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How Not to Help a Stressed-Out Spouse

By January 5, 2022December 10th, 2022No Comments

Recently, a Grace Marriage participant’s husband was really stressed. She decided to help by telling him, “Calm down. Things are not that bad; this is not that big a deal.”

Unsurprisingly, he didn’t heed her advice and the words did more damage than good. Here’s how not to help a stressed-out spouse.


The one who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
Proverbs 21:23

Stressed Marriage and How to Help

It’s always tempting to step in with our “enlightened” perspective when our spouse seems to be struggling with something we view as insensible or unnecessary.

We know that invalidating his or her feelings is never helpful, though, and no doubt our experience proves the folly in this approach. What your spouse needs in times of stress is a listening ear and an earnest, loving partner.

Scripture has much to say on the wisdom of controlling our tongues, on being quick to listen and slow to speak. May God help us all seek continued growth in the area of encouraging our spouses with listening and support when they struggle. And would the impulse to criticize or instruct a struggling spouse grow ever weaker!

Grace Marriage Mission

This week, try to put into practice the lesson discussed above. When your spouse is stressed or frustrated with something, big or small, seek to be a source of support before you give instruction.

Make a habit of listening and expressing love before you give your two cents or before you shrug the issue off as nothing. If you’ve recently blown it in this area, take the opportunity to apologize for caring more about offering your solution than you did about caring for their heart.

Focus on these Scripture:

Proverbs 12:18 > There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

James 1:19 > Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger…

James 1:26 > If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, his religion is useless and he deceives himself.