Experiencing frustration towards your spouse is perfectly normal in a marriage. You can't expect to agree on everything and live in harmony all of the time. However, it is important to make sure that you deal with frustrations in the appropriate way, so that they do not develop into bigger problems, which could in turn create a rift in your marriage. Your frustrations may be about something minor or they might relate to a more serious problem. Either way, frustrations are borne out of misunderstanding and poor communication -- so it is vital that they are faced head-on and eradicated.
Communicate with your spouse about what is frustrating you, says marriage counsellor Rebecca Lewis. If you keep your feelings to yourself, the frustration will mount and you risk blowing the issue out of proportion. Not communicating with your husband when the frustration begins also prevents him from being able to stop or modify whatever he is doing to appease you. For example, if you're feeling frustrated because your husband doesn't take an interest in your career, tell him it frustrates you and set aside some time together which suits him, when you can tell him about your day.
Try to see your spouse's point of view before letting the frustration take hold, says University of Arkansas' Marriage Garden. Although your wife might be doing something which frustrates you, try to consider whether her actions are justified and logical in her mind, in which case you can try to replace frustration with understanding and patience. Frustrations in a marriage can often be attributed to the differences in how men and women communicate, interact and behave. Cut your partner some slack about the minor frustrations, like not taking out the trash or poor taste in music. If you make allowances for each other's differences, you will spend less time feeling frustrated -- and learn to be more accepting.
Look for the positive things in your marriage when you are feeling frustrated and try to put your feelings into perspective, says Aish. Evaluate whether the issue is worth getting upset over and instead, try to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones about your relationship. For example, if your partner is sometimes lazy when it comes to household chores, consider whether he makes up for it in other ways, like doing the driving when you takes trips and taking care of all the household bills. Looking for what is right in your marriage will often help you to realize that the frustrating niggles are minor and not worth holding a grudge.
Settle on a compromise when something is really frustrating you and causing a rift in your marriage, says Lewis. If you feel that your partner lacks intimacy with you, or isn't making enough time to get physically close to you, discuss these issues and devise a way to overcome the problem together. For example, try setting aside some time to reconnect with each other on an intimate level. In a marriage, you share problems that you encounter, which means there might be a reason that your husband is being distant, which you are the root cause of. If you learn to deal with your frustrations by compromising, you will overcome problems more quickly and end up with a much stronger bond in the long run.
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- Rebecca Lewis; Marriage Counsellor, London
- University of Arkansas; The Marriage Garden; Getting Past Problems to Solutions in Marriage
- Aish: Six Strategies on how to Deal with the Common Frustrations in Marriage
Emily Watson started writing in 2008. Watson has been published in "Children & Young People Now," "Youth Work Now," "Accent magazine," "The House Hunter," "Gap Year Business," "Timeout Education" and online at Travelmagazine.com and DunningEleyJones.com. She holds an honors degree in history from Newcastle University and has a PMA-Group postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.
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