Joanna is the Junior Wellness Lead for SSEDITORIAL Magazine, specialising…
Once you and your partner have gotten into a relationship, it feels like you’ve finally found your happily ever after. But a few weeks in, you’ve noticed that sometimes your happiness is overshadowed by negative emotions. These emotions of course are towards your partner. Moreover, they often look a lot like hate.
If the words “I hate my partner” have ever crossed your mind, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. I should know since most relationships I’ve been in have had more ups and downs than a Gossip Girl’s episode. Luckily, I learned to recognise that whenever I felt upset and struggled with my feelings, my coping mechanism was disconnection. My mind coped with the discomfort by identifying those emotions as hate and making me push my partner away.
Comparatively, the good news is that the feeling of hate towards your partner might be part of a healthy relationship. In a 2014 experiment, participants were asked to group words into positive and negative categories. It turned out that if participants considered their relationship positive, they were able to assign words to positive categories quicker upon seeing their partner’s name pop up on the screen. The same pattern was noted for negative categories. So, it’s more than normal to feel mixed emotions towards your partner and often not even realise that you do. But if you’re worried about what those feelings say about your relationship and want to know how to make sense of them, here are a few tips:
Sit down with your thoughts
Becoming more aware of your thoughts will help you learn how to identify what you feel. In most cases, the hate you feel towards your partner is just another negative emotion you might not be able to name just yet. For example, you might feel hurt because they repetitively come home late without letting you know. Or angry because they forgot about your birthday. Practise becoming more attuned to your thoughts and emotions by focusing on your breath and paying attention to your thoughts.
Improve your communication skills
If you’re one of those people who tell their partner you hate them as a way to convey how hurt you are, you might have to improve your communication skills. You can start working on them once you’ve mastered the first step. The main rule is to never use accusatory language and to focus on how you’re feeling. So instead of saying something like, “I hate you for always ignoring my texts” try “I feel less important when you ignore my texts”.
Ask a trusted friend for advice
Even though experiencing hate towards your partner might seem wrong, you aren’t the only one who feels this way. Confiding in a friend can help you get it off your chest and gain some perspective. My friends aren’t perfect but they aren’t terrible either. Whenever I have doubts about anything in life, there’s something in my story they can relate to. Feeling hate towards a partner is one of them. Plus, people who love you know you best. If they think that you haven’t been yourself for a while, it might be a sign that your relationship isn’t working.
Spend some time apart
Another great way to shift your mindset is by looking at other things in your life and analysing what kind of emotions they evoke. For example, you might love painting but what if you’re out of inspiration? Or you’re forced to do it every day as part of your school work? Chances are that at some point you might feel like you hate painting. I have a sweet tooth but if someone told me to have chocolate with every meal, I’d eventually despise it.
Similarly, spending too much time with a partner isn’t good for you. You’re still your own person and not just the other half. When you feel like you hate your partner, it might be a time to have a little break and focus on your hobbies instead.
Joanna is the Junior Wellness Lead for SSEDITORIAL Magazine, specialising in mental health, wellness and lifestyle. In her spare time, she likes to write scripts and dance.