Top 10 Marriage Button-Pushers

On a long drive to central New York to go camping, we got laughing about all of the ways we have managed to rile each other up over the years. With 29 years under our belts, from dating to almost-retirement, there have been some doozies. Within 30 minutes, we had come up with 20+, and knew we had to share them with all of you!

We would love to hear YOUR button-pushers, so leave us a comment. We’ll post a Readers’ Top 10 as a future segment, and give you full credit!

In the meantime, starting with #10….

10. “Do you want to watch PTI?”

This is Jeff’s question almost every weeknight at 5:30pm. Dinner is going. Dogs are getting fed. It’s kind of like a Pavlov’s dogs situation.

His take: It’s 5:30pm. “Pardon the Interruption” is on. My wife likes sports. I’ll ask her if she’d like to watch it. It would be great if she does, because then I can watch it, too.
Her take: (note the sarcasm) Wow! It is so considerate of him to ask me if I want to watch this show. Of course, it’s not really about me. It’s about him wanting to watch sports, and thinking I won’t object if he’s cute about it.

9. “I did this, this and this. What did you do?”

After we have spent an hour, or five, or a day apart, Jeff generally starts a conversation by stating, “So, I took the dogs to the park, emptied the dishwasher, started laundry, worked on the jacuzzi (although that’s going to take more to fix), and helped my mother with her garden. Anything new with you?”

His take: I took care of a bunch of stuff while she was gone. I’ll bring her up to speed on everything I got done today.

Her take: He’s an adult. He doesn’t need to announce everything he did today. It’s kind of like when he stands up and tells me he’s going to the bathroom. Okaaaayyy? Thanks for sharing? What’s my reaction supposed to be here? Good job? Arggghhh!

8. “Why are all the cabinet doors open?”

This happens when I come home, generally after being gone all day, only to find all of the kitchen cabinets open. It’s as if someone was frantically searching for life saving medical devices and just didn’t want to risk life or death by taking the time to clean up.

His take: There is absolutely no need for cabinet doors. If the doors are open, I can see what’s in the cabinet rather than searching for what I want. And besides, I’m only going to open them again. It’s a waste of time to close them. Kind of like making the bed. What’s the point?

Her take: Open cabinet doors make it look like an episode of “Hoarders”. Or a deranged home invasion. Why is he searching for stuff? It’s not like he doesn’t know where the silverware is or where to find the salt & pepper. He doesn’t even use the stuff in the other drawers. Plus, cabinet doors are great for hiding the absolute chaos that is behind them. Do I really want someone to see the fact that I have 7 boxes of cereal past their expiration dates? I think not. Close. The. Doors.

7. “Why didn’t you just finish the…?” “I wanted to save a little bit for you, just in case.”

This exchange takes place when I go to pour milk and a trickle runs out of the carton. Or I open the leftover mashed potatoes to heat for dinner, and there is barely a teaspoon (okay, a tablespoon) left. Or maybe there is ¼ cup or less of ice cream frozen over in the corner of the carton. 

His take: I’ll leave a tiny bit of this for Kelly. I wouldn’t want to finish it and leave her with nothing. I love her too much to do that.

Her take: Who does this? &*%@!

6. “You just lost points.”

Jeff invented the point system when we first started dating, I think. Out of the blue, he would look at me or my mother or a friend and announce, “You just lost points.” Or, “That earned you points.” 

His take: This is a great way to get under someone’s skin, especially Kelly’s mother. There is no point to the point system, but people get crazy trying to figure out what the points are for and how they lost them. It’s a riot!

Her take: From the beginning, I could care less about points. Take ‘em. Give ‘em. Don’t care either way. But my mother? She engages with Jeff on this. “What do you mean, I lost points?! How did I lose points? Where do these points even come from?” Over the years, she’s gotten less riled by points. Which is too bad, because it was actually kind of funny to watch.

5. “What time are we planning on leaving? What is the exit strategy?”

Doesn’t matter where we are going or who we are going with, Jeff wants to plan our departure before we even get there. It’s not that he doesn’t like our friends, he’s just a planner. He likes to know what to expect in any social situation.

His take: We need a plan. When we don’t have a plan, we risk being there all night. Kelly has a hard time getting out the door. She loves to talk. Even saying good-bye can take 45 minutes in the right crowd. I need to know what she’s thinking so I know when to start herding her toward the door.

Her take: How can we plan what time to leave when we haven’t even gotten there yet?! If I’m not having a good time, I might want to cut out earlier than the plan. If it’s a blast, why would I want to cut that short just because that’s ‘the plan’? Let’s just see how it goes!

4. “Did you move my…?”

This all goes back to a pair of tickets to a Miami Sound Machine concert circa 1993. We hid them so they wouldn’t get lost. Unfortunately, we hid them so well that we never found them – even though we’ve moved three times since then! Jeff is still convinced that I lost them. We did get to go, because there was a record of our purchase. I can’t tell you how we convinced them to let us in, but we did get to see that concert. The 90’s in Miami, Florida was a great time to be newlyweds!

It also comes from a time when I threw away an old, ratty shirt of Jeff’s without telling him. He searched all over the apartment for it before I finally admitted what I had done. Un-hap-py is a mild adjective to describe his reaction. He got revenge, though, by throwing out a headband that I really loved.

His take: Kelly throws out important stuff all the time. So what if it looks like garbage and has been sitting on the counter for weeks. It’s out there because I need it. I know I left my glasses or that very important piece of paper right there on the counter. It’s not there now. The dogs did not eat it (I don’t think). If the cabinet doors were open, I’d be able to check for it with just a look. Kelly must have moved it.

Her take: If he would put things where they belonged, this would never be an issue. The kitchen counter is not a storage facility. And by the way, I did NOT touch whatever it is he’s looking for.

Side note: Jeff generally discovers the lost whatever right where he set it down – in the bathroom, on top of the washer….

3. “Are you in the mood?”

This one really needs no context. If you’ve asked it or heard it, you get it.
His take: Dang. My wife is lookin’ good. We’re due. I wonder if she’s thinking what I’m thinking.

Her take: I worked all day. I just took a shower. I’m in my pjs with my hair in a messy bun on top of my head. I’m curled under a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book. Do I LOOK like I’m in the mood?! 

2. Where do you want to go? No, where do you want to go?

You’ve all been here. We know you have. You are trying to decide if you want to go out or stay in. Do you want to see Fast and Furious or Thor? Do you want to try that new Thai restaurant or just hit the local bar?

His take: I don’t want to decide. If I say what I want, she’ll announce she doesn’t want that. It’s better to play Rock, Paper, Scissors than make a decision just to have her disagree with me.

Her take: I really wish he’d make a darn decision! Why do I always have to choose? One time. There was one time when I told him to choose and he picked Arby’s and I said no way. He knows I hate fast food. But will he let me forget it? Of course not. Rock, Paper, Scissors? Really?

1.“Are you in a bad mood?”

There is no side on this one. No his take vs. her take. Every guy is laughing right now,

and every woman is irritated just thinking about it. The minute a guy asks this question,there is only ONE side. And the answer? “Well, I am now!”

share this post:


Here’s more

Beating the Blues

Although both of us are from the northeastern United States originally, Jeff and I are not fans of winter weather. My mom’s house in the

Read More »