ns Still Love You, yet I Don’t always Like you

carry out you feel annoyed, aggravated, offended, or exasperated by these behaviors?

posted November 30, 2018


If friend have been in an intimate relationship for a duration of time, this expression can feel familiar. Ns hear it regularly from plenty of of the struggling couples I watch in my practice. They are still in love, yet they don’t favor some of your partner’s behaviors, and also those reactions are increasing. Castle realize the the cumulative results of those irritating habits are start to take precedence as well often, and also they want help to adjust them.

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They call me that, previously on, the great parts of their connection seemed to easily compensate because that the negatives, however are now start to outweigh the positives. The partner still feel fondness, passion, devotion, security, and also closeness most of the time, yet they are involved that some of the points they say or perform are irritating every other much more often 보다 they used to. Castle love each other, but they don’t like plenty of of the things the various other says and also does.

When their love was new, lock realize currently that they frequently melded their feelings of “like” and also “love,” due to the fact that they seemed so comparable when their initial enthusiasm overwhelmed them. Possibly they didn’t desire to watch at any kind of behaviors that can have challenged their early stage rapture. Concentrating on their common dreams, magnetic sexual connection, or society networks were much higher priorities.

Many couples I’ve worked with have told me the very same thing. They merely didn’t realize that their love feelings in the direction of each other were eclipsing those actions that were subtly irritating. The “dislikes” the were accumulating were no on your radar. Over time, castle became aware that these negative behaviors and the reactions that accompanied them had been growing, and their hopeful interactions to be no longer compensating as well. Castle knew on some level that they were experiencing more irritations and were taking longer to heal from them, yet they kept putting their awareness aside.

If one of two people you or your partner is feeling also often much more “un-likable to the other,” even if your love still feels greatly secure, you deserve to avoid irreversible damages if you face what is going on. You need to have the ability to honestly call each various other what think or actions may be bring about those reactions and how friend can change them. The sooner you deserve to transform or erase those behaviors, the better chance you have to rescue your love native future damage.

In the adhering to exercises, you and also your companion will first strengthen your love foundation and then begin sharing her “dislikes” with each other. Due to the fact that you are likely to confront some distress as soon as you do the latter, particularly if girlfriend haven’t open minded talked around them before, you’ll go with the exercises v that sensitivity to each other in mind.

As friend proceed, you may discover yourselves altering the exercise instances to to the right the uniqueness of your own relationship. But you decide to affix in this new way, don’t sirloin the process. The exercises will certainly be much more effective if girlfriend take the moment to carry out them slowly and also with common devotion come the goal.

If either of you feel, at any type of time throughout the process, that your love foundation is wavering, you may decide to avoid for a while and also continue as soon as you room emotionally reconnected. Take the time to recommit to the things you do love about each other before continuing. You won’t be able to resolve the issue at your disposal until you feel better.

The first Exercise: What i Like around You

Write a letter come your companion that describes his or her positive personality characteristics, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, attitudes, opinions, quirks, mysteries, and also physical qualities that you truly like. These can be things you’ve already stated in the past, but also those that you’ve assumed in her head, yet not shared before.

Be certain to add examples if you think they will provide your comments much more depth or understanding. Recount any type of experiences with humor, passion, appreciation, and also value. Whatever makes your partner much better able to understand precisely what you average will much better enable them to experience precisely what you mean.

When you space done, wait for a time as soon as there is no pressure and also a tenderness environment, and also then read your “What i Like about You” list aloud to your partner. Make sure that you offer him or her whatever length that time necessary to enable a full an answer to each of her expressions.

If did you do it taken the time to do this exercise in depth, you will certainly surely view positive indications of evaluation in her partner. That is not unusual for ours partner, also when you’ve been with each other for a lengthy time, to feel an ext secure in her love ~ hearing what girlfriend like about him or her.

Some partners choose to both perform this practice simultaneously. If you decision to monitor suit, you might get even much more out the the practice if friend exchange one “like” at a time, quite than reading the whole list first or second.

Before you take the next step, guarantee one one more that you will certainly listen without defensiveness, invalidation, or an obstacle when you carry out the 2nd exercise. Hearne to points your partner dislikes about you is no easy, even when you’ve agreed come listen.

The second Exercise: What i Don’t Like about You

Make certain you and your partner are ready and willing to begin the following exercise. Be certain that you both agree come stop and also renew her caring feelings for each other if things start to obtain out that hand, or one of two people of friend feels over-loaded. Remember, you can do only component of this in ~ a time. That is an important that you stay open and also receptive to whatever your partner needs to phone call you. The goal is come listen and then procedure what one of two people of you needs to perform to readjust the actions that are bring about distress.

On this brand-new list, you room going come tell your partner, or each other, the think or actions i beg your pardon are beginning to stay on each of you and also which, if not identified and changed, might erode your capacity to recover from them.

The best method I have discovered for partners to connect these potentially damaging actions is to different them right into the complying with four categories:

1. Behaviors That may Be merely Annoying

The items on this list are usually things that your partner does which are rather irritating in the moment, however soon shed their an unfavorable charge as you’re able come reconnect v each other in much more positive ways. They don’t seem come “add up” over time, so friend don’t have to be also worried about them, unless they start to stroked nerves you more.

As girlfriend go with the following list, usage the instances to aid you include to or change them because that those that are distinctive to her relationship. Many couples respond come these kinds of just annoying habits without disagreement and also do not feel too many offended through them. They might even find them funny. But again, over time, those sort-of-okay reactions have the right to turn more negative if the actions continue. Identify them once they are easier to let walk of can avoid an ext damaging outcomes in the future.

Typical examples of stroked nerves behaviors:

Not instead of the toilet paperUsing her toothbrush there is no consentNot remembering to inform you of non-critical messagesLeaving ingredient aroundNodding off watching TVForgetting to revolve off the lights

2. Behaviors That begin to Feel an ext Aggravating

The complying with sample behaviors are much more upsetting and also may take much longer for her reactions to them come subside. Castle may often be irritating girlfriend sooner 보다 they supplied to, and the results are certainly harder to shake. If you or your companion are behaving in aggravating ways, you will find yourselves much more reactive come those actions as soon as they happen, and also your negative responses will be both stronger and also last longer.

Typical instances of aggravating behaviors:

Leaving apparel on the floorContinuously interruptingForgetting something importantProcrastinatingImpatienceNot being available when request or needed

3. Actions That Are beginning to Offend

Your partner’s expressions and actions are currently really obtaining to you. You finding yourself anticipating them and also getting functioned up in ~ the first sign the they might be around to happen. Her reactions room immediate, her responses a tiny terse, and the impacts of those habits don’t quickly go away. You feel an build-up of distress and also an aversion come being about your partner once they behave in these ways.

Typical instances of attack behaviors:

Continuous naggingFocusing on her mistakesConstant negativityBreaking promisesDoing things behind your backBeing chronically late

4. Actions That have the right to Be Exasperating

These habits now “drive girlfriend crazy.” You’re start to feel allergic to them, even slightly nauseated once they occur. At the first moment you feeling they are around to happen, you space instantly irritated and also combat-ready. You’ve probably told her partner many times that his or her methods of gift are substantially upsetting you, yet the noxious actions have no diminished and leave you frustrated, reactive, and disgusted.

If you or your partner get to this level that dislike, your hopeful feelings because that each other will quickly diminish, and also your love for each various other will eventually be can not to compensate. You’ll recognize you room close as soon as it is acquiring harder and harder to let go of her distressed state or move beyond what you room feeling. You know that your resilience is waning, and also that girlfriend feel much more consistently upset.

Typical instances of exasperating behaviors:

Picking fights v you or rather you treatment aboutConsistent underminingDoing the contrary of what girlfriend asked forOver-controllingInvalidating her thoughts or feelingsIgnoring youUnilaterally breaking agreementsUsing shared resources without your agreement

Remember to include or replace these instances as they apply to your very own relationship. If friend do should relabel, you re welcome make specific that the initial categories begin with those that space minor and move up the range to those that can be more cumulatively damaging.

It’s additionally important to realize the what appears a dislike come you might not it is in to your partner, or vice versa. That doesn’t matter if the partner who is behaving in a harmful way doesn’t median to reason distress. The is what the partner on the other finish feels the counts.

Remember that when you share her dislike list with your partner, you take treatment to not interrupt defend, invalidate, or respond to their thoughts or feelings. You will market the same once it is her partner’s rotate to share their list v you. These exercises will aid you to understand each other much better and come rebalance your partnership towards much more positive interactions.

Though neither of you can legislate the transforms you want, you can make it clean to one one more how vital they room to you. That is up to each of girlfriend to treatment enough for the other to do every little thing you can to eliminate what is leading to distress.

Please it is in patient with each other. Plenty of couples, also when they take on these practice willingly and also with the ideal of intentions, often take a little while to put new behavioral alters in place. It’s just person nature to have an obstacle letting go of created patterns, yet they will certainly respond to practice.

Also note that your present “likes” and “dislikes” may change over the food of her relationship. Good relationship partners store each other informed when brand-new data comes in and also renew their efforts to do whatever they deserve to to ensure their love will continue to be intact.


Randi Gunther, Ph.D.

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, is a clinical psychologist and marriage counselor practicing in southern California.




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