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Automated irritation

May 18, 2011

A Great Idea…

“So many heartaches could be prevented if couples gave each other the benefit of the doubt or simply paused to get more information. When you have a strong reaction to an everyday event your first response should be: ‘Hold on, let me listen and hear [my partner’s] side.’” (Marriage experts, Patricia Love and Steven Stosny, in their book, How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. p. 138)

In Other Words…

We all jump to conclusions at times. We all react to a partner’s words or actions as if they were a personal attack.  This tendency in human reacting leaves us thinking the worst of our partners. Then we say or do things that irritate them. The fight is on. If we would only hit the pause button when we’re irritated! If we would take the time to understand our partner’s point of view, we could save both ourselves and our partners a lot of pain. We might even find common ground and mutual appreciation.

How This Applies to You…

Next time your partner irritates you, stop yourself. Don’t react. Take a moment to understand why your partner said or did what he/she did. Rather than argue or accuse, try to find out more about your partner’s point of view. Try to understand AND show compassion.

To Find Out More…

For an excellent (and free!) program on marriage, see The Marriage Garden at Arkansas Families (

For more in-depth reading, we recommend How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking about It by Patricia Love and Steven Stosny or The Marriage Garden by H. Wallace Goddard and James P. Marshall.

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