Once you get to the point where you no can no longer enjoy your partner’s company, solving any existing relationship issues becomes much more difficult, as you may find you’re unable to talk about anything without it turning into an argument.
Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the kind of problem that fixes itself. It’s important to try to start a dialogue with your partner about any issues that may be causing these feelings of irritation before they build up any further.
Letting things go
First off, it can be worth remembering that finding someone we’ve been around for a while a little annoying from time to time is normal. Familiarity can make even the most endearing behaviours seem a little tedious and you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if your irritation isn’t actually making it hard for your relationship to function.
Sometimes, a little perspective is all that’s needed. Think about all the things that you like about your partner and try to recognise how lucky you are to have someone that makes you feel safe and appreciated, even if they occasionally get on your nerves. And remember: you probably have a few habits they find irritating too!
Talking about space
If this is becoming a real problem for you, it may be that you need to renegotiate your boundaries.
Sometimes, partners can have very different ideas on what is an acceptable level of contact – both physical and emotional. They may be comfortable spending all their time with you, whereas you might want a little more ‘me’ time. They may always want to make plans together, whereas you might like to do stuff by yourself or just with your friends sometimes.
Speaking to your partner about this is likely to reduce at least some of the tension you’ve been feeling.
Find time to sit down and talk when you’re not already feeling annoyed. Don’t phrase your comments as an attack. Acknowledge that things haven’t been as good as they could be recently and that you think it would be a good idea to communicate.
Listen to each other and acknowledge each other’s opinion. Try not to lose your temper or make criticisms – that’s only likely to create more conflict.
Dealing with wider issues
If your irritation is so constant and strong that it’s threatening your relationship, it may be that you need to think about any issues that could be causing it. Often, the things we get annoyed about in relationship aren’t really what’s bothering us. Sometimes, there are things beneath the surface that we’re avoiding thinking about.
If you’re honest with yourself, are there any areas about your relationship that you’re not sure about – any sources of anxiety or resentment? Again, change can be a big source of stress and tension. Even if things were fine before, a shift in circumstance can be enough create problems where there were none before. Sometimes this can happen without you even noticing.
Getting these feelings out in the open is the best way to deal with them. This kind of conversation isn’t always necessarily easy – especially if things have already become fractious and tense. Relationship Counselling can be a great way of speaking honestly with your partner about your relationship.
If you’re struggling with your relationship Relate provides a safe space where you can talk about things openly.
- Book an appointment by calling 01908 310010