If your partner does something that upsets you, you need to speak up about how you feel immediately — without yelling. Therein lies the problem for a lot of people.
It’s hard to express what you feel in the moment that it’s happening. You may not want to cause a scene or start an argument, of course, overreacting by raising your voice is never effective. Or you may just not realize yet that it bothered you. However, if you find yourself ruminating about it and your feelings are starting to fester you will begin behaving badly if you keep those ill feelings to yourself.
You may get quiet and withdraw, or get irritable and lash out, or you may become passive aggressive and just stop being thoughtful or caring toward your partner. Unfortunately, your partner will have no idea why. He or she can’t read your mind. But she will recognize that something is wrong. Her mind will start racing to figure out why, and she’ll start feeling negative about you. All the while the distance between you will keep growing.
That is why you need to calmly express with “I” statements what you’re feeling, as soon as you recognize that it’s bothering you. We teach people how to treat us. If you never speak up about something you don’t like it will continue to happen — and continue to upset you. But when you confidently express what you don’t like or want you teach your partner how you need to be treated. Assuming your partner loves you he wants to make you happy. He does want to know how he can do that. You need to help him.
The best way to keep a relationship happy and healthy is to have great communication. What does that entail? The bottom line is expressing your wants and needs calmly and effectively in a way that inspires your partner to accommodate you. Of course, I realize in the heat of any moment that’s easier said than done. Just make sure you don’t allow time to make things worse between you.