"Honey, I love you, but..."
When we first meet the love of our lives, he or she can do no wrong. All of their oddball habits are just cute, little "mannerisms." After all, when find that special someone, we meet their best representative. The more we get to know a person, the more we learn about their weird personal behaviors. Over the months and years, the teeth grinding, toe tapping, nail biting, snoring, bad jokes, flirting and farting can really start to get on your nerves.
Take heart! You're not alone. While you're listening to your partner crack yet another corny joke with the waitress at the local Applebee's, women all around the country are suffering the same fate. I spoke with a group of bright and successful wives and girlfriends to find out their mates' habits that have them at their wit's ends. This dedicated, intelligent conclave includes a range of in-the-know women: a hard working stay-at-home mom, a professional comic, an award-winning author and a producer. One of these women even runs an advice site called "And That's Why You're Single!"
Here, our friends and neighbors confess their partners' most annoying habits:
"Hmmmm. Most annoying habit? Where do I begin? (giggles) His refusal to make a commitment! Not to me but for social events. We will be invited out for next Saturday but since he 'doesn't know how he'll feel on Saturday' I can't accept or book a babysitter but I don't want to decline either. To me that is pure selfishness; leaving everybody hanging while he decides how he feels. Ugh. He has gotten better though since I told him that it's obnoxious." - Caitlin Magner, Lakewood, Ohio
"I love my hubby but why does he pull the shirts I just neatly folded out of the drawers and then wad them up and stuff them back in? Why?!" - Beth Robinson Bunch, Knoxville, Tenn.
"My husband is a natural comedian. He's a very funny guy that can hold a room and keep you in stitches. I love a good joke just like the next chick; however, I'm not always in the mood for funny. There are times when I need him to be serious and he's in funny mode. Although I really appreciate his sense of humor and it's one of the things that drew me to him, there are times when the timing is not right! Sometimes he gets it and chills out. Other times he delves in, keeping the jokes coming. That drives me nuts!" - Renee Daniel Flagler, Baldwin, N.Y.
"Let's see... Smacking on his food. Chewing with his mouth open." - Alonda Smoot, Dolton, Ill.
"My partner's most annoying habits are his sleeping mannerisms. I joke that he has an attachment, a night demon who comes takes over his body. He steals all the blankets, kicks and even sleep-yells. I think we might be one of those couples who will be sleeping in separate beds when we're older; although I'm in the process of training him out of it. Hopefully I'll win!" - Jessica Delfino, Damariscotta, Maine
"When you tell them something you just did, like a workout, and they go, 'You should do it this way.' Um... I wasn't asking for advice, bro. I just had this convo last week. I do respond to being pushed but sometimes it would be nice if he first said, 'That's fantastic! Proud of you. Maybe next time do this many intervals at this speed for this long.' Acknowledge my accomplishment first THEN make suggestions. If I decide to do it my way, don't get offended. Now take your pants off!" - Christian Marashio, New York, N.Y.
"My guy always want to have sex at the craziest times. Right before church, when parents or friends are visiting, whenever. It's so annoying. Why can't he just wait until right before bedtime like normal people?" - LaNette Kincaid, Dallas, Texas
"My dear husband, whom I love and adore, knows that I'm making his dinner but he's easily distracted. Distracted by what? It could be the mail, the news, the internet, family calls or whatever. I have to reheat his food twice almost every night." - Norma Abrams, New York, N.Y.
"When he finishes his gum he sticks it on drinking glasses, the clock or in his pockets. Then, when I wash the clothes it messes up my washer and dryer; but then, his entire family does that, too." - Rochelle Emery, Tampa, Fla.
"If I want to keep my marriage happy, I know better than to answer that question publicly!" - Antoy Grant, Beverly Hills, Calif.
So what's your love advice takeaway? As the late self-help author Dr. Richard Carlson famously said, "Don't sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff." It is a blessing to be loved. After all, your partner is putting up with the annoying way that you leave the toilet seat down and keep the countertops clean.
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