That Makes Me Want to Pull Out My Hair!

Frustration is a common part of all human interactions. There is an inherent level of conflict between any two people. Conflict resolution is an important skill to develop. Even when this skill is strong, solving problems is rarely a perfect process. Conflict resolution can lead to frustration that must be dealt with to keep a relationship healthy.

I recently had a conflict with my wife revolving dinner. In part because of my biology and part because of my upbringing, I like to eat at regularly scheduled times. I then became the keeper of dinner. It didn’t matter who ultimately created dinner; I had to bring it up, pick out options, force a decision, and insure that the decision was carried out. This unbalanced process was extremely frustrating to do on a regular basis.

The resolution of this frustration has two forms. The first is the easy one: angry. I could (and have) gotten angry that I was not getting the supported I needed. I have taken this route when I am tired, when I was busy, and even out of simply laziness. Turning frustration into angry is not healthy, but the fact that it has happened is truth.

The better solution is communication. Express your frustration to your partner. Explore the reasons and rational (or irrational) thoughts behind it. It may be tough to believe, but there is a high probability that your partner does not know you are frustrated. She or he might actually be getting frustrated by your frustration, because ze can not understand the cause. This can quickly spiral out of control.

Once a problem is out in the air, you both can work toward a solution. In our dinner case, we shifted how we talked about dinner. Instead of every day having a conversation of where we’d eat, what’d we eat, and who would make it simplifies to asking “who is in charge of dinner today?” The person who is in charge makes all the decisions involved. This frees the other person from applying any thought to dinner until it was time to eat. I will still be the primary person for dinner going forward. But now I am empowered in two ways by our mutual agreement. First, I can make decisions for dinner without her input as a default. I am also allowed to ask Michelle to be responsible for dinner without my input.

This solves the frustration by removing the conflict, turning a frustrating problem into a non-event. Debating dinner wasn’t something either of us really wanted to do; it was just the process we developed organically in our relationship. By discussing it, we were able to find a better method that has an actual improvement on our life.

Do not let frustration fester in your relationship. Take responsibility for your feelings, discover their cause, and work toward a solution. I can not guarantee communication and hard work will completely remove frustrations in your life. It will improve the situation for the better though. It will improve your relationship and your life. Try it.

-That is all.


2 thoughts on “That Makes Me Want to Pull Out My Hair!

  1. Lucas Bell says:

    I have the same problem with Anita. It has gotten better since the last few weeks we go back and forth on who picks, it would help if Alma had better choices, or there was somewhere I could cook. I just hope when we do live in a place with more selection, she will actually try some of the things I like. Next time she comes to Grand Blanc, I am going to have her try Lebanese. Though I know I probably will eat spicy food and sushi alone for the rest of my life 😦

  2. This is an excellant article you wrote Nick. It really talks to the all abouts in relationships. Who, what, where and when does who do what, where, who and sometimes why. We are responsible for our ADLS which are bathing, brushing, hair, teeth ie: personal grooming. Eating,chores, budgets, shopping can be done by the pair equally or whomever is best suited to the task for the greater good of the couple. Complaining, criticizing and condemning creates conflict in lieu of being grateful for the others work or service. No one can be accountable for mood and mood changes in the human species. It is changeable and never preditable. Sociology 10. Relas and do not sweat the small stuff because it is all small stuff. Enjoy each other and love one another.

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