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Your partner drives you crazy?

14 May 20246 mins to read

The other day I got so mad at Rogier. At times he just drives me crazy. Let me tell you the whole story, maybe you will recognize yourself in it.

It's been 4-5 years since Rogier and I started house hunting. Over the last 4-5 years, the housing market has become increasingly competitive, exacerbated by the pandemic.

We are very specific about what we want. We want to stay in the city, 15-20 minutes biking distance from the center, on the north side of the Maas river, in a house that is not older than 10 years. We are not the type of people who want to do repairs and renovations on the house every weekend. And this is just a part of the list… We require our own parking spot for charging our electric car. Additionally, I follow feng shui principles, so the house must meet specific criteria such as the orientation of the front door, the positioning of bedrooms and bathrooms, no stairs in the middle of the house and more…

The market in Rotterdam is complex. There is a lot of demand and not enough supply. For every property, people bid and overbid. It is super expensive.

So, it’s not just that we have so many criteria, but the current market conditions make it difficult. With high interest rates and inflated prices, buying a house right now doesn't seem like the best option, as we would likely be paying much more than its current value.

Nevertheless, we both keep on checking what comes on the market. Every time there is a house that is close to what we want, we discuss it. Sometimes we visit it.

Houses that we really like do pop up every now and then, but they are really, really expensive and Rogier doesn’t want to commit to such a high mortgage. Then, I suggest that we cut back on some of the criteria. Maybe we look for an older or less nice house which we renovate. Rogier also doesn’t want that because we would still pay for it way above its value, but we will also need to put a lot of time and extra money into renovation…

I am an emotional buyer. You can sell me pretty easily, and if it were only up to me, we would have bought at least 3-4 houses by now. But Rogier is the logical buyer, our financials keeper, the wise one, and he is very careful with big purchases, so he is putting the brakes. Doing this once or twice is fine, right But we are in it FOR YEARS!

I got really tired of checking Funda (the Dutch real estate app) and every time I find a house, to hear a “NO” from him. Yes, with some good reasoning, but it is still a ''no" and it is just super frustrating. I feel that I am wasting my time and my energy. Even our Real Estate agent left us, because it takes sooo long...

So, the other day I got so mad at Rogier. I literally said, “I am done! I can’t do this anymore! I stop looking for a house! I am deleting the app! If you find something that is worth checking, let me know, but I won’t be driving this project anymore!”.

The thing is that our home is getting tight for the 4 of us, and we need more space. But I am leaving this to him.

As much as I love my man, at times he just drives me crazy…There are a few characteristics in his personality that are very triggering for me, and I need to put effort into navigating them.

Does this sound familiar? Do you also find it challenging to deal with certain aspects in the character of your partner?

I want to share with my secret into how to embrace the parts I don’t like about my partner. This is the best tool to work out the resistance we have with some of the character traits of our partners!

I will use the example from above with buying a house, but you can apply it to any situation where character differences are at play.

I am energetic, dynamic, and emotional. In my view, time is the most precious resource we have. I would rather waste money than time. I make fast decisions and execute right away. I am an emotional buyer. The things I buy are based on my feelings because I want them and because it feels right.

Rogier, on the other hand, needs a good level of certainty before making a decision. He likes to check the facts, read reviews, and research for better and cheaper options. He takes the time to think about it, measure the pros and cons. He is a logical buyer and uses discernment when buying something. He would rather waste time than money.

Overall, we are a pretty good team because we balance each other and learn from each other. Since we have been together, I have become more cautious with some of my spending, and he has become more relaxed to spend easier on some things.

However, the fact that we are so different is challenging when it comes to making decisions on bigger purchases (like buying a couch, a TV, a car, a house, etc.). One of us wants to act fast, use the opportunity, and be done with it. The other one is slowing down the process and putting the brakes on.

The one wanting to go for it feels held back. The reluctant one feels pushed and forced. Both get frustrated. It becomes a dead-end situation.

And it would be okay if this happens only now and then, but if, just like in our case, this is the overall dynamic (I want to go forward, to have or experience the next thing. Rogier wants to slow down and stay a little longer where he is/we are), this can be a serious challenge for the relationship.

So, how to navigate this?

TOGETHER! You can only go forward and evolve as a couple if you are doing it together. If one of the two partners finds a way to deal with it, but the other doesn’t, then you still don’t have a thriving relationship.

Choose a good moment when you are both relaxed and sit together to talk about it. Have a conversation, asking each other 3 questions looking at your opposing character traits.

The thing that drives us crazy, we see only as negative. Especially in the heat of the moment, we can become very extreme and one-sided. In my example, I would have an inner dialogue revolving around how Rogier slows me down, how he is not decisive, how he is not a risk-taker, how he doesn’t trust my intuition, how he ignores my feelings, etc.

These 3 questions give a different perspective and help see the whole picture again.

1. What is the positive side of this particular characteristic of your partner (the one that you don’t like)? For example:

  • He is not a fast decision-maker, but I trust EVERY decision he makes because I know that he puts time, effort, and logic into making it, and it is THE BEST decision for the moment.
  • With his approach, we’ve saved quite some money from buying useless stuff.
  • Taking a slower decision helps me to cool my head down and be less attached to the thing that I want to buy.

2. How do I benefit from it?

  • I’ve learned to respect money and spend wiser. As a result, I have saved and invested money, which gives me an extra feeling of safety and stability.
  • It’s a good practice to trust his masculine more than mine when it comes to leadership and decision making.
  • It makes us stronger as a couple.
  • I am practicing patience and trust that the right things happen when they need to happen.
  • Now I deal better with FOMO.

3. How does this trait of my partner's character fit with the rest of who he is and the things that I like about him?

  • Rogier is amazingly contained. He is very grounded in his masculinity, having a strong focus and ability to put his feelings aside. When it comes to important decisions, he takes his time to choose the best approach because he wants the best for us. He feels financially responsible for us as a family and wants to make sure that we live well without getting into unreasonable spending or debt. This is the man I’ve chosen to be with also because of his integrity, sense of responsibility, and unwavering commitment to our well-being.

Does it mean that I love that he is so cautious with money and takes so long to make big decisions? No! But I respect it as part of who he is. I trust his own process, and I see the benefits of it. At times, it still drives me crazy, but it is much easier to express my frustration and let go, rather than trying to change him or punish him for who he is.

I hope this helps!

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