Author: Debbie Nguyen
Published: Feb 2 2014
People who live in locales that do not get much sunlight throughout the year (think Seattle, Washington or Syracuse, New York) often suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the rainy or wintry months. Lack of sunlight can cause depression, sleeping disorders, weight gain and feelings of sadness and overall misery. These types of climate-related mood influencers can certainly put a strain on your marriage, too.
It is no coincidence that you feel happier when the sun is shining and blue on a rainy day. As a once-popular Carpenters’ song poeticized, “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down,” and there is definitely some truth to that. Lack of sunlight causes problems for some people with the serotonin levels in the brain. Without enough serotonin, people feel depressed, moody, anxious, and drowsy. Interestingly, these symptoms tend to subside significantly during springtime and summer months when there are usually more daylight hours and plenty of sunshine.
On the flip side of not enough sunlight is not enough rain. People who live in drier climates like Arizona may also experience weather-related emotional issues. Even though the sun is shining, you may not like the landscape or the dry, cracked earth that is typical of places like Tucson and Phoenix, where the rainfall is less than eight inches per year.
In these cities, continual high temperatures (over 100 degrees more than 100 days each year) may also cause moodiness and frustration because you cannot cool off and it is too hot to go outside. You could suffer from cabin fever because you have to be indoors all the time. Any of these weather-related issues that affect your psyche can also put a strain on relationships with loved ones. It is hard to contribute positively to your marriage if you are always in a bad mood. This may cause your spouse to become frustrated as well, or even to seek companionship elsewhere.
No matter where you live, you will always encounter challenges in your marriage. It is how you manage them that is the key to keeping your marriage from falling apart. If, for example, you are frustrated by your partner’s constant bad mood, depression or lack of interest in doing activities you both enjoy doing, talk to your partner about getting help. Communicating with each other instead of seeking companionship or romance outside of the marriage can bring you closer together.
Express your concerns in a loving manner to your spouse. Tell him or her that you want things to get better, and that maybe seeing a doctor or a therapist can help. Or, if you are the one suffering from emotional issues as a result of the climate, tell your spouse that you want to make positive changes and ask him or her for help.
Although this isn’t the answer to all your marital problems, sometimes getting away for a week, having a change of scenery, a change in routine, and spending quality time together are the boosts you need to turn things around in a positive direction.
Acknowledging a problem or concern is the first step in correcting it. Get help from a professional if you need it, and do something fun to rekindle that spark, even if it means jumping in the puddles on a rainy day.
Debbie Nguyen lives in constant irritating humidity in the southeast, which can make relationships feel wet, soggy and heavy. If you are encountering brittleness in your relationship, you can look to sites like www.dgtucson.com for available options for both spouses.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/97513256@N06/9044202624/
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