Clash of the titans, why is it that relationship rows and conjugal clashes are so endlessly fascinating?
He’s doing it again. That ‘thing.’ You have no idea but it winds you up like nothing else until you explode into ‘Will. You. Stop, doing. That.’ ‘What?’ he asks you
confusedly. ‘BREATHING LIKE THAT. You sound like a ****ing wildebeest in labour.’
Whatever it is that your other half does, just know that you are not alone in your hatred of their idiosyncratic annoying habits. Catalysts for arguments between couples are many and varied, ranging from toilet seat placement to the purchase of (heaven fervent) the wrong curry. With cohabitating couples having on average 312 arguments a year, it comes with no surprise that lover’s tiffs create such a furore in the media. With relationship animosity providing material for most stand up comics, TV shows and celebrity magazines, it is clear that everyone can find a common ground in extreme irritation, and whether we are a silent observer or active instigator in the dispute, we are inevitably a participant nonetheless.
We are constantly enthralled by the voyeuristic element of seeing couples’ dirty laundry aired in the public realm. Eastenders arguments are one thing, but even more juicy is the chance to be a fly on the wall for real relationship issues. When the photos showing Rihanna’s battered face were leaked from police files following her bust up with singer Chris Brown, the images went viral within hours. The world clamoured to get a glimpse of the aftermath of a domestic dispute. The rise of reality TV has allowed us to become embroiled in conjugal rows from the comfort of our living rooms. Whatever your poison, be it Mark and Lauren in TOWIE, or Spencer and Heidi in The Hills, clashes are exacerbated and amplified by media hype, and the worse the clash, the more enthralled we are.
According to ‘Dating averages: What’s your normal?’ the most typical time for breakups is between three to five months. After this point, the bookworm librarian will finally twig that his playboy bunny-alike girlfriend actually isn’t suited to him after all, and this is where the animosity starts. If you and your partner find yourselves descending deeper into the pit of angry destruction, remember that the grass isn’t always greener! They say ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,’ so pay attention boys, as one scorning resulted in every man’s worst nightmare. When Californian wife Catherine Kieu was served with divorce papers in 2011, she tied her husband to the bed, found a large knife, and cut off his penis. When she called 911 after the incident she said ‘He deserved it.’
So next time you think about cheating, or, erm, breathing, remember that sometimes the arguments are best left to the professionals. But if you do have the compulsion to fight, at least have the common decency to splash it all over Facebook. Where else will we get our entertainment from?
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