How to Drive your Partner Crazy and Ruin your Relationship
One of the problems of being human is that we interpret everything. We naively think that when we communicate, the important people in our lives hear exactly what we said and understand what we mean. Anyone in a serious relationship knows it is not that simple - then add in texting, social media, email, etc, and the problem becomes even more complicated. Those in intimate relationships are constantly interpreting what their partner “really means” or what the “hidden message” is, and as a result we can get into very complicated conversations ending with “but that is not what I said”, or “that is not what I meant”... or some variation. If you’ve had that conversation, you know that it often ends badly.
So if you want to make your partner crazy and add to the complications of interpretation try the following techniques:
- Expect your partner to read your mind and anticipate and meet your needs without you needing to explain what you need. When they don't meet those needs, criticize them by saying, “If you loved me you would read my mind.”
- Attribute intentionality to your partner’s actions. If they misunderstand you, or if they do not meet one of your needs, then assume that they “intentionally” knew what you wanted/needed and chose to not give it to you.
- Use black and white thinking. In other words, don’t see grey, or see the big picture, but when you feel let down, conclude they are simply not a good husband/wife/lover and focus on all their negative traits… and that you must have married the wrong person.
- Forget that people change! Keep reminding your partner that when you first met, they were different, more care free, more spontaneous. Ignore the fact of having children, careers, or COVID. Just remind them that they are not the same over and over.
- Forget that love is a verb and requires action. So if you do not feel “in love”, passively wait for the feeling to return, and if it doesn’t then conclude you are in the wrong relationship.
- Finally, when all else fails, always assume that your ideal “soulmate” is out there and that they will successfully do all the things I just listed, and do them perfectly.
As you are reading this, you are probably saying “this is crazy!” - which, of course, it is. However, these are common ways we unconsciously process our relationships, which always makes them worse. In contrast try the following:
- Share and negotiate your needs clearly! Your partner will never read your mind, and might not be aware of what you need.
- Cut your partner some slack! They most likely did not “intentionally” try to hurt or disappoint you but might have simply misunderstood what you wanted.
- Understand that people grow and develop and practice curiosity. Allow your partner (and yourself) to grow and seek to understand.
- Remember - love is a verb and seek to take loving actions.
- Finally, consider that you married the right person and seek to make the relationship better.