9 Kitchen Habits that Cook Up Trouble in Your Marriage

9 Kitchen Habits that Cook Up Trouble in Your MarriageI have already warned you how what happens in the bathroom – those little annoying habits that crop up – can harm a marriage. But annoying your spouse in the kitchen could be even more dangerous – there’s knives there!

It’s often the little things that cause the biggest spats. Here are nine of those little things – insignificant kitchen behaviors – that can cook up trouble in your marriage by causing tempers to reach the boiling point!

1. Not draining the dishwater. Sure you get brownie points for doing the dishes. But you actually lose points if you don’t drain the water. Saving the water in case you come across one more dish that needs washing or a missed counter sounds virtuous in the moment, but the virtue is gone once the water cools. There’s nothing quite so enjoyable as having to stick one’s hand in cold, now-greasy water.

2. Wadded up wet stuff. Once you’ve drained the dishwater, you must wring out the dishrag or sponge and put it in a position in which it can dry out. Unless you’re willing to be the one that deals with  it hours later – thus, being the one that has that delightful mildewy smell clinging to your hands for the rest of the day.

3. Leaving dirty dishes in/by the sink. This is especially annoying if done within 2 hours of the kitchen being cleaned. It’s egregious if the dishwasher is two steps away.

4. Loading the dishwasher wrong. Please keep in mind ‘wrong’ is a subjective term and it’s meaning may differ from household to household. “Wrong” is defined in the marital dictionary* as “not being done in accordance with the procedure that the spouse who cares most wants it done.” Memorize that. If one of you cares less, I promise you doing it ‘their way’ is less time-consuming than listening to the chat that will follow (repeatedly) if you do not. If both of you truly care to the same degree, save your marriage by alternating weeks for dishwasher-loading duty.

5. Putting uncovered food in the refrigerator. Not only do surfaces of once-good edibles dry out and rubberize, there’s that whole absorbing odor thing. You know, the reason people put open boxes of baking soda in their refrigerators.

6. Leaving small portions. You can try to play off leaving a minute portion of food in a given container as not wanting to be greedy by finishing it or trying to help your spouse with portion control (be careful with that one). But good luck convincing the spouse that is pretty sure  you just didn’t want to deal with cleaning or otherwise doing something with the empty container.

7. Eating/drinking right out of the container. There is a reason God made juice glasses and ice cream bowls – it was so we could all avoid the ewwwwww factor. And to help you avoid being griped at. If you know in your heart this is a habit you just cannot break, at least be smart enough to stop eating the ice cream with a fork – it’s such a dead giveaway.

8. Putting things away creatively. By ‘creatively’ I mean anywhere it fits because you’re not sure where ‘it goes.’ Initially, it seems easier to stash it somewhere than it is to ask your spouse where ‘it goes’ and get a lecture about how you should know where it goes by now.** You should just suck it up and get the quick lecture out of the way. Because the conversation that’s going to take place later when your spouse starts hunting for for it and you can’t remember where you put it is going to take WAY longer to get through.

9. Not emptying the dishwasher. This is a job that rarely takes more than 3 minutes. Yet we pretend we don’t notice it needs to be done. Even though we have to open it numerous times as we run out of dishes in the cupboard and silverware in the drawer. Just carefully close it back to the locked position and it won’t be noticed that it’s been opened since the dry cycle ended – three days ago. You’re determined not to be the one who always does it. It becomes a standoff. Much like the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where the suitcase sat on the stairs for weeks after a vacation, each spouse pointedly leaving it so the other would take it up the stairs. Check out this brief clip to see who won their standoff and for an, um, interesting way to resolve your own “which one of us should do it?” conflicts!


* The Marital Dictionary is a book I think should be written – I just may take it on.

** Shrew-B-Gone is a product I came up with for just such a problem

Related post that may be of interest: 10 Bathroom Habits that Can Harm Your Marriage

Shel Harrington

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