Learning to Accept Our Partner’s Habits


Accepting Our Partner's Habits

Do you have a list of things your partner does that makes you a little crazy? I know I do.

When I asked my husband about my quirks he pointed out a few too. So, you see, it’s pretty common for each of us in a relationship to like things the way we like them. And if you live with another person who didn’t grow up in your family to learn how to do things your way, they will probably do things very, very differently. And sometimes that can be annoying.

Sometimes, We Bug Each Other a Bit

Learning to accept our partner's habits can be hard when they're messier than we are.

My husband likes to dry his workout shorts on the bathroom door. Not on a hook, but on the handle. If I close the door I have to touch the crotch part and it’s icky when the shorts are wet. My husband rinses them in the sink before hanging them on the door knob. I know this in my head, but when I touch it wet, it feels gross.

He’s been doing this for years. This isn’t new. I guess I just put up with this little thing. He says he gets grossed out when he sees that I have left my tea container with the used tea leaves sitting next to the sink. He says he can’t stand to look at it so he always empties it.

It’s Easy to Forget the Impact Our Habits Have on Our Loved Ones

Learning to accept our partner's annoying habits can be hard.

He doesn’t know that I suffer in my head if I touch his wet shorts, and until he told me I didn’t know he was bothered about my tea leaves. Now I know he does mind seeing them. Even so I continue to leave them there on the sink, like always.

I am not doing this to make him mad. He isn’t mad. I am doing it and writing about it to illustrate that we all find comfort in being the way we are. He with his shorts, me with my used tea leaves. If we were both really bothered we would tell the other we can’t take it any more and to please change. But both of us accept these habits and many, many others that belong to each of us. And guess what? It works.

Our Habits Are Often Deeply Ingrained

Learning to accept deeply ingrained habits can help reduce conflict in your relationship.

All of us know how to live life and take care of ourselves. We have very good ideas. We like to share our good ideas with our mates, even though they probably have some good ideas of their own. But it’s hard when from our very beginning we have been doing for ourselves, since we were little.

Our system of taking care of our self doesn’t allow someone else to come in and help. It requires us to know how to do things ourselves. And since all of us were probably alone before we met our partners we were probably pretty competent and didn’t need help from others.

We didn’t lean on another person, and yet, that’s what a relationship is for. We get to lean and not carry the entire burden by our self. And that’s the beauty of being with another person. Only it’s really hard to give up the control of doing everything all by ourselves, because that’s the way we are wired.

Sometimes Accepting Someone’s Habits Is Easier Than Changing Them

Sometimes habits are deeply ingrained and it's less work to accept them than it is to change them.

I like doing things my way. My husband likes doing things his way. I accept that sometimes he does things his way and they are not my way, just as he does for me. We have made room for both of us to have our quirks. I don’t make his way wrong, and he doesn’t make me feel funny about mine. And if we look at each other’s we might actually think they are pretty humorous.

But we both are the way we are. This is how we arrived. We both want to live happy. And allowing each of us to have our own way does that. Ease up on your partner and maybe they will do the same for you and you both might just smile.


Need a Little Help Accepting Your Partner’s Habits?

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Communicate more clearly about how your behaviors affect one another by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you better understand how one another feel, developing more compassion and understanding for one another. Give it a read.

Get Couples Counseling

Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.

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