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5 Ways Your Spouse Is Harder to Deal With Than Your Kids

Photograph by Twenty20

Dealing with small children is hard, very hard. And I know, the cliché is true: it's the hardest job you'll ever love. But you know what's sometimes harder?

Dealing with your spouse.

Hear me out. I know we all love our partners—the loves of our lives and all that. Without them life would be unbearable, blah, blah. But admit it: sometimes they can be impossible to deal with. And sometimes dealing with your kid , in comparison, is easier.

Consider this:

1. You can't put your spouse in a time out

When your kid does or says something inappropriate, you can send them directly to the timeout chair. If they resist, you can even pick them up and put them there yourself.

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But if you're at a wedding or out to dinner with friends? Your spouse can say or do whatever he/she wants and there are basically no repurcussions. No timeout chair, no sending them to their room and, certainly, no picking them up to move them to another space to talk about what they did wrong.

You may be preparing a brussels sprout salad for dinner, but your partner already went to McDonald's for lunch.

2. You can't tell your spouse what to eat

Well, you can. You can try. But your spouse will go to work and just order whatever he/she wants to eat for lunch.

You may be preparing a brussels sprout salad for dinner, but your partner already went to McDonald's for lunch. No way your 6-year-old can do that without you knowing about it.

3. You can't tell your spouse when to go to bed

My kids know the nighttime routine: brush teeth, take bath. Then, they each get to read three books (or three chapters in a chapter book) and, when we're done, they each get three songs. After that, it's lights out and time for bed.

My husband? Yeah, no. He doesn't want to read before bedtime, no matter how relaxing I tell him it is. He wants to watch TV, and he certainly doesn't want me to tell him when to turn it off and go to bed.

4. You can't take away your spouse's favorite toy

When I really need to get things done, I know just what to do—I go for the jugular and tell my kids that if they don't turn things around, they'll be losing the privilege of playing with their favorite toy.

But hey, I'm difficult, too. I eat what I want, I go to bed when I want, and I will play with whatever toys I want (Shoes. Lots and lots of shoes).

This won't exactly fly with the husband. What am I going to do—take away his car? His iPhone? I've got nothing.

5. You can't outsmart your spouse

I use the five minutes thing a lot. "Five minutes until we get shoes and socks on!" "You can do five more minutes of play, and then it's time for bathtime!" "You can use that toy for five minutes, and then it's time to give your brother a turn." And it's amazingly effective.

But could I try this with my husband? "Okay, honey, in five minutes we're going out to dinner with that couple you hate." Yeah, I don't think so.

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So, basically, dealing with your grown-up partner is even more difficult than dealing with your small, school-aged children. But hey, I'm difficult, too. I eat what I want, I go to bed when I want, and I will play with whatever toys I want (Shoes. Lots and lots of shoes).

Only difference?

I'm a pleasure to be around. Right, honey? [He says he needs just five minutes to respond to that….]

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