Stress and Quarrel

James is on his way back from work. He can certainly feel today’s work stress. He isn’t listening to the radio this time around. He’s listening to a podcast he loves the most. He had always been of the opinion that it’s calming and listened often.

He increases the volume. It’s just at the perfect level for his hearing pleasure. Today he isn’t driving with his wife, Kathy. She had a doctor’s appointment and had informed him this morning that she will be going straight home afterward.

They carpooled on a regular day. It saved gas money. They ran a partner type of relationship. Both parties shared half of every expense including responsibilities.

A decent family it was. Like every normal average family will want.

Every week, they held a ‘family meeting’ such that one would think they had kids. They had agreed before getting married that they will pull this through so that as soon as they begin trying for a child, it will be much easier to incorporate it into their lives without struggling too hard.

They were the perfect couple if you put it that way. The type that every moderate family will wish for.

They did everything together. Made frequent calls all through the day to keep up with each other. Although working in very diverse professions, they seemed to find a way to share in each other’s interests.

James loved Kathy. Kathy adored him.

She will wake up early in the morning. Look him over on the bed. Smile as if he could see her even when deep asleep. Then she will throw him a quick kiss on the cheek before getting up to shower and do other necessary morning rituals.

They were in true love —if that ever existed in today’s modern world.

It was a Friday. James was still listening to his podcast and thinking to himself. He was speeding a safe 120KM per hour on the highway and it was within the speed limit. Last night was a pretty difficult one for him and Kathy. The past two weeks had been pretty demanding for him at work and he’d been undergoing some work stress.

Second-hand stress is real. Explore ways to manage it.

The newest client his company had come to an agreement with were threatening rain and sunshine should they fail to meet the targeted deadline in their contract agreement.

His company was going to run at a loss should they fail to meet with up the agreement. As a member of the management team, James wasn’t willing to make that happen or take chances and had voluntarily been putting in some late hours. It was billable nonetheless, so that was a plus!

As expected, his company was paying him for extra hours but this was consequently affecting his stress level. And his relationship.

Having to meet up for a meeting after meetings with several cups of coffee to speed up his productivity level necessarily affected his level of tolerance to certain things he thought were within his control.

Sitting in the car, in what seemed like a little traffic build up, he kept thinking to himself. He hadn’t quarreled in such a long time with Kathy. As a matter of fact, the little arguments they had were quite normal for a relationship and maybe healthy.

Last night was intense and he could feel the burning desire in her eyes to just have him hold her tight.

Read: 4 Doable Ways to Balance your Work/ Job and Relationships

He couldn’t remember why exactly they quarreled last night but he knew that it had to be because he was stressed. Every little statement got matters worse and provoked both parties.

“Why were we arguing back and forth?” he asked, as he turned into the street leading towards the direction of his house.

He had stopped by a Swarovski store about thirty minutes earlier to pick up a beautiful diamond necklace for Kathy. He was going to talk to her and clear things out. As he approached his house, he slowed down and gently parked his car in the garage.

He picked up a few things from the car, turned off the engine and shut the door. Kathy was in the kitchen watching a movie and having a glass of wine.

“Hi dear!” James spoke in a subtle tone.

“Welcome, dear.” she said, a little bit startled. “I didn’t hear you come in. I’m just watching a short movie.. was waiting on you but I thought you’d be home late.”

“I know. We were able to wrap things up a little bit sooner. How was your day?” he replied.

James takes a walk to where she’s seated and as soon as Kathy is about to speak, he interjects.

“Shh. I got you this.” he hands her the Swarovski necklace. “I hope you love it.”

“I really want to apologize for being such a hot mess earlier this week. Things got really stressful and I know I should have handled things differently. How about next time things get that tensed up at work, you meet me at a restaurant close by and that way we get to hang out all the same?”

“That will be awesome!” Kathy said, beaming with smiles. “I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have let things go out of proportion. We could have handled things differently. I love you.” she continued as she unwraps the gift box.


Ever felt defeated by work stress? Have you passed down stress to someone unknowingly? It’s called second-hand stress. You can talk to your partner or friend and handle things differently. I hope this story inspired you to share difficulties with your loved ones and find out better ways to handle it.

Share below, how you are able to manage stress? Please leave a comment, you could help someone today!

Read the previous story in this segment of Jane, a young millennial who always has to battle with early morning traffic and discover how her career takes a swift turn. Kindly subscribe to the blog to receive exclusive updates and information. I promise, no spams.

*Please note that this story and its characters are fictitious.