People often look at their spouse’s quirks and characteristics that make the other person hard to live with without taking a peak at their own qualities. Sometimes, it’s a good thing to ask yourself, “Am I hard to live with?” Gaining some insight into your on quirks can go a long way in helping you develop empathy for what your spouse has to put up with.
It’s also a good question to ask your spouse. Find out what sorts of things can make you hard to live with at times. You might be surprised to learn what sorts of things drive your spouse nuts.
Look at Your Characteristics
Perhaps you’re hot tempered. Or maybe you are really insecure. Or better yet, perhaps you are a control freak. These sorts of personality characteristics can certainly be hard to live. However, people who possess these sorts of qualities are often quick to point fingers at other people’s characteristics.
For example, someone who has trouble giving up control often views their spouse as “irresponsible.” They may say they have to keep everything under control because their spouse is so out of control when it comes to paying bills, making important decisions or arriving places on time.
So sometimes, it’s a matter of opinion as to who has the annoying characteristics. Trying to gain some insight into how your spouse views your quirks can help you to see the role you play in the relationship.
It’s important to gain some insight from your spouse about what sorts of characteristics your spouse finds difficult to deal with. It may not be that there’s anything wrong with you. Instead, it just might be that there
are some areas where you and are spouse are not all that compatible.
For example, if a husband values cleanliness but he marries someone who is only moderately concerned with being neat and tidy, they may have some issues. The husband may feel annoyed by his wife who can sit and watch TV while there are dishes in the sink.
Look at Your Spouse’s Characteristics
Looking at your spouse’s characteristics can help you gain some empathy. If you know your spouse has a lot of energy, and you prefer quiet low key activities like reading a book, recognize how difficult it must be for your
spouse when you don’t want to go hiking or do some other activities.
Instead of viewing one of you as right and the other as wrong, try to value some of your differences. Recognize those areas where you and your spouse have different opinions and personality styles and spend some time what it may be like for your spouse to deal with those differences.
Start a conversation with your spouse about those differences and how your spouse views things. For example, a wife who is very social may ask an introverted husband, “What’s it like for you when I invite large groups of people over?” Talking about these differences and learning how to respect those differences can prevent a lot of conflict.
Develop a Plan
Clearly, there will be areas where you and your spouse are different. A spouse doesn’t need to be your clone. Instead, a spouse should compliment you in many ways and sometimes, this means being opposites.
Take responsibility for some of the behaviors that may make you hard to live with. Although you don’t need to change your entire personality or become a new person, consider whether or not there are small changes you are willing to make. For example, if you live with someone who likes a neat house and you tend to be a little on the messier side, agree to close the cupboard doors and put your shoes away. These little changes may go a long way in making you easier to live with.
Work together to develop a plan that recognizes your differences. Try to avoid becoming defensive or placing any blame on who is right and who is wrong. Instead, try to remain objective and make a list of some of the areas where you differ.
Then discuss what you can do to deal with these differences without trying to change one another. See if there are ways to compromise and negotiate. Consider if there are behaviors you are willing to change to make things easier for your spouse.
If you struggle to come to any conclusions, consider talking a professional. Sometimes, anger and resentment can build over what start out as small issues, such as chores around the house, if they aren’t dealt with. Talking to a marriage counselor can help you find ways to resolve your differences and make you less difficult to live with.