Think of someone who pushes your buttons. Big time. Just the thought of this person is enough to elevate your blood pressure levels. We all have such "personalities" in our lives.
At the workplace.
In our neighborhood.
In our family.
In our bed, even.
Yes, oftentimes our intimate relationships are the most challenging ones. Guess why. Because this person is in the best place to teach you the lessons you most need to learn in Earth school. It could be patience, letting go of control issues, anger management or learning to step into your own power.
Ask me. I know all about it.
I can exhibit the patience of a saint with the seniors in my weekly group, my uber-hyper friend, the sullen checkout clerk, even the neighbor who goes out of her way to ignore me.
And then I come home. A casual remark from my husband is all it takes for the claws to come out. That is the moment I need to remember to breathe, to count to ten, to take a time-out.
My husband has a "personality"; and, he is a "soul." In his human form, he carries baggage--as all of us do. His woundedness and personal pain sometimes cause him to say and do things that are not entirely loving.
His "soul" is pure, complete, needs nothing, knows only to give and receive love. When he triggers me, or I him, it is our wounded self that emerges. This is the defensive, undeveloped, unhealed "little boy" or "little girl" inside us.
To learn to look past this self and through to the person's soul takes practice. Here are a few suggestions that will help retrain your brain:
 Carry a girlhood/boyhood photo of your significant other in your purse. This could be a picture of them when they were five or six years old. When you feel wounded by an unkind remark and want to lash out, pause. Pull out this picture, look at it, and tell yourself that it is the wounded child talking.
 Imagine a badly-behaved cat/dog living inside your partner. It is a bit like a pet that doesn’t always listen. It is this animal that comes out and behaves badly when they act in a fashion that’s less than desirable. And the animal in you wants to fight back.
 Think of your partner as having a conscious Wise Self. This self goes into hiding when the “unconscious” self emerges and causes chaos. Silently, invite the Wise Self to take over. You can do this by imagining your angry/resentful/sulking/shutdown partner surrounded by a peaceful white light. Or visualize his heart chakra as a pure center of love and peace.
These practices are like working a muscle. With training, they will come more easily and you will remember to use their power. Remind yourself of them in situations. Then follow the suggestion that most appeals to you when you find yourself in challenging situations. Begin to see the difference in how differently you engage with each other.

Author's Bio: 

Uma Girish is a certified dream coach, hospice volunteer, speaker and author of "Understanding Death: 10 Ways to Inner Peace for the Grieving." She conducts workshops and coaching programs. Uma writes a grief blog and also does a weekly radio show called The Grammar of Grief. Visit for a FREE report on "3 Easy Ways to Find Your Passion Following A Loss."