Mark Goulston, M.D.

Irritated and annoyed with spouse

This video explains how to cope with the things you used to love about your spouse but now drive you crazy. It is very difficult to be angry and empathetic at the same time. When you are upset with your spouse, take some time to put yourself in their shoes. Understanding their point of view or their situation will go a long way towards reducing the urge to start a fight.

How can I stop feeling irritated and annoyed with my spouse?  You can’t be empathic and angry at the same moment in time. In other words, if you walk in someone else’s shoes, you can’t step on their toes at the same time. So, one of the best ways to avoid an argument is to ask yourself, “What is our relationship like for the other person now?” Just the act of being curious about how they might be feeling towards you, what they might like about you, and what they might dislike about you, which is a sensory experience, will stop you from getting into a motor experience, which is about to blame them.

Something that I actually tried with my wife was realizing that when I am frustrated with her, it can very quickly go into two negative directions. Because frustration is a volatile emotion, it won’t stay at frustration. I can either go into the self righteous area in which I feel that she is clueless, “What does she know?”, or I could go into the victim mode in which I’m thinking, “How could she do that to me?” And what I realize is that if I can counter either of those things, I can avoid the whole argument.

One of the ways to counter the self righteous department is I would ask myself, “What are two or three things that make me a piece of work, that make me really difficult to live with?” Well, I know that one of those areas is that I can be somewhat of an idealist, who is incredibly disorganized. And so, she may have to tell me a number of things, when I’m prancing down my great idea of the moment.

Then, the way that I counter feeling like a victim is I think, “What are a couple of things that I’m really grateful for?” Well, one of the things that I’m really most grateful for is that my wife gives me a home. I give her a house, but she gives me a home. She helps me connect to my kids. She helps me connect to myself in ways that I couldn’t do on my own.

So, when I’m feeling frustrated, if I can just ask those questions, “What makes me a piece of work, and what am I grateful to about?”, the frustration and the anger go away.

By Twoology

Copyright – 2013-14 – Tunomi Unlimited Incorporated (Twoology)

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