdown in the marriage.
4. Strive for shared responsibility
Being on the same team means sharing responsibilities. Thriving couples recognize their respective roles and abilities and collaborate to manage daily responsibilities. They use their individual skills and gifts to figure out how to divide up the housework in a fair way.
No one in the relationship should try to gain more from it at the expense of the other.
5. Do what you enjoy
The problem with married couples is that they get so caught up in their marriage that they forget about themselves.
Marriage is not about giving up who you are and what you love. If you and your partner do not share common interests, It is acceptable to pursue your passions alone. When we can do what we enjoy and love, we feel relieved, and our chances of feeling overwhelmed decrease.
6. Pay attention to each other’s emotional well-being
It’s easy to get caught up in our own thoughts, worries, and actions and forget about our partner. Instead of being self-centered and dealing with life’s difficulties in private, be open to each other.
As you do so, you will be creating a safe passage for your emotions, reducing the likelihood of an emotional meltdown in your marriage.
7. Communicate your requirements
One problem that couples and new couples have is that they can’t talk about what they need. Some people believe that communicating one’s needs will be perceived as demanding and needy.
Some women are afraid of being stereotyped as nagging wives. There will be many unmet needs where there is a lack of communication. Unmet needs create a pattern of agitation and stress. Communicating your needs in a relationship is a right, not a privilege.
8. Regular check-in
It is critical to establish a check-in time or d.’ of the week. A check-in allows you to deepen your emotional intimacy and express yourself more authentically.
This activity will encourage more meaningful engagement with your partner while also allowing you to reflect on how you’ve been doing as individuals and as a couple. This will aid in detecting problems before they cause an emotional breakdown.
9. Take regular leisure time
Discover what you both enjoy. Having fun together can help couples feel positive emotions, which can increase relationship satisfaction, unite couples to overcome differences, and provide hope when facing difficult challenges.
Make the time and refrain from discussing ongoing issues or problems.
10. Support structure
Having a support system is essential in marriage and on a personal level. Life and marital difficulties are common.
There is always someone who has been through the same thing and emerged victorious. Instead of attempting to figure out life on your own, seek out couples and individuals who can provide wisdom and guidance.
An emotional outburst in marriage can be used to describe a personal meltdown in which a partner or the couple simply does not know how to cope with current circumstances. This can happen to anyone, especially during this time of rapid change.
Those planning to get married should be prepared to learn how to avoid an emotional meltdown. Those in relationships and already dealing with emotional meltdowns can overcome them and come out stronger. Being open to each other in a relationship is important because it increases intimacy.
It also helps to relieve stress and emotional distress. Assumptions lead to “shut down”.
This can lead to an emotional meltdown in the marriage. Marriage is not about giving up who you are and what you love. Communicating your needs in a relationship is a right, not a privilege.
A check-in allows you to deepen your emotional intimacy and express yourself more authentically. This will aid in detecting problems before they cause an emotional breakdown.
Having fun together can help couples feel positive emotions, which can increase relationship satisfaction and reduce stress.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.