Have you ever spent hours, days, or even weeks sharing a longing for togetherness with your partner, only to find that when they actually get home from their workday or a trip you don’t want to be near them? Or worse, you find yourself blowing up about the simplest things.
But how can we spend all of the time that our partner is gone walking to see them again only to get angry or upset when they actually come home? There are a number of reasons why this shift in feelings happens to us and here we will dive a little deeper into the underlying cause for this.
The Underlying Cause
The easiest way to describe what happens to us when we get angry when our partner comes home is the activation of our survival instincts. Essentially, when our partner leaves, we are often forced to face our insecurities and fears. This can leave us feeling irritated and even angry at our partners for making us feel this way — even if the feelings are our own and not the fault of our partner.
This triggering happens unconsciously and serves two very important purposes. The first thing that it does is it helps distract us and keep us from feeling the pain of separation from our partner. The second thing that it does is help us from overwhelming our partner with that pain and anger we are feeling because of the separation and therefore increase the likelihood of our partner coming back home. Now, you may think that these seem like childlike feelings, and to be honest, they are deeply rooted in our systems from childhood and into adulthood.
So Why Do We Get into Arguments?
So, how does this survival mechanism lead to arguments when our partner gets home? Well, after all of that time spent “holding the fort” by ourselves (especially when we have kids to look after), our partner coming home can bring up feelings of anger and irritation with them. The truth is there are a number of reasons why these arguments happen at such unideal times, but a lot of what it comes down to is a lack of understanding of the differences in how you and your partner process your days.
Unfortunately, unless we specifically bring attention to understanding our differences and managing our feelings about this separation, it is unlikely that we will be able to prevent these arguments.
Tips for Managing This Separation
Luckily, there are a few simple tips that you can use to help yourself manage your unconscious anxieties and irritations and avoid the arguments you get into when your partner comes home.
Change the Way You Feel
A lot of how we process the world depends on our viewpoint. Every time your partner leaves for work or a work-related trip, rather than focusing on the time that you are apart and the interactions, conversations, and experiences that have changed your partner and yourself over the day, try focusing on their choice every day to come home to you.
With that in mind, try greeting your partner when they come home through the door and make them feel like they are the only person in the world at that moment. This can help not only boost your mood but theirs as well.
Understand the Differences
All people process their time differently. Whether they have been gone for a week on a work trip or simply had a normal day at the office, they have to process what happened during the day. It is incredibly important that you recognize that the way your partner processes the day may not be the same way that you process your days.
There are three main areas where we as humans can differ: their needs, their recovery times, and their cultures. Each of these areas can bring with it its own challenges and it is important to take any differences between your partner and yourself into account when you are finding yourself feeling irritated with your partner when they come home — especially if they have not yet had enough time to process their day.
Reach Out to a Professional
Know that this is a challenge that many people face with their partners — whether they are happily married for 30 years or not. You do not need to feel alone in these feelings and talking to a professional therapist can help you to more effectively address the differences between you and your partner as well as alter the way that you think about the time that your partner is away from you.
Remember that you are not alone in your feelings, they are a natural product of a survival mechanism. But, you do not have to process them all by yourself. We at Love Heal Grow can help you to find the right tools and techniques to help you reduce the arguments you get into and the irritation you feel when your partner comes home. So, if you are looking for some more personalized guidance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.