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My Married Life: Little Pet Peeves Can Kill a Happy Marriage

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, sweating the small stuff can (and often does) ruin a marriage. The article says that though most people blame big challenges for toppling marriages -- it’s more often the little annoyances that chip-chip-chip away. I’ve experienced this phenomenon with friends. Or should I say, former friends. I am one of those people who has no problem talking about things in the moment, so I tend not to hold on to little resentments until they fester. But I’ve had girlfriend breakups that began with the friend telling me I’d hurt her feelings in some way (usually with some thoughtless, snarky comment that got under her skin) and then having the conversation suddenly snowball as she brings up the mean thing I did four years ago -- that other bitchy thing I did in August, and so on. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from those breakups, it’s that by the time it gets to that point, the relationship is too far gone to be salvaged.

So takeaway 1: Talk about stuff right away.

The other thing I’ve learned is if I spend my time mentally picking Jack apart, I end up miserable. I mean we’ve all had those days where we focus more on our partners flaws than on their strengths. Is he perfect? No way. But he’s perfect for me. So when I start silently criticizing him for the way he just...is (like how he drives, talks, moves way slower than I do, or the way he snores like a grizzly bear with seasonal allergies), I have to make a mental list of some of the things about him that I find adorable. Luckily, that list is long. Also luckily, the WSJ article totally cosigns this approach.

So, takeaway 2: Take a second to focus on the small stuff that you adore.

I mean, do you really want to let the fact that you hate the way he chews wreck your marriage?

Talking about sex can be tough... Find out how here.

-- Holly

See More: Couple Issues , Love & Sex