Couples argue. It’s just what they do and — up to a point — there’s nothing wrong with that. But once you’ve been in a relationship with someone long enough that you don’t mind brushing your teeth while they poop, the fights turns from rational subjects like paying the bills on time to specific little things like who has to remember to bring the keys when you go out for lunch (whoever didn’t call it!) and whether it’s okay for your husband to just bring plants home and turn your living room into a verdant greenhouse without your permission.
Here are a few of the other petty, infuriating, and hilarious things all long-term couples fight about at least a few times a year.
Does watching a TV show without your partner count as cheating?
Your wife’s out of town but you watched Jessica Jones anyway, leaving her in the dark about your nefarious dealings. Now she’s back and wants to know exactly why you’re not surprised by a major plot line that should have blown your mind like the news that a fish with legs exists. And no, this isn’t a joke. In fact, she sighs as she presses the pause button, it would have been better if you’d just gone out and picked someone up at a bar. Watching the show together now would just be an anger-inducing reminder of your betrayal.
No one means this, of course — cheating is worse — but once you’ve committed to stay together, you should have enough respect for the other person to watch Making a Murderer at the same time, so you can both enjoy the experience of coming up with conspiracy theories. Anything less is immediate grounds for sleeping on the couch. Put that in your vows.
Who’s going to put on clothes to open the door for the delivery person.
Once you’ve been married for a while, you learn to just order dinner without asking what the other person wants. First, you don’t have the energy to go through 55 restaurant menus together, and second, they’re just going to eat whatever you put in front of them anyway. Even if they weren’t in the mood for pizza.
Now that you’ve solved one problem, however, there’s another: who’s going to put on a pair of sweatpants to greet the delivery person and accept the order while the other person hides somewhere in the apartment either partially or fully unclothed. Some people feel it’s the duty of the person who didn’t place the order, especially if it’s an embarrassingly large one. Others, of course, feel that whoever started the transaction needs to finish it. Either way, someone’s going to mutter frustrations under their breath when the food arrives.
Why exactly your partner thinks it’s okay to move sh*t you put down for a second.
You know that book you put down in the living room for a second and then never saw again? Your husband claims it was in the same spot for an entire week but you know it was there for two minutes, three days tops. And now that he’s moved it you’re never going to find it again. That’s because he didn’t just put it back on the shelf or wherever it’d make sense for a book to go. Three months later you’ll find it in the back of the fridge and another fight will erupt about why the hell there’s a book next to the leftover lasagna from last week that will inevitably end with at least one party angrily muttering “well if you put things where they were supposed to go…” under their breath.
Bonus argument: the one that happens when your partner tries to explain exactly where it is they put your stuff with vague descriptors such as “over there,” “you know, on the thing,” and, most infuriatingly, “in the room.”
Whether or not you actually have to go to the effing dinner party you forgot you said “yes” to months ago.
An argument will erupt but will quickly be silenced by the mutual agreement that you can just say you’re sick and promise to do better next time. Of course, that will quickly be followed by the secondary argument of exactly who’s going to do the calling and apologizing.
Will you reschedule for next week? Absolutely. Will you have this exact same fight then? Probably.
What the acceptable amount of notice is when it comes to making plans.
At some point in the relationship, you’ll feel comfortable making plans for both of you without consulting the other person (and vice versa ). Then you’ll forget to tell the other person, assume you have told them, and remind them of the upcoming event only days (sometimes hours) before it occurs.
This will lead to a Law & Order-style interrogation about whether you actually told the other person about the event, which will culminate in one of you yelling “all I wanted was a little notice,” while the other will retort “well, if you listened you’d have had a little notice” with the tone of righteous indignation reserved only for those times when someone knows they’re wrong but can’t ever admit it.
Whether piles are an acceptable way of storing clothing.
Yes. The answer to the question of whether clothes belong in piles is always “yes.” But some people, apparently, think that we should be using closets and dressers instead of the floor to store our vestments. Those people are wrong, but they’re also somehow the person you married. Of all the fights you’ll have, this will be the one you’ll have most often. But it’ll also be the one that brings you closest together as your partner teaches you how to put things away (or vice versa). At least one of you will promise to do better. Just like you did three months ago and like you will again four months from now.