How Not to Sweat the Small Stuff in Relationships

‘Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff’

Heard that one before? Don’t sweat the small stuff essentially means don’t let insignificant matters or petty problems derail your life. When it comes to relationships, this saying will always ring true.

All couples will bicker, it’s a fact of life. Particularly when you make the decision to merge your lives and move in together, you’re inevitably going to do certain things differently or pick up on a few annoying habits the other person has that you didn’t notice before. When tensions run high or you’re feeling a little stressed, it’s so easy to let minor inconveniences blow out of proportion until they become all-consuming arguments. It’s easily done, and we’re ALL guilty of this at some point.

Your relationship will inevitably consume a big percentage of your time and energy, and so it should. You’ve chosen to invest yourself in this person whom you care greatly about, it’s only natural, so when the relationship is causing you more stress than it’s worth it can cast a damp cloud over every aspect of your daily life. Learning how to manage those little quibbles or move past something without letting it spiral into a hurricane threatening to destroy everything in its wake including your relationship, is the key to both a happier relationship and a less stressful home life.

So, without further ado, here are some of Morale’s favourite ways to not sweat the small stuff…

Accept that not everything is in your control

Let go, it’s OK! Nit-picking the small stuff, or just running yourself off your feet because ‘it’s just easier if I do it myself’ is not the answer. You and your partner are two different people and therefore will do things differently. Accepting that you can’t control everything will instantly take some of the pressure off and help to reduce some of the stress your relationship might be causing. Instead, focus on the things you CAN control and don’t let yourself get worked up over the little things you can’t. By fighting to manage every aspect of the relationship, you’re using up valuable energy and probably missing all the little moments that make what you have so special.  

Change your perspective

When something small is niggling away at you, take a deep breath and take a step back. In the heat of the moment, it can be so hard to lose sight of what is really going on, particularly when that small thing gets lumped in with a larger life stressor. It’s difficult when you’re all riled up, by try to separate that tiny little event, like not putting the lid back on the toothpaste (we know it’s annoying), from what’s really causing you to be stressed or fly off the handle. That way you can address the little problem with a clear head and the right attitude and prevent it from turning into a catastrophic argument… and then get to work figuring out the other thing causing you to feel stressed.

Ask yourself, ‘will this matter to me in a year’s time?’. If the answer is no, then it’s nothing to worry about and you can either move past it and carry on, or deal with it in a calm and controlled manner.

It’s probably not intentional

Does your partner have a really annoying habit? Or keep doing something that just winds you up? Whilst this can be SO frustrating, keep in mind that it’s likely not malicious or a personal attack. People will always do things a little differently, usually a product of how they grew, so it’s natural for them to stack the dishwasher a little bit differently, for example. They aren’t doing it to purposefully spite you and might even be thinking the same thing about how you do something too! Always assume goodwill, rather than a deliberate act to annoy you, take a step back and think about it before you haul your partner over the hot coals!

Everyone has flaws

Before you start digging out your partner for their flaws, remember they’re not superman, they’re only human- just like you. If someone picked apart every little thing you did, it wouldn’t feel too good, would it? Nobody is perfect and once you realise it’s totally normal to have individual flaws, it becomes a whole lot easier to let things go and prioritise happiness. Do the same for yourself, accept who you are and love yourself, and you will find you let go of so much emotional baggage you’ve been dragging around. Start your day with some affirmations to keep your mindset positive and working for you. The more self belief and confidence you have in yourself, the easier it will be to accept your partner for who they are.

Remember everyone is dealing with stuff

The next time you feel inclined to fly off the handle at something minor that sent you over the edge, try to remember that you and your partner are BOTH dealing with things that are causing you stress or anxiety. Be that work, family, finances, or deadlines, whatever the case may be, you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed or stressed. By talking about these things you actually stand to strengthen your relationship, and your partner will probably be a little more understanding if you do accidentally snap over something silly (even if it feels like a disaster in the moment).

Take a break from the little things

If there’s a lot going on at home or at work that is causing you to stress the small stuff in your relationship, even when it really isn’t the problem, then why not take a small break? Book a few days off work and go on a little trip with your partner. Leave behind all the things stressing you out for a couple of days and just enjoy being in each other’s company. Immerse yourself in the relationship and remind yourself why you’re with this person, when you get back you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle everything life throws at you with your biggest cheerleader by your side.

Not sweating the small stuff and being truly content in your relationship all comes down to making compromises and appreciating the other person for who they are and what they do. Everybody will have a slightly different ‘love language’ so if you find it difficult to express your appreciation for your partner, we’ve got you covered. With the help of Morale, send your partner a few words of appreciation and affirmation every day through our app. Let them know you’re grateful for them and remind them of all your favourite qualities they possess. Not only will this contribute to their own positive mindset but also your own, meaning you’ll both be more self assured and the small stuff just won’t matter anymore.  You’ll both be free to enjoy your relationship and tackle life’s obstacles together.

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