There is so much happening around us now. Your children are driving you crazy. They are bored and just want to get out and do things. Working from home is getting really frustrating with the kids, lack of structure, and difficulty finding the time or space. Or maybe you don’t even have work now. Your husband is much more irritable than normal. YOU are much more irritable than normal. You know you are taking things out on one another but you don’t know how to stop. He is just being so annoying!
Maybe your marriage is looking like this lately:
You are doing your best to get some normalcy going during this crazy time we are in. Trying to get the kids involved in different activities, cleaning, cooking etc etc. You are also giving the kids more access to screen time now. Feeling guilty but it’s all just too much. You recognize that he is going through his own thing right now. With work being placed on hold he is going through his own version of freak out. But the last thing you are needing is another child right now.
When you ask him something or request that he do something in the house he gets irritable. Like he has so much going on. He is caught up in his mind. And he is taking it out on you! You then get irritable back at him. And you two are going through this downward cycle that you don’t know how to get out of.
Yes, this is a stressful time for you and your marriage and you know that it is temporary but you can’t help but feel an immense amount of frustration, irritability, and even anger.
Please know that there are things YOU CAN do to make it better. It’s about making a decision to make a change for yourself. You aren’t making the change for him per se. Although your internal growth and change will help him, the purpose is to make it better for you first and foremost. Then the whole family will benefit as a result.
Here are my “what to do’s” when your husband is getting on your nerves!
What to do ONE: Slow down the roller coaster of thoughts in your mind
Our minds can take us for a loop. We go into a cycle around all the overwhelm and this can lead you to think thoughts that are not serving. Things like “he just doesn’t care” or “He does nothing to help.” As a result, we then feel more frustrated and thoughts then cycle more and more into not the best of places.
Try to catch this cycle. Some ways to do so would be recognizing what your trigger situations are, what your automatic thoughts (thoughts that happen instinctively right after), and then pay attention to what direction these thoughts go. Having this level of awareness will help you be able to have control over this cycle that is happening and ultimately have more control over your mood in general. Make sure to journal to get out what’s on your mind to help break it all down. It’s helpful to write down the thoughts that are coming up for you so you can expand your awareness and start working towards challenging the negative self talk cycle.
At Simi Psychological Group, our team of therapists and psychologists, make it a priority to help our clients build internal awareness and become attuned to the thoughts they are having. Through anxiety treatment, depression therapy, or marriage counseling, we help our clients identify the cycle. In therapy sessions together we do exercises with our clients to help them recognize this in their day to day lives and as it is coming up in the moment.
What to do TWO: Ask yourself what do you feel behind the irritability? What does he feel behind it? Identify the REAL STUFF not just what’s on the surface.
There are the surface level things that come up like “why doesn’t he spend more time with the kids” or “all he thinks about are those stupid cars.” The reality is when we think those things and become irritable we are really feeling something way bigger. When we are able to access what we truly feel underneath it becomes way more manageable. The underneath are things like “I feel that I am alone and it scares me” and “I really want him to want me.” On the flip side of the coin, it is essential that you really think about what he actually feels. When he becomes angry because there are toys all over the floor, maybe he really feels “I am feeling out of control with all the changes. My house even feels unbalanced. This is really hard.”
Once you are able to identify the underlying bigger picture stuff of what you feel and what he feels, you have something to work with. This will give you a solid place to communicate and share with him what you feel.
But honestly way more importantly than sharing what you feel is to truly get where he is coming from in how he feels. The reason why this is more important is when we learn to truly understand and express their deeper fears and worries then they feel understood. He will have much more room to connect with you on how you feel. And voila here is where the change and connection truly happens.
As a psychologist, In couples therapy, I work with couples in identifying and connecting to the REAL STUFF rather than getting stuck on all the content around it. We do this during the session and I help them with strategies to do so on a regular basis. This is like a muscle that we need to build. Once you start building strength you have so much power to use that muscle in ways that are truly rewarding in your marriage.
What to do THREE: Go about things differently and reignite intimacy
So the last thing maybe you want to do now is touch, connect and kiss your husband. Honestly, he’s getting on your last nerve, why would you want to? Here’s why- when you go about things differently you get different results. Going about things in the same old way leads to no change. You may want to see what it’s like to reignite the spark in your marriage. When is the last time you had sex? Is that something you may consider? I know that when we are in the midst of feeling irritable towards our husbands sex may be the last thing on our mind. But….. Could you allow yourself to put aside all the resentment and connect again? What could that do to your marriage and maybe your nerves? And if don’t want to consider sex, what about holding hands?
Living your life in an opposite/different way allows you to let go of resentment and anger for a given moment and connect which can open the door for a different type of connection and will ultimately help with your nerves.
In marriage counseling in Simi Valley, Ca, we make sure to help couples connect in different ways. It is essential to be talking about sex and intimacy using sex therapy because couples that are not connected in this way have much more irritability and frustration towards one another. We also help couples truly understand what is underneath it all and respond from a giving rather than receiving place.
What to do FOUR: Vent to a friend who does get it
Sometimes we need the support of our friends to help us deal with all the irritability we are feeling. Having a safe place to let it out allows you to potentially channel all those nerves in a more productive way and less towards your partner. Ultimately, this friend can be someone that you ask to have them help you see the deeper things and understand your feelings as well as your husbands better.
Ultimately you don’t want to be keeping all that you are feeling and going through in your mind. Reach out for support to help you get through the nerves and irritability. And try to choose the friends that you share with that will not only agree and be angry with you but that will help you see things from a new perspective.
What to do FIVE: Get in some much needed alone time
With all that is happening now it’s hard to have that much needed YOU TIME. Time away from the overwhelm of the state of the world, caring for our children, and keeping up with work/home etc. Having time where you can DO YOU is much needed right now. Whether that’s meditation (I love headspace, just saying, it’s worth a try!), reading a good book, or taking a much needed nap you need to make sure you are taking care of you. This will open up to having more space to deal with the irritable moments and develop more patience towards your husband.
When you change things around to prioritize you, you are sending yourself a message of “I matter.” This message will help you give yourself that validation and reassurance that you feel is missing from your husband. This can change everything. It can give you more space to see what we were talking about before in being able to better understand what is underneath your husband’s rants.
In therapy with my clients, I emphasize the importance of self-care. We discuss how to implement this in their daily life and make sure to live by a NO EXCUSE philosophy. You don’t want to live life by excusing why you don’t matter enough. This will lead to a resentment and a definite disconnect with your husband. P.S. Check out our 13 apps to help with your mental health here!
What to do SIX: Use this time as an opportunity to grow in your marriage
Okay, so we need to ask ourselves a big question. If during all this craziness that is happening now, if I am able to soothe these nerves, and get myself to a good place, then “what can’t I do?” It’s a real question to ask yourself. When we are able to connect during the hardest of times then you are truly able to dig deep and make a big change that will carry with you into the future.
If you know that your marriage is on the rocks, do consider online marriage counseling. You know that you want things to change, because it’s really not working right now. You are frustrated and annoyed and you see how it’s affecting your mental health. It’s time to make a choice to do things differently. Because when you continue to do the same you know things won’t change. Work on making these WHAT TO DO’S a part of your daily habits. It’s actually quite hard to make these transitions because we do what is in our comfort zone. It’s time to try different and feel better about our marriage.
Simi Psychological group is here to help. We are working with a lot of couples now to help them through this stressful time. And not just survive their marriage but thrive and grow in their marriage. Contact us today and see how online therapy can help strengthen your marriage.
I’m a licensed clinical psychologist who empowers people to work through the roadblocks that are holding them back and find meaning and purpose in their lives.I specialize in working with anxiety and in helping adolescents and their families, adults, and couples better their relationships and find direction. Rather than shy away from the tough stuff in life, I prefer to face it head-on, together. I believe that challenges are part of being human and that everyone has the potential to become their own life’s navigator. So they never have to feel out of control or at the mercy of their circumstances. Learn more
At our Simi Valley therapy practice, we offer Child therapy and family counseling, Teen therapy, Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Neuropsychological Testing. We are now offering online therapy in Ventura County and online therapy in Los Angeles for most services.