A pattern in my relationship


Hi Brooke,
My husband and I have a reoccurring pattern where I will get irritated with him in a tense moment and either snap at him a little or make a face (according to him) and then he will be wounded/offended and shut down emotionally. We have discussed this in light of the model as far as his thought about what my irritation means about him in his thoughts, that he takes it so personally and lets it cause a rupture between us.

I understand that my irritation also fits in the model and the thoughts I have identified are that “he is asking a redundant question” or that he is “slowing us down” or “wasting time”. I have tried to slow down and not respond right away in these moments however a part of me feels like irritation is a normal emotion that will continue to come up and I shouldn’t have to hide it or pretend it isn’t there. (The most recent time this happened I didn’t say or do anything that could be deemed offensive but he said it was my facial expression.) However I also see that it is hurting his feelings, so as much as I can, I will try to respond more patiently. My question is have you and Chris experienced this kind of thing to any degree and if so how do you handle it? Are there replacement thoughts we should try to use in those moments that would help each of us to react differently and more out of love? Both seem very automatic in the moment. Thanks!