9 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Frustrated With Your Partner

Connor Robinson for Fatherly

Ready to blow up at your significant other? Keep these tips in mind.

By Jeremy Brown 

It’s normal to feel frustrated with your partner from time to time. Hell, we’d even go as far as to say that it’s weird to never feel frustrated with them. Marriage can be frustrating. When two people live together, coping with bills, mortgages, kids, schedules, in-laws, weird habits, and everything in between, one person will inevitably drive the other one a bit nuts. But frustration can quickly deteriorate into resentment or full-on anger. So, the trick becomes understanding how to deal with frustration in a healthy way. 

“It is normal for everyone to feel frustrated with their partner,” says Cheri Timko, a Couples Relationship Coach. “Part of living together is navigating how to be two people with different personalities and still live together peacefully.” How we handle the differences can greatly influence other parts of the relationship, so it is important to be particularly aware in these situations. “When they are handled poorly,” Timko adds, “it can lead to anger and resentment for both partners.  When done well, situations of frustration can help build and strengthen your bond.” 

Before you let your frustration get the better of you, take a moment and try to take some of this expert advice. 

1. Put Yourself in Their Shoes

This is age-less advice for a reason. It can be very easy to get so consumed by your own frustration that you’re only able to see how it affects you. But if you try to take a look at the situation from your partner’s side and ask yourself how you might feel, or how you might react, and chances are you’ll be in a better place. “Think of how this situation is related to other situations for your partner,” adds Timko. “This is not your interpretation, but what you know they would say if they explained it to you.” If you are stuck, Timko suggests writing a letter from them to you explaining their experience in the situation.

2. Ask For Their Input

Why? Because how else are you going to get to the root of your frustration? The key is calm. Talk to your partner and ask them to explain the reasoning behind their actions and emotions. Listen and ask questions to try and gain some understanding. “It is important that you choose a good time to ask so you both stay calm,” Timko says. “You may not get the opportunity to describe your part, but knowing what is happening for your partner will help you deal with it better.” 

3. Have a Plan

If you’ve been with someone long enough, you usually can start to tell when things are going badly. When you sense a tense situation beginning to brew, it might be wiser to try and nip the argument in the bud before it gets worse. “Know ahead of time what are the signs and symptoms that your frustration and irritation are growing and what you need to do to manage them,” says Timko. Calling a timeout and returning to a conversation when you’ve cooled down (and actually re-engaging with it) is always an excellent strategy. 

4. Take a Big Picture View

It’s always good to remember that you and your spouse are playing the long game. Sometimes you may have to give more in a certain situation and other times, it’s your partner who will have to put their feelings aside to focus on you. If you are both in it together, you can navigate these bumps in the road and keep your focus on the longevity of your partnership. “Every relationship has times when one partner puts in more,” says Timko. “You may need to be the bigger person in this situation. As hard as it is, it is an investment in the future of the relationship.” 

5. Talk to Your Partner — When You’re Calm 

When tensions are running high, someone is going to say or do something that will set one or both of you off. Wait until you’ve both cooled off to address what it is that’s frustrating you. “Choose the time to discuss your frustrations carefully,” says Timko. “Bad times are when your partner is busy with other things, before work or bed, or when either of you are frustrated or exhausted. If this is all of the time, you might have a bigger problem in the relationship than just the situation that is irritating you.”…



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