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The Five Things I Hate About Marriage

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Jennifer Ginsberg: Yes, I love my husband and family and wouldn't change a thing about our family unit. Now that I have made that obligatory statement, let me get to my point. There are certain issues that I have with the institution of marriage, which offers both wonderful benefits and incredible challenges, often in the same day. Here are the five things I hate about marriage.

Wife looking at sleeping husband

1) Bathroom sharing. Frankly, there is no man on the planet with whom I would willingly share a bathroom (except perhaps an out-of-the-closet gay male with pathological OCD). In my experience, men have horrible toilet aim, hog up my precious counter space, are oblivious when toilet paper rolls run out, soil all bath towels and don't think to replace them, and steal my nail clippers no matter how well they are hidden.

2) Bed sharing. The bed can be used in many fun and exciting ways in marriage, but when it comes to sleep, I much prefer to fly solo. I am a very light sleeper, and once I am awakened, it is nearly impossible for me to get back down. Between my covers being inadvertently ripped off and scratchy toenails accidently brushing against me, a good night's sleep is often impossible for me to obtain. A few nights a week I find myself wide awake at 3 AM with nothing to do but listen to the sound of my husband breathing -- the most irritating noise imaginable during an insomniac episode.

3) Nonstop compromise. Because I am a woman, I really think I should get my way all the time. I want Thai food for dinner, then I want to take a relaxing bubble bath, after which I want to watch the "Real Housewives" reunion. You want sushi, sex, and UFC. Who wins? If I get my way, you mope. If you get your way, I'm pissed. If we meet in the middle, neither of us are happy. Suggestions, anyone?

4) Civility during PMS. I am a big proponent of the Red Tent theory. I really believe that from the time when PMS strikes to the time when I am done bleeding, I should only be in the presence of women who are in the same boat hormonally. Attempting to have any civil communication with a member of the male species is nearly impossible. Men are such easy targets for all of our premenstrual irritation. And let's be honest, a man really doesn't stand a chance when pitted against a woman with PMS. The most humane option is complete separation during this time. OK ... we can meet up for sex, shopping, and salty food, but that is it!

5) Conversations before I have had my coffee. My husband is not a coffee drinker, so he doesn't understand my love affair with the ubiquitous warm beverage that keeps me functional. Often times, as I am sitting at my kitchen table and waiting for my coffee to brew in the morning, my husband approaches me to "talk." These talks are usually about stressful and complicated issues that I am in no way prepared to engage in without being properly caffeinated. This morning, as I was waiting for my fix, he attempted to engage me in a discussion about a work crisis, his grueling travel schedule (which will have him out of the country for most of the summer), and his stepfather's deteriorating medical condition. Yes, these are all important conversations to have. But not at 6 AM before I have had my coffee!

Don't get me wrong, I believe in the institution of marriage, I just don't love all aspects of cohabitation. But make no mistake, I am happily married and understand that sharing a bathroom and a bed with my man is part of the deal.

But I guarantee that I will be cursing him up and down when I get out of the shower and I am naked and dripping wet with no clean towel in sight!

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49 comments so far | Post a comment now
Heather May 21, 2009, 9:29 AM

Why don’t you just sleep in another bed? I know LOTS of married couples that sleep in seperate beds.

anonymous May 21, 2009, 11:17 AM

If I want to sleep in a separate bed I would get a room mate with “benefits” and not a husband. Why be married if you have to sleep in separate beds? If you have trouble sleeping take a sleeping pill. Have an orgasm bedor going to sleep… You will sleep better. I don’t think a marriage will last if both partners are sleeping in separate beds.

Ady May 21, 2009, 11:34 AM

Sharing a bed I agree with. Sleeping pills are fine, but when you wake up and you think a jet is about to land in your bedroom. Sometimes sleeping alone is a plus at least you get quality sleep. I can also sympathize about talking to me before coffee. My husband isn’t a coffee drinker and he’s so damn perky in the moring. While I have the look on my face “if you even talk to me before I have a sip of coffee, your face is going to be ripped off”. I can’t function before that first cup lol.

piazee May 21, 2009, 12:01 PM

I’ve been married for 12 years and truly, sleeping in a separate bed AND having my own bathroom keep me sane. I have 3 kids all under 10 so those places are my sanctuary. And yes, my bathroom is way bigger than his. For centuries didn’t all the royals do that? There had to be some perfect reasons for that!

Janice May 21, 2009, 12:08 PM

Three thoughts. First, I enjoyed reading this article - it’s a good reminder of the differences between men and women. Second, I completely agree with the challenge of sharing a bathroom. My husband used to the be as messy as you can possibly imagine. Third, I want to provide a different perspective on waking up in the middle of the night and being annoyed by a husband who breathes loudly. My husband recently died suddenly and at an early age. To this day we’re not sure of the reasons for his death. My point though, is that I would give ANYTHING to be lying awake in bed in the middle of the night just to hear him breath heavily. So, while I understand the comedic humor of the point (and the truth to it as well), the reality is that life is fragile and precious and we need to appreciate it - even if there are times that seem annoying during an insomniac episode.

Jim May 21, 2009, 1:39 PM

Why are these issues treated as if they won’t ever change? If it’s that big a deal, and you see now way out and no way to fix the situation, maybe your marriage isn’t very sound…

Lolly May 21, 2009, 3:41 PM

Wow. You sound like a DREAM to be married to. Take up wine drinking or something and CHILL OUT, lady!

Anonymous May 21, 2009, 3:47 PM

I’m sorry, but you sound incredibly selfish.

DJ May 21, 2009, 3:55 PM

I feel sorry for your husband. You shouldn’t need coffee in order to listen to your husband. He seems to have genuine concerns and needs someone to be there for him. Using the word “hate” is a bit much too.

Anonymous May 21, 2009, 3:57 PM

It bothers me that my boyfriend doesn’t put the toilet seat down after he pees. But when I think about the grand scheme of things, if that’s the one thing he does wrong out of all the possible things he could do wrong, our relationship is pretty great.

Also just because you want your way all the time isn’t because you’re a woman. It’s because you’re selfish. It’s sad that you confused the two.

Anonymous May 21, 2009, 4:24 PM

I wouldn’t want her as a psychotherapist! What if her coffee maker died and she forgot her Starbucks card??

Briellis May 21, 2009, 4:44 PM

I LOVE this article. I hate sharing a bathroom with my husband. Pet Peeve? When he shaves and there are one thousand little flecks of hair all over the sink. Ahhhh.

Also, the bed thing. Tack on the fact that men seem to radiate heat and therefore I wake up drenched in sweat and hating life. We sleep in the same room, but separate beds. We have to. He gets up at 3:30am and if we’re in the same bed, he inevitably wakes me AND our baby up. I don’t know why anyone thinks that sleeping in the same bed is the cornerstone of a happy marriage.
We’re deliriously happy, have been for many many years. He’s in the Army, so I don’t want to hear any crap about taking him for granted, because I’m fully aware that time together is not guaranteed.

And let’s be real, most of the people hating on this article are stuck in some 1960s ideal of love and togetherness, and when they realize it’s not always that way…well….that’s why we have such high divorce rates.

Now…unleash your fury, because I anxiously await a rebuttal.

michelle May 21, 2009, 8:03 PM

How is your sex life? You don’t want him near you or touching you. You can’t stand him breathing too loud? I wonder how much of this article is fact and how much is fiction. And what kind of person are you that you can’t have a conversation until you’ve had your coffee? I drink coffee - and I understand the importance of having my daily caffeine…but, I always have time and patience for my husband when he needs me, regardless of whether or not I’ve had my daily fix. I also agree with the point made above about always wanting your way. Do you ever stop to give your husband what he needs? What else do you do when you “fly solo”? I’ll bet if you focus on him and stop being so self obsessed you might find yourself happier and better able to sleep because you’ll like yourself more. Just my two cents.

GG May 21, 2009, 8:15 PM

And the needle-butts go wild…

mercaties May 25, 2009, 6:51 PM

I do think the article writer needs less cofee and more valium. LOL. But seriously, I had to laugh at the part about the toenail clippers. My husband has ridiculously sharp toenails, I’am constantly waking up with scrathes on my legs, it’s horrible.

Toni May 28, 2009, 7:28 PM

Jennifer! I LOVE your article and couldn’t agree more. ALL marriages (despite some of the other comments) have the quirky things in them that drive the other person in sane. That’s what makes marriage so great and aggravating at the same time. I love my husband to death - but I’m not down with everything he does and I guarantee he feels the same. More importantly - I love that my husband and I can trash talk each other knowing we are happy and in love - perhaps it is the “needle butts” (loved that one) that need to fly solo - it’s 2009 - women no longer have to be oppressed.

Chris June 2, 2009, 12:00 PM

Oh Jennifer, I couldn’t agree more! I love my husband, but some days those little things really add up! I’m not a coffee drinker, but there is no talking to my husband in the morning - he’s so cranky! And as far as sharing a bed, he gets up at least 10 times a night to go to the bathroom, waking me up in the process, moves a lot in his sleep so he winds up hitting me in the face or stomach, and steals the covers! Separate beds would make us both much happier in the morning. I love that you are willing to share your pet peeves. Thank you. I was starting to think maybe it was just me that got frustrated with my husband, but some good conversations with friends are finally helping me realize we all have our annoyances.

Kim June 4, 2009, 5:40 PM

Just because the author is being honest does not mean she doesn’t love her husband. What works for her may not work for you, and vice versa. This would fall under the, live and let live, category.

Karen S June 8, 2009, 5:57 PM

I’m just jealous of the people whose homes are big enough to have their own bedrooms and bathrooms. I don’t mind sharing them, actually, but I sure could use a study….

MM December 11, 2009, 9:56 AM

I’m a guy and I read this site regularly to see how the “other-half” lives, what women think, and how they feel. I’ve been married to the “wrong woman” for 13 years. I stay together only for our children. I work 10-12 hours per day and she stays at home. I cook all meals, do all dishes, buy all food and pay all bills. We argue constantly, she is so unhappy about everything, all the time. I hate my life.

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