What to do when your spouse is irritating you


yellow square with an irritated face against a brick wall
Courtesy of Andre Hunter at Unsplash

It's a fact. We bug our spouse. They do it to us - we do it to them. I saw a post on Instagram from @ChristineCaine that highlighted this point well.


She said her husband loved all the nice things she posts about him but thought it would be fun for her to post the irritations each has for the other. It was honest but clearly done in love.



It got me thinking. Lots of the items on those lists are similar to items that would be on my list. Maybe they would be on yours, too.


Here's the thing. Maybe some of my friends don't realize that EVERY marriage has these lists. Your husband/wife generally finds you as irritating as you find him/her. It's just the way of things. We live with this person all day, every day, and that begins to wear on us all. It's normal and natural.


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The part we have control over is our response.

Proverbs 21:9 tells us that it's better to live in the corner of a rooftop than with a nagging wife. Ouch! If we're constantly bugging our spouse about how he/she irritates us, we may want to take a step back and consider these next verses.


Matthew 7:3 reminds us that while it's tempting to pick apart all that our loved one does, we should look to ourselves first. We aren't perfect either. What irritating behaviors do we have that we could work on first? I know that while it's temping to pick on my spouse about not cleaning up the sink at night, I also need to work on my habit of interrupting him when he's telling a story. Unlearning that behavior may take a while. I can work on that while I lovingly clean up the sink.


Finally, Philippians 4:8 instructs us to focus on thoughts that are true, honorable, lovely, commendable, excellent, and right. I'm positive my husband does not leave food in the sink to irritate me. So thinking that is FALSE. The TRUTH is he cleaned up the dishes because he loves me. When I focus on that, my irritations are obliterated.




These skills take time, for sure. But they are worthy efforts! Our marriage is worth the time it takes to turn irritations into reminders of love. 💝


Blessings,

Andrea


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