The devil is indeed in the details. We asked Huff/Post50 Facebook friends who have been together a long time what drives them crazy about their mate ― and how they cope with it. Feel free to add your own hot buttons in the comments below.
Just don’t do it when you argue. Vocal volume is not a measure of how right you are. Vocal volume is a measure of your frustration. Wars aren’t won by the side with the purest principles, but the side with the best weaponry. Same is true of fighting over whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher: Volume will get you nowhere and only the truth will set you free.
Jealousy is not a measure of affection; it is a measure of your insecurity. That said, it really isn’t cool to grab the next-door neighbor’s ass at the block party unless all parties concerned are on board and maybe not even then. And last we looked, car keys in the fishbowl parties ended with the ‘70s.
3. Dirty socks.
The only thing worse than dirty socks left in the middle of the living room floor are dirty socks worn to bed. When socks are dirty, they smell bad. Foot odor is distinct ― and distinctly disgusting. When socks are dirty, they must be laundered, not left on the floor. And even while clean, why are they coming to bed with you?
4. Get naked.
Yeah, we’re still hung up on the sleeping in socks. But why are you wearing flannel PJs to bed anyway?
Only 8 percent of us sleep naked, but we’re willing to bet that that’s the same 8 percent who have been happily together a long time. Go bare! Sleeping in the buff is not only killer-sexy, it’s good for you.
5. Dirty anything.
Please follow the golden rule of marriage: If you make it dirty, you clean it. Nobody likes life-maintenance chores, but most of us like ― or can at least appreciate ― cleanliness. Nobody has ever complained about a bathroom being too clean.
6. Temperature control.
She who controls the thermostat rules the world. It is an undisputed fact that menopausal women will break out in a profuse sweat at temperatures that others might consider parka-worthy. Let them open the windows wide, even when it is freezing out. Let them put the air conditioner on high while they rub ice cubes up and down their necks. Be mindful that the other symptom of menopause is a tendency to feel murderous. We are sharing this advice for your own good. Frankly, we aren’t sure why “under the influence of menopause” hasn’t yet been offered as a defense in a capital crime.
Earphones could solve many of the world’s conflicts, and certainly they end the TV wars. Although it’s hard to fathom how someone wouldn’t be thrilled at the prospect of re-watching an old episode of “Pitbulls and Parolees,” there are times in every long-term relationship when you just need to take a break from one another and pursue your own interests. Headphones provide that break.
Happy partners look for ways in which to be selfless. They put the other’s needs ahead of their own, at least in theory. Selflessness unfortunately can be faked in the hands of the passive-aggressive. “I will sleep on the couch because I know my snoring keeps you up” can also mean “I want to watch wrestling and not hear about how it’s faked and stupid.” Happy couples are the ones who both understand and accept the above.
9. Don’t ever take the last whatever.
Don’t be the one to eat the last cupcake, metaphorically speaking. There is so much good will to be had by saving some coffee in the pot for your mate that we don’t really understand why this doesn’t happen in every household every day in every corner of the universe. But it doesn’t. A pity, actually.
10. Complex isn’t the same as complicated.
Complex people are multi-faceted, unpredictable, interesting. Complicated people travel with a dark cloud over their heads and never see a glass as anything but half empty. Don’t be complicated. Long-time couples know how to just spit out what they want, say how they feel. They don’t say “yes” when they mean “no.” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? We assure you: It’s not.