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Let's face it: opposites do attract--then annoy! That thing you first fell in love with really ticks you off after a while. That sexy, disheveled look now reminds you of a walking pigsty. The cute way she'd pout when she wanted you to do something now feels like pure manipulation. If we aren't careful, those initial attractions-turned- annoyances-turned-conflict can pull us apart.
We've found the best way to handle such annoyances is to deal with them before they become full-out conflicts. How? Believe it or not, it's as simple as using a "password" or "catchphrase": key words the two of you agree on that allow you to get back on track in your relationship.
For instance, when we were newlyweds, I (Pam) was a bit of a drama queen. If Bill said something that hurt my feelings, I'd cry, "You don't love me any more!" then run to our bedroom, slam the door, throw myself across the bed, and wait for Bill to follow me in and apologize. It was quite the performance!