Questions from a reader who says, “Everything my partner does irritates me:” Jackie, Why, when people are in a serious relationship, do they sometimes irritate one another to the point where they don’t even want to talk? Is getting annoyed with your significant other common? Is it normal? I really love him, but everything my partner does irritates me. I
I actually smiled when I received this e-mail because it sounds like it came from a younger reader who could possibly be referring to the first serious relationship she’s ever been in.
YES! YES! YES! YES, are my answers to her questions. Becoming irritated with your significant other to the point of not wanting to speak to him or her is completely common and normal. Even the happiest of couples bug each other, at times.
I can remember being in my twenties, having an argument with my then boyfriend that ended in a period of silence, and feeling like it was the end of the world. The tears would stream down my face and my heart felt like it hurt.
I don’t think it would be normal NOT to have times of irritation, where each person needs space. A couple only has a problem if the times of annoyance and not speaking become frequent. If the bad times start to outweigh the good times, then Houston, we have a problem.
As my older sister, a well-educated physician puts it so eloquently, “If it’s not fun, I’m done!”
But if at certain times, two people who love each other need some silence between them, I don’t see any serious issues. If the couple has a happy, healthy relationship, they will come back to one another after a little while, and it will be like nothing happened.
I’m not saying that if something is bothering you, just be silent, let time pass, and then it will be ok. Being open, honest and communicative is key for a good, healthy relationship. So, by all means, if you have an issue with your spouse, speak up. But sometimes, couples just bug each other. It’s as simple as that.
Here are five tips to cope with “Everything my partner does irritates me:”
1. Give you spouse some freedom.
Ask your spouse if there’s anything you can say or do to make things better. If the person says, “no,” and prefers not to talk, respect that. In other words, don’t push and continue to ask if he or she wants to talk. Once is enough.
2. It’s not always personal.
Realize that he or she might have had a bad day, and that you annoying him or her might not have anything to do with you. A bad day at work, an argument with a family member, or a financial issue are all outside factors that could cause someone to be silent.
3. Anger is normal, but try to control your temper.
Anger is normal and you can’t control how you feel. But try not to lash out and start yelling and throwing things and having a fit. Anger is when a good run around the neighborhood or kickboxing class comes into play.
4. Take advantage of the alone time.
Read a book or watch a movie you know he or she wouldn’t want to watch. It will pass time and put you in a better mood to be able to join your spouse again.
5. Let your spouse know you still love him or her.
That means a lot. People are far from perfect and they have a need to know that when they show a less attractive side of themselves that they are still loved and wanted.
Living together, or spending a significant amount of time with someone—even the person you love most in the world is no piece of cake. But with the right communication skills, and real love, irritation can turn into acceptance and peace.
Like this article? Check out “9 Signs of a Healthy Romantic Relationship”