You and your partner have a strong and healthy relationship. You love to go out and do exciting activities together, and you also enjoy chilling at home, watching a movie with a bowl of popcorn. You get along well and usually resolve conflicts with minimal difficulty. Even your partner’s mom loves you.
For the most part, you consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Your partner is the 3 Fs: fun, faithful, and forgiving. Your relationship is perfect.
And then one day you suddenly ask yourself “Why do I feel like I hate my partner?”
It’s common sometimes to feel like you hate someone you love. It’s also confusing and frightening. You begin to think, “Can I see myself with them for the rest of my life?” You begin to question yourself, thinking, “Am I a monster for having thoughts like this?” and “Maybe it’s me.”
It’s not you. Loving someone doesn’t mean you’ll always be in love. At some point in your relationship, you will have these thoughts, and it’s perfectly normal.
11 Ideas to Explore if You Feel You Don’t Like Your Partner
It’s not unusual to experience fleeting thoughts of dislike for your significant other. However, these emotions are still worth exploring.
Pinpoint How You Feel
Dislike for your partner is one of the most intense feelings you can experience. The word “hate” is used casually and frequently. For instance, you may say, “I hate my job” or “I hate this weather.”
When used in this manner, it describes your emotions in general terms. Detailing exactly why you don’t like your job would take too long. For example, the specific reasons why you don’t enjoy your job include the following:
- long hours
- your boss is rude
- your co-workers
Instead of listing, you lump everything together with the word “hate.”
When you argue with your partner, you may shout things like, “I hate you!” While this helps convey a general emotion, it doesn’t detail why.
When you take the time to pinpoint how you feel as opposed to generalizing, you gain some clarity on the situation. Of course, it’s challenging to do in the heat of the moment, but shouting things like “I hate you!” can damage the relationship.
Understand That Your Feelings Are Ok
In an experimental study in 2014, researchers found evidence that suggested thinking about romantic partners may provoke positive and negative emotions. In other words, you can love and hate your partner simultaneously.
Additionally, these experiments found that you may not even be aware of your negative feelings most of the time.
Being in love is complicated.
No matter how much you care for someone, they will never make you happy all the time. It’s unrealistic to think you will never experience anger, disgust, or even hate over time.
Take a Break
When you’re with your partner constantly, it’s understandable that you may feel hate brewing sometimes. Avoid an outburst by taking a break from each other. Set aside a tense conflict and give each other some space.
When you aren’t arguing, but these emotions still arise without warning, create some distance. Doing so will help you clear your head, making it easier to think more calmly about the root cause of those feelings.
Try things like:
- Leaving the room
- Talking a walk
- Going for a drive
If you can’t create physical distance, try yoga, deep breathing, or meditation to help calm you down.
Set Aside Time for Yourself
There’s no rule saying you and your partner must spend all your time together. While you may have done so initially, it’s OK to do things separately as the relationship progresses.
No two couples are the same. Everyone has a different standard of what a healthy relationship looks like. However, one thing we can all agree on is that you should not be continuously miserable. Instead, you should thrive and enjoy spending special moments together.
Social media may suggest spending twenty-four hours a day with your partner is ideal, but that’s not true. Instead, couples need time apart to pursue their own hobbies, recharge and reconnect with family and friends.
Separate time also helps you come to terms with those minor aggravations that can build up over time. These are random never-addressed annoyances like watching TV loudly, humming, or finger tapping.
Make the best of the time you spend alone. Do things that enhance the relationship, like:
- Working out
- Consider future travel ideas for both of you
- Make a list of the things you appreciate about your partner
Be Attentive to Yourself
If you have daily struggles (and we all do), you may overreact to minor annoyances. For example: When you get home from work, you see your partner left Scruffy’s bowl of dog food in the rain. You know they didn’t mean to, but now the food is soggy and sticky, and you have to scrub the bowl.
At that moment, you hated everything: the job that made you stay late, so you had to ask your partner to feed the dog, the bowl, the dog food, and the stupid rain. You even hate yourself for feeling this way, and yes, you hate your partner.
When you feel overwhelmed, it’s a good idea to communicate with your partner about your issues. They may not be able to resolve the problem, but they can offer some understanding, compassion, and support.
Life gets busy, and sometimes we neglect our needs. When this happens, stop for a second. Show some appreciation for yourself. You work hard, and you’re responsible. It’s time to treat yourself.
- Live a healthy lifestyle: eat good foods, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Learn ways to manage stress and avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Visit friends: hang out with your best friends more. For example, schedule a weekly book club meeting or go to a sip and paint.
- Do something you enjoy daily: Read a book, dance, or watch your favorite TV show. Do something just for you.
- Practice good hygiene: this reduces the risk of illness and is essential for social, psychological, and medical reasons.
- Relax more: use relaxation methods like yoga, meditation, or a long, hot shower. In addition, do more physical relaxing activities like walking the dog or strolling through the neighborhood.
Recognize the Triggers
When you start having those feelings of “I hate them!” try using a little mindfulness to figure out how the emotion surfaced in the first place.
“Hate” is the general term, but what are the specifics of this emotion? What was it that they said to bring you to this feeling? Is it hatred you’re experiencing, or can you pinpoint how you feel?
You may be irritated because your partner didn’t follow through on their promise. Or is your anger coming from an annoying habit? Once you are more mindful of the triggers, you can sit down and have an honest discussion concerning those reoccurring behaviors.
Confide in Trusted Friends and Family
Sometimes we can bottle up feelings until the point of exploding. You may hesitate to confide in anyone because you feel embarrassed about your emotions. However, discussing your feelings can alleviate some of the pressure on you and even help you see the situation from another perspective.
For instance, you were upset yesterday when you argued with your partner, telling them you never wanted to see them again. But today, as you discuss it with your friend, you see how ridiculous it sounds.
The Importance of Confiding in Someone
People have a lot going on in their lives, and when we don’t confide in anyone, the emotions eventually surface in an angry and explosive manner. Confiding in people who are supportive and compassionate can help with everyday life, including:
- Strengthen our social bonds
- Improve overall health
- Provide emotional relief
- Disprove our fears or rejections
- Alleviate stress
Consider Their Perspective
Remember, every story has two sides, so when you get frustrated with your partner, take a deep breath and consider how the situation looks from their end. Then, ask yourself how you contributed to the conflict and be honest.
For example, you get into an argument, but every time they try to make their point or answer a question you asked, you cut them off, and they get even angrier. Red Alert, red alert! The heated situation has escalated.
Chances are, discussing your feelings will not happen when you’re shouting, “You make me sick!” to each other. So instead, after calming down, take a few moments and discuss how and why that argument happened.
Additionally, disagreements can happen due to miscommunication. But again, you’re not going to find that out during the shouting. So instead, after the storm has calmed, talk about the “why” and the “how” the argument started. What’s the saying? Communication is key. Remember that.
Respectfully bringing up significant issues and working through them to come to a solution is vital. Doing so helps resolve any lingering feelings of hatred.
Do not point the finger at them. Remember, every story has two sides. Instead, use non-confrontational statements to address the issue. Also, be accountable for your part in the disagreement. For example, here’s what not to say and how to correct it.
Do not say:
- “You keep leaving out the dog food.”
- “You are the one that comes home late!”
Instead, use an “I statement”:
- “I understand you forgot, but I don’t like it when you leave the dog food in the rain because….”
- “When you come home late, I don’t have time to prepare dinner.”
Usually, when you make an “I statement,” you follow it up with why so they understand your point of view better. They realize that you’re not angry just to be angry. There is a reason behind it.
When you don’t follow up on your angry (and often aggressive) statement, your partner may think you’re overreacting for no reason.
Focus on the Positive Aspects of Your Relationship
Thinking about all the angry things you said to one another only makes you more upset. So here’s a solution–stop lamenting.
Why make yourself miserable by rehashing a past disagreement? The argument should be over as long as it’s not a serious issue, such as drug abuse or infidelity. Reliving the past won’t allow you to move forward and will only keep you in that negative space.
Instead, pull out an old photo album and look at pictures of when you were in a good space, like last Christmas or your birthday trip to Cancun. You don’t even need images to remember good times. You have your memory.
Think about all the fun times you had together. Keep up the positive momentum, and think of future activities you’d like to do together. Once you get out of that negative mode, your anger and disappointment will subside.
Explore Whether This Relationship Is for You
If you regularly hate your partner, the relationship may have run its course. This isn’t a good feeling, but it happens.
On the other hand, your partner may have done everything correctly within the relationship, but maybe you aren’t a good match for each other, and that’s OK.
Even if you felt you were compatible at the beginning of your courtship, people change. Therefore, the dynamics of the relationship change also. Certain quirks that drew you to each other have now become irritants. As the relationship continued, you may have found that you don’t have much in common anymore.
All relationships have challenges,
especially if there is a breakdown in communication regarding the wants and needs of each other. If you feel unsupported or unheard, your partner may not be ignoring you. Instead, they may need to learn methods of supporting you.
Before deciding the relationship is over, have an open and honest talk with your significant other. Then, you may be able to repair the broken relationship.
No matter how much you argue or disagree, you can’t change your partner into being something you need them to be. Your relationship woes may be a fixable situation, but you may find that this relationship is not meant for you.
If you feel you’ve done all you could, consider outside help from a therapist before going your separate ways. Check the local listings for one in your area.