3 Things To Do When Your Partner Gets On Your Last Nerve

Start enjoying that loving feeling again.

couple spending time together, eating a sandwich Ivanko_Brnjakovic | Canva 

At the start, being in a relationship feels wonderful. It's so nice being with someone who wants to be with you, too. You’re both caught up in the excitement of it, enjoying how you seem to ‘fit’ together, confident that as a couple, you can take on the world, bound for the Happily Ever After sunset.

We all want to know how to have a healthy relationship that lasts. But the path to true love is not easy. What makes romantic relationships strange is that though relationships have momentum, you can’t rely on it. Sometimes, that momentum stalls and stops you from seeing you are headed downhill until it’s too late.


What can you do to keep the momentum going and guarantee you and your partner will continue to enjoy that loving feeling through the years and the decades together?

RELATED: 7 Traits Every Healthy Relationship Needs If You Want It To Last

Here are 3 things to do when your partner gets on your last nerve:

1. Put them on the 5:2 diet

What is the 5:2 diet? It’s an intermittent fasting diet that can work when it comes to keeping the weight off. You can use principles from this diet to help your relationship by keeping the resentments and the emotional detachment away.

The 5:2 Emotional Diet, you need to do it slightly differently. Every day, you need to find five positive things (minimum) to say to your partner for every two critical or negative things.


Before you start, spend a couple of days writing your Diet Journal. Note how many positive and supportive things you say to them during the day and how many less-than-positive things. You could argue, "Yes, but it’s not just about me. What about the negative things they say? Or all the times they don’t talk at all?"

The conventional 5:2 diet works because people follow it. If you read about it and said, "Yes, but I can’t follow it until another person in my life does first," nothing would change.

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2. Never deny them a sandwich

Nobody’s suggesting your partner is perfect — any more than you are. Both of you will make mistakes and have your foibles. It’s easy to focus on what your nearest and dearest person is doing wrong. The problem is most people can work out for themselves when they’ve messed up. Worse, they hate seeing their partner slip effortlessly into the role of Displeased Parent to read them, chapter and verse.

Speaking your mind may provide you with some short-term satisfaction. Equally, it will provide your partner with some short-, medium-, and long-term irritation and resentment. What should you do instead? Brush up on your feedback and sandwich-making. Most people know how to make a feedback sandwich, they just don’t do it often.

Maybe they feel they shouldn’t have to. You probably shouldn’t have to "take evasive action" at the wheel, but if a juggernaut is heading straight for you, you probably won’t argue the toss. You’ll do what makes sense — the same goes for the feedback sandwich. Couples in healthy relationships should make one for each other.

happy couple hug with spraklers


Photo: NDAB Creativity via Shutterstock

When you sandwich the direct information you want to share between two sincere and positive statements, you stand a much better chance of keeping the lines of communication open and getting your partner to listen. Instead of saying, "How could you possibly say that to X?" try something more subtle.

"I know how much you care about making sure people do the right things, and I’m wondering, do you think X might just have misunderstood that as a direct attack? That would be such a shame because you’re good at encouraging people to think things through for themselves."

Will they feel more disposed to impress you some more, next time? You betcha!


RELATED: Couples In The Healthiest Relationships All Show Their Partners Love In One Specific Way

3. Pay your partner more attention

If you have a pet, that pet tends to get your undivided attention. You don’t get home from work and say, "Hey, Kitty, I’ve had a tough day. Don’t you think that for once in your life, you could clean the litter trays yourself?" Admittedly, Kitty can’t do that, but the point remains. You focus on giving and receiving love, not reproaches, with your pet.

Don’t forget to do that with your human, especially if that human has become a little rusty, where giving and receiving attention is concerned Even if your relationship has lost momentum or is sliding downhill, you always have choices.



First, you can walk away and start over. The problem is, if you haven’t learned how to change the behaviors that aren’t working for you right now, you may end up in the same situation with a different partner.


Second, you can keep doing what you’ve always done in the hope that your partner will change and start transforming their behavior in ways their direction shows no signs of pursuing right now.

Third, start using these three simple mind hacks. Miracles probably won’t happen overnight. But, if you stick with it, over 3 months, you and your partner will start enjoying that loving feeling again. And this time you’ll know exactly how to keep that love alive.

RELATED: 10 PhD-Backed Habits That Can Make Your Relationship Better Than 98% Of Other Couples


Dr. Annie Kaszina is an international speaker, women’s relationship expert, and author of over a dozen books and audio program