Marriage is the first step towards divorce.

Marriage is the first step towards divorce – Zsa Zsa Gabor

Ask any of my family what my most annoying habit is, and they will all tell you the same thing.

“She is crap at answering her phone”

I know this; because when I see each and every one of them, that is the first sentence that they greet me with. I hate answering the phone, mainly because no one ever calls for a chinwag these days. Everybody wants something.

The worst calls are those that come from my kid’s school. They are never going to call me to tell me how brilliant my sons are, or retell a cute story. No. It will be because one of them have knocked themselves out on the monkey bars, or has gotten into a scuffle with Ewan. Again.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about divorce. (What a natural segue that was….)

Or to be precise, that one spine tingling, white-hot rage inducing, constant and predictable as the sun type habit that your partner continues to do, that you are fairly sure will be the reason you will end up in divorce court.

For me, it is this.

UNTILL DEATH WE DO PART, does this annoy me! Every morning, as I scramble to the coffee machine, I am greeted with a plate and a knife sitting on top of the dishwasher. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

And this in turn, makes me have substantial ill feelings towards my cherished beloved. Feelings that can last for several hours and which are made worse if he calls me to ask me some stupid question about something ridiculous.

There is much discussion in the media and on the inter webs this week as a few of high-profile couples call it quits. But exactly why do couples split? 

Personally, and correct me if I am wrong, but women leave a marriage because they are unhappy and men leave a marriage for someone else. Am I right? I also heard this week on talkback that marriages go through rough patches at 10 years, 20 years and 40 years. Interesting. 30 years, it is smooth sailing?

The top ten reasons that people get divorced are as follows:

  1. High Expectations
  2. Adultery
  3. Compatibility
  4. Low Tolerance and Rigidity
  5. Harassment (I think this means nagging)
  6. Lack of Commitment
  7. Lack of physical attraction
  8. Family Pressure
  9. Lack of Communication
  10. Family Background

Nowhere on the list does it say putting the empty milk carton back in the fridge, or leaving a plate of top of the dishwasher.

So what’s a gal to do?

Do I continue to be irritated by this one little habit and suffer in silence, or do I reign down on him like a rabid lizard queen, teeth bared with angry spite dripping from my tongue, as I fling that plate out of the window before bursting into uncontrollable hysterics while throwing myself onto my bed.

The truth is, everybody has annoying habits. Me and the phone… the plate on the sink… the toilet roll fiasco that plagues women the world over. Taking money from your wallet, or leaving the car with an empty tank of petrol. Habits are extremely hard to break. It is a neurological thing, the absolute need to follow a pattern of behavior, even unconsciously.

But sod that. Just put the plate in the bleeding dishwasher! AND THE FUCKING TEA BAG IN THE BIN NOT THE SINK ALREADY.

In the interest of establishing some sort of pattern here,

What is the one thing that your partner does that drives you to the edge?