Before you go pointing fingers ...
Nobody's perfect. But, sometimes, does your spouse drive you crazy?
It's normal to notice your partner's odd, annoying or obnoxious behavior — whether that's quirky mannerisms or angry outbursts.
But when does your partner's behavior become something to truly worry about?
With so much talk these days about personality disorders and mental health issues, it makes sense to wonder if your partner's quirks or outbursts are a sign of something more serious.
Melanie Gorman, Senior VP of YourTango, took this tricky topic to some of our experts: therapist and life/love/relationship coach Marcie Telander; psychotherapist, trainer and author Ross Rosenberg; relationship help doctor Dr. Rhoberta Shaler; and renowned biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher.
And what they said might surprise you!
Of course, if your partner's behavior makes you feel afraid or threatened in any way, you should seek help from a professional. BUT ... if what you're talking about is more "annoying behavior," the experts had an unexpected angle on the subject.
Rather than flip out and focus so much on your partner, they say the place to start in analyzing that "annoying behavior" is with ... yourself!
"Before we say or do anything," Ross Rosenberg says, "take a deep breath and think about: What part of that is me? ... and then talk about it [with your partner] and you'll probably always find out that a little bit is about both of you."
"I agree with that," says Rhoberta Shaler, "and I think there is another piece. Sometimes I have to say to my clients, 'Whose face do you have on your partner right now?' because they're taking it from another relationship ... They're reacting to the old relationship versus the partner right in front of them."
So, how do you know if the issue is you or if the issue is your partner?
Scroll up to the video above to hear the fantastic insights our experts shared on this topic!
And then, have a (kind) conversation with your loved one about what's really going on. "Wait until you're calm and relaxed to do so," says Marcie Telander. "Pick a time when you're feeling tender and comfortable and secure, not when you're all charged up."
Look, there are definitely instances when your partner's behavior indicates something troubling (again, if you feel afraid or threatened, seek help) but when you find yourself frustrated with their annoying idiosyncrasies or imperfect personalities, part of addressing that should include a good look in the mirror.
Scroll up to the video above to hear the rest of our experts' fascinating insights on this fascinating topic!