These 9 tips will help you survive when your partner is driving you crazy.
Some days you just don’t have the energy to cope with your partner’s most trying behaviors any more. What can you do? Here are nine tips to help you survive…
Keep your cool. Blowing up will only hurt, making you seem like an unreasonable spouse. This is not in your best interest, as it allows your partner to write you off rather than remain respectful. So, instead of getting angry, let the issue (whatever it was) "slide past" you when you just don't have the energy to deal with it calmly right then.
Jot it down. You may be slow to let things pass because you fear your partner will "wander off" and that will be that. Counteract this by jotting a note about what needs to be addressed so you can deal with it at a later time, perhaps with a counselor. For example, you might write "late getting kids to school on Tuesday by 30 minutes" or "interrupted multiple times at dinner on Friday." After a while, you may see patterns that will help you convince your partner that his or her behavior is more difficult than originally thought.
Do something nice for yourself/be selfish. When faced with persistent problems, you may tend to focus more and more on your partner than on your own health…to your detriment. For example, in my case, the more unhappy I became in my marriage, the more I started thinking about my husband—what he wasn’t doing and should have been; how much his actions impacted our family; how inconsiderate he was, how unreliable he was, etc. This meant I forgot about me. Very unhealthy! So when things really get tough, do something for yourself—take a nap, do that project that’s been hanging over your head (unapologetically dump the kids on your spouse), get a massage, read a book in the local park, eat some really healthy food, go to bed early, or exercise. All will improve your state of mind, the last (exercise) particularly so. Or, as the ad says, "you deserve it!"
Insist on being heard…later. When you are exhausted and frustrated is not the time to address difficult issues. Wait until you are in a better frame of mind, then sit down with your partner and explain what you need—calmly. You don’t want to give up on your needs, but neither do you wish to sabotage yourself by seeming unreasonable, angry or otherwise difficult to deal with. (This sabotages you because it gives your partner an excuse to retreat and nothing gets solved that way!)
Keep a journal. Sometimes exhaustion is another form of not having any more ideas. Writing in a journal can help you expose your feelings and explore alternate approaches to your problems. It also can provide some much-needed quiet, self-focus time. If you are in an ADHD-impacted relationship, writing in my forum is also a good way to get new ideas. Keep Reading...
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