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How to win the thermostat control battle with your spouse

It’s one of marriage’s oldest battles: Your spouse likes the temperature set at a certain level, while you like the temperature set at the correct level. It leads to spats, sneakery and someone sleeping on the couch.

On its face, the rift caused by fluctuations in home temperature may seem petty. But that’s just not true. When two degrees up or down means you won’t sleep comfortably tonight, or worse, that your spouse might win, it becomes serious business indeed.

We recommend writing down every single thermostat-related offense your spouse commits as a healthy way to deal with the ongoing conflict. Here’s what that might look like.

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6:05 a.m. Woke up drenched in my own sweat again. Thought the unspeakable had happened for a moment, only to wander out to the thermostat to find that my circulatory-impaired husband had cranked it up to right between “Mount Vesuvius” and “Surface of Venus.” Ratcheted it back down to “decent.”
7:15 a.m. Sneaky motherfudger jammed a thumbtack into the meter knob to keep the temperature hovering around “Sixth Circle of the Inferno” while I was in the shower. Removed thumbtack. SM now shivering in closet, threatening to burn the kids’ baby books for warmth. He wouldn’t dare.
9:00 a.m. Husband left to take the kids to a friend’s house for tonight’s sleepover. Baby books intact and now secured in a covert location. Spent next hour Googling “how to lock thermostat” and enjoying a sweat-free cup of coffee, and I didn’t even have to strip down to my skivvies to do it. Considering this proof that I’m right.
10:47 a.m. Just got off the phone with husband. He’s on his way back sans kids and claims he’s “suddenly not feeling so great, hon.” Like I don’t know the difference between his genuine Man Cold Whine and the one he uses when he’s planning on planting it on the couch all day with the heat set to “Atomic” because God forbid the man should put a sweater on.

Nice try, but it’s not my first rodeo, Hoss.

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12:15 p.m. Husband is in the shower, his clothes are in the toilet bowl. Will update when it’s safe.

1:30 p.m. Husband making noises that sound like an enraged manatee hyperventilating into a wind tunnel. I think he found his clothes.

5:30 p.m. Safe to update. Caught husband cranking up the temperature to “Flirting with Hyperthermia” before he got in the shower. Told him that it’s only fair to turn it down since he can put more clothes on, but to be comfortable I would have to walk around naked. Idiot winked at me, so after he stripped, I put his clothes in the porcelain throne to illustrate the point. Huge fight ensued. Was accused of being “passive-aggressive.” The nerve.

7:24 p.m. Temperature set to rights. Husband stomping about, muttering about how drafty it is. I am angrily folding throw blankets and every winter coat we own on the couch with the hope that he’ll catch on to the fact that there are other ways to be warm other than setting the thermostat to “Broil.” Passive-aggressive that, jerk.

9:15 p.m. Had to run an extra pair of PJs to the sleepover house. Upon return, heard strange noises coming from the hall. Husband shouting “OK Google, thermostat repair!” into his phone while pawing at the meter. Shot him nasty look. What is he up to?

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10:52 p.m. Bedtime. If I head up a little earlier than he does, I can turn the temperature down on the down-low before he comes upstairs. Good thing, too, since he managed to sneak it up to “Equatorial Tropics” while I was on the phone with my sister.


11:02 p.m. Devious snake came upstairs with some half-baked story about “thermostat on the fritz” and “fixing it tomorrow.” Said nothing. Simply removed wedding ring and dropped it like a mic.

11:10 p.m. Husband came to bed. I would scrunch all the way over to one side if I didn’t need to splay myself over the entire mattress to cool off. I keep “accidentally” flopping my hands across his face. Husband keeps heaving sighs. Constructing really great speech in my head for the morning about how restless I get when it’s too warm. It’s killer: I’m super eloquent when I’m mad.

12:00 a.m. Husband snoring. As soon as he was out, I dug out the manual and tool kit. Adjusted temperature to “Polar Vortex” out of sheer spite. Removed faceplate and stored in same covert location as baby books.

Checkmate, darling.

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