You love him, you really do – just not the bad habits that go with him.
Okay, so everyone has their quirks: But add bad habits up over time and watch your head pop off like a cork. “If we’ve already asked them to stop, continuing these behaviors can indicate a lack of respect or care about the relationship as a whole,” says Kimberly Moffit, psychotherapist and relationship expert. “If it goes on long enough, we have a responsibility to indicate (in a serious environment) what the problem is and how it makes us feel.” If you just address it in the moment and they keep doing it, you then come off like a nag. (Fantastic.)
The other thing we have to keep in mind is this: Bad habits are hard to break, and we have to remind ourselves it’s a process. Here are 8 bad habits of his and how you can handle them better:
1. He never cleans.
We have an automatic inclination to maintain our lives and keep them organized – so when a guy comes into the picture, we pick up the slack because we don’t want to lose our personal standard of living. This comes back to bite us though, since he won’t think to do it if we’re always doing it for him. Either be straight up about divvying chores, or… stop doing them! Even if you can’t stand the mess, keep in mind that eventually neither will he.
2. He’s a smartphone junkie.
We’re all glued to our phones these days, and they’ve become known as the mistress in many relationships. This is one of those bad habits you can work on together: Create “no phone zones” so you can stay in the moment with each other and avoid feeling disconnected (which will eventually lead to actual disconnect).
3. He’s always late.
“Unfortunately, keeping people waiting on a chronic basis is either a conscious power play intended to let you know your place in the pecking order, or it’s a sign of narcissism,” says relationship expert April Masini. It gives off the impression your time isn’t as important as his. If this is a “quirk” he’s willing to work on, or if you simply tell him an earlier time so he shows up when he’s supposed to, then great – otherwise, find someone who respects your time as much as his own.
4. He’s cheap.
There’s a difference between being frugal and stingy – nobody’s a fan of bankruptcy. But if he’s cheap at the restaurant or on holidays, he’s probably stingy in other areas of the relationship too. “If you’re looking for marriage and a union that’s going to go the distance, living with someone who isn’t generous is going to tax your spirit, and your wallet,” says Masini.
5. He puts no effort into your time together.
This is an easy and understandable funk to get into, especially when you’ve been together a long time. Things like dates tend to get swept under the rug because you already know each other really well. Initiate by e-mailing him ideas about concerts and events you’d like to go to, or fun things you could try at home – but let him take the reigns and do the planning. He can’t plan what he doesn’t know you want.
6. He… well, anything to do with the toilet.
The bathroom is one of those areas where men and women tend to be polar opposites. Find compromises where possible: Agree to fully close the toilet seat between uses as your “neutral” position, give him his own set of towels and shelves that he’s responsible for, etc. Let him know what bothers you, but offer clear solutions and let him choose what he thinks will work for him too.
7. He thinks sex is the answer to everything.
Or at least, that’s what it feels like. His sex drive seems especially amplified when you’ve had a crap day, feel more disgusting than you did working at that fast food joint in college, and it’s laundry night, so there’s the whole granny panty factor. It’s best to be straight with him and just say: “When I’m in X mood, it’s just not going to happen.” At least then he’ll know, because the whole orphan face when he’s rejected is the worst.
8. He lies by omission.
Nothing is more frustrating than a lie by omission – those uber-infuriating half-truths that end up making you feel worse than an outright lie. What’s ironic is he told you a half-truth so you wouldn’t overreact or get super upset, meanwhile… ??!?!!?!?! This puts you in the lose/lose situation of a) going batshit crazy just like he didn’t want you to or b) proving him wrong by staying calm – and, you know, getting walked on.
Lies by omission need to be handled on a case-by-case basis, but if he’s constantly twisting the truth so he comes off like an innocent victim who doesn’t have a mind of his own (“I asked my stoner friend for advice and he told me to announce it on Facebook instead of tell you directly.”), then run away. Like, now.
“He is oblivious to what is going on with you,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, psychologist and bestselling author of “A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness.” “Despite what you might expect, he cannot read your mind. Be assertive if you want to talk about something.”
How do you handle your beau’s bad habits?
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