Like every other wife in the universe, I could probably rattle off more than a few annoying qualities my husband has. And I'm pretty sure he could do the same about me.
But that's hardly productive, especially since they aren't necessarily things you can change about someone. And as it turns out, those annoying qualities actually serve us well in certain parts of our relationship.
How can I turn those traits into positives in our marriage rather than letting them drive me nuts? Here's one example ...
As far as emotional expression goes, I generally end up doing it for both of us. That worked well when I had an accidental home birth, because as I was freaking out, he was completely calm and present in what could have been an extremely scary situation.
But when it comes to birthdays, celebrations, or any other seemingly exciting event, he's pretty difficult to rouse, which can be translated as disinterested, especially by my kids. And it can be hard when you have something happy to share and all he can muster is a lackluster "congrats" while he continues to stare at his computer screen.
That's where my overdramatization of things is actually a positive. I can turn a random holiday into a wonderful celebration, which I think is important for children to have in their lives, at least in moderation.
And I even throw myself a little "party" when I've done something awesome. You can tell that by looking at the shoe and handbag collection in my closet.
But my ability to go from 1 to 10 in a matter of seconds does not bode well in many situations, whether it's dealing with difficult classroom teachers or fighting children. And I'm certain it's exacerbated by hormones.
So recently, I decided to use my husband's "annoying" quality as a strength, both in our relationship with each other as well as in our relationship with our kids. This means the next time a note from the teacher comes home telling me my daughter spelled a word incorrectly when it was partly due to the teacher saying it incorrectly, I will let my husband handle it rather than getting all worked up and firing off an angry email that should have been left in the drafts folder.
Crying, sad, or frustrated kids who need a little coddling? That's totally my department.
It's not a perfect science, but it has helped both of us appreciate each other more. And by looking at personality traits we initially deemed as negative, we're remembering some of the reasons we actually fell in love in the first place. Because like our marriage counselor reminded us, those qualities were probably what brought us together. And they can do that again, if we let them.
What annoying qualities of your partner's can you turn into positives in your relationship?
Image via Images by Jamie Pachomski/Flickr