Don’t Parent Your Partner

parenting partner, nagging



When we fall in love our bodies are flooded with feel-good hormones; our brains fill with feel-good thoughts. We probably wouldn’t be able to find fault with our loved one if someone paid us to. We certainly would not feel we had any right to highlight any behavior deemed worthy of criticizing, right? Why? Because we are just getting to know that person! We respect them and admire all the great things about them. Who are we, as a separate being, to criticize another for just being themselves?


Isn’t it a shame then that when those heady days of falling in love are becoming a memory; when we are now totally comfortable with each other we find ourselves thinking it is our right to put the behavior we don’t find attractive under the spotlight?


We often fool ourselves into thinking that by voicing our niggles and challenging our lover we are being responsible adults. I’m not talking about the kind of behavior that threatens your relationship. A bad temper, an addiction, even flirting, if it crosses boundaries, should be addressed because ultimately you don’t have to endure the impact these traits have on you! I’m talking about the little things that you once found quirky, even endearing –  putting the toilet roll on the holder under rather than over. Putting things in the fridge that you like at room temperature, or using a certain annoying telephone voice that now has you clenching your fists or grinding your teeth with scary intensity. These are things that make up the person you fell for. The things that someone else may find endearing. These are the things that one day – you might miss a great deal.


By telling our partner their ‘short-comings’ we are telling them they are not good enough, and this can be very destructive to the bond you have. If you parent your partner you try to mold their behavior like you would a child. Is it any wonder then that this can elicit child-like behavior – sulking, resentment, embarrassment and rebellion. People simply do not want to be around people who nit-pick and nag!


If this sounds like you don’t change your lover, change yourself! Recognize and manage your moods. Remind yourself that your insecurities and bugbears are your own and in some cases it is you that needs to learn to adapt and not your partner. Check your impulse to reprimand  your lover over the insignificant stuff. Think about whether it really matters and ask yourself; if I lose this person will I be okay with the notion that I let them go because they didn’t clean the tomato sauce bottle? Or they didn’t take the rubbish out enough?


what is love from your lover







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