So, we all know the saying that nobody is perfect, right? But, didn’t our spouses seem super perfect at the beginning of our relationship? It was as if they could do no wrong and any ‘bad’ habits they had seemed to fly by our heads. Fast-forward to a few years later, all of a sudden the things that they used to do that we saw as ‘adorable traits’ becomes completely and utterly annoying! The way they would leave dirty clothes everywhere in the room, or the way they would always forget to put the toothpaste cap back on, and the list goes on from there. As much as we love our spouse, sometimes we just can’t help but to want to change their bad habits. But, how do we do this in the best possible way without hurting their feelings?
Here are a few tips on how you can best help change your spouse’s irritating and annoying habits:
Timing is everything. Make sure you have a chat with him about this when you are both in a relaxed state of mind, not in the heat of the moment. Have this talk privately because there is nothing worse than bringing up someone’s bad habits in front of other people as they willfeel embarrassed and get defensive.
Voice your feelings honestly and respectfully. Instead of leaving hints for your partner to figure out what you are trying to say, simply state your feelings as they are. Say something like, “Honey, it bothers me when you leave your things all over the house. It makes it a lot harder to tidy up and to find what you want.”
Ask yourself why you want your spouse to change. You have to take into consideration that if this change will make things easier for youbut will cause your spouse to feel imprisoned then you need to talk it out some more.
Request, instead of demand, your spouse to change. He will feel much more inclined towards doing something different rather than feeling as if he has no choice and was forced to change.
Do not attack your spouse. Know the difference between the bad habits and him as a person. Do not equal the two together. Once you start attacking your spouse as a person, you crush their spirits.
Change the story you tell yourself about what your partner’s bad habits mean. Do not interpret your spouse’s failure to do a household task as a sign that he doesn’t really love you. Their bad habits are not a reflection of your relationship.
If you want your spouse to be open in receiving inputs from you about their bad habits, you must be open to do the same yourself. Helping your spouse to change is a two-way street. So, when you approach your spouse about their behaviours, ask in return what behaviours of yours that create constant annoyances and irritation.
Focus on your spouse’s good habits, not just the irritating one. look for the good in your spouse. You after all chose him for a good reason – the similarities you share together as well as the differences.