When You Feel Irritated with Your Partner

IMG_3716“He irritates me all the time. How can he be a good match if I’m constantly annoyed?”

At first things were great with my girlfriend and everything flowed smoothly between us. But now all she has to do is laugh and I want to jump out of my skin. I guess she’s not the one for me.”

If we take relationship irritation at face value, we’ll likely fall into the dominant cultural message system that says, “If you’re that irritated, you’re probably with the wrong person. Love should have more flow and ease than this.” But, as you may know from following my work, I don’t take anything at face value. Provided you’re in a good, loving relationship, I’m interested in what lies beneath the surface. I’m interested in viewing reactions – like irritation or anxiety – as symptoms that point to thoughts, beliefs, feelings, or actions inside of you that need attention.

So let’s dissect the underlying components that lead to relationship irritation:

1. It’s part of being human.

There’s an element to irritation that’s simply part of being human. If you spend too much time with one person, even your most favorite person on the planet, you will likely start to feel irritated after a while. When my clients tell me that they’re worried because they feel irritated with their partner at times, I ask, “Do you feel irritated with anyone else in your life?” and they invariably smile and respond affirmatively. Not allowing for occasional irritation in an intimate relationship is setting yourself up against an unrealistic expectation.

That said, the more sensitive you are the more easily irritated you’ll feel around others. If you’re a highly sensitive person, you’re more attuned to gestures and behaviors that, for whatever reason, sit with you the wrong way and can even rub against the inner lining of your skin like nails on a chalkboard. It’s a real practice to learn how to breathe through that irritation, especially when it feels like a volcanic eruption inside, without saying anything or acting it out in any way. Over time you’ll discover that the less energy you give it, the less irritated you’ll feel. Growing your tolerance threshold is often the work for the highly sensitive person.

2. Irritation is a manifestation of fear.

Irritation is often a way to keep your partner a safe distance. A client shares her awareness of how irritation was keeping her boyfriend at arm’s length:

I remember early in my relationship with my boyfriend, he used to talk in a silly, playful voice. I felt so irritated and horrible things would go through my mind like, “He’s so lame. Why does he do this?” And then one day something loosened up inside and I started to play along with him. It was so much more fun to join him instead of to judge him! Since that day, talking in voices has become one of our favorite ways to play and has provided countless hours of silliness, closeness, and fun. 

My client made a conscious choice to “loosen up” inside, which really means letting go of control. Even if you don’t understand why you have walls up, you can still make a conscious choice to move toward your partner at exactly the moment when he or she is irritating you the most – to join instead of judge. And the more the fear walls come down, the more the irritation will naturally lessen.

3. It’s a reflection of your own self-judgement.

If you’re intolerant of your own quirks and foibles and you hold yourself to an unrealistic standard of polished perfection, you’ll inevitably project that self-judgement onto others, especially your partner. So when your partner tells a goofy joke that you just don’t find funny, instead of smiling along with him or enjoying that he finds it funny, you feel irritated and withdraw. Your inner commentary may sound like this: “Why can’t he be more cool and smooth? Why does he have to tell lame jokes?”

Wrapped up in this judgement of him is not only your own self-judgment but also, quite likely, your propensity to care what others think. You may have learned early in life that to be liked you had to “be cool”, so anyone who isn’t “cool” grates up against your deeply internalized, although unhealthy, value system. When you can soften into these hardened places and allow yourself to just be, you will soften toward your partner as well.

4. Irritation is an indication that you haven’t had enough time for yourself.

Imagine that inside of you lives a Well of Self. When this well is healthfully full, you feel a sense of calmness and balance. We fill the well through being loving to ourselves in thoughts, feelings, and actions. The well can become depleted when any of these areas are neglected.

But the well can also overflow with “too much”: too much time with others, too much time at work, too much attention poured into someone else. When we direct too much energy outward, we lose the sense of spaciousness that defines well-being. And that’s when irritation ensues. So if you can see your irritation as a sign that you need to take some space to fill your well with nourishment, you will return to the situation with more space inside and your irritation will naturally diminish.

As always, when you approach your irritation with curiosity and openness – instead of self-judgment or as a sign that there’s something “wrong” – truly interested in what the message encased inside of it may be, you’ll be taking the first essential steps toward transforming it into something softer and kinder.

50 comments to When You Feel Irritated with Your Partner

  • Gerry

    Hello Sheryl,
    I’m struggling with this right now. Butfeel like I’ve always judged him. Like I loved him, and I was connected with him, but I look at him sometimes and thing “He’s kind of getting fat” or “What did he say that, he sounds like a loser”.

    I recently went from being super busy to having nothing to do. It was mostly during this time, (thought I had building doubts and anger) I got so disconnected from my boyfriend of three years, and my my anxiety made me feel completely disconnected from him. Part of this was “I kinda wanna spend some time alone, but he’s off work right now, and I’m going to have to spend a lot of time with him”, and then I started to dread that. I also feel like have a lot of anger towards him right now. I’m seeing a counselor (actually two), but they are focusing on things outside the relationship, and it’s making me really frustrated, because I want to know what’s going on, relationships are fragile and I don’t have all the time in the world to figure this out. Everyone in my family is saying I’m stressed about going through a major transition in my life–> finding a new job, and finishing university and decided what I want to do with me life, and that it’s not my boyfriend, which makes sense, but also makes me really angry, because I feel like it is, and I looks back at our fights and it makes me mad. I also have a feeling that I’m young and need to get out their and experience more relationships, more flirting and being young (but I see these experiance only as being wild). I also have the thought of, “I can find smoeone more attractive, more desirable)

    I was just wondering if this e-course is for me? I’m stressed, sad, angry and confused and it’s destroying me life. A big part of me says I just also made myself like him, because I had some doubts all along. Where on a three-week no-contact break right now. I don’t even know if it was the right thing to do, but I couldn’t handle intemcy anymore, and he was feeling rejected and I didn’t want to damage things further. I’m really trying hard to save up in order to take the course. Are break ever a good thing? This is just so difficult and confusing. Part of me says I need him, part of me says I’m angry, even hate him, and says it’s not right

    Please Help me :)

    • Susannah

      Hi Gerry,

      I’m on the eCourse, and I’m in a relationship with a lovely guy and like you, had no idea what was going on, apart from I was self-sabotaging something good from a lack of good feelings. I’ve been at it for 1 month and my anxiety has decreased LOADS, I have developed loads as a person and can easily say it’s the best decision I ever made for my mental health and spiritual growth by joining the eCourse. The forum is a great place and you’ll realise how not alone you are in your thoughts. I can safely say, the problem is within us!

      I’m also finishing uni, finding a new job, finding my purpose etc so I’m at that stage too. It’s a transition in itself!

      Don’t be put off by the cost, the information, work and forum support is priceless and one of the best ways I could have spent that money.
      Best wishes!

  • Gerry

    I forgot to mention, Our Three Year Anniversary just passed, and I was really anxious about spending it with him. We didn’t really do anything for it (I didn’t get him anything) and I knew that hurt him.

    Recently, His brother broke up with his girlfriend. I was always kind of jealous of her, and had a catty little competition with her in my head. When they broke up, it was kinda a loss, and I was liking “now who do I have to try and impress or outdo?” Then I started thinking “If she broke up with him, maybe we need to break up”. I know that sounds really stupid.

    • Tereza

      Dear Gerry,

      I had some similar thoughts for a few month, but it went away, almoast immidiately after one night. I litteraly had to fight against the bad thoughts. I don’t know if you believe in the Lord, in God, but its Him who helped me. I just prayed, and I had to confess out loud that no other power can be inside of me, only Jesus.

      And if thats not your belief, I had one more idea about that. If you keep finding a way how to get that anxiety and the thoughts away. How to get rid of it, you are looking for a way to make your relationship better, to feel happy again with him. And I think that if you didn’t want to have that relationship, you would go away much earlier. If you fight for it, you want it. Thats what helped me.
      Hope it helped
      Tereza

  • Neva

    This is such a wonderful reminder that so many of us have not learned how to love or be loved. How we have managed as a culture to commodify things that should be most precious to us, like children, and in this case love. I love your article because it draws our attention to this fact and gives us the tools to begin to change it for ourselves and for those around us.
    Love to you Sheryl,
    Neva

  • Canuck64

    Thanks for this Sheryl. This reminded me of a book I read recently called Wabi Sabi Love.

    “Based on the ancient Japanese aesthetic of finding beauty
    in imperfection, Wabi Sabi Love applies this concept to love
    relationships. It is the art of loving your partner’s imperfections
    rather than indulging in the fantasy that your relationship
    can fire on all cylinders only when both people
    are acting perfectly and behaving in ways that are acceptable to
    the other.”

    Your #3 really hit home for me.

    • I LOVE that quote! How’s the rest of the book?

      • Canuck64

        It’s really great, though I have to admit I didn’t finish it yet. She goes into describing actually annoyances people had with their partners and how they learned to love them. There is a free chapter exert on her webpage. Just that is worth the read.

    • Jared

      Nice! Makes sense. Loving someone for being perfect would mean never really loving anyone. Good quote!

  • Robin Bednarczyk

    WOW! I REALLY needed to read this! And what was confirmation for me was the girl who would get irritated because of the “silly playful voice” her boyfriend would use toward her. I JUST asked my husband yesterday to STOP talking to me in “baby talk” all the time, but reading that above made me realize, one, I probably hurt his feelings, and two, I NEED TO LOOSEN up and then maybe things will go more smoothly for me. Thanks for all your very inspiring newsletters. It’s reading things like this that snap me back into reality. AND I’m also a very sensitive person – I find myself reading others body language and paying attention to their facial expressions just to verify to myself that what I”m “picking up” is right – I’m still finding it hard to release the “feelings” I get from others though – that’s tough for me, and so I usually just shut myself up in my house to avoid MOST contact with others, especially if they’re negative people – and unfortunately for me, THAT is the only kind of people I really know, and some of them are family – excluding the ones who live in my house – THANK GOD! But if I go to any kind of outing or anywhere crowded – after I get home, I probably sleep for days on end, my energy is SO depleted, I still have to get up though, and tend to the kids but there’s been a few times where my husband just let me sleep – and when I say sleep, I mean like anywhere from 24-48 hours – and I still wake up tired. Fortunately my husband is the boss of his own company and when he sees me sleep through my alarm, he knows I NEED the rest to replenish my energy – he’s gotten to where he don’t even try to make me go to the mall or anything because of HOW BAD things like that drain me. Anyway, I’m just rambling now, but I DO love your writings, and they’re are VERY UPLIFTING and inspirational! Thank you for all your hard work in putting all this together!

  • Shevy

    Thanks so much for this Sheryl. I really needed this today. I left my partner’s space today irritated though determined not to fight. Since then I have been at home majorly judging him. Yet something keeps telling me at the back of my mind that I am irritated because I am not doing the things I love to do. Your article helped to clear up my thoughts!

    Thanks again!

  • Mary2003

    Thanks Sheryl! As always your timing is perfect.

  • Diane Salawda

    Hi Sheryl,
    We love each other very much, my husband Nabeel & I.

  • MB

    Great and helpful post!!!
    As a Mom who is rarely alone between being at home Mom and working Mom hybrid (healthcare and not an office of my own), #4 resonated with me!!
    My well is tapped by days end many days and it directly correlates my tolerance for some of my husband’s comments or behavior!
    Yet give me the same comments or behavior on a different, more balanced, well-replenished day and he’s the funniest, smartest guy in the room to me:)
    I’m learning to sense when the well is running dry so as to go refill with me-time so harmony is maintained…

    • Sallyanne

      Oh my godness, this is exactly how I feel! Its nice to know that Im not on my own with the way I feel. Give me a good balanced day any day and our relationship blossoms! xx

  • Glo

    Hi Sheryl, love your articles.
    I loved your number 1… Its hard to see irritation as a normal response when spending too much time with anyone. I think we often get caught up in trying to get rid of our feelings or always understanding them which makes it difficult to accept them and let them pass. Whats also interesting is how i am so judgemental towards family members for similar things… Which helps to take the projection off. Irritation can be so convincing sometimes… It feels forever and that you will always feel this way towards your partner. With all emotions it comes and goes…

  • Saskia

    Hi Sheryl,
    Thank you for this advice today, it couldn’t have come at a better time. My boyfriend and I have been fighting quite often lately and I’ve had strong feelings that it’s my fault. As a person I am usually not the type to start fights and we get along really well. I’ve left my best friend feeling confused as well as she thinks the relationship is failing but deep down I know its me. As a result I’ve been feeling really guilty and confused as to why I am all of a sudden so snappy with him. Reading through this today has made it clear that it’s how I’m being with myself, since I am on holidays from uni, organizing a lot of things right now and spending a lot of time alone, too.

    Thank you so much again

  • KP

    Sheryl,

    I have recently been experiencing relationship anxiety and irritation has been a big thing for me. I feel like quirky, funny things I had come to enjoy and love about my partner have irritated me more than ever. We were long distance for over two years and recently moved in together. Now my anxiety is spiking with the idea that Im not really in love with him but rather I am in love with the idea of him. Although we saw each other often while we were long distance, I worry that now that we are together and Im so irritated with him that this whole time I was really just in love with the idea of him and not really him. This was spiked more when I read in one of your articles that being in love with the idea of your partner is a red flag. Could you explain to me what the difference in being in love and being in love with the idea of someone and how to know if that is true for me? or if I am just experiencing symptoms of fear manifesting themselves in irritation like you describe above?

    Thank you so much for this article.

  • KP

    Here is the article I was referring to. I know here you are talking about if we think our partner feels that way it is a red flag issue, but would if we actually are in love with the idea of someone and not actually them?

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Engagement-Anxiety-Dismantled—Do-I-Love-My-Fiance-Enough?&id=3059644

    • Do you genuinely like your partner? Do you enjoy spending time with him (when you’re not anxious)? Do you respect and value who he is as a person? Is there a strong foundation of friendship? If the answers are yes, you’re not just in love with the idea of your partner but you genuinely like and love him. My sense from reading your comment is that you’re suffering from relationship anxiety and that your fear is manifesting as irritation.

    • KP

      Thanks Sheryl. I appreciate your answer. Before the anxiety all of those things were true, I wanted to be around him as much as possible and enjoyed being around him, although I did have anxiety at the beginning of our relationship where I questioned and on rare occasion throughout our relationship, it always went away quickly. Now part of me is saying, “why didn’t you listen”. I had anxiety in two past relationships, which I now know were not the right relationships for me. For those of us who have experienced relationship anxiety in multiple relationships, how can you know the relationship your in now is right, if your “gut” was right about other relationships you should leave (there were no red flags in these relationships either)?

      Having been long distance for so long my partner and I are now getting used to living together. Before this bout of engagement anxiety I would get irritated with him but I still had the underlying assurance that I loved him regardless of the thing he did that got on my nerves, now its like I cant see past the irritation to that love because I am questioning everything. What advice do you have for someone who has recently had such a big shift in a relationship and is now experiencing irritation related to anxiety?

      • My advice is the same as someone who wasn’t experiencing irritation but still had the anxiety: recognize that it’s all a protection to keep you in the safe zone of your head so that you don’t risk being vulnerable and possibly get hurt. The work is to find the courage and commitment to learn to drop down into your breath and body and let of the illusion of control that the rumination and anxiety are providing.

        • KP

          Is it still a projection if the anxiety and doubts have occurred multiple times in the relationship? (although in between those times, which was most of the time, I did feel assured) before this bought of anxiety. or this an indication that the relationship simply isn’t right? I remember reading somewhere that you said as long as the anxiety or irritation occurred after the engagement you could be sure its anxiety, which really spiked me because mine has happened more than once.

          Thanks again for all your work, without it I would have nothing else to turn to in terms of resources.

  • KY

    I noticed in KP’s article that you have “being young and not wanting to commit to one person”

    How do you know if it’s simply not right? Do I really want to explore other people, or is it just part of the anxiety?

    I’m really struggling with this. I noticed unhealthy patterns in my relationship (obsession over boyfriend’s ex, even though we’ve been together for 3 years) and needed constant assurance of love. Now that he’s annoying me due to suddon anxiery, I am constantly comparing him to my ex (he making me made like my ex did, he’s annoying like me ex). We have fight and I apologize when it’s not my fault to move on fast, and my emotions or anger aren’t resolved.

    However, at the same time, I love spending time with him. We connected well, and we shared a lot of the same opinions. Is this worth saving. All this thinking came as a sudden panic attack after three years, and I honestly don’t know what’s right.

    • If you’re here, chances are high that you’re struggling with relationship anxiety. Even many people in their early 20s who find their way to my work know deep down that they don’t want to leave their wonderful partner to explore other people but are suffering from anxiety. There are certainly cases where a very young person may decide that they want to date more before committing to one person, but even then there’s usually an underlying red flag issue fueling their desire to get out.

  • Macy

    HI Sheryl,
    I also read the article that KP is refering to and something that spiked me was that being young and unsure if you’re ready to commit is a red flag…I had this strong sense for a while in my relationship ( my only relationship ever), but I’ve also had all the other anxious thoughts that you speak of in your articles. I am 19 and never had the “infatuation” stage with my boyfriend, but we do have all the other lovely aspects of a relationship. Do you think, sometime you could write about us young women who are trying to figure things out. Is this a true redflag, or can it be worked through?

  • Srividhya

    Hi Sheryl,

    Just wanted to congratulate you for the effort you have been putting in trying to help out the countless anxious and confused partners around the globe. Have got introduced to your writings only recently. I must admit your work has had a profound impact on me. The root cause of my anxiety has been nailed today. I do need some my-time too. Have been so engrossed in bringing up my toddler ever since her birth that I failed to give myself the much needed time and attention. Will work on my shortcomings going forward and put in some sincere effort towards addressing my issues. May be the next time I write to you, I shall be a transformed being. Thanks much. Appreciate you time.

  • Rosie

    I love this quote; a fish may love a bird, but where Would they live? He likes gardening and writing, she likes working hard and fast activities. But they find a “place of peace” were all their oppositie melt together and they are The best version of how Well difference can work out.

  • Kelly

    Wow, Sheryl, your timing is amazing!
    I’m currently in another spiral of negativity, and have been reading your posts every day now to find answers and help me ease my anxious mind. Your posts usually make me feel better; this one is no exception.
    I’m contemplating taking your e-course, even though I’m already seeing a counselor and feel like I’ve really done some extensive work since the Summer. It’s just not helping me cope. I do notice that things have gotten better, and I recognize fear most of the times, but it’s just too hard at other times.
    Like right now: I just don’t know how to be around my fiance. For some reason, I’m so angry and irritated with him, and I can’t shake this, which has me worried beyond belief. It’s very hard for me to see past the negativity and focus on what’s good. I know I love him, and I want to spend my life with him, but it’s just soooo hard sometimes! The thought alone can be too much. This happens with other people (close friends), too.
    I’ve gotten through these feelings before, and I know it’ll get better, but at the same time, I’m dreading the fact that this could go on for the rest of my life, our life. He doesn’t deserve that, and it’s killing me. It’s all so complicated and I feel very unhappy at the moment. The only thing that’s keeping me from running is the fact that I know I love him. When I don’t feel like this, I love being around him and doing things together and I could not imagine a life without him. I love him dearly and he’s my friend and lover. I woudln’t want to be without him. But.. this has been going on for a year now, and I keep coming back to the same issues, over and over again. That’s what worries me. I mean, everybody can have some doubts at some point, but for a whole year, and on an almost daily basis? Why can’t I get past this? I mean.. I know I love him, so why all the drama?
    Will it ever get better? Would your e-course help me deal with these emotions? With falling out of love, accepting that there are things we cannot control, accepting that everybody is different, and that people change, that things change?

  • Rae

    I am quick to experience annoyance and irritation with my boyfriend for many a ridiculous reason. For the sake of brutal honesty, I am quick to annoyance in general and realize it stems from a mixture of being highly sensitive, the effects of faulty acquired beliefs, and a tendency toward control/perfection. Sheryl’s work is so helpful in terms of being a constant reminder to turn inward by asking in those moments of irritation what is really going on with ME/INSIDE and not HIM/OUTSIDE.

    A few weekends ago we got into a squabble. It was instigated by my annoyance with some minor things he did, and his right to not tolerate unloving nagging from me. In the past, I would’ve heard one of the following messages in my brain during or after a squabble: “this man is clearly not for me…I am incapable of being in a healthy relationship…what does it say about our relationship that we are fighting….the man who is right for me wouldn’t act like this…I wouldn’t get so annoyed if I was with the right man.” Now, it takes minutes if not seconds to remind myself to turn inward, pay attention to what is going on with ME in those moments, and move toward him with an open heart to repair and make amends regardless of who started what. As a result, there is less and less room for angst in our relationship space and my recovery time after a less than perfect exchange is much quicker.

    Do I still get annoyed? Yes – sometimes daily. Yet I am better able to use compassion, humor, and realism to let go of the reins a bit more. I read a great article in Psychology Today several years ago about marriages that survived and thrived past 30 years. One man, when asked how he stayed married for 60 years to the same woman said, “I wake up every day, look at myself in the mirror, and tell myself ‘well you are no damned prize either.” It sure is a funny way of being reminded that everyone and everything is flawed, and yet we can still love and be loved.

  • Michelle

    The timing of this post is too funny. On a drive home last weekend from a girls weekend away, a close friend of mine shared that the way her long term boyfriend drives really irritates her sometimes. So much so that she once considered if she really could spend the rest of her life with him (and his driving). It was funny because I told her how relieved I was to hear her say this because I’ve thought this and been irritated by the same thing. We both shared how we can find it more attractive when a guy can drive a certain way and that our boyfriends didn’t “fit” this. We let it determine whether we felt our partners were attractive enough (enough to consider staying with them for the rest of our lives). But then we also spoke about how ridiculous it was that we had this expectation and could let it influence our thoughts this way.

    I feel like I recently went through a very strong and long period of feeling irritation with everything my partner did. Even if I wasn’t with him just having thoughts about the way he did things would irritate me. But I also had this underlying feeling like I was being ridiculous, judgmental, and irrational because I knew he was just trying to have fun, be nice or sentimental, and just being loving and himself. It really is amazing he has stuck through it when I have shut him out. I have noticed a difference in how I enjoy our time more and let the irritations go or don’t get as irritated. I still need to work on finding what’s underneath. Lately the playful “baby” voice has also really irritated me.

    I believe I am a highly sensitive person and that it absolutely comes from my own self-judgment and having highly unrealistic expectations of perfection for myself. I have always really cared what others think (and judge myself for feeling this way because I’ve always wanted to not care what others think of me…). What I appreciate the most from this article is the validation that we are all human and this will happen. Also that Sheryl says it’s a manifestation of fear. I really need to work on uncovering these fears.

    I have also moved back home for right now and I’ve noticed that my dad probably irritates me more then my boyfriend. And I mean down to the littlest things and even how he says certain things to other people. I wonder if my irritation is now just being projected more onto my Dad? I can feel I have loosened up with my boyfriend and it is probably a sign to dig deeper into core fears. I can appreciate today how Sheryl’s work gets us thinking, working, but feeling hopeful! Thanks :)

  • Mellisa

    I went to a therapist for a while, and was told that my boyfriend and I have two many differences, and she thinks that in my heart I realize that and should maybe consider letting the relationship go. Then I read this and have a bit of hope. How do I know what is right?

    • There is no “right” answer, Melissa. As long as it’s a loving relationship, you get to choose whether you want to stay or leave. And you are the only one who CAN choose and who knows if staying is a loving choice. Having too many differences is NOT a reason to walk away, in my opinion, unless the differences are irreconcilable – ie he wants to have kids and you don’t.

  • Hannah

    I am so glad that I stumbled onto this site. After years of failed relationships wondering will I ever find a good guy. And I did. He is amazing in every way possible. For years I habe struggled with anxiety in relationships and just thought if im this anxious it isnt meant to be. When I got anxious with my current boyfriend I thought the same. But something inside me said no and I am so glad I did not he is everything I could ever want in a guy.
    I’m glad I read this article because I find myself getting irritated with him sometimes daily. He is a very goofy guy (something that I love about him) has a great sense of humor but I feel irritated with it sometimes. After reading this article I have tried letting go and enjoying it like I did in the beginning of our relationship. It has helped me a lot.
    Sheryl thank you so much for writing all these posts and in away debunking the myths of love that have been taught to me as a little girl. It has helped me come a long way. I know I have more work to do. Thank you again Sheryl you are awesome!

  • Mellisa

    The truth is, I realized there are things about him that I never liked, but I still really wanted him, and I always felt as though I loved him until a sudden “anxiety” came to me. It’s like we knew things weren’t perfect, but we both wanted each other so bad. Is is possible that this can ever work?

  • Sallyanne

    Now I feel so much better! This post has come along at the right time, thank you Sheryl.Its so nice to read that others have the same feelings of anxiety and irritation. Ive been with my partner for over five years, we have a beautiful 18 month old son and planning a second. I have suffered with relationship anxiety for all of our relationship. We were friends for years before we got together and kind of hit the ground running when we got together. We missed the honeymoon period as we knew everything about eachother already, but there was something between us, and no matter how many times I finished the relationship when acting upon my anxiety, we came back together like magnets. Its only been this past two years that I have understood my anxiety and fears and the reason WHY they occure. Ive had conselling, AD’s, meditation retreats, all to name a few, to help my anxiety and I can truly say the reason that I am still in this relationship is because I have a wonderful patient partner who believes in us. He has stuck with us through all the pushing away Ive done, all the times ive finished him, he knew that there was no actual reason good enough for me to leave, (which there wasnt)and has always been there to reassure me when times get tough. Times get tough because I have another focus ie my son, or hormones (every month) and then our relationship takes more of a back seat than it already does and I end up feeling anxiuos again because we have lost our connection. This ongoing circle has been happening for five years now and over the past two years I have began to understand my feelings and try and ignore them.
    Basically, when I am in a good place, so is our relationship! When Im not for other reasons, the relationship, in my eyes, needs to end!

    My partner irritates me what seems like ALLLLLLL the time, and more so recently because we have lost our connection. I need to keep remembering that we will get it back and everything will be OK again. Its still hard when I get these feelings, but I have this website to reassure me, when my partner cant, that I am not on my own and these feelings are normal in a relationship. I am finding it hard to accept that I may have to live like this for the rest of our relationship, but my partner fully accepts me and I see it as a personal challenge, however hard it may be, to accept him for the daft, but amazing person he really is x

  • Macy

    Sallyane, your story has some resemblance to my own. Although I do not have any kids and I may be younger than you are. It would really help me to talk with someone who understands me a bit. If you’re interested, let me know. I think its easier going through this knowing you’re not the only one. I am happy you have found some peace in your journey, keep up the good work.

  • Kimmi

    How does sexual intimacy play a role while we are going through this frustration? Because of the major anxiety I am facing, I go into panic mode whenever he shows affection. I know this makes him feel unwanted or unattractive, but I feel guilty when I’m thinking I have no feelings towards him. It is better to turn him down? Or try to push through this and engage in intimacy despite my anxiety? In these moment, it feel like being intimate would be a lie, because of the feeling I am having. It’s a very scary position to be facing!

    • You can tune in to yourself on a case by case basis. Sometimes you’ll trust that it’s too much for you and other times you can choose to push through the irritation or other forms of anxiety and engage sexually despite the feelings.

  • Macy

    hi Sallyanne, have you received my e-mail or have I sent it to the wrong e-mail address?

  • Thank you for explaining why someone would find themselves irritated at their partner.
    Your reasons not only apply to relationships between two partners.
    I am coaching someone right now who is irritated with everyone at work.
    I believe the reasons you shared above apply to her. She is judgmental about herself. she has not given herself time for herself and I really now believe she is missing being back home in her Country.
    It has given me light on how to coach her…Thanks

  • Zarah

    Hi Sheryl :)
    I have been dating a guy who recently parted with his girlfriend of 7 years about 5 months ago, for the first 2 months we were fine, and then he started to become negative with work as he dislikes his job very much but cannot move on yet as his company is sponsoring his visa for another 2 years, along with that he has been stressed with the visa preparations also. This negative thinking and his stress I have been trying to anchor with my usual positivity and helpfulness, but lately (with my own exams ontop of full time work) have been struggling with his moods and emailed him quite a blunt email to tell him I needed space as he was spiralling into a negative hole..this upset him and caused some misunderstandings in our new relationship and doubts for both of us.. since then things have changed.. and I have become more critical and judgmental of him. This puts me at a complete loss because 2 weeks ago we were completely fine! I was excited to see him and enjoyed being around him, I even constantly checked my gut to see if it would scream at me NO! but it hasnt.. and now the last 2 weeks Ive been starting to doubt us. I feel that after I parted with my emotionally abusive ex of 5 years about 2 years ago.. I havent completely healed from the damage of verbal put downs and criticism, moving countries for him and leaving everyone behind – aswell as losing my identity (changing religion and cultures) which was all for him (the ex).
    Surprisngly the new guy Im dating communicated so openly with me last week about his doubts about us too and after we had a great night like we used to.. but again my anxiety is still churning with reluctance and doubts.. although after such open and honest communication it has subsided slightly..
    Im feeling hopeless..Im scared I have something wrong with me (I got terrible acne when I came home after leaving my ex that required accutane treatment, which also caused insecurities)
    I hope someone can help with words of support, my anxiety is up and down right now..but I still want to give this new guy a chance..even though we have both said we are not ready yet to commit to eachother but we both want to see what happens..Which has made things easier as the pressure is off.
    Anyway thanks for hearing me out, Ive felt so much better after reading everyones comments on here!
    Thanks
    Z