No Longer Liking Your Spouse Isn't Necessarily The End Of The Road

When you first meet your partner, chances are the adrenaline of connecting with someone new feels like a wonderful rush. When butterflies are flapping, and the thrill of a new relationship is overwhelmingly fun, it is common to have negative traits overshadowed by the excitement of the connection. As your relationship progresses, some undesirable traits will inevitably emerge for you and your partner. These things would have never made the light of day in the early days of new love.


Some negative traits that ease their way into our relationships and annoy our partners could range from too much negativity, self-centered behavior, embarrassing conduct, being too silent in public, and being demanding of our time and energy. When these negative traits appear, it can be hard to ignore them and move on. The good news is that they do not have to mean your relationship is doomed. There are specific things you can do to save your union and live a happier life with your mate.

Recognize you cannot change them

As soon as you recognize resentment starting to build, do not ignore it. This is a sign that you need to have a conversation to address the negative feelings that have been arising about the person closest to you. The first step is acknowledging that you cannot change your spouse or partner; they are who they are. For certain behaviors to change, they will need to self-reflect on their own.


Knowing that you cannot change your partner can be frustrating. Instead of focusing on that, decide what you can do to change your reactions to the irritating behavior. If you begin to put effort into altering your conduct and responses, this may inspire your partner to do some soul-searching for what they can change about themselves to be less upsetting to live with. A compromise between the two of you may be what you need to keep your home happy.

Focus on the positive

If you've been experiencing negative feelings toward your partner lately, it may make it difficult to remember what you were attracted to when you first met each other. If you find yourself stuck in a negative loop, stop what you are doing and shift your focus to what you love about your partner. It could be something simple, like how they make your coffee or something more intense, like how they support you in your career endeavors. No matter where you start, this mindset shift will help you replace your negative thoughts with the positive traits you appreciate about your partner.


In addition to shifting your thinking, tell your spouse what you love about them. Replace conversations that usually aid criticism and sarcasm with honest compliments about the great things they bring to your house, relationship, and life. Sometimes your partner needs to be reminded of what you love about them so they feel your relationship is salvageable.

Communicate honestly

If you decide to work on your relationship, that means working on yourself and being honest about your conduct as well. To have a shift in how things are going between you, you both need to do some soul-searching and some listening. When communicating with your spouse openly and genuinely, think about what you are going to say before you get into the conversation with them. Once you begin the conversation, make eye contact and actively listen when they speak. This shows respect for your spouse and may encourage those feelings you may have lost to come back to you.


Keep integrity at the forefront when discussing how to best proceed with your relationship, and leave behind any sarcasm or passive-aggressive statements used to hurt the other person. If you are communicating honestly, you both need to feel safe to be vulnerable. This is the best environment for real work to begin.

Make room for fun

When you decide to prioritize your relationship with your partner, it can be easy to forget that doing life together is supposed to be fun. Ask yourself what you used to do with your partner that made you laugh out loud or enjoy your time together. Consider trying to recreate a first date or attempting something new with your spouse to keep things fresh. If you always go out to dinner, consider going to a comedy club, trying a new skill together, or getting away for a quick vacation.


Another option is to spend quality time with each other without spending a dime. Simply walking with each other and having easy and authentic conversations is all a couple needs to get to the heart of what makes your relationship work. Consider walking to a forest path, beachfront, or mountain view area. Adding a little nature into your routine will help ease stress and reinvigorate your energy for this relationship renewal.

Set boundaries

In most cases, relationships can heal and grow with a bit of attention and effort, but there are some situations where the problems are deeper. When discussing how to proceed with your relationship, make sure you have established some definitive boundaries for yourself. Once you decide what you'll allow and live with, communicate your boundaries with your significant other. Explain how you expect them to honor your boundaries if progress can be made.


Finally, many couples find success after seeking couples counseling. Sometimes, it takes an unbiased observer to help you work through issues. If you are both from a growth mindset, so much can be saved with energy of this kind. However, if your relationship has become mentally, verbally, or physically abusive, this is not a situation where you need to stay. If you are unsafe, make sure to seek the help available to you in your area.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support on their website.