The other night while my husband and I were having dinner I grew very enthusiastic about something he said. I wanted to enhance my enthusiasm and extend it, so I asked him to call the person who made the remark that got me so excited.
He said in a very loud and firm voice, “No, I am not going to call him.” I was stunned. I couldn’t believe he wouldn’t be swept up in my excitement and play along. I argued with him, urging him to commit, “Come on, just call him. It will be fun.”
He dug in his heels and said louder and even more firm, ‘NO. If you want to talk to him, you call him.”
Experiences Can Be More Rewarding When Shared, But…
I thought for a moment, “That just might work,” so I got up and went to get my phone and then just stopped. I did not want to call him alone. I imagined that the two of us would have a fun moment with our mutual friend and we would do this together. My husband would say sure and dial the number and we would put the friend on speaker and have a laugh.
But calling him on my own without the presence of my partner is not the experience I wanted to have. I came back to the table and was irritated with him. I said, “Why can’t you just say ‘yes’ to me? You always say ‘no.’ Can’t you just join me in some of my ideas and just say ‘yes?’”
Then we talked to each other with our voices raised. Finally, he relented and called. No one answered and we didn’t leave a message. The whole idea turned into a dud.
Not Every Moment Can Be Perfect, and That’s Okay
Later that evening I said or did something that irritated him, and when he gets annoyed with me he usually becomes very quiet. I could tell something ticked him off. I said to him, “I must be irritating you.” And he replied, “I think I irritated you four times this evening.”
That sounded funny. Then I thought, “Wow, that’s a lot of irritation.” And then he spoke from that wise place inside. He said, “We just irritate each other sometimes.” That’s it. Spoken plain and simple. Sometimes we just get on each other’s nerves. And that’s it, just two humans who are different and rubbing each other the wrong way.
Don’t Let the Bad Moments Define Your Relationship
It doesn’t define us as a couple. It is something we can even laugh at and I can write about. We know we are a couple. We see this as something that just comes with the territory. And as we joke with each other, “Nothing to see here.”
Later that evening the friend we were trying to call phoned us and we put him on speaker. My husband led the conversation and we all had a wonderful laugh. You know, just the way I had envisioned it.
Manage Irritation in Your Relationship
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to firmly, but gently establish your boundaries and irritate each other less, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It may help you feel closer and happier, helping you best share the experiences you can. It may also help you let your partner down gently, when you can’t share their enthusiasm. 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.