If your boyfriend is stressed out and pushing you away – try not to take it personally.
Stress is obviously taking a heavy toll on him, and although he’s pushing you away – he needs you more than ever.
It can be hard to navigate, but here is an explanation as to why guys push their partners away when they’re stressed and what you can do to help!
Why Do Guys Push Their Partners Away when They’re Stressed?
There are a few reasons your boyfriend might start pushing you away when he’s stressed, you do have to take into account his individual circumstances.
That said, it’s typically because of one of the following reasons;
- He is overwhelmed by everything going on in his life and he finds it easier to push you away than deal with those emotions, too.
- He feels like he’s not good enough for you and is starting to doubt himself.
- He may also feel like he needs to protect you from his stress and doesn’t want you to see him struggling.
- It could simply be a defense mechanism to avoid getting too close to you and possibly getting hurt.
- He’s feeling physically sick, burned out mentally, or depressed and just doesn’t have the energy to see you or anyone else.
Guys, in particular, are not good at talking about their struggles and tend to try and internalize stuff and deal with it themselves.
This is easier done when they’re alone and it’s more obvious something is bothering them when they’re around other people.
It only makes everything worse trying to deal with it alone, however. But simply explaining that isn’t going to help most guys open up.
It’s going to take time, understanding, and you offering support that’s there as and when he’s ready to take it.
Warning Signs that Your Boyfriend Is Stressed
There are several warning signs that your boyfriend is stressed out and pushing you away, try to look out for;
- He’s become more distant and withdrawn, both emotionally and physically.
- He’s snappy and easily irritated by things that wouldn’t have bothered him before.
- You’re always the one initiating conversations, plans, or physical contact.
- He’s neglecting his appearance.
- He’s drinking, using drugs, or turning to other negative behaviors.
- He’s not eating properly and has lost weight.
If you can see any of these signs and they’re visibly worsening, no matter if he’s pushing you away you need to try and step in and help him.
You need to be very careful not to come across as pushy or although you’re going behind his back.
But you need to speak to other people who are close to him, such as his friends and family, and come up with a way of getting through to him.
Stress is often called the ‘silent killer’, it’s hard to see the effects of it as most of the damage is going on in someone’s head.
If you’re spotting the warning signs, please do try and help him.
How You Can Help Your Boyfriend if He’s Stressed Out
If your boyfriend is stressed out, here are some things you can do to help him;
- Make sure he’s eating properly and getting enough sleep.
- Encourage him to take some time for himself, even if it’s just a few minutes every day.
- Talk to him about what’s going on in his life and offer your support.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help from his friends or family if you’re struggling to get through to him.
- If he’s dealing with a lot of stress at work, see if there’s anything you can do to help lighten his load.
- Encourage him to see a doctor or therapist if you think he’s struggling to cope.
Ultimately, you need to just be there for him and be prepared to help him in any way he allows you to.
Stress is a very real issue and it can have a serious impact on both our mental and physical health.
If you think your boyfriend is stressed out, please don’t let him brush it off as something that will pass.
Try and have an open conversation with him about what’s going on and offer your support.
Can Stress Ruin a Relationship?
While stress can certainly have an impact on a relationship, it doesn’t have to ruin your relationship.
Unless that is, all the sources of stress are to do with your relationship. If that’s the case, it might be better for both of you to take a break.
However, assuming your relationship isn’t the cause of stress, if you’re both willing to communicate and work through the issues together, you can come out the other side stronger than ever.
Part of being a partner is being there in times of need, and if your boyfriend is struggling to deal with the stress in his life, he really needs you.
It’s going to be a tough patch, but don’t take anything your boyfriend does or say personally and hang in there for him.
How Long Should You Wait for Your Boyfriend to Get His Stuff Together?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the situation.
If your boyfriend is going through a tough time at work, for example, it might only be a matter of weeks before he’s back to his old self once he’s got on top of his workload.
However, if he’s dealing with something more long-term that’s causing him to be depressed or anxious, it might take months or even years.
The important thing is to be patient and understanding. It’s also important to communicate with each other.
If you’re feeling like you can’t handle the situation anymore, that’s OK. You also need to do what’s best for you and your mental health.
If giving your boyfriend a break is really what he’s pushing for and you feel like it would be best for you too, that might be what you have to do.
It’s not going to be easy, but if you love each other, I’m sure you’ll be able to work through it!
Image credits – Photo by Andreas Dress on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.