What are your spouse's most annoying habits? Is it the way they talk, eat, sit, clean up or snore when they sleep? Do they perhaps hum an annoying tune or crack their knuckles? And when was the last time they did something that irritated you? Last week? Yesterday? An hour ago?
One of the most annoying things about annoying habits is that they can be so small, but still drive you mad. Overtime you may find the list of annoying habits grow. It may not be that your spouse has added more irritating habits as years have gone by, but instead, a sign your "honeymoon period" is over.
Do you find that habits that used to be easy to put up with, now wind you up? Perhaps it is just me, but I find annoying habits frustrating on two level:
1. The habit itself
2, The inability to let it go and stop it from bothering you.
So what can be done about this common marriage problem? Is it important to address in marriage counseling sessions?
Before I answer these questions it is important to distinguish between annoying habits and annoying activities. Annoying habits I count in my marriage counseling as personal mannerisms which are done repeatedly and habitually without thought. These are different to annoying activities, as these are things your spouse deliberately thinks about and does. For example getting drunk, sports activities, smoking, personal exercise programs, gambling, shopping and over spending, late nights out or over sleeping. This is more independent behavior or a chosen behavioral pattern, it therefore requires a different kind of approach.
So is addressing annoying habits crucial to marital happiness?
Yes both behavioral patterns and annoying habits in couples therapy I cover. Because if something is negatively triggering one spouse that is not good for the marriage.
As we can sometimes feel that when our partner does something we have asked them not to, they are being deliberately inconsiderate, especially when we have already brought it up for the hundredth time and they still continue. If you are anything like me you will argue in your head - that it is not only the habit itself but the fact that they aren't thinking or caring about what I have said. Or that they never listen to me...
But when it is the other way round...
It's harder to accept... When our lover wants us to change we think - why can't they just get over it? Why can't they accept me as I am? Why can't they adjust? Why can't they leave me alone?
We need to address this in couples therapy if it's a source of tension. Through my work as a marriage transformation specialist, I have seen marriages breakdown and love destroyed because of annoying habits. As they can lead to the couple not wanting to be around each other anymore.
Sherya couldn't stand the way Nikhil made a sound when eating. Every meal time she would get really wound up and feel negative towards him. Sometimes it got to her so much, that she would strain her throat muscles, as she would tense up. She no longer wanted to sit with at meal times and made excuses to eat alone. She was angry at herself and him, every time she tried to not let it bother her - it got worse.
You have 2 options here
1. Change your annoyance, my hypnotherapy sessions here work wonders and are very popular for snoring.
2. Motivate the person with the habit to change.
All habits can be changed. At first new behaviors will seem uncomfortable, and strange. Nikhil agreed to eat differently but had no clue how to really do that, so I suggested he copied the way Sherya ate her food. They found this hilarious to teach and practice and couldn't stop laughing at dinner time. They even had me in fits of laughter when they reported their success during our next marriage counseling session.
Joking aside it was really about slowing down the way he ate. Sherya also avoided crunchy foods until he had adapted. Nikhil began to notice how his family ate like he used to and could empathize with his wife's wishes. Now they put on music when his family visit.
If your partner has an annoying habit, that is affecting you and how you feel about them, the following steps may help.
Relationship Counseling Step 1 Tell the truth
In a calm voice and relaxed manner be honest and tell your spouse what they are doing is annoying you. Don't bottle it up or lie about how you feel. Explain it is not them you want to change, just the habit.
Relationship Counseling Step 2 Commitment to change
In order for change to take place you must both be aware of the importance of resolving annoying habits. Recognizing that they can drive a wedge between you. Whilst they may seem small or insignificant to one person, overtime it can lead to you not wanting to be close.
Relationship Counseling Step 3 Work together
None of us likes to be criticized. Make sure you address the habit not attack each other's personality. Devise a solution together.
Relationship Counseling Step 4 Keep your sense of humor
Stop and ask yourself what is the funny side of this. How can we use this to connect and laugh together.
Relationship Counseling Step 5 Empathize
Empathy is SO important when it comes to improving a marriage. No matter what the problem is, try to put yourself in your spouse's shoes
Relationship Counseling Step 6 Be Patient
Old habits can be hard to stop, so be patient and don't expect miracles straight away. If you are changing a habit keep at it, experts say it takes 21 days to form a new habit.
If your habit is more than a personal mannerism and more similar to or an addictive behavior get support. All habits can be changed with the right approach.
Hope this helps have a great week ahead.
Nicola Beer
Marriage Transformation Specialist and Founder of Save My Marriage Program
I specialize in a proven 10 step program to help couples increase the love, passion and happiness in their marriage in 30 days or less…Guaranteed!
P.S Unsure if Your Marriage Can Be Saved? Get the FREE Quiz - Can My Marriage Be Saved? To find out, it addresses 30 marriage problems and looks at whether it's possible to save your marriage and what actions to take if you can. Take the QUIZ now www.savemymarriageprogram.com/quiz

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Author's Bio: 

Nicola Beer is an International Relationship & Divorce Coach who helps her clients find peace and create a new beginning after Marriage Breakdown and Divorce. This includes helping couples on the verge of a breakup to resolve their relationship issues once and for all, so that they can revive the love, passion, respect, and fun that's been missing.

As well as helping clients during and after Divorce to manage stress, create more income and adjust to new financial realities, redefine who they are, create a new social life, and when they are ready attract someone great. Nicola also runs 2 parenting programs that support children through and after divorce

Nicola has combined 11 years' experience helping people with emotional issues. This comprises 7 years private coaching and 4 years as a volunteer for the Samaritans where she supported callers dealing with any emotional distress. She is UK certified in Coaching, Grief Recovery for Adults and Children, NLP, Time Line Therapy, Hypnosis.

Nicola's passion to support people before, during and after divorce comes from her own childhood, where due to the stress of divorce her mother suffered a mental breakdown. As 1 of 5 children the divorce was devastating for her family and affected each of her family in different ways. More recently Nicola's older sister with 4 children is going through a difficult divorce. Having experienced and seen the pain and stress associated with divorce Nicola is focused on proving solutions. She knows divorce doesn't have to mean disaster and takes her clients and their children from surviving to thriving. She is equally passionate about saving marriages, so has a program to overcome relationship problems.

Nicola works with expats and locals, Muslims and Non-Muslims from all over the world, mainly from Dubai, London, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, either in person for a 2 day intensive package or further afield US, Australia via video conference and phone.