A new study gives insight into how men and women respond to stress differently. Key finding: Men have some work to do.
The study published by Psychological Science states that men tend to be less supportive of their partners than women when the couple is stressed.
“When men are stressed, they are more likely to be critical in responding to a stressed partner and less likely to be positive, nurturing and comforting. And that’s especially the case when their partner expresses her feelings in more emotional terms,” said co-author Thomas Bradbury of UCLA.
The researchers tested 189 couples. The researchers stressed out either the men or the women in a mock interview scenario and noted the results. (Men and women tended to be equally supportive of their stressed-out partner.) Then, the researchers stress out both the men and women at the same time and watched them interact. That’s when the men didn’t quite hold up.
Bradbury called stress the “invisible killer” in relationships.
Stress can kill not just a relationship but one’s own health. The Mayo Clinic recommends several ways to deal with stress.