You’re Driving Me Crazy!
By Laura Snyder
Sure, those little obsessions and idiosyncrasies were cute when you first got together, but now if you see his wet towel on the floor just one more time, you think you might kill him.
Turns out there’s a reason you get so infuriated. According to researchers from Louisville University in Kentucky we become “allergic” to our partner’s annoying habits. And ignoring the problem even lead to divorce.
“We found that minor irritations that build up over time can result in one partner walking out on the relationship,” says research leader Michael Cunningham “Annoyances early in a relationship tend to produce a small negative reaction, but sensitivity increases when they are repeated.”
“Wet towels on the floor cause mild irritation,” he says. “But through repeated exposure it may produce a social allergy – a reactive on hypersensitive annoyance or disgust.”
It often isn’t until couples move in together that they realize just how endlessly frustrating their honey’s bad habits can be. Up until then, after all, they weren’t aware – or could just ignore – that their man was a remote-hogging slob around the house, or that she’s such a nag about doing the dishes the “right” way.
How to deal? Well, it’s not by trying to exert control over the behavior. Making threats is only going to put your partner on the defensive. Instead, push those wet towels off the chair, sit down and talk about the habit, how it makes you feel (you might want to leave out the “or I will kill you”s), and what can be done about it. It’s possible your partner has no idea how utterly maddening their behavior makes you.
While “talking it out” might seem like the clichéd solution, consider this: psychology experts say that some habits are part of a person’s defensive strategy or part of a deeper resentment and a way to get back at you.
So no matter how exasperated you are about those maddening habits , it’s probably easier to deal with than potential seething resentment and a bad breakup.
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