Does everything your husband does irritate you?
It was a bright Saturday morning and my husband had just returned from washing the car at a neighborhood car wash.
He bought some groceries and as we put them away, he started to tell me about car washes and costs.
Can you believe it only cost me eight dollars to wash the car?
He was so impressed. I was impressed too.
Until he mentioned the eight dollars did not include cleaning the tires. “Who wants to have a clean car and dirty tires?” I laughed “That’s just a deal to get people through the door!”
“It’s a pretty good deal actually” Hubby responded, rustling bags. ” Sometimes you don’t have to clean everything…”
Debate Street, here we come.
My husband went on to explain and give instances when a car wouldn’t need tire cleaning, just a body wash. And I shared my woman-sense on everything he had to say.
In no time, an easy Saturday morning chatter had dissolved into hubby-trying-to-get-the-upper-hand-and-win-the-conversation slug out.
At least that’s how I felt. “And he’s been at it this whole week, trying to have the last word on everything!” My irritation rose.
I kept my mouth shut but the groceries felt my growing annoyance. But right before I worked myself to a stupor, my heart started talking.
“Whatevers’ going on now has being going on through out the week and it is not Tommy’s fault”
“He’s not being difficult or competitive or hard of hearing. He’s just being his regular self.”
I didn’t want to hear it but knew what was coming.
“But you’ve not been yourself.”
When the excuse “everything my husband does irritates me” doesn’t work anymore.
Have you had moments when you know the truth but you ignore it because you want to say mad and irritated?
You know your husband is not all that bad but you can’t remember one thing that makes him, well.. nonirritating?
I was irritated and I wanted to stay irritated. It was easier to stay mad than to try and examine my issues. But the truth was that I’d had a challenging week.
I was drained, emotionally and physically; I had little to no margin for daily life. I was sensitive and irritable.
Thus what was easy and fun to do on normal days – lively banter and conversations- had become a battle.
We need reminders when we’re irritated
I don’t know about you but I need this reminder all the time: What I am going through personally will affect how I respond relationaly. If I can wait “it” out, I’ll avoid unnecessary conflict with my spouse.
A few years back, my irritation would have poured out. “But why can’t you just agree with me for once? Why do you have to win all the time?!”
Our newlywed days were filled with anger, stonewalling and communication meltdowns.
But that Saturday morning and even though I wanted to stay annoyed, I went ahead and processed (quietly) my inner issues.
Has your house been a little chilly this week?
Are you irritated and annoyed with small things? I invite you to try the following 4 things.
1. Take a breather
Sometimes, all you need is a break. Look out of the window, look above his head, look away. Excuse yourself from the room or conversation. Just create a small break in the storm.
These gaps provide opportunity to calm down, and think through. And breath. So take a break. Take a timeout.
2. When your husband irritates you, remember to pull up on your own driveway first.
Be quick to examine yourself and slower to judge him. If you’ve been feeling irritated for a while, examine yourself real closely.
Think about other areas of life, what is out of balance, out of the ordinary?
If you are the problem, take a deep breath, extend yourself some grace and recognize it’s just a season (if indeed it is. Mine was). If there’s something you can do about your stresses, other than wait them out, do something.
3. Let it go
If it’s everyday marriage irritation or annoyance (not a chronic problem), decide if this is the mountain you want your marriage to die on.
In other words, make a choice to let go of the irritation. Intentionally kick it out of your mind and heart and get on with life.
4. Let him know your needs
If you can communicate to your husband what you need in the season, let him know where you are at.
I confess I didn’t tell my husband where I was at that point. But we need to. Share with your husband and don’t expect him to figure it out.
Your turn – Have you ever been at a place where you felt “everything my husband does irritates me”? How do you deal with irritations and annoyances in your marriage?