I am hyper-planned out; in fact, I’ve never met a plan I didn’t want to keep. I like knowing what I’m doing, who I’m doing it with, and what kind of “vibe” it will entail — long before it all takes place. Early in our relationship, my long-distance boyfriend didn’t know this about me, which led to one of our biggest fights to date.
One weekend, he was in town and we were visiting mutual friends. We were all having such a good time that afternoon that he thought it would be fun to spontaneously change our private date night at a fancy restaurant to a double-date night-in with two of our friends — friends whom I love and adore, but whom I did not plan to spend additional time with that evening. He did this without consulting me, and before I could say a word, my friend Amber was already deciding how to cook the lamb that night.
Although I’d initially agreed out of politeness, later, feeling the social-drain of my introversion and deep-seated annoyance, I told him I wasn’t feeling it and would not be going, “but he should totally go anyway.” While I wanted him to recognize my hurt and frustration, my passive-aggressiveness must have been far too subtle because he earnestly asked if I was feeling sick, and when I said no, left to go meet friends.
I was seething. Throughout the night, I ignored all the texts and photos he sent of the lamb dinner, and when he got home, we got in a huge fight. But in the end, it was a fight that bred understanding. I know that spontaneity and extroversion is part of who he is; oftentimes, it’s one reason I love him. It helps me loosen up and get out of my comfort zone. But also, he now knows why plans are so important to me, and makes an effort to keep them. We decided that, in the future, he’d check in with me before changing our plans, and I’d communicate more clearly at the moment if there’s something I truly don’t want to do.
But looking back, the pettiness and the drama, mostly on my part, just did not have to be; we almost broke up then and there. Since I know that I’m not alone in the realm of ridiculous fights, I asked MR readers to tell me what weird disagreement with their partner escalated into a Full-Blown Thing that almost ended them (but didn’t). Here are the best stories.
“One time I got mad at a boyfriend who made this pretty girl in his social work class the Pink Power Ranger for their themed group project. I thought he must have for sure thought she was pretty because he made her the pink one.”
“My boyfriend and I were walking around thrift shops in London and he decided to buy a horrific women’s golf bangle shaped like a tiger hugging his wrist. It was chunky and I hated everything about it. There was not a single redeeming quality that would make this bracelet an acceptable accessory for anyone, let alone my boyfriend. He kept asking me if I liked it and I kept telling him the truth: No, I hate it. He got super upset with me because I wasn’t ‘supportive’ of his purchase decision. After a bit of a yelling match, neither of us had conceded our points and he decided not to wear the wretched tiger around me again. In the end, I’m glad I stood up for my belief in quality, flattering accessories.”
“We fought over the color of a sectional couch. Nearly ended up calling off the wedding.”
“I guess it was not our biggest fight but my girlfriend and I had a very serious fight — involving actual crying and screaming — concerning the scrabble game you can play on Facebook Messenger. We did end up breaking up a couple of weeks later, so maybe it was a sign that the relationship wasn’t really working out anymore.”
“Leaving his crusty, crumb filled empty Chex mix bags all over our bedroom. After months of asking him to throw them out, leaving notes everywhere for him to remember to pick them up, I found three in our room one morning while he was at work. Little did he know the fury he was about to walk into when he came home!”
“In Oaxaca, Mexico, my now-husband attempted to order two tortas. The women taking our order only took the order for one, though… and he wouldn’t give me half of his torta! There were tears, and we walked away from each other at the top of a pyramid.”
“We fought for four consecutive hours, because I said I was trying to dress less feminine for the season and he jokingly said that my shirt was unbuttoned too far down to be considered masculine or androgynous and I got upset and accused him of being overly critical — and we literally went back and forth for four hours straight.”
“My boyfriend took my favorite leftovers to work without telling me, so I spent all day excited to get home and eat it, and then it wasn’t there. Fight ended up going on for multiple hours and ended with me sobbing saying, ‘I know these feelings are ridiculous and I don’t want to be feeling them, but until you acknowledge them I don’t know how to stop.’ He ended up saying he saw my hurt and I wasn’t crazy, I said it was of course fine that he took the food for lunch. We watched a movie and went to bed happy.”
“The fight always revolves around his leather jacket. He insists that it is ‘always weather for the leather.’ I exploded when he insisted on wearing it to a three-hour mountain hike with my family; I lost that battle. Since then, I’ve also learned that it is, in fact, always weather for the leather. Don’t tell him I said that.”
“I once had a complete breakdown about iguanas, of which I have a massive phobia. It started because I saw a picture of one on Facebook, and I wanted my boyfriend to block the post for me, but he absolutely refused. From there, it snowballed. We have a wedding coming up in Florida and I started saying that I couldn’t go because I was terrified. Plus, last year there was that thing where because of the cold, iguanas were just falling off trees — my absolute nightmare. Anyway, he said that if I didn’t want to go, I’d have to call our friends and tell them why I couldn’t go to the wedding; it was resolved when he agreed that if the cold weather thing happened again, then I would be allowed to skip the wedding… Toddler tantrums at 27.”
“He gave me a Christmas sweater as a birthday gift; my birthday is in June.”
“Cheese boards. I love them very much, but he was opposed to them in principal; so much money for so little, blah blah blah. I took it very personally. We had three huge fights about it. Why wouldn’t you pay for an experience?!? Why do you think me wanting that experience is terrible?!? He ended up ordering us a cheese board for Valentine’s Day.”
“Once we got into a relatively loud fight in a, thankfully, mostly empty restaurant regarding chiropractors giving nutrition advice. I said that they should not; you should go to a registered dietitian for nutrition advice. He thought it was appropriate, though. And somehow that turned into me accusing him of being anti-vax (which he’s not), and me being accused of being part of ‘big pharma’ (I’m not). We didn’t speak for two days.”
“We were broke AF college kids and he used like six dryer sheets for one load of laundry. I freaked out because they’re so expensive. We argued about it for days.”
“I got blackout drunk at a friendsgiving party and said a bunch of terrible things about his ex that I don’t even remember, but also had to take responsibility for (drink responsibly, kids!). He was extremely hurt, and eventually we decided it was the result of things being too close — we were living together and worked together at the time — and I moved out! Now we are actually closer, get along better, and spend more time together than when we lived together. Shrug emoji.”
“Drunkenly, my ex-boyfriend whipped off my fake eyelash in a nightclub in a moment of curiosity over what they were. I burst into tears and was asked to ‘leave and cry somewhere else, please, madam’ by the bouncer. I then refused to get into a taxi home with my boyfriend and travelled all the way to my parent’s house, proclaiming he had broken my heart. We stayed together for another six months after that.”
“It was my 30th birthday, and we went to Shanghai to celebrate. After having the perfect dinner, we came back to the hotel room and my boyfriend said to me, ‘Oh, you did not even notice what’s on your bedside!’ No, I had not seen the huge rose bouquet until he said that, which got me terribly upset that he did not allow me to find the surprise; he instead ruined it by telling me. I cried until morning.”
“He wouldn’t play ‘Volare’ by the Gypsy Kings while we were pregaming; we fought the whole night, yelled in the street, and almost broke up.”
“It’s a fight that’s gone on for 30 years with my husband. He refuses to take his shoes off in the house. He is otherwise a solid gem of a human being — great dad, husband, son, brother, uncle and friend. He cares deeply about saving the environment and helping others. He’s a brilliant lawyer and usually a team player but this goddamn shoe thing has made us fight like wild dogs. After years of the friggin’ shoe fiasco, I finally gave up. I had all our carpets removed one day while he was at work and had the bill sent to his office. He never said a word about the carpets, or the bill; he did, however, buy a new pair of slippers.”
Collage by Madeline Montoya.