Help! My Boyfriend Is Obnoxious


Nerdy guy
Dealing with annoyance in a relationship is easier than you think.

(View video here.)

Guys, especially younger ones, are well known for having 'courting behavior' and then relaxing into their old, slobby selves once you're committed. It's not that men are from Mars, women from Venus - it's more like all of us have grown up on different planets. Couples can get caught up in arguing about who's right, rather than focusing on what will work.


All of us have little traits that annoy our partners, and what is easy and fun for one may be intolerable and abhorrent to the other. These personal "quirks" can produce major struggles unless you discuss them and work together to minimize the annoyance factors. When you got together you found each other's traits refreshing and endearing; but they can become irritating when you're living with them on a 24/7 basis.

Quirks such as:

  • a laugh or throat-clearing that grates on your nerves,
  • differences in messiness or neatness,
  • irritating jokes or stories,
  • incompatible work schedules,
  • different ideas about TV programs or music, housekeeping,
  • your partner's nail-biting or smoking,
  • differences about what and when to eat or feed the dog,
  • different politeness levels with family and friends, or
  • struggles over how warm or what color the room should be

when endured for months and years, can feel like sufficient reason to break up, divorce, oor even commit mayhem.

Many men were not taught anything about housecleaning or picking up after themselves. Sloppiness is most commonly a learned behavior. Either his parents were also sloppy, or constantly cleaned up after him, so he never learned: 1. how to do it; or 2. to notice or be bothered by a mess.

Small irritations may seem silly, but they can create enough resentment over time to become serious problems. Arguing about who's right and who's wrong doesn't work. The key is to tell your partner what bothers you, and negotiate about it. Don't insult, hurt or demean your partner by what you say, but communicate pleasantly. "Dear, when we're watching TV together, and you suddenly channel surf, it startles me. Could you check with me before you do it?" Or, "Honey, I'm not comfortable with our division of labor. Can we talk about it and work out a different system?" -- You're not accusingl you're just working out the logistics of a problem.

If you have different tastes, it may require a lot of creativity and negotiation or ourside help to decorate and maintain a joint home that's comfortable.

You can make deals with each other. "If you'll dress up for my business meeting, or clean up your mess, then I'll....." Just try to remember this is the person you love; not your enemy. If your partner is really treating you like the enemy, maybe it's time to let go and find a more reasonable person.

Dr. Romance on How to Deal with Annoying Quirks

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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