For this week’s Love Essentially column, I surveyed a few hundred people on social media and asked, “What drives you mad about your spouse?” After receiving mostly negative responses, I offered some relationship advice.
March Madness Not the Only Thing Driving People Mad by Jackie Pilossoph
I don’t know too many men who seemingly aren’t spending every free minute they have these days watching the NCAA tournament. Putting aside the fact that early upsets messed up anyone’s chance to win their bracket contests and pools, the games really are exciting and fun to watch.
But some women say March Madness is driving them mad! The idea for this column stemmed from a friend of mine who told me she is tired of cleaning up pizza boxes, bags of chips and beer cans from her living room, and that the NCAA tournament is maddeningly frustrating.
It made me wonder, what else causes madness when it comes to a relationship? I asked a few hundred men and women on social media: What drives you mad about your spouse? Now remember, something really wonderful can cause madness, too, which is why I specifically added that it can be positive or negative.
In honor of the NCAA Sweet 16, here are 16 responses I got.
1. The thing that drives me crazy about my spouse is that I get more respect in daily conversations with good friends than with him. The derisive attitude can be a negative in a marriage. It’s easy to be less than respectful to a spouse but it takes toll on the relationship.
2. She makes me handle all difficult conversations, confrontations and negotiations, even though research shows women get better results in almost all of these situations (except for car repairs).
3. He is so so messy! He leaves clothes everywhere and is a borderline hoarder. But, he is also very loving and a great parent.
4. It’s maddening when you get mad at your spouse and then they turn around and get angry with you for being mad. WTF!?
5. She has bad personal hygiene and smokes.
6. She overreacts to conversations and we end up in a fight. It’s almost always over nothing.
7. He always gets up a few minutes before I do, so when I get up and go into the bathroom to brush my teeth, he has my toothbrush laid out for me with the toothpaste already on it. It is a daily reminder of what a thoughtful person he truly is.
8. She blames me for lack of sex when it’s really her who always says she’s not in the mood.
9. My wife never dresses, does her hair or wears makeup when we go out. When I mention it, she just says, “We’ve been married for over 30 years. Too bad!”
10. He seems to believe that toilet tissue and paper towels replenish themselves.
11. She always says or does what she thinks is expected of her instead of being honest about what she wants.
12. His chest hair is so sexy that every time I see him without a shirt on, I go crazy.
13. It’s the way he treats our daughters. He spoils them in a good way that hopefully will give them a high standard and great understanding of how a boyfriend/husband should treat them.
14. She thinks I know what she is thinking without telling me, like I’m a mind reader.
15. She blames me over and over. She says she will forgive and forget, but it never happens.
16. My boyfriend is a good man. He is the kindest and best human being I have ever known.
What I found disturbing was, with almost 100 responses there were only a few positive comments. Does that mean that in long-term relationships, people drive each other crazy? Maybe. That said, a little madness doesn’t mean the relationship isn’t working or that the couple isn’t happy.
What most people don’t realize is if you care enough to open the lines of communication, you might be surprised at what your spouse is willing to change.
The key to successful communication is in the delivery. No. 1 might change her situation by sitting her husband down and with calm and kindness in her voice, say, “I love you and I appreciate you, but sometimes you don’t talk to me with the respect I feel I deserve and it is upsetting. It makes me sad and frustrated, and I am hurting.”
No. 6 is failing to realize…(click here to read the rest of the article, published two days ago in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.)
Like this article? Check out my post: Relationship Advice: A Key Word In Being Happy Together