We all know what it's like to be annoyed by little things that our husband, wife or partner does -- leaving the cap off the toothpaste tube, leaving the toilet lid up, leaving dirty clothes on the floor -- and we know how easily these little grievances of everyday life can spin out of control. In this brilliant new book the sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann shows us how and why sparks can suddenly fly even in the most well-adjusted couples. They see themselves as being in total harmony but they are mistaken! The clash between their uniquely individual attitudes to life rumbles on in silence until suddenly erupting in emotional outbursts each time an object or an attitude reveals for the thousandth time the unbearable and incomprehensible otherness of the partner. When this occurs, a whole panoply of tactics is deployed, ranging from the combative (secret acts of revenge) through the neutral (sulking) to the subtly loving. But these stormy episodes within relationships can have a happy ending, for it is through learning to overcome these irritations and aggravations that love is ultimately strengthened.