Once upon a time, you found the love of your life and married them. But where is your happily ever after? Since then, everything they do puts you on edge. How does this happen? What can you do about it? There’s good news. This phenomenon happens to almost all couples at some point and time.
First, you need to recognize that familiarity probably drives your frustration. You anticipate every question your partner asks, and wonder why he cannot remember the answer. Then you begin to form opinions on why he chooses not to remember. Perhaps he thinks his needs are more important than yours. These thoughts spiral quickly. Try not to read into his questions. The lack of interest probably says more about his thoughts on the object in question, not you.
Familiarity comes from doing life together. You spend more time on tasks and less on dreams and adventures. Life contains fewer surprises and less excitement. This stage of life forms a breeding ground for contempt. Be aware of it, and look for ways to bring enthusiasm back into your relationship.
Studies show that certain noises activate the portion of our brains that control emotions. When you hear these triggers, whatever you feel about the person making the noise comes out. Often this phenomenon shows itself in relationships with mouth noises. Smacking, loud chewing, and belching set the other partner on edge.
To overcome this psychological state, look at your interactions as an outsider. Would a casual observer classify your actions as positive or negative? Look for the positive in each circumstance. Reach out to your spouse when something bothers you. Ask questions to learn why they do something. Be careful to ask with the intent to learn, not to argue.
Begin to think of your family as a team. Allow the familiarity to bond your family, not drive it apart. A good team anticipates the moves of all team members and responds accordingly. They don’t become angry at their teammates. They cultivate a response that improves the team because they want the team to do well. Doing well requires respect for fellow team members, working together, and not responding appropriately.
As you work to view your family as a team, you can’t forget that your spouse is an individual. However, you can remember that you joined them to create something more substantial than two individuals. You didn’t choose them simply because you like the way they make you feel. Your love makes a family. Try to frame their quirks the way you did when you first met. The things that drive you crazy now were probably enduring at one point in your relationship.
Every relationship goes through periods of frustration. By recognizing familiarity, looking for the emotions behind triggers, and cultivating a team mentality, you can move past annoyances and come out with a stronger family bond. Persevere! A new relationship might temporarily remedy your problems, but eventually, negative Sentiment Override, the opposite of rose-colored glasses, will take over.