In order to make married life truly “work”, it requires responsibility, dedication, communication, and compromise on both parts. No one is saying marriage is always easy, it isn’t, but there are things that can help lighten the load. And this includes letting go of annoying habits that, over time, can drive a wedge between you and your partner and can add unnecessary tension and friction.
Ladies, this one is for you, (and husbands you can let go of these habits too); to keep your hubby happy, here is a list of annoying habits to let go of:
1. Stop thinking that your way is the “right” way (meaning the only way) –If your husband does something differently than you, it does not mean that it’s wrong it just means that it’s different. If the job ultimately gets done, then leave it alone. If you want it done a specific way, either do it yourself or communicate clearly with him what you want done and how you want it done. Then, be flexible understanding that he is a different person and will ultimately do it his way…anyway.
2. Stop nagging him – Don’t make him feel guilty or nitpick him about small stuff. When you made the decision to marry this man, you accepted him – flaws and all. And, you knew what you were dealing with from the gate. This doesn’t mean you have to like everything about him or what he is doing, and it doesn’t mean you can’t express your opinions, concerns, and thoughts. It only means don’t “nag” him about things. Instead of achieving the outcome that you want, which is to change his behavior, it will likely have the opposite effect and he will dig in further, which creates more frustration on both parts. So, instead of nagging, find more creative ways of addressing the problem, for example if he is getting a little bit overweight, instead of complaining invite him to go dancing with you or go for a walk together after dinner, sign up for a fitness class together, or go on a date night that requires physical activity like indoor wall climbing or bowling etc. That way you don’t have to say a word and he will appreciate your efforts in terms of spending quality time together doing something fun and he might even drop some weight if you do it consistently.
3. Remember your husband is not your girlfriend –Now you all know that men and women process information differently, in most cases, and have different communication and conversational styles. In my experience, women tend to share more details and men seem to just cut to the chase and want the bottom line. An example of this is the need to talk, especially after a bad day at work. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m guilty of wearing my husband out with conversational details and minutiae that he doesn’t really care about. Sometimes, I can see his eyes glazing over as I am talking to him, even though he appears to be listening and is looking dead in my face. When I see that look, I know I’ve given him too much detail/information. Now don’t get me wrong my husband is my friend and I am not saying you shouldn’t be friends with your spouse, instead I’m emphasizing that you shouldn’t treat your husband like a girlfriend because he isn’t! What I do now when I need to talk is I give him the bottom line with minimal detail and then I call my girls to lay the whole story out and it works great.
4. Remember your spouse is not a mind-reader – Instead of assuming he knows what you mean or what you are thinking, be specific about your requests. For example, a busy working mom friend of mine said she used to feel overwhelmed with household chores, wishing her spouse would help her. The problem was she never said anything and simply assumed he would notice how tired, busy, and overwhelmed she was and “just pitch in”. When that didn’t happen, she realized the only way for her husband to understand her needs and what she was dealing with was to tell him. Now instead of waiting for him to jump in she’ll say something like ‘Honey, will you tuck the kids in tonight while I get the kitchen cleaned up,’ and he is always glad to help. My friend discovered that a few words are all it takes to go from feeling resentful and stressed out to becoming an effective team that supports one another.
Even the greatest relationships take work, they don’t “just happen”, or maintain themselves. Relationships thrive only when both people make an effort, always try to do and give their best, and are willing to take the risk of openly communicating what is going on with them individually. I hope you will join me in letting go of these annoying habits and start fresh in your marriage employing more positive and constructive habits and methods of communication. Good luck!