Pick your battles: Parents share their partner's worst habit

Kinderling News & Features

“What silly little things drive you NUTS about living with your partner?” we quizzed. “Stinky shoes? Substandard dishwasher-packing practices? Refusing to fold the laundry the way you like it?”

Wits-end and worn-out partners were not backwards in coming forwards when it came to pesky partners. They responded robustly and they had v. important issues they needed to raise with complete strangers on a public forum (where hopefully their partners may not find them.)

Some, for instance, said the way their partner breathed really, really ticked them off. 

“Every now and then he starts to what I call ‘poo breathing’ (so like when you’re kind of straining to poop so you hold your breath for a sec and then have that big exhale),” one woman wrote.

“We will just be in the car, or sitting on the lounge and it’ll just start out of no where. It kills me.”

Others took umbrage to the way their partners … spoke. #okaaayyyy

“Starting a conversation by saying, ‘Hey, remember when….’ or some such thing, then doesn’t continue for a full minute because he is distracted by a bird in the sky/ he has an itch/ Facebook distracted him/ he needed to fart, the list is endless!” a frustrated woman explained. “If I don’t say anything, he then continues talking as if there wasn’t a huge pause. It drives me bonkers!”

Listen to 2 Judgy Mums

“Is it really so hard?”

Some people were okay with the breathing and the talking. They simply craved a house-trained partner-in-crime – and homes free of wandering chairs and laundry mountains.

“Leaving a pile of clothes on his side of the bed that are apparently ‘still clean’ that end up as a mountain in the laundry. Usually after I have just finished all the washing,” was one woman’s pet peeve. 

“I just wish he’d push his friggin chair in after leaving the dinner table! Is it really so hard?” another mum wondered. It’s a deep, deep mystery indeed.

Others found that sickbed disparity was ruining their relationship. (Well, for a day or two at least!) Honestly? We feel this one acutely.

“Both of us have been ill over the last 5 days (me: bronchitis and flu him: manflu) one of us slept for four of those days to recover,” a wits-end and possibly sobbing/coughing mum explained. “Hot tip: It wasn’t ME . He seemed to have conveniently forgot we have a 2 year old.”

Arghhh. We’re breathing into a paper bag just thinking about these pesky partner peeves, to be honest. (But not in a “poo breathing” way, to be clear.)

Pick your battles?

Another mum was keen to ease up on the venting, though. She figured everyone is kind of doing their best and there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to happy families.

“I have learnt to ‘pick my battles’ with my children,” she explained, “and that by far has been the BEST parenting advice I’ve ever seen so I also apply it to other areas of my life. So I move forward by acknowledging and appreciating the effort. Maybe that’s what will make my marriage work, maybe not. But at the end of the day, no man wants to be nagged about how they’re doing shit wrong. They want our appreciation as much as we want theirs.”

This post originally appeared on Babyology.