Marriage is not a cakewalk. Balancing work and family, while making time for your partner and yourself, is difficult. You may see yourself as the provider, the nurturer or the one who always listens, and constantly filling the same role takes its toll.
Married couples aren’t without their quirks. Hubby leaves his dirty socks on the table and unloads his negative-filled days on loved ones at home. Wifey is a couch potato, and the garlic breath from her love of Chinese takeout is enough to make vampires run for the sunrise. Doing the “poke and go” is just as standard as whose turn it is to take the dog out.
Here are some of the quirks that add up to secretly destroy your marriage:
The honeymoon has to end sometime, and it’s natural to get comfortable enough with your partner over time to burp, clip your nails and do other gross things. You become so relaxed around each other that date nights involve takeout and catching up on your favorite TV show, or you when need space, your downtime is tube time. Life gets busy, and you want to unwind — that’s understandable.
It becomes a problem when your favorite recliner has a well-formed butt indention that only your tush can fill. If you’re spending more time with the TV than with your partner, something’s got to give to maintain a healthy relationship. Even if your couch potato time is filled with productive work on your laptop, on art or another activity, balance is still important.
Get up, put on clean underwear and clothes, and take your partner out to dinner, a movie or a dance lesson. Move it and groove it, you spud!
Why? Just why?
Why the dirty socks on eating surfaces? Stop it now, please. The dirty socks go in the laundry basket and then in the wash, to be dried, folded and placed in the sock drawer. You need to keep the sock drawer filled to hide your secret stash of chocolate and other guilty pleasures. So, stop leaving your dirty, stanky socks on the table.
Every person has one bad habit that drives their partner crazy. It’s something you nag each other about and usually laugh over, but over time it adds up. Weird your partner out by washing your dirty laundry and folding it on the table, instead.
Why is your partner the best kisser but has the most horrible breath? Talk about a catch-22.
There are only so many subtle “Hey baby, want a mint?” comments you can drop, and you don’t want to hurt their self-esteem or sound nitpicky. In marriage, it’s natural to let the gross things out into the open, and you recognize your knuckle-cracking isn’t the most endearing trait, either.
When your honey’s breath is less than sweet, it’s kinder to call bad breath by its sophisticated name — halitosis — and realize an estimated 20 percent of people have this condition. As your partner opens their mouth to exhale, an unpleasant scent comes out, which may be due to bacteria buildup because of improper brushing or flossing, smelly foods like garlic or smoking cigarettes, for example.
Ugh. Your day has literally been The Worst. Your espresso machine broke. You were late to work, and when you finally arrive, your nosy co-worker sticks his Pinocchio face in your business. Then, the copier decides to eat paper and almost your hand. A nonsense-filled day that even Dr. Seuss can’t explain has you running home to tell your wifey or hubby how it all went down.
Your partner is Your Person, meant to support, understand and comfort you — right? To an extent, yes, but that doesn’t mean you’re there to hand off the baton of negativity by unloading all of it onto them. Every person has their own baggage to deal with and doesn’t need more luggage to carry.
Ranting now and again is understandable, but continuous negative unloading is a faux pas. If you are witnessing a negative pattern, take a step back and get to the root of it. Do you need a new routine, job change or perspective?
Look for other tactics to divert negative unloading. Schedule a bimonthly coffee or beer meetup with friends and let the rants go. Get a dartboard. Write the negative thoughts down and burn the paper in the fireplace.
Are you guilty of the poke and go? When it comes to sexual health and physical intimacy, being hokey with the pokey just to get on with the day can be detrimental to your relationship over time.
Is your approach to lovemaking “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” It’s strongly possible that it’s already broken because it’s routine. Forget the poke and go, and recall the sizzle and spark.
Make the time. It’ll be worth both your wiles. Take it slow. Learn each other, because people do change over time. Wink. Flirt. Switch it up.
Don’t let these five things secretly destroy your marriage. Flip the cushion and put on clean clothes, you couch potato. Freak your spouse out by folding your clean socks on the table. Brush and floss after annihilating the Chinese takeout with extra garlic sauce. Don’t unload your negative luggage at the dock every day, because while your partner is a port for support, no one likes a Negative Nancy or Ned. Finally, upcycle the poke and go and add a dash of spice.
It’s beautiful when married couples are as in love as the day they got married, so comfortable with each other that they kick back and celebrate their mutual grossness together. There comes a time when particular quirks are not cute anymore, and something’s got to give. In every marriage, there’s give and take — reset the balance.