How do you handle a bossy partner?

Who’s telling who what to do in this coupling?

Exercise more. Lower your voice. Spend more time with me. Everybody wants to tell you what to do — especially the person you are with. We have even read about Brad Pitt’s concern that Angelina Jolie isn’t eating enough. Does he get on her case at home? In a restaurant, does he turn into a bossy spouse? If your spouse or partner does, how can you stop the demands from making you feel like you are being controlled?

There are lots of things we are comfortable doing that  irritate our significant other, who has no qualms about voicing his or her frustrations. When your partner tells you what to do, the knee-jerk reaction is to get defensive. Faced with a mandate, you might either fight back or just shut down, keeping your anger on a low flame. Sometimes, the demands can even prompt you to do the opposite as a protest against being bossed around. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The next time your partner gives you an order — slow down when you drive, stop drinking soda, don’t smoke, be more affectionate — instead of feeling immediately angry and walking away, initiate a conversation. Ask why your loved one is concerned. What is your partner most worried about? Once he or she can share concerns about your driving speed (it’s for your safety), smoking habit (it’s for your health) or how much time you can give to the relationship (your partner wants to feel special), then you will be able to hear the love instead of the contempt that comes across in the bossy demands. With that, you might feel motivated to work together and even deal with some of the behaviors that may be causing you potential harm. If you are aware of the issues, explain that you understand and are already working on them.

So often we don’t hear our loved one’s real worries and needs because their concern comes through as criticism. The next time your partner tells you to do something, ask why he or she cares instead of tuning out and dismissing the comment. Instead of causing a fight, it might be an opportunity to better understand how much you are loved.

– Relationship expert Dr. Jane Greer is the creator of “Shrink Wrap” – national commentary on what we can learn from celebrity relationships – and host of “Let’s Talk Sex” at Healthylife.net. Her book, “What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship,” is available nationwide.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NBA

Knicks wrap up season with win over Raptors

The Knicks wrapped up their season as it began — undermanned — but that still didn’t deter them from ending it the right way.

MLB

Adam Warren closes out doubleheader sweep for Yankees

Adam Warren navigated a tricky ninth inning earn the Yankees a 2-0 victory over the Cubs.

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.