A friend of mine loves her husband. She knows he’s a good man overall, and a good father. He doesn’t have any glaring issues — no addictions, no affairs, no spending problems — but sometimes, she tells me, “I don’t like my husband.” What bothers her? It’s the little things: the way he makes a lot of noise while he’s getting ready in the morning and she’s still sleeping; the way he turns on the charm for his friends and co-workers, but retreats when her family and friends are around, and the way he slurps his coffee.
Sure, she can tackle each of these points separately, but they all really boil down to the fact that she doesn’t like him when he acts that way. Here are 5 things you can do when you feel like screaming, “I love you, but I don’t like you right now.”
Change your attitude.
The old idiom “familiarity breeds contempt” has been around a long time because it’s true. The longer we’re with someone, the more opportunity we have to see their good parts and their bad parts. So it’s only natural that the man you see more than any other will get on your nerves. So try to let the little things go and focus on what you’re thankful for about your husband.
The longer we’re with someone, the more opportunity we have to see their good parts and their bad parts.
Decide what’s non-negotiable.
For the things that are a big deal, don’t brood about them in silence. Your husband can’t change unless you give him the courtesy of telling him what’s bothering you. Before you talk to him about the ‘biggies,’ consider how you’ll approach him. Start by telling him how you feel and be careful not to begin by pointing a finger at him.
Recognize your own shortcomings.
In the naive early stages of my marriage, I thought that while my husband had habits and idiosyncrasies that bothered me, surely there couldn’t be anything about me that bothered him. Uh…wrong. Everyone has quirks and tendencies that can be annoying. We all also have areas of struggles. Rather than zeroing in on your husband’s shortcomings, be aware of your own. Think about how he cuts you slack and try to return the favor.
If you’ve started comparing your husband to other men and that’s the main reason he’s moved into your People I Don’t Like Column, break that habit. Not many husbands, or wives, can withstand the scrutiny of comparison.
Ok, maybe you’re in a strong “I don’t like my husband” phase. When you’re stuck here, try the ‘act as if’ method. Act like you like him. Choose to love him via your actions. Be kind to him, at the very least, because he’s a person who is probably doing the best he can. Lovingly help him in his role as a husband and father. If you do choose to approach him about the reasons why you don’t like him, do it lovingly.
You can also look over this list of 99 things you might be thankful for about your husband to start liking him more.
What do you do when you don’t like your husband?