Everybody has a set of rules they live by that may be unspoken. When you spouse “breaks” them you get upset. If you really think about it that’s not really fair if you never told them your “rules”.
I remember when my husband Jon and I got married. I grew up in a family of 5 kids and we interrupted each other all the time and asked questions. To us that meant we were showing interest and wanted to find out more about what somebody was saying. So my kids and I developed the habit. If Jon was talking and one of us interrupted him he thought it was rude and would stop talking. I had to explain to him about when I was growing up interrupting somebody was a way to show you were really listening to them and interested in what they had to say. After he understood what I was talking about he didn’t get so upset about being interrupted. We also tried to not do it so often since that’s not how he was raised and it bothered him.
After you get married, you need to decide what kind of rules you want in your family. For example:
Birthdays are always a big deal.
Don’t raise your voice.
Don’t talk about your feelings.
Only use your credit card in an emergency.
You get to open one present on Christmas Eve.
Always drink water when to go out to eat instead of ordering a drink.
I know some of these sound silly, but this is just an idea. You can imagine if some of these have been instilled in you your whole life they may be really important to you.
As Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott say in Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts, “we both had our own ideas about what was acceptable, and it never occurred to either of us that our expectations would be so different. Each of us became irritated by the other’s unspoken expectations and frustrated that the other did not live by the same rules“.
HOW TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM
Sit down and discuss what is really important to you. Come up with your own set of “rules” for your house. Be honest with each other and be flexible. You will feel better after talking about what you want and it will make for a more peaceful house.