It is often said that love and commitment are at the heart of any long-term relationship. This is patently false.

The real centre of any marriage or partnership is, of course, annoyance. Irritating your partner keeps the boredom at bay, gives you something to do, and reassures you by keeping the dynamics between you comfortably predictable.

However, occasionally you might want to try something new and so I have compiled the 15 Most Effective Ways to Annoy Your Partner.

These strategies can be used equally effectively by both men and women, although some are traditionally more popular among one gender than the other. Most of these methods are commonly used, but you may find some that you haven’t come across.

Feel free to try them out and add spice to everyday life by adding a touch of floating resentment and silent fury.

1. Don’t listen to them. There’s nothing your partner enjoys less than getting the impression that they are not important enough to be attended to properly. Pretend you’re listening instead by making eye-contact and with attentive body language, but make sure you are thinking about something else entirely, such as “when is she or he going to stop talking so I can get back to much more important matters, i.e. me.”

2. Make it clear that your work takes priority at all times. Respond to complaints about your distance or lack of involvement with the family with, “Well, someone’s got to pay the bills” or “Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know.”

3. When you do the chores that you normally can’t be bothered to do, always expect to be applauded for your wonderfulness. Don’t quite do them properly – just do enough to claim credit.

4. Invite the cat to sleep in bed and to wake your partner at 5am by sharpening its claws on the bedside table.

5. Prevent the cat from sleeping in the bed.

6. When out with friends, make sure you destroy any inadequately thought-out point or argument that your partner makes in front of them. This will demonstrate to everyone in the room what a smart person you are and what an idiot your partner is. Make it clear that the opinion of your friends is more important to you than that of your partner

7. Play loud music or the radio whenever you feel like it. It’s your right to listen to what you want to, when you want to, and if your partner doesn’t like it, or is trying to meditate or have some quiet time, make it clear you think they’re just being a killjoy or, worse, acting like an old person.

8. Snore and don’t try to do anything about it (such as lose weight) because, well, you’re asleep and therefore it’s not your problem.

9. Don’t bother to answer when your partner speaks to you. Better still, answer in an unintelligible mumble.

10. Make it clear that your screen/phone/tablet is more interesting than they are.

11. Ask them where stuff is without bothering to look for it yourself first.

12. Make yourself a cup of tea without asking if they want one.

13. Take food from their plate without asking.

14. Ask to take food from their plate.

15. Contradict your partner in front of the children when he or she is trying to discipline them or teach them a different way of doing things. This will make you popular with your children since you are siding with them and getting short-term emotional income.

However, like the other 14 possibilities, it is a wonderful tactic for making your partner blow their top, want to stick a carrot up your arse, have an affair, leave you, get a divorce, and kick you out of the house. This is the ultimate outcome of being Really Annoying. And, with practice and commitment, it can really produce dramatic results you never believed were possible.

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