Girlfriends, Forever! How to handle pet peeves in your LTR


AfterEllen writer Erin Wilson and wife Laura “Fi” Fiorino  have been together for nine years and will celebrate their second wedding anniversary on July 26th. A writer and accountant who live in L.A. with their dogs, the two met in college, but didn’t start dating until years later when they ran into each other at an alumni event.

wedding dayphoto by Kessia Embry

When you’ve been together for almost a decade, you know the ins and outs of each other’s personalities pretty well, but it can still be hard to live with your partner’s special quirks and annoying habits. Pet peeves are defined as “something that a particular person finds especially annoying,” and we all have them when we live with another human being. I talked to Erin and Fi about each other’s pesky habits separately. Hopefully it will be a fun surprise for the both of them! What is your #1 pet peeve about your wife? Why does it bug you? How have you tried to cope with it?

Laura Fiorino: Erin always, always, always leaves the blow dryer, flat iron and curlers out every single morning. I no longer need any of those items, so leaving them for me to “use” is no longer a good excuse. I tried to say something, but ultimately I sucked it up, and every single morning I am caught putting them away. Even if I try one morning not to put them away, I end up doing so when I get home from work!

Erin Wilson: Oh man, this is going to get me in troouuubbllleeee! We have been together for so long, I think we just rotate through pet peeves every year. However, lately, I would have to say my number one pet peeve about Fi is when she asks me what I think she should do and then does the complete opposite of what I suggested. For example:

Fi: Should I park here or go to the next level?”

Me: This seems fine.

Fi: I’m going up a level.


Fi: Do you think I should do a load of laundry tonight?

Me: Yeah that’s a good idea.

Fi: I’m not doing laundry tonight, I’m too tired.

WHAT THE HECK!? It bugs me because she already has determined the answer to the question she is asking me, so asking me really serves no purpose. Typically when she does this, I laugh and roll my eyes.


AE: Fi, what do you think is Erin’s #1 pet peeve about you? How do you know?

LF: I will ask Erin a question with two possible answers, and I always chose the opposite of what she says. I don’t know why I do it, but it just happens. Okay, in most cases I already know what I should do but am picking her brain on her thoughts–but if they don’t match what I think, I just go with my original known answer. 


AE: Correct! Erin, what do you think is Fi’s #1 pet peeve about you?

EW: I am SURE she has more than one pet peeve about me–I have pet peeves about myself! Let’s see: I leave my clean clothes in the laundry basket for weeks before I put them away, I roll my eyes when we are having a disagreement–which she hates, I use texting/emailing for conversations that should be had in person, I stay up late on my iPad and it’s too bright for her to sleep. Wow, I have no idea how she deals with me.

Fi and I

AE: Wrong, but thanks for sharing all of your annoying tendencies! Have you told your wife about your pet peeve? How did you do it? How did she respond?

LF: Yes, actually she said something to me about it last night, because earlier in the day I had asked her a question pick this or that–although, in this particular example, I actually went with what she said. 

EW: I try to point it out when it happens–in a nice way of course–such as, “You’re doing it again.” That’s a nice way, right? It’s not something I am losing sleep over or anything, so I try to make a lighthearted comment to which she laughs and says, “Yeah, I don’t know why I do that but I’m gonna work on it!” 


AE: Has your wife talked to you about her pet peeve? How did she do it? Did you think she succeeded in talking about it? Did it make you change your behavior?

LF: Well, yes, of course we talk about it–immediately after I tell her, “No, I’m gonna do this instead.” Most of the time I would say she has succeeded. I have learned that if it does not affect Erin, then I should really tell her what I am thinking and why, rather than give her two scenarios and chose the opposite of what she says.

EW: She will talk around the pet peeve, as to not directly tell me, but still tell me: “I think I see dust on your clean clothes in the laundry basket.” I mean, I know what she is implying. Typically if I am aware that something really bothers her, I will make efforts towards changing it. And vice versa.

warrior dash

AE: What’s the best way to deal with a pet peeve? Accept it, try to change it, talk about it to create awareness, or just ignore it?

LF: I think to learn to laugh about it or deal with it. Her leaving all that crap out every single morning is not killing me, so I just suck it up and put those items away. She’ll tell you she leaves them out because they are “blazing hot,” but don’t believe her.

EW: Honestly, most of the time I just accept it! Not because I don’t think she will listen or try to make it better, but because its so minor in the grand scheme of things. Plus it’s not very kind to walk around telling the person you love, all the little things they are doing that drive you crazy! That’s just being petty. If it’s something that is truly upsetting me, then I will bring to her attention and we deal with it. If you love someone, you love all of them–even if they don’t change the toilet paper roll when it’s gone.


Have ideas for topics you want to hear about? Know a great LTR couple we should interview? Send your cool stuff to [email protected].

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