Taking Offense

Most of us who have ever lived with a partner have experienced something close to the following: Our partner comes home after a long, stressful day at work. They’re in a bad mood because of this and all they want is to sit down for a minute and decompress.

This usually continues in one of two ways:

Same Boat

You’ve had a bad day, as well, and also just wanted some time to decompress. However, when you got home you had to deal with the kids and/or pets and still haven’t sat down even though you got home an hour ago.

In this case, you’re already in a bad mood and you feed off of their frustrations. Although you understand they just want some time, you didn’t get that same courtesy and it annoys you. Why should they be able to not do anything when you couldn’t? You had to deal with whatever catastrophe you came home to and now they take the sweet, sweet decompressing time you are entitled to? No. Way.

You’ve Already Decompressed

You got home before them and were able to chill out for a little while, improving your mood. Now you’re back to normal and are possibly even in a good mood.

In the time it took you to go from stressed to alright, you forgot what it was like to just want a moment to yourself. So, instead of seeing this as something that they need, you see it as them being selfish or even as them being upset with you for some reason.

The Result

If either of these are the case, it generally ends in an argument or fight. And as is usually the case, it all goes back to communication or a lack thereof. Because instead of talking about why you’re bothered by it, you react in a very human way and get offended or upset, which then escalates the situation.

This isn’t to trivialize how you feel, either. By talking about it, you’re letting your partner know why you react the way you do and why what they’re doing is upsetting you. You are giving them the opportunity to make your life easier by telling them that you’re upset because you always have to take care of the kids or animals or all of the above.

What To Do Instead

When this happens, it’s important to remember that it’s probably not personal – they’re probably just having a bad day. Take a breath and think about your partner. Consider what they are going through and how you would feel if the roles were reversed (basically, empathize with them). How would you react if you got home after a long day and your partner got offended or took your frustrations personally even though they had nothing to do with them? It would be frustrating, right?

The number one relationship rule is to talk to each other. Don’t assume things because when you do, you end up building up all of this anger and frustration for a reason that you totally made up on your own.

Discussions and openness saves relationships. If you’re not doing either, you’re going to have problems.

6 thoughts on “Taking Offense

    1. I’m sorry to hear that. I know a lot of people who don’t like to talk about things. I think they are raised to keep emotions and thoughts to themselves and it can be a very hard habit to break.

      My husband was that way, too. It took a few years to get through to him but now he is open and communicates well with me.

      I think that all you can do is keep your side of the communication open and encourage him to talk, but don’t try to force him. I hope you can get through it, too!

      1. I can’t imagine how frustrating that must be. I know it might be difficult to change old habits, but remember that you matter in the marriage, too. Your thoughts and opinions and desires are just as important as his.

        I am sure you have looked for help over and over, but I found this article (and the comments) to be informative: https://intentionaltoday.com/husband-wont-talk/

        If nothing else, it may help to know you aren’t alone. I would also be happy to continue talking about this issue if you would like! My email is infohillaryrobyn@gmail.com. Please feel free to reach out to me.

  1. Thank you for this post Hillary! I am the type of person that needs a few moments of quite time when I get home from work. Considering my husband isn’t working at the moment and been alone all day, when I walk in the door he has so much he wants to tell me about. It is normally things that I couldn’t care less about, like politics! When he was working and came home after a long day, he didn’t normally want to talk for an hour or so, which I respected. Oh how I wish he could respect the fact when I get home after working 8.5 hours, I need to decompress before I can talk. Lately it seems he is in his own little world and forgets to ask how my day was, which does hurt my feelings. He has been so depressed for well over a year and I am trying to keep it all together,

    I am so glad to read your posts and look forward to many more my dear! I hope you and your husband have a safe and Happy New Year! I hope 2019 holds much happiness and comfort to you my friend!

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