Everyone has some small habits that are bound to drive the people closest to them a little batty. It may be the foot tapping that never ends or perhaps it’s the talking loudly when all you want is peace and quiet. Human differences are a part of life and we can either embrace them or allow them to irritate us endlessly. Typically, we can just accept that the individual does things differently than us and move on. It’s not as simple as that if the person who is feeling that irritation is your wife and it’s stemming from your behavior. At first, it may seem like her irritation with you is just a passing phase but if it’s continual and it’s undermining the very foundation of your marriage, attention is needed now. You have to remedy this before it becomes so out of hand that you begin to resent your wife or she becomes so bothered by those small irritations that she decides that living with you isn’t working for her anymore.
When a man tells his friends, “my wife is irritated with me all the time,” he’s going to get a lot of “I know what you feel” in response. It’s common in many marriages for the wife to reach a point where she becomes annoyed by some of the habits her husband has. The important thing to understand is that even though it’s common and your male friends may be able to commiserate with you over the fact that all wives seem to never be satisfied, it’s much more serious and far-reaching than that.
Even though at the surface it may appear that the problem is that your wife is irritated with you all the time, it’s much more about an underling issue with the relationship. There is something going on between you and your wife that is causing her to lash out at you. Perhaps it does wear away at her patience that you don’t pick your dirty socks up off the floor, but if she’s nags you about it daily, chances are good that she’s using that as a weapon for an entirely different conflict.
I’m a woman and I can tell you without reservation that we are masters at holding a grudge. A woman can typically hold onto emotional pain for months, if not years. All of the complaining about the things that irritate you may be your wife’s way of dealing with the disappointment, frustration and confusion she’s feeling over something else.
If there’s been any conflict between you two that hasn’t been fully resolved, that’s very likely the source of your wife’s dissatisfaction. The reason she’s irritated with you all the time is she’s absorbing the pain from that particular conflict and then releasing it towards you, all guns blazing. She’ll actually look for things to complain about in an effort to make you feel even a fraction of the emotional pain she is.
So what’s the best way to handle this so it doesn’t become so out of hand that you’re staring at divorce papers? Talk to your wife. Try and rise above the disparaging comments she’s throwing your way and look to the inner good that lives within her. You know it’s there. Try and see her behavior as simply a vehicle for her pain. Explain to your spouse that you want to get back to the loving place you two used to be and you want to help her if she’s feeling any anger over something that you’ve done or said to her. By doing this you’ll be opening the door for her to talk with you about what she’s feeling. You’ll be acknowledging that you recognize that there’s a problem between the two of you that needs careful and compassionate attention.
By being the thoughtful and loving husband even in the face of her endless irritation, you’ll move your marriage to a healthier place for you both. Never forget that women and men do absorb things differently and do handle their emotions in very different ways. By seeing past her irritation with you to the root of the problem, you’ll be giving your marriage a fighting chance.