Why did you fall in love with your spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend? What first attracted you to that person? What characteristics did they possess that fueled your interest and kept you involved? You chose this person to be with and to love. Why?
I see and interact with people so caught up in the stress of life that the only thing they communicate to me about their significant other is the anger, the hurt, and the sadness of feeling let down and disappointed. It is like family is just one more item on their list to complain about. Why is it more important for people to be polite, forgiving and caring to strangers then to loved ones?
Have you heard friends tell you the qualities they fell in love with about their partner are now the ones that annoy them the most? Have you listened to co-workers complain about the same thing week after week, year after year? Sometimes the issue they are complaining about is getting a little bit better, sometimes a bit worse but it is always a problem! The complaint seems to take on a life of its own and can seem more important than the loved one being discussed. We seem to have more empathy and compassion for casual acquaintances then we do for the most important people in our lives.
What does your partner do that drives you crazy? What is the one thing you would change about her if you could? What is the issue that causes you to complain to your friends and co-workers about him week after week?
Let’s call this thing, whatever it is “C”!
Complaining about “C” doesn’t fix anything. The negative dialogue in your head that occurs just after “C” happens doesn’t make things better. Trying to change your loved ones “C” behavior doesn’t work. Getting angry, hurt or sad every time “C” happens doesn’t make it go away. Instead of focusing your attention on what your honey does that drives you crazy why not focus on what you are going to do about it. Focus on what you can do differently. Obviously whatever you are doing isn’t working, because you are still annoyed, hurt and fixated on “C”.
Maybe, just maybe, the change that needs to occur starts with YOU.
If you keep responding in the same way you always have, “C” will always bother you in the same way it always has. Sometimes a small change in how you respond can have a big impact on the outcome. Next time “C” happens:
- Try smiling instead of snapping
- Try a kiss on the cheek instead of a smart ass comment
- Try engaging in positive self talk instead of negative self talk
- Try going to your happy place instead of having the negative dialogue in your head
- Try asking up front instead of reacting after the fact
- Try changing the environment to elicit a different response
- Try accepting your honey for who he instead of trying to change him into someone you want him to be
Have you ever stopped to think about the things you do that drives your honey crazy? Have you ever wondered what she complains to her friends and co-workers about week after week?
Right now you have a choice. You can decide whether to focus on everything your partner does that drives you up the wall or everything you love about your partner.
Choose well! Your happiness depends on it!