Bad Habits

All couples have their disagreements from time to time yet there is certain behaviour that can place an unnecessary strain on the relationship. These bad habits may not have been present at the beginning of the relationship but can slowly start to emerge once the honeymoon phase begins to fade. Some people don’t have the heart to complain about them, so we are now taking the opportunity to let spouses and partners know what to avoid.

Less irritating habits include the oh-so-common toilet seat problems – leaving it up or leaving it in a mess. I am referring to those of you who don’t seem to consider the fact that people will be using the toilet after you – please be more considerate. Both men and women share the blame in leaving the bathroom disorderly when leaving toothpaste streaks and hair after shaving, or combing, in the sink. Is it really that hard to rinse the wash-hand basin afterwards?

Smoking and drinking are another two nasty habits which can severely impact a relationship. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a few drinks or a relaxing puff of a cigarette (in terms of relationships), but when it gets out of hand it can be rather annoying for one’s partner, especially if they don’t smoke or drink themselves. Many don’t enjoy their house smelling of smoke or their partner smelling of booze, and rightly so. It is certainly not easy to quit smoking, but it is simple enough to stick to a specific room or better still the garden or a balcony. As for drinking, moderation will spare you and your partner more than a few embarrassing moments.

Untidiness can be extremely frustrating in cohabitation. Leaving shoes on the floor at the entrance of a home isn’t a very nice welcome to anyone entering the house, and the same goes for cluttered rooms. According to psychologist Mary Ann Borg Cunen, “some people have a great deal of tolerance for messiness, and others are obsessive about having to have things in order. If the couple is matched according to their preference then clutter and untidiness will not be an issue.”

Most women, however, will agree that there is one habit which should surely top the list – passing gas! Guys, why do you insist on doing it anywhere and everywhere? It’s really not very funny or amusing and certainly not attractive. Although many believe “it’s better out than in”, you can be out with it in your private sanctuary – the bathroom.

Money spending can become an issue, especially when the couple has a shared bank account. The constant splurging might annoy one of the partners, especially if saving up for something together. This may also lead to incognito purchases – buying items behind each others’ backs – and can make the partnership or marriage begin to deteriorate, as the financial security of the family may be threatened by such a habit.

“Is it really that hard to rinse the wash-hand basin afterwards?”

Some people don’t seem to realise that arriving late, especially when invited to friends’ houses or events, is just plain rude. Why is it that people seem to think that when they plan to meet at a specific time, they can leave home at that time instead of planning ahead and leaving earlier? You can claim you are simply being ‘fashionably late’, but not when a table of people are waiting for you to start dinner!

In addition, some consider it very important that you have a life outside the one which you share with your partner. Not everyone may agree, however enjoying time responsibly with friends or hobbies may help a couple avoid getting stuck in a rut. Having said that, even though people need to do their own thing every now and again, it is important not to allow friends, hobbies and even work to become the first priority or the relationship will most certainly suffer. As Ms. Borg Cunen states: “unfaithfulness can also happen without another person being involved. The couple should balance things out, and communicate about the effect that long hours of absence may be having on the relationship.”

Worst of all, bad habits can be picked up from each other. If one lets go, in time this can cause the other to do so too. Nevertheless, the same goes for good habits, such as remembering the little gestures. A little kiss hello and goodbye can help in maintaining the good relationship that you have with your partner for example. So try to change those awful habits and focus on practising the better ones and you’ll soon see a difference in your attitudes towards each other.

Claire Camilleri