Stop Taking Things So Personally in Your Marriage


Taking things personally may hurt your relationshipI've always been a pretty sensitive person which can be challenging in a relationship. Add in four kids and all the hormones that come with them and well, I can find myself in a tizzy over something that shouldn't even bothering blinking my eyes at.

Now, I'm the first to admit that it's still hard for me to let things roll off my shoulders, but I'm getting a lot better. And while these suggestions aren't excuses for someone who really is saying crappy things to you and is mean-intentioned, they may help you pick your battles and hopefully improve your relationship.

1. What's the intention? I've learned over the years that many spouses shoot their mouths off because they're stressed or tired or a combination of both, and don't necessarily intend to hurt the other person. When you understand the place from where they're coming, it can certainly make it easier to pop on those invisible earmuffs and go on your merry way.

2. Who's it really about? I've found that so many of words that are exchanged between spouses and partners have little to do with the other person and a lot to do with their own issues, experiences, and feelings. Basically, it's not you, it's them. And while you might be contributing to the problem, when you think about what they're saying in that way, it can help you let it roll off.

3. When are they saying it? I have a rule that I do not take anything said to me in the heat of an argument personally, especially considering that I can find it challenging to use my words appropriately when I'm fighting. So I try to offer the other person that same courtesy. And sometimes when I have my period, I feel like I shoud hand out a "please excuse my mouth" card because, well, hormones are a bitch.

4. Is it worth getting upset over? The big litmus test for me is whether what was said or done is worth my time or energy. I've got very little to spare as it is, so I want to spend it on positive things. I cannot tell you how many times I just keep my mouth shut and walk away, and how much better things are even after just a few minutes.

Now what? So if you feel as though the comments came from mean intentions or they are worth getting your feelings hurt, then there's absolutely nothing wrong with saying something. But it's best to start with your own feelings, like "I felt [hurt, made, upset] when you said that to me." Be frank, be firm, and come at it from a place of offering insight rather than being accusatory.

And if they don't get the message or they're not honoring your feelings, then you might want to consider getting a third party involved to help.

How do you take things less personally in your relationship?


Image via Ally Owens Photography/Flickr

marriage, divorce


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Derek W. Newell

Hello there, my name is Derek, and I was hoping you would check out a poem I wrote in reference to the relationship amongst spouse's.All you have to do is go to Google, type in my name, Derek Newell,poem,''EXPRESS IT''. I know my poem will have a positive effect on those who read it.OK folks,you all take care, and never fear, and remember this always please.....

It is today that matters, not tomorrow, next week or after,
It is now that counts, so fill your life, with hope, joy and laughter.

P.S. Would you please pass my poem along to your family and friends,it may inspire them. Thank You, Bye.

butte... butterflyfreak

My husband has MS so there are many times when he is fatigued and/or in pain and sometimes snaps at me because of that. Most of the time I will ask what's wrong (if he hasn't already mentioned being in pain or otherwise) and try to just let what he says roll off my back. On the same token, I will not hesitate to tell him that he's being an asshole. That is usually enough to give him pause and make him think about the way that he is talking to me and oftentimes will also lead to an apology for being an asshole.

And Derek, thanks for sharing your poem, it was lovely.

nonmember avatar pschaiappan

No I am bachelor.

nonmember avatar Reality Chick

Some really sound advice for long term relationships here. It's so easy to be reactive and take things personally - been there - but I have learned the hard way to pick my battles. Once you do that, relationships can become easier and not such a daily minefield...

early... earlybird11

My dad always reminds me " will it matter in 10 years ...." If the answer is no, I go with it. No need to fight over petty bs

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