Article Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Help, My Partner Is Getting More And More Annoying!

Dec. 8, 2015 Psychology Today

Here is the most profound thing you have ever heard: the secret to a long-term relationship is that two people need to be able to love long-term. If you think that this is so evident a truth that it doesn’t deserve attention, think again. The longer we are with someone, the more we are inclined to focus on faults while ignoring what we previously deemed as attractive or admirable. Instead of taking responsibility for this loss of perspective and our own failure to tap into feelings of love, we tend to blame the other. If only she did not put on the toilet paper the wrong way! If only he did not leave his socks on the floor! If only she could be more supportive! If only he could stop giving advice when I need a hug!

Surely, some new habits and certain new cell formations are added as we grow older. Nobody can escape the law of impermanence which does not always work in our favor. Let’s take my lines, for example. Sniff. Yet, most of the annoying characteristics we see in our partner were visible from the start, don’t you think? It’s just that we are reacting to them differently as we become familiar with them. We lose the whole picture as we stand too close to it. But before recommending how to step back, let me share briefly how we kill our love actively and what to do instead.

I recently read an article written by a woman listing the top seven most annoying things about her husband. It’s not that complaining is always a bad thing. Sometimes it can be a first healthy step. Yet the article was written triumphantly, revealing mostly the author’s inability to love. She might as well have titled her article: Seven Ways of Destroying My Love:


When you find a flaw, make fun of your partner, especially in public. Never mind your own imperfection.

What to do instead: As rejecting imperfection erodes love, identify your own imperfection and start to accept it as a fact of life. Then look at your partner again.


Pretend to listen and agree when you don’t. Then be proud of having out-smarted the other.

What to do instead: Pretending amounts to lying, making it impossible to share reality with your partner. Speak the truth, thoughtfully and timely. At least, don’t suggest you care when in reality, you don’t. 

Be Sarcastic

Use as much sarcasm as you can muster especially when your supposedly loved one has made him or herself vulnerable.

What to do instead: Studies show that young married couples who make even occasional sarcastic remarks about the other are much more likely to end up in divorce. Don’t hurt the other twice, first with your opinion and second with a snide remark. Stay away from sarcasm altogether!

Assume You Know Your Partner’s Real Intentions

Think that you know best what goes on in him or her.

What to do instead: As nobody knows anybody completely, ask questions and stay curious. It not only shows your humility. It keeps your love fresh.

Read More on Psychology Today

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

Apply Today

All Resources

Tell Me More

8 Tips to Keep Your Mindfulness Practice Going

New research finds nearly 60 percent of meditation app users stop within a year.

Read More

Fall Is the Season for Building Mindfulness and Resilience

Days get shorter and cooler, but that doesn't have to get us down.

Read More

How Your Muscles Affect Your Mental Health

Why the gym may be your most powerful antidepressant.

Read More

Take a Mental Vacation This Weekend

A "vacation" mindset can increase positive feelings and decrease negative ones.

Read More

Can zero-calorie sweeteners raise your risk for cardiovascular disease?

Consume higher levels of artificial sweeteners and experience cardiovascular disease events at a higher rate

Read More

What to Know About Getting a Loan if You’re Unemployed

Dive into all of your options

Read More

‘Night owls’ may have greater type 2 diabetes and heart disease risk than ‘early birds’

Why shifting your sleep pattern may be a great idea.

Read More

Home prices decline at rates seen close to a decade ago

How much is the housing market tightening?

Read More