Pet Peeves—what are those small things that your partner does that bother the heck out of you? Leaving the drawers open, leaving clothes on the floor, leaving dishes lying around, not paying bills on time, or chewing with their mouth open? We all have pet peeves that we wish we could control in others. What we know is that trying to change someone isn’t always successful and oftentimes creates more distance in a relationship due to the tension it creates.
Learn to laugh at your partner’s pet peeves.
Now here is a challenge for you.
What if you reframed the thinking, and practiced learning to laugh at your partner’s pet peeves? How different might it feel if you just laughed out loud when you found that full garbage can busting at the rim? While it can perhaps be difficult in the heat of frustration, it can be helpful just to learn to love all those irritating things our partners do. After all, that is what makes them who they are.
We can fall into a trap of expecting ‘perfection’ in our partners, rather than accepting their humanness. Sometimes, we just need to let our special people be who they are. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Life can be less stressful and more appreciative when we practice unconditional positive regard for the people we love.
Tips for accepting your partner’s flaws:
- Remind yourself why you love your partner. What are the things about your partner that you love? Make a list of these things and read it over whenever you’re feeling frustrated with their pet peeves.
- Focus on the good things your partner does. It’s easy to get caught up in your partner’s pet peeves, but it’s important to remember all the good things they do too. Make a list of the things your partner does that you appreciate and read it over whenever you’re feeling frustrated.
- Let go of expectations of perfection. No one is perfect, including your partner. Accept that they’re going to have some flaws, and don’t expect them to change.
Certainly, there might be things that you can not live with, and that is not what I am referring to. Simply, remind yourself why you fell in love with your partner, and consciously search for those things daily, rather than what you wished they wouldn’t do.
Start practicing acceptance today
Summer is a great time to reset and start new healthy habits. This will take practice, and perhaps be difficult when you are already overwhelmed with other life circumstances, but well worth the effort. Your partner might even notice that you stop nagging about the pet peeves and maybe, just maybe decide to work on changing the behavior on their own.
What do you remember about happy childhood summer days? Summer camp, outdoor activities, swimming, snoballs, staying up late and sleeping in, and an overall slower pace?
We need to remind ourselves that we all deserve some fun and relaxing summer days and nights as adults as well. Hopefully, this will remind everyone to breathe slower, stop and smell the roses, pay attention to what your body needs, and look to your partner and try to love the little irritating things just a bit more.
For more information on Accepting Your Partner’s Flaws, visit https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-practice/201911/how-accept-your-partners-flaws
If you would like to schedule a session with Dr. Reshelle Marino, please schedule at https://drmattmorris.com/clinicians-lmft/reshelle-marino/.