Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-22-2017, 10:40 PM
Enola Gay Enola Gay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: California
Posts: 1,858
How do you handle your spouses most annoying habits?

My husband has some habits that annoy the shit out of me. For example, he is a very noisy eater & is always talking with his mouth full. He also tells the same stories over and over again & leaves his crap all over the house (I like everything neat & am constantly cleaning up). I've tried to get him to change these habits, but they are just too deeply ingrained and at his age, I have to learn to live with them. I am sure I have very annoying habits too, but he is very laid back and nothing seems to bother him. He is truly a great guy, so the decent thing to do would be to learn to just chill and accept them.

Please give me strategies to cope. I'm sure anyone who has been married for a long time has dealt with this so please share your wisdom!
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-22-2017, 11:17 PM
China Guy China Guy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 10,842
Divorce?

I dunno. I'm in the same boat. Pick your battles. You can maybe get to detente on 1-2 items that are deal killers for you. The rest uou either tolerate with a smile or part ways. YMMV
  #3  
Old 04-22-2017, 11:22 PM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 7,166
Yeah, what China Guy said.

My husband's idea of organization is spreading it all out in one layer on every surface, so he can see it all. He doesn't clean. I could go on. I just decided marital harmony was worth over-looking a few things. I hire help is most of my "secret". I ask him once, if he doesn't do it, then I pay someone or I do it, or it doesn't get done.

He has his own office/man cave, which contains things a bit.
  #4  
Old 04-22-2017, 11:41 PM
Enola Gay Enola Gay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: California
Posts: 1,858
Yeah i get that I need to just tolerate them, but I need some strategies to learn how to tolerate them. I am very type A & organized by nature, so my threshold for annoying bs & poor planning is low. How can I raise my tolerance? Alcohol works, but I can't go through life drunk all the time. Is there some mind game that can help me be less irritated by him?
  #5  
Old 04-22-2017, 11:59 PM
Aspenglow Aspenglow is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,633
I have one, but it's going to sound harsh. I don't mean it that way. It's just reality.

Imagine he died suddenly and what your life would be like if he was permanently beyond your reach. I suspect every little nuisance would pale in comparison to the immeasurable sense of loss you would feel.

At least, that's how it's been for me. There were few things that niggled me about my husband, but I'd give anything to have him around to put one more thing away where it didn't belong or ask me to cut his hair and then listen to him complain that I hadn't done it quite right.

If you can put it in that light, I imagine bearing up under his weaknesses will become more tolerable.
  #6  
Old 04-23-2017, 12:17 AM
octopus octopus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 5,406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
I have one, but it's going to sound harsh. I don't mean it that way. It's just reality.

Imagine he died suddenly and what your life would be like if he was permanently beyond your reach. I suspect every little nuisance would pale in comparison to the immeasurable sense of loss you would feel.

At least, that's how it's been for me. There were few things that niggled me about my husband, but I'd give anything to have him around to put one more thing away where it didn't belong or ask me to cut his hair and then listen to him complain that I hadn't done it quite right.

If you can put it in that light, I imagine bearing up under his weaknesses will become more tolerable.
That's pretty good advice. The key is to choose to look at the positives and appreciate those.
  #7  
Old 04-23-2017, 02:28 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 39,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Gay View Post
...leaves his crap all over the house (I like everything neat & am constantly cleaning up).
I'm the messy one in our marriage, and I appreciate my husband's patience in putting up with me. The only difficulty I have with him is that he needs to do a lot of traveling for his business. He can be away from home up to ten days at a time. I deal with it by cherishing the time he's at home.

Remember Reinhold Niebuhr's prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
  #8  
Old 04-23-2017, 03:34 AM
Nava Nava is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 36,381
One of my brothers has very different criteria and tastes from his wife in a surprising amount of things, which led to much huffing and puffing in the first days of his marriage but also any time there is an external source of stress; the other one, there are still differences of course but they're less and also both have a sense of humor about it.

Some things which I know helped the first:
divide work. If the agreement isn't working for you, speak up, but if the only reason your part isn't done is that you didn't feel like doing it, shame on you. Judy is much neater in general, so cleaning is generally her job. Ed isn't as gourmet a cook but he's more efficient at both cooking and keeping the kids fed, so that's generally his job.
Get help as needed (if you can, of course). My mother is a lousy cleaner, but a perfectly fine babysitter so long as she isn't expected to move quickly.
Learn your mental mechanisms, both your own and each other's. Both Ed and Judy tend to redirect rage and frustration: when something that was already settled crops up again, it often means that there is a completely different source of tension hovering around. Acknowledging this makes it possible to search for the actual source of the problem, and maybe even solving it. It's not as if Ed will suddently start liking fruit now... he never has! Any time Judy complains about that again, it means there's some sort of irritation at work. Any time Ed finds himself bothered by the mountains of clothing, he knows it's likely to be because he's got problems someplace else and not because they've grown (they still fit inside the closets with enough pushing).

Last edited by Nava; 04-23-2017 at 03:37 AM.
  #9  
Old 04-23-2017, 03:45 AM
naita naita is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Norway
Posts: 4,794
Only having one spouse helps.
  #10  
Old 04-23-2017, 08:59 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 38,062
For the most part, I simply elect to find them charming or quirky.
  #11  
Old 04-23-2017, 09:04 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Trantor
Posts: 11,085
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Gay View Post
My husband has some habits that annoy the shit out of me. For example, he is a very noisy eater & is always talking with his mouth full. He also tells the same stories over and over again & leaves his crap all over the house (I like everything neat & am constantly cleaning up). I've tried to get him to change these habits, but they are just too deeply ingrained and at his age, I have to learn to live with them. I am sure I have very annoying habits too, but he is very laid back and nothing seems to bother him. He is truly a great guy, so the decent thing to do would be to learn to just chill and accept them.

Please give me strategies to cope. I'm sure anyone who has been married for a long time has dealt with this so please share your wisdom!
Your spouse sounds like me. Especially the part of messiness. My wife just sucks it up, thank heavens. But she also has some habits that annoy me and I try to just not mention them. I tried just now to think of one, but I have so thoroughly suppressed them that I cannot. We have been married for 53 years, so I guess it works.
  #12  
Old 04-23-2017, 10:14 AM
elbows elbows is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 12,745
"So, here's the thing, I am as weary as you, of my constant nagging over your habit of dropping your crap any and everywhere about the house. Nagging isn't helping me or you, I think we can agree. So, I decided to get creative, try a new approach!

Recognizing you don't need things to be orderly or in place, it's only I who find the clutter chaotic and distracting is where I started. But also knowing I will grow very angry, bitter and resentful if I just turn myself into a housemaid for a untidy man. I'm just trying to find a way to deal, that ends the nagging, the chaos and the conflict.

So I thought I'd try this, I've put a bin in the garage/bottom of stairs/spare room, where I toss the things making my home chaotic and uncomfortable for me. This way the tidying I do, is something I'm doing for ME, so I don't feel like your servant. Since you don't seem to care where your things land, I thought this might be a workable solution for us!

It ends the nagging, for both of us, I do the picking up that's making home too chaotic for ME, WITHOUT growing ill feeling for you, and your things remain in the disorganized state that you seem to prefer, and conveniently all in one place! Let's give it a try!"
  #13  
Old 04-23-2017, 11:47 AM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 15,447
Sr. Weasel and I had an argument the other day, and as we talked things through, we came to the insight that the things we often found most vexing about one another were also the traits we were most attracted to in one another. For instance, he loved my sensitivity and emotional openness, but in the daily grind that means living with someone with frequent mood swings who is easily hurt. And I loved his predictability and consistency, but in the end, that means dealing with the fact that he is really fucking stubborn and risk-averse and slow at everything.

So your husband's slovenliness is probably a direct result of the fact that he is so laid back and unperturbable, a thing you seem to appreciate about him. Maybe it helps to consider that this thing that makes him such a fundamental part of who he is, that you love about him, comes with some necessary drawbacks that are worth the price.

At this point in my marriage, whenever I come across something that annoys me, I ask myself, ''Is this worth disturbing our equilibrium at this moment in time?" and the answer is almost always ''No.'' In a majority of cases, it's not worth the headache. He leaves his dishes in the sink, so what, I have to do another 30 seconds of dishes. If I get wrapped up in the idea of feeling unappreciated or whatever and attach all this deeper meaning to it, sure, it's upsetting. But if I just think, ''Well it's really only 30 more seconds of dishes,'' then it's only upsetting in that moment and I can move on.

Another thing: If you do think it's worth nagging, don't nag in the moment, when you're upset about it. Wait until you're both in a good mood and say, ''I don't want you to feel attacked, but I've noticed a consistent pattern of you leaving the dishes in the sink, and as I work so hard to keep the kitchen clean, it's really frustrating.'' This is a lot less likely to result in high conflict than, ''Damn it, how many times have I told you...?" etc.

ETA: elbows, brilliant.

Last edited by Spice Weasel; 04-23-2017 at 11:49 AM.
  #14  
Old 04-23-2017, 12:56 PM
Arrendajo Arrendajo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Emerald City South
Posts: 2,176
We're still in the newlywed phase. Get back to me in a few years. I gotta say elbow's approach really appeals to me, though.

Last edited by Arrendajo; 04-23-2017 at 12:57 PM.
  #15  
Old 04-23-2017, 01:12 PM
elbows elbows is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 12,745
Spice Weasel your comments are spot on and pretty close to the advice I always give newly weds. I tell them to each make a list of ten things they like about their partner. Because twenty years down the road, when you feel a truly, righteous, full up to the back teeth, can't stand it another second, rage, it will always be the due to a manifestation of one of those traits. And when you see it, right there, in your own hand, the very thing you once found so charming, your righteousness will evaporate and things will snap back into perspective pretty quick!
  #16  
Old 04-23-2017, 01:19 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Torrance Ca
Posts: 7,066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spice Weasel View Post
Sr. Weasel and I had an argument the other day, and as we talked things through, we came to the insight that the things we often found most vexing about one another were also the traits we were most attracted to in one another. For instance, he loved my sensitivity and emotional openness, but in the daily grind that means living with someone with frequent mood swings who is easily hurt. And I loved his predictability and consistency, but in the end, that means dealing with the fact that he is really fucking stubborn and risk-averse and slow at everything.

So your husband's slovenliness is probably a direct result of the fact that he is so laid back and unperturbable, a thing you seem to appreciate about him. Maybe it helps to consider that this thing that makes him such a fundamental part of who he is, that you love about him, comes with some necessary drawbacks that are worth the price.

At this point in my marriage, whenever I come across something that annoys me, I ask myself, ''Is this worth disturbing our equilibrium at this moment in time?" and the answer is almost always ''No.'' In a majority of cases, it's not worth the headache. He leaves his dishes in the sink, so what, I have to do another 30 seconds of dishes. If I get wrapped up in the idea of feeling unappreciated or whatever and attach all this deeper meaning to it, sure, it's upsetting. But if I just think, ''Well it's really only 30 more seconds of dishes,'' then it's only upsetting in that moment and I can move on.

Another thing: If you do think it's worth nagging, don't nag in the moment, when you're upset about it. Wait until you're both in a good mood and say, ''I don't want you to feel attacked, but I've noticed a consistent pattern of you leaving the dishes in the sink, and as I work so hard to keep the kitchen clean, it's really frustrating.'' This is a lot less likely to result in high conflict than, ''Damn it, how many times have I told you...?" etc.

ETA: elbows, brilliant.
Great advice and it couldn't have come at a better time. I was sitting at my computer working on a writing project where I really didn't want distractions. She had a little bit too much to drink today and kept coming over with 5 second statements that would take her 10 minutes to relate. I was starting to boil inside. But then if I am honest with myself part of the attraction was her inhibited nature when she drinks. Double edged sword.
  #17  
Old 04-23-2017, 07:56 PM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 8,822
I have adopted a bit of a if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em philosophy on some things.

For example, she doesn't close things. Kitchen cupboards, the garage door, lights to any room she has been in, the refrigerator door, etc.

So now, rather than closing them and fuming, I leave them open. So what if the basement lights stay on all night (and they have)? Big deal if the junk drawer remains fully extended all day and into the evening before she gets around to closing it (and it has).

It is not the end of the world as I know it. Being resigned to leaving things as is has actually, legitimately, made me less seethe-prone and therefore less aggravated.

(except the garage door, I do close that at night. Except the couple times I didn't).


mmm
  #18  
Old 04-23-2017, 10:53 PM
Enola Gay Enola Gay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: California
Posts: 1,858
Great answers, thanks! I like the idea of thinking that my husband was killed & how I'd miss those quirks, but when I first read it, it felt like a relief . But truly he is a great guy, so I'll follow the advice to focus on the positive and I do think these quirks go hand in hand with his positive qualities. I can follow Spice Weasel's advice-very practical, but MMM, not a chance I could live with all those open drawers, doors, etc (The Refrigerator Door???). I close those all the time in my house, but it doesn't make me seethe in the least.
  #19  
Old 04-23-2017, 11:10 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 39,265
It's important to remember that if you could change the things you don't like about your partner, you'd run the risk of changing the things you love him for. We all have characteristics and qualities that are constantly interrelated and inter-reinforcing. If you could stop him from leaving a mess everywhere, it may result in his being less spontaneous and expressive in general. And if you stop picking up and cleaning up after him, it may diminish your ability to be supportive and nurturing. Is that what you really want?
  #20  
Old 04-23-2017, 11:32 PM
Princhester Princhester is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 14,257
Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
"So I thought I'd try this, I've put a bin in the garage/bottom of stairs/spare room, where I toss the things making my home chaotic and uncomfortable for me.
This could work but only on certain types of mess. If you get this wrong, you may well cause extreme frustration.

There are (by analogy) two types of effective mechanics in this world. There's the type for which every tool has a place, and every tool is in its place. Then there's the type whose workshop looks like an explosion in a tool store but they can lay their hands on every tool very quickly because, well, they just can.

I tend to be the latter. It would drive me to raging anger if someone altered my working spaces by taking all the crap that I know the location of, and tossed it in a certain place. Because I know where that stuff is, and can lay my hands on it quickly, but if you toss it in a bin I'll lose track.

This solution would however work on stuff that is just carelessly lying about, and not working stuff. By "working stuff" I don't mean literally things required for working for a living. I mean things I use for living or working, as opposed to largely unimportant stuff (knickknacks etc).
  #21  
Old 04-24-2017, 08:21 AM
Patx2 Patx2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,782
Idk, most of his annoying habits are small potatoes. I just remind myself that I also have some habits he probably finds annoying, too, and it would piss me off if he was on me about them all the time.
  #22  
Old 04-24-2017, 08:34 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Dutch in the Netherlands
Posts: 8,952
This is more or less the thing I have complained about for years here on SDMB. I did NOT adopt the sensible and lovable outlook Spice Weasel suggested. maybe because I was too busy feeling hurt to allow love back in.
My husband would not agree to elbows' Chaos Bin. We did hire help and that helped to a large extent.

In the end, we chose to deal with it in another way. My husband signed a contract today for his own house, a ten minute bike ride from mine/ours. I don't know yet if this is divorce, or LivingApartTogether, or something in between.

But it does feel like a relief for us both, and weirdly enough we've been very supportive and positive of each other in the weeks my husband's search for a house turned serious.
  #23  
Old 04-24-2017, 09:38 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 25,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
I have one, but it's going to sound harsh. I don't mean it that way. It's just reality.

Imagine he died suddenly and what your life would be like if he was permanently beyond your reach. I suspect every little nuisance would pale in comparison to the immeasurable sense of loss you would feel.
Having recently gone through just that yeah, to some extent that's right - I'd gladly put up with his annoying habits to have him around again.

On the other hand, sorting through his stuff, I also occasionally say "WTF? You left this here and what am I supposed to do with it?" Sometimes I don't even know what it is, it's thing THING sitting there on a workbench (Mad scientist inventor. So far, no black holes, spatial anomalies, or deathrays).

So - yes, I'd gladly be enduring his annoying habits, but they'd still be annoying.

I/we dealt with it by having some dedicated space (man cave, female equivalent). But yeah, neither of you are likely to change the Annoying Habits at your age.
  #24  
Old 04-24-2017, 09:55 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 10,261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Gay View Post
Please give me strategies to cope. I'm sure anyone who has been married for a long time has dealt with this so please share your wisdom!
I try to check my frustration by reminding myself that I should work to tolerate my wife's annoying traits, because she is tolerating my own annoying traits. Our annoying traits are generally invisible to ourselves, but our partners see them quite clearly.

As suggested upthread, I also think of how empty my life would be without her - and also that if I had married someone else instead, I would be putting up with a different set of annoying traits right now.
  #25  
Old 04-24-2017, 10:38 AM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: on your last raw nerve
Posts: 17,199
I stopped giving a fuck. Seems to work okay, but the unintended consequence is that I don't give a fuck anymore.
  #26  
Old 04-24-2017, 11:19 AM
actualliberalnotoneofthose actualliberalnotoneofthose is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,777
I spend as little time with my spouse as possible. This would be the case either way, because I am an introvert who needs a lot of alone time. Otherwise I would find a new hobby or get a 4th job or just start making pretend I had better things to do. I'm not saying these things are healthy for a relationship but it beats drinking.
  #27  
Old 04-24-2017, 11:30 AM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 15,447
I mean, it's impossible to escape from the reality that a partner is flawed. It's part of the deal. They signed on for the same deal. To expect someone to change is to expect them to be perfect, which is an impossible standard. So a successful relationship has to provide a certain amount of leeway for each person to be annoying sometimes.

Personally, I think I got the better deal. I am the slob between the two of us, and neurotic, and would rather live with him than someone just like myself. I have a dear friend with whom we've joked about hooking up in an alternate universe, but we readily acknowledge that we are too much alike -- creative, emotional, scatterbrained -- so we'd probably end up homeless or at least living in chaos as moody starving artists.
  #28  
Old 04-24-2017, 11:53 AM
Shodan Shodan is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Milky Way Galaxy
Posts: 34,806
Someone should ask the Lovely and Talented Mrs. Shodan the question of the OP, because either she has figured it out, or I don't have any annoying habits. I leave it to those who have read my posts for the last seventeen years to decide which is the more likely.

Regards,
Shodan
  #29  
Old 04-24-2017, 03:49 PM
CarnalK CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 13,786
I am reminded of the Matt Groening book "Love is Hell" where a page devoted to things to think about before marriage included: "Your partner's hyena-like laugh will NOT get less irritating with time."
  #30  
Old 04-24-2017, 04:05 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DC area
Posts: 29,219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Gay View Post
My husband has some habits that annoy the shit out of me. For example, he is a very noisy eater & is always talking with his mouth full. He also tells the same stories over and over again & leaves his crap all over the house (I like everything neat & am constantly cleaning up). I've tried to get him to change these habits, but they are just too deeply ingrained and at his age, I have to learn to live with them. I am sure I have very annoying habits too, but he is very laid back and nothing seems to bother him. He is truly a great guy, so the decent thing to do would be to learn to just chill and accept them.

Please give me strategies to cope. I'm sure anyone who has been married for a long time has dealt with this so please share your wisdom!
For me, I generally stop and think "Why is this thing pissing me off? Because if I'm pissed off because of a sock or a glass, what the fuck is up with that?" (I rarely actually do, but it's been known to happen.)

I try to follow the source of the pissed-offness. Generally, it means that I'm either feeling taken for granted or the related feeling that my time is less valuable than his. But if I think about that at all I recognize how goofy that is. This is someone who highly respects me and my time and he shows that in so many ways daily. I don't want him to be more focused on that.

So, I think the fundamental thing for me has ended up being that I need not to take things that someone does casually as some sort of indictment of his or my character. He's not making a statement.

Other people might not come from the same POV, but this is what works for me, most of the time.
  #31  
Old 04-24-2017, 04:19 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Almost Silicon Valley
Posts: 8,824
I'm with you on the same stories over and over again. Oy.

When he listens to music on his headphones while getting weeping drunk, he'll then try to tell me the same story of how rock 'n' roll saved him from his strict Baptist upbringing, or something. For the 600th time.

I deal with it by pretending I have a headache and going to lie down in the guest room for three hours or so. When I come out he's somewhat more sober. I don't know how healthy a strategy this is, but there's no other way I've found to cope with it.
  #32  
Old 04-24-2017, 04:57 PM
Icarus Icarus is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In front of my PC, y tu?
Posts: 4,030
When I'm having a mad-as-a-wet-hen I'm-going-to-finally-move-out moment over any of a number of my spouses annoying habits, I try to remind myself that "this too shall pass". Because I know that the feelings will pass. They always do. So, basically I guess I'm saying just swallow it and move on. Yeah, it's kinda dis-functional, but what's the alternative, really?
  #33  
Old 04-24-2017, 05:20 PM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 13,183
After 3 marriages, I am of the opinion that being single is best. For every bad habit one of my spouses had, I had one too.
  #34  
Old 04-24-2017, 06:29 PM
Aspenglow Aspenglow is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Having recently gone through just that yeah, to some extent that's right - I'd gladly put up with his annoying habits to have him around again.

On the other hand, sorting through his stuff, I also occasionally say "WTF? You left this here and what am I supposed to do with it?" Sometimes I don't even know what it is, it's thing THING sitting there on a workbench (Mad scientist inventor. So far, no black holes, spatial anomalies, or deathrays).

So - yes, I'd gladly be enduring his annoying habits, but they'd still be annoying.

I/we dealt with it by having some dedicated space (man cave, female equivalent). But yeah, neither of you are likely to change the Annoying Habits at your age.
LOL, I understand what you're saying, for sure. It took me nearly 2 years before I dared tackle the workshop, and there are still tools in there I have no idea what they're for. But reordering it felt like I was violating his space.

I was fortunate to have a partner who barely irritated me at all, and I think I'm on safe ground to say I didn't annoy him much, either. We were a very lucky couple in that regard. We savored the time we were able to carve out in one another's company from the day we met until the day he died. But a lot of that was due to the fact that we are/were both very independent people who didn't spend a ton of time around each other during the week. And on the weekends, our property kept us busy with every sort of project. We worked well together.

I also think a key to our success was that we each made a point of doing for one other. He never failed to greet me each morning with a cup of coffee made exactly how I like it. It always made me feel so cherished. I made sure he could smell dinner cooking when he walked into the house after work. He loved that. He trained me on how to put the lid down on the toilet seat. What a small price to pay to make him feel appreciated. He ironed his own shirts because he knew I couldn't stand to iron. Little things. They make a big difference, and it sure helps to have that foundation when working out the big things.
  #35  
Old 04-24-2017, 06:32 PM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 15,447
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
When I'm having a mad-as-a-wet-hen I'm-going-to-finally-move-out moment over any of a number of my spouses annoying habits, I try to remind myself that "this too shall pass". Because I know that the feelings will pass. They always do. So, basically I guess I'm saying just swallow it and move on. Yeah, it's kinda dis-functional, but what's the alternative, really?
I dunno if it's dysfunctional so much as sensible. There really is no alternative other than becoming a raving asshole over stupid shit. (I'm assuming we're talking about minor annoyances, not fundamental character flaws that affect how you're treated.)
  #36  
Old 04-24-2017, 06:56 PM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Near Washington, DC
Posts: 9,577
A dear friend of mine always gives the same gift whenever he hears that anyone has gotten engaged: A small laminated sign to put at the bottom of their mirror. It says "You are looking at the problem."

If whatever they are doing isn't abusive, then the problem is me choosing to let it upset me. Each time it happens, make yourself sit down and write five things about him you are grateful for.

Eventually, you will hate doing the gratitude list so much that you'll stop yourself from griping internally about whatever the habit is. ;-)
  #37  
Old 04-24-2017, 07:14 PM
Martini Enfield Martini Enfield is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Someone should ask the Lovely and Talented Mrs. Shodan the question of the OP, because either she has figured it out, or I don't have any annoying habits. I leave it to those who have read my posts for the last seventeen years to decide which is the more likely.

Regards,
Shodan
Hopefully you don't sign off all your real-world conversations with her using "Regards, [Shodan's real name]".
  #38  
Old 04-24-2017, 08:05 PM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mesa, Ariz.
Posts: 3,221
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC View Post
Great advice and it couldn't have come at a better time. I was sitting at my computer working on a writing project where I really didn't want distractions. She had a little bit too much to drink today and kept coming over with 5 second statements that would take her 10 minutes to relate. I was starting to boil inside. But then if I am honest with myself part of the attraction was her inhibited nature when she drinks. Double edged sword.
Um, uninhibited, perhaps? 'Cause coming over and keeping interrupting you when you are (I assume) showing irritation doesn't sound inhibited to me.

DesertRoomie has a habit of 'saving' food items. She'll polish off a jar of salsa but for two tablespoons on the bottom and stick it back in the refrigerator. Fine and good, but she doesn't go back to that jar next time. No-o-o-o! She opens a fresh jar (Understandable since she uses salsa three fingers at a time) and puts that into the refrigerator.

"Why don't you consolidate the two jars?"
"Because that jar is too old." (It was okay two days ago)
"Well, then, why don't you throw that jar away?"
"..."

Likewise when we eat out. She'll bring back a clamshell with three asparagus spears and half a baked potato. Into the refrigerator it goes. Forever.

Or, there will be a box of Cheez-its on the snack shelf. I'll take it down wanting a handful while I watch a movie and find three crackers. There's no spare box because the last time I went shopping, there was a box already.

The refrigerator part has been resolved in part by designating the most useless shelf as 'her' shelf. After a couple days or a week, the clamshell or salsa jar gets moved to her shelf and there it stays until she decides to clear it off, which happens about twice a year when I'm lucky.

The dry goods I fix by buying two boxes, and putting one on the shelf while the other is hidden in my room (it doesn't go on the shelf because we'd wind up with two partial boxes). When the shelf box is (more or less) exhausted out comes the hidden box and I try to remember to replace it in time.
  #39  
Old 04-24-2017, 10:22 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 25,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
LOL, I understand what you're saying, for sure. It took me nearly 2 years before I dared tackle the workshop, and there are still tools in there I have no idea what they're for. But reordering it felt like I was violating his space.
It's even more fun when I have a good friend of mine come to visit to help out with things. She'll find something like a box of LED lightbulbs labeled "Bad bulbs - save, do no throw out". WHY? FOR THE LOVE OF OG, WHY? my friend will say. Well, mad scientist, he likes to tinker with stuff. Busted stuff got saved for later dissection.

He did, eventually, throw out some of the busted up stuff after dissection. Actually, he usually asked me to take the recyclable stuff down to the local scrapper and then he'd toss the rest. But yeah, there's still stuff like that in his workshop.

I'm thinking of saving the box "Burned out power supply - save!" with the Kilroy-like cartoon face on it, because it was so very much him. Mind you, that doesn't mean I'll save the junked power supply inside it, it's the box that has sentimental value to me.
  #40  
Old 04-25-2017, 09:00 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Southeast Florida USA
Posts: 19,658
People are a package deal, whether we like that reality or not. Some people pick spouses for poor reasons, ignoring much of the reality of the package they're buying. Others pick more carefully. You'll be happier doing it the latter way. Even if you have to change spouses to get there.

Before we got married we had a conversation. It went about like this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Younger Me & She
Don't put up with. Never. Because if you or I do, pretty soon we'll both agree the score is 123,000 to 4. The only disagreement will be over who has the 123,000. That way lies perpetual resentment and anger.

Instead pick the couple things that annoy you the most and explain them calmly to the other. The other is obligated to work hard to fix them & keep them fixed. The objector is obligated to accept those best efforts as good enough. And to ignore all the minor crap.

Bottom line: Avoiding putting up with is a matter of each of us fixing our worst bad habits and ignoring the other's minor bad habits. If somebody is unable (or unwilling, which is worse) to do both of those things, don't marry them.
This is key:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
...I also think a key to our success was that we each made a point of doing for one other. He never failed to greet me each morning with a cup of coffee made exactly how I like it. It always made me feel so cherished. I made sure he could smell dinner cooking when he walked into the house after work. He loved that. He trained me on how to put the lid down on the toilet seat. What a small price to pay to make him feel appreciated. He ironed his own shirts because he knew I couldn't stand to iron. Little things. They make a big difference, and it sure helps to have that foundation when working out the big things.
If you can't remember the last time your spouse did something nice for you that made you feel special, there are two possibilities:
1) You're a thoughtless jerk who's not paying attention to his/her efforts to nurture the relationship.
2) He/She is a thoughtless jerk who's not nurturing the relationship.

In either case somebody deserves better. Fix it or find somebody else who will.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 04-25-2017 at 09:01 AM.
  #41  
Old 04-25-2017, 10:06 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 26,139
The way I "deal" with it is my wife and kids go to her parents for the weekend about once a month. It's really nice to have a weekend where I can straighten up the apartment, not be subject to her binge watching Fox News and Bravo reality TV and maybe stay out late drinking with one of my buddies (if he can get away from his wife for the evening).
  #42  
Old 04-25-2017, 10:22 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 8,824
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
I have adopted a bit of a if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em philosophy on some things.

For example, she doesn't close things. Kitchen cupboards, the garage door, lights to any room she has been in, the refrigerator door, etc.

So now, rather than closing them and fuming, I leave them open. So what if the basement lights stay on all night (and they have)? Big deal if the junk drawer remains fully extended all day and into the evening before she gets around to closing it (and it has).

It is not the end of the world as I know it. Being resigned to leaving things as is has actually, legitimately, made me less seethe-prone and therefore less aggravated.

(except the garage door, I do close that at night. Except the couple times I didn't).


mmm
A person over the age of 6, who is not mentally disabled, who forgets to close the refrigerator door? That would be a big deal to me.
  #43  
Old 04-26-2017, 08:05 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Southeast Florida USA
Posts: 19,658
Agreed. A sizeable fraction of the populace are useless children. Don't marry those folks.
  #44  
Old 04-26-2017, 08:56 PM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 8,822
Quote:
Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
A person over the age of 6, who is not mentally disabled, who forgets to close the refrigerator door? That would be a big deal to me.
I never stated her age.


mmm
  #45  
Old 04-26-2017, 09:17 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 22,337
That's some funny shit!

Sent from my XT1635-02 using Tapatalk
  #46  
Old 04-27-2017, 06:18 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,155
Ha! "She's only three years old, but it's a mighty fine way to start!"'-- Led Zeppelin, "The Ocean."

Seriously, though...I'd like to thank everyone for this fantastic thread. It's a keeper.
  #47  
Old 04-27-2017, 08:08 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 28,384
Mrs. J. has NO annoying habits.

Aside from occasionally reading SDMB threads...
  #48  
Old 04-27-2017, 09:29 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Beervania
Posts: 52,794
My Beloved, poster Rahne McCloud, has no annoying habits.
  #49  
Old 04-27-2017, 09:57 AM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 8,822
Derail for joke:

My girlfriend asked me if I was a pedophile. I said that's a pretty big word for a 12-year-old.


mmm
  #50  
Old 04-27-2017, 10:37 AM
shunpiker shunpiker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Central North Carolina
Posts: 1,258
There is some great advice in here so I wont muddy that up with my interpretation.

But what I do is go around and turn-off all the lights that she leaves on. Im a lucky guy.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:53 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017