The answer might surprise you.
Even though you’ve asked him multiple times not to, your husband left the kitchen cabinets open... again! And does he really have to leave a trail of socks everywhere?
Cue the seemingly never-ending nagging. Why does it feel like everything your husband does irritates you? You wind up feeling terrible, and so does he. And resentment starts to build.
If your husband's annoying behaviors are getting on your last nerve — and his bad habits don't seem to be changing, no matter what you say, try or do — don't let your irritation get the best of you.
No matter how frustrated or exasperated you might feel, all is not lost! You're just in stuck mode.
You’ve tried gentle reminders, Saturday “check-ins” and ultimately, you started analyzing your tone of voice and your style of approach. You’ve even stepped it up and tried positive reinforcement and baked him his favorite lasagna or cookies, but nothing changed. Why?
Whenever you make him the entire focus of your expectations for sustainable change, it won’t work!
Even when you changed your approach, the goal was to get him to change: how he behaves, how he consistently forgets things, or how he disappoints you, over and over.
The more you try to control the outcome, the more annoyed and overwhelmed or angry and resentful you start to feel.
The bottom line is, you have to stop expecting him to change! That's why, in order to fix your husband's annoying bad habits and stop feeling so irritated with him, it's not about keeping score — it's about keeping things positive and shifting your mindset.
Here are 3 things you can to stop feeling so annoyed by your husband's bad habits:
1. Take a minute to think.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What do I want right now? Can I do it for myself?
- Can it wait?
- Am I willing to do it at a more convenient time for me?
Then do it — without resentment.
While you're at it, take a moment to pull yourself back from the current situation and see the bigger picture. You know the saying: “Stop sweating the small stuff?” Now is the time for you to appreciate what you do have, since appreciation can change the vibe instantly.
Shed your attitude and all of the missed expectations that have resulted in weeks, months and even years of agitation and disappointment — so you can start moving forward with an open mind and heart.
2. Reframe the situation.
Shift your focus, and you’ll get a different outcome. As Diana Burney, the author of Spiritual Clearings, said: “By changing your expectations, you can change your external reality.” Imagine that? Exactly… imagine that! After all, the world isn't ending because he can't remember to close the kitchen cabinets.
You’ll find that things get done, but with a different feel to them. And as a result, you stop nagging — because you've stopped monitoring his progress or lack thereof — and start feeling better about yourself.
Essentially, you choose to feel better — and you do!
Most certainly, this is not about you giving up on your marriage! This is about you changing how you show up in this marriage. You think differently about things now. Your direct attention is on you and what you need in that moment.
3. Let go — and get your vibe back.
Once you let go of your expectations about him and what’s he doing or not doing, you’ll feel a shift. It’s about releasing your expectations of him and seeing what you’ve built together from a completely outside-the-box perspective. What do you see?
Letting go is freedom. It’s not caving in, or being weak, or letting the other person win. This is about you winning and reclaiming yourself in the process.
When you no longer expect anything different, your entire demeanor changes. In other words, your vibe changes. Suddenly you’re easier to be around, you seem more relaxed… and that's when the magic happens.
When your expectations of him stop, you’ll start to feel different — and possibly, he will, too. He might find you more approachable, he might start talking more, he might even volunteer to help you during dinner or bath time for the kids.
He might not be able to point a finger as to how it changed, or who changed first. He just feels happier like things are good between the two of you.
Let him help you, even though he might not do it the way you like it done. Remember, his intention is to participate and show up in his own way, when he does it.
When we stop negative judgments about ourselves and others, things in our life start to flow more smoothly.
There will always be challenges, but — instead of seeing the blockages —they dissipate and our vision becomes clearer. Your increased happiness and contentment will positively spread into all of your relationships and areas of life. Gradually, the small, frustrating things will fade, and you’ll feel more in alignment and at peace.