When you’ve been married a while, some of your spouse’s little quirks that were so cute in the beginning of the relationship suddenly seem so… annoying. Don’t despair if this sounds familiar. You don’t have to head out and grab a quickie divorce or contemplate murder. All you have to do is learn how to overcome your spouse’s little annoyances in a way that’s not accusatory.
Six tips to overcome your spouse’s little annoyances
1. Talk about it
When your spouse does something like leaves his clothes lay on the floor on his side of the bed and it bothers you, it’s best to talk about how you’re feeling right away rather than fuming about it silently. Not discussing the issue right away can lead to a blow-up about something totally irrelevant later on.
2. Choose an appropriate time and place
While talking about your feelings right away is a good thing, so is choosing the right time and place. Don’t pounce on your spouse as soon as he walks through the door after work. Instead wait until there’s no distractions and he’s relaxed. He’ll be more apt to discuss things rationally if he doesn’t feel cornered.
3. Address one issue at a time
It’s likely that there are several things that bother you about your spouse. Or, it could be that one large underlying issue is to blame. Whatever the reason for the annoyance, only address one or two small issues at a time to avoid overwhelming your spouse or making him feel inadequate.
4. Refocus the blame
When discussing your feeling with your significant other, don’t place the blame on him. Rather, use “I” statements to shift the focus of the discussion onto you and how his actions make you feel. For instance, rather than saying “You are a slob.” say “When you throw your clothes on the floor next to the bed, I get angry because it makes the bedroom look messy.”
5. Give and take
Expect that when you confront your spouse about his little annoyances he’ll come back with a few annoyances of his own. Be open to his gripes and discuss them in the same way you expect him to. Taking the time to hear each other’s issues and then formulating a plan to address them quickly allows you to overcome the little annoyances.
6. Find the humor in it
As with most tense subject matters, if you can find the humor in it, it becomes much easier to talk about. Since most of the things that annoy you are probably small issues, a little wit can alleviate the frustration most couples feel.
Any other tips to overcome your spouse’s little annoyances?