Portland Marriage Counselor: Are You Caring or Invasive?

November 5, 2014 by

When you marry someone, you commit to them for better or for worse. You promise to love, honor, and respect the other person in the relationship. Even though it’s not read aloud in the marriage vows, you also promise to care for them, and to do the little things that make them feel special. Both partners generally agree that thinking of the other person, being gentle with them, and performing acts of kindness for them will ultimately make the relationship better.

Sometimes, however, the little things that partners do for each other can come across as an invasion of trust and privacy. It’s certainly not intended that way, but from the other partner’s vantage point, it crosses a line.

For example, you decide to clean out your partner’s bag or car. You intend this to be helpful, doing something that they wouldn’t want to do to help them stay clean and organized. But from their perspective, it may seem like you’re going through their personal belongings or invading their personal space.

Perhaps you call your partner multiple times a day, just to say a quick “hello” or “I love you.” For you, this is your way of letting them know you are thinking of them. For them, it feels a bit invasive, or more like you are checking in on them rather than just taking a moment to be sweet.

What do you do when these acts you intended to be kind are actually making your partner feel invaded? What about when you are the one that feels invaded? Try these few tips for getting the conversation started:

  1. Don’t assume the worst. If you’re feeling invaded, try asking your partnerwhy they did what they did. Perhaps it’s all a matter of perception, and not assuming the worst can help deter the anger.
  2. Ask about your own actions. Everything is a two way street. If you’re feeling ”invaded” by your partner, it’s possible that they also feel that way about something else. Ask if there is an area that you can improve on. Taking some of the blame and being willing to grow and change can only help the situation.
  3. Talk it out. Above all, you have to talk about it. Things won’t change if you don’t tell them how it’s making you feel. Sit and have a conversation with your partner. Don’t do it in public or when you’re angry. Talk to them in the comfort of your home when you are relaxed and able to communicate most effectively.

If you’re unsure of how to solve your issues or need assistance approaching the topic, contact a Portland marriage counselor for help and guidance. With a little help and a lot of love, unintended invasiveness can be overcome, leading to an even better relationship.