Do you argue about stupid things?
As a report from Great Britain reveals 40 per cent of married couples argue about thermostat settings, Martin Daubney rounds up five domestic battlegrounds which cause no end of bickering.
1. ‘You can’t keep your hands off the thermostat!’
Get ready for a small part of you to die: a YouGov poll of 2,000 British adults revealed that 40 percent of married couples argue about the thermostat setting on the central heating. Now, admit it: you’re one of them, aren’t you? Some 44 percent of women admit to switching the heating on when their partners are not looking, and 39 per cent turn it up. It drives men bonkers – me included. Psychologists claim it is because women have twice as many temperature sensors in their skin. Men don’t like the cold either, and not just because there’s a direct correlation between chilly weather and shrunken appendages. But we’re intrinsically tighter than women, and view blowing money on heating as a frivolous waste of financial resources which would be better directed towards essentials such as vintage Action Men, rare vinyl and £16 beard oil.
2. Stop choosing my clothes for me!’
To our eternal shame as a sex, it’s been reported that as many as two thirds of browbeaten men let their wives dress them of a morning (by which I mean choose the clothes in their wardrobe, rather than literally dress them, like toddlers). Naturally, these controlling wives dress their hubbies in such a way as to make them as repugnant to other potential mates as possible. Sexless and frumpy, the clothes are almost always 50 shades of grey (i.e. more M&S sale than S&M sex dungeon). At its illogical extreme, this scenario means matching his n’ hers outfits, made up of roomy fleeces, easy-fit chinos, sexless checked shirts and the castrato’s shoe of choice, the calamitous Croc. As the last flashes of hubby’s mating plumage are plucked from him by “she who must be obeyed”, he’ll begin to resemble an aging lesbian. He’ll pick an argument occasionally, but by then it’s too late. In the long term, a slow-burning, deep-seated resentment manifests itself in gin-fueled rants about seemingly unrelated topics, especially near wheelie bin day.
3. ‘Since when did the spare room become your study?’
Who “owns” the spare room/study is the elephant in the room/study of many a long-term, live-in relationship. The first salvo of domestic battle might be a barbed “There are too many of your pictures on the wall – it’s our room, you know”. You might choose to return fire with “But I work from home, so I’m in there more often. So it’s technically more mine than yours.” Her outright declaration of war is when she points out that “We pay halves on the mortgage…” and soon it seems like a good idea to divide the room into two, with a teetering Berlin Wall of chick-lit novels and Friends box sets down Her side, and piles of Hitler biographies and 1980s football programmes on yours. This old chestnut is often rooted in “I had the smallest bedroom as a child” Freudian traumas.
4. ‘Either this wallpaper goes, or I do’
You used to go at it hammer and tongues during a Sunday morning lie-in. Now you pointlessly bicker over Farrow & Ball swatch cards. When you had that first, glorious knee-trembler in Ibiza, did you ever think, all these years later, you’d utter a phrase like “Pavillion Grey? Have you gone mad? That just does not work with the blue tones of the sofa!” Yet even though a small part of our masculinity goes up in smoke when those words leave our lips, these things now seem so important. The arguments arise in part because women claim to be better at interior décor – although by “better” they really mean making your surroundings just slightly more feminine than you are prepared to tolerate. Our ire stems from the realisation that never again will we be allowed to adorn our man caves with Ferrari Testarossa/9 ½ Weeks posters, teetering beer can pyramids and photos of the boys mooning in Ayia Napa. Magnify all of the above by a factor of 100 if shopping in IKEA.
5. Why isn’t this bottle in the recycling bin?’
As First World Problems go, figuring out what constitutes recyclable domestic waste is up there with having to memorise more than one password or PIN number. It’s a trivial matter really, but in the context of a long-term relationship it can take on a Himalayan significance. To men, fair candidates for humane disposal are her three-month-old unopened post, 15 torn-out pages of ancient Grazias and unwanted leaflets to soulless children’s attractions such as Peppa Pig World. And then she finds them in the blue wheelie bin… And why can’t she tell the difference between a ham package and its protective film, which clearly cannot be recycled and only belongs in a landfill site just outside Merthyr Tydfil? It doesn’t really matter, of course. Except it really, really does.
- You’re Not Crazy to Accept and Tolerate Annoying Things About Each Other
- How do we overcome incompatible habits in our marriage?
- How can I avoid self-sabotaging behavior in relationships?
- Pet Peeves That Annoy Women
- What’s the best way to talk about stress?
Copyright – 2013-14 – Tunomi Unlimited Incorporated (Twoology)