“My boyfriend is probably one of the messiest people I know. He has this gross habit of leaving his dirty work clothes on the floor wherever he takes them off and it drives me nuts. Why can’t he just put them in the laundry hamper? He also likes to leave dirty dishes everywhere: the living room, the bedroom, he leaves a trail of crumbs everywhere he goes.”
-- Sheryl, 29, from Toronto, Canada
Solution: If this sounds like your significant other, all is not lost. The first step is to sit down and explain that seeing dirty plates and dirty clothes everywhere adds to your stress. Tell him you don’t want to nag, but it would be helpful to you if he could remember to put laundry in the hamper and dirty dishes in the sink.
“My husband acts like he’s the only one in the room when we watch TV together. There’s no asking me what I want to watch or even suggesting a show I happen to like. If I ask him to switch to one of my shows, he’ll do it for one segment and switch back to baseball or soccer as soon as there’s a commercial. I think we need two TVs!”
-- Barbara, 42, from Des Moines
Solution: The only way out of this prime time viewing mess is to talk about it. Fair is fair and your guy needs to realize that he isn’t the only one who wants to watch TV. Devise a schedule that accounts for each of your must-see shows and stick to it.
“My husband has this super-annoying habit of cutting me off mid-story when we’re out with friends. I’ll be in the middle of telling our friends what we did last weekend or something funny our daughter did last week and he’ll interrupt and finish the story himself. It makes me so mad!”
-- Helen, 33, from Ft. Lauderdale
Solution: This one calls for an intervention. Your husband may not even know he has this habit so gently point out that every time you’re in the middle of a story, he interrupts you, and that it makes you feel frustrated. Don’t accuse him of doing it on purpose, simply explain that it’s something you’ve noticed and you would appreciate if he let you tell your own stories.
“My boyfriend has a bad habit of acting like he’s listening but not really paying any attention to what I’m saying. If I tell him I’m going shopping and then meeting a friend for brunch, he’ll ask where I’ve been when I get home. Or, if I send him to the store for something, he comes back with everything but what I asked for. So annoying!”
-- Meredith, 27, from San Francisco
Solution: We’re all guilty of losing focus or not really taking in what the other person is saying, but if your guy just can’t seem to listen, it’s time to explain how that makes you feel like he doesn’t care about you. He likely doesn’t realize he’s allowing himself to get distracted and needs to learn to really listen.
Kate Walsh sits down with her friends to discuss deal breakers in a relationship and the bad habits men have.
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