We all have quirky traits, certain “flaws” that our partner knows about and has acknowledged at one point of the marriage. This does not mean that these behaviors can continue. Here are some tips on how to approach different habits that might be hurting your marriage.
Communicate about little annoying personal habits
We all have little pet peeves, like leaving the toilet seat up, leaving clothes on the floor or not shutting the door. These are benign habits, but they can add up and cause an explosion in your partner leading to a larger conflict. By sharing what frustrations you have with each other, you both can become aware of what personal habits unintentionally irritate your partner. Try to be understanding and gentle when asking for your partner to change their behavior to avoid your pet peeves, and you do the same when your partner asks the for the same thing.
Though we tend to forget things, most of us don’t like to be nagged about what we forget. If a habit is irritating you, try using humor or being kind in telling your partner about it. Even just asking nicely can go a long way. Discuss how each of you can avoid reacting defensively or aggressively to a request to address a personal habit within the marriage.
Hiding habits from each other
Hiding things from each other is not only hurtful to one another but to your marriage, too. If you smoke, drink, or have any other habits that would upset your spouse, don’t hide from them. It is stressful and can destroy trust and respect. Ask for support from your spouse in revising your bad habits. If it is the first time that your partner is hearing about this, try to be kind and understanding to their reaction.
What positive habits could we work on together?
Find out about what goals you and your partner share that are related to health, fitness, productivity, mental health, personal growth, and learning. Doing actives together and building positive habits will make it fun and can provide motivation and accountability. Having a common goal strengthens the bonds of your marriage.
Changing bad habits we have formed together.
It is easy to fall into bad habits together the longer you have been together. Here are some examples: your old routines of going to the gym every day may be replaced by a TV program you both love watching. Saying thank you to each other is no longer something you do. You and your partner have created a routine that is unhealthy physically and emotionally to the both of you. Get together and find out what unhealthy habits have been created and how you can deal with them.