Let’s talk for a second about babies. Hang with me here for a minute – this will tie back to relationships. I promise! One of the first things people generally ask when they meet my daughter is, “Is she sleeping through the night yet?” Every time, my answer is the same, “Nope. Not yet!” As tiring as it is to get up with her every night, most of the time I don’t think about it too much. Not only is it normal for a baby her age to wake up during the night, especially a breastfed baby, but it is completely predictable. It happens every night. It would be completely unhelpful for me to get upset every time I get woken up, since I know it is going to happen. Yet how many of us get upset with our partners when they do things that are completely predictable?
Every person has their own ways of doing things and reacting to situations. That means that many of our actions and reactions are predictable. If you’ve ever found yourself getting upset with your partner going into a situation before they behave a certain way because you know in advance that they are going to behave that way, you know what I’m talking about.
When you know that your partner will act in specific ways in a given situation, it makes no sense to get upset when they do. That’s not to say you can’t do anything about it. You can choose to modify the situation so it elicits a different reaction, talk with them about their reaction if it is something that creates a serious problem for you or if you think they are unaware of their behavior, or simply accept it as part of who they are and let it go. Just try to avoid going through your relationship being surprised and angered every time they react in the way you know they are going to react, because that won’t do you any good, and it certainly won’t help your relationship.