After years together, most couples get to the place where something their spouse does irritates them past the point of endurance. Annoying habits can drive couples to the point of madness. Love is a funny thing, until it’s not so darn funny.

Sometimes you can ignore the issue, mostly because if you acknowledge how irritating the behaviour is, not only does it do nothing to alter the behaviour, but it can actually give your partner leverage to annoy you further.

The Carpenter, for instance, knows I hate it when he leaves dresser drawers open. Makes me nuts. Some days I walk into our shared bedroom and it looks as if burglars have ransacked the joint. For payback I pull out my emery board and shape my fingernails. The Carpenter hates the scratch-scratch noise of brittle nails scraping against the sandpaper.

These are minor irritants at best. Disturbing, yes, but worth fighting over? No. Smart couples know it’s best to pick their battles carefully.

Call me intuitive, but I could feel an issue brewing last Sunday as I peered over the pages of the book I was reading to secretly watch as my spouse enjoyed his afternoon snack.

He had an adorable assembly line of food set up so he could build the perfect mini delights. To his left were a neat row of crackers and a brand new opened jar of peanut butter. To his right, a lid-less jar of strawberry jam. In his hand was a tiny butter knife. There seemed to be a methodical process to his snack creation. Peanut butter was spread thick on the cracker, then a glop of sticky jam dropped on top, another cracker delicately placed on top, then evenly squished down just enough to create a bubble of excess, but not so hard as to break the cracker. The excess was then licked off all four sides of the cracker before he demolished the cracker sandwich in two crumb-dispersing bites. Chomp, chomp, repeat.

At first glance, this was an endearing moment; that is until I saw the very same knife that went into the peanut butter jar then go into the jam jar. He was double dipping with two different flavours. My gag reflex went into high alert. Who does that? Who mixes their peanut butter and jam in two respective and purposefully separate containers? In my head a loud buzzer and flashing yellow sign was blaring the words “cross contamination.”

Oh but it gets worse, much worse. After compiling the second cracker sandwich, I watched in horror as the Carpenter took the little butter knife up to his mouth and proceeded to lick the knife up one side and then down the other, like a dog. That was the last straw.

I screamed, “What are you doing?”

His startled eyes met my horrified glare and we were in a deadlock of guilty meets jury. He’d been charged with contaminating two food groups and gross misconduct of the silverware. And that’s when the Carpenter did the thing that infuriates me more than any crime he could ever do: he shrugged his shoulders, smiled and continued his calculated snack routine.

What can I say? Love is blind and it makes me stupid. Happy Valentine’s Day, Carpenter.