Couple brushing teeth together in the bathroom

(© bernardbodo -

NEW YORK — For many people, the bathroom can be the only sanctuary in a very busy house. When couples have to share that private space however, the tug-of-war over the toilet can put a relationship on the rocks.

A survey of 2,000 British couples finds that 70 percent are currently in the middle of a “bathroom war” with their significant other. Incredibly, nearly 20 percent of the respondents admit to ending a relationship because of their ex’s bathroom habits.

For men, researchers say the biggest issue was how much hair their partner left in the shower drain without cleaning it. For women, they were turned off by the mess and smells a boyfriend left behind in the toilet.

“From the research it’s clear to see how passionate Brits are about this room of the house,” a spokeswoman for Triton Showers, which commissioned the study, notes in a statement. “While the habits of many can’t be controlled, it’s still seen as a place you go to relax and spend some time getting away from the stresses of daily life.”

According to a third of the survey, their partner does way too much relaxing in the bathroom and hogs the shower. Over half of the couples say they argue about each other’s bathroom habits up to three times a week.

Toilet Terrors

Researchers say the biggest pet peeves couples have center around their partner’s toilet habits. Leaving the toilet paper roll empty was the biggest annoyance couples had. A partner who didn’t clean the toilet finished as the second biggest problem.

Leaving the toilet seat up and hanging toilet paper the “wrong way” also finished in the top 10 among the biggest bathroom argument starters.

Who’s Really Hogging The Bathroom?

It turns out men are actually spending more time in the bathroom than women. According to the poll, men average about 13 minutes in the bathroom getting away from the stress of daily life. Women average only 11 minutes “de-stressing” in private.

Researchers say many respondents use their bathrooms as a place to “hide away” from either their significant other or their kids. That trick rarely works however as 80 percent of couples who reported having a rule about bathroom privacy said they still get bothered in the lavatory.

Home Improvement

The “bathroom war” actually causes some couples to call their local contractors. One in 10 adults surveyed say they had a second bathroom installed in their home to avoid their partner’s annoying habits. Another 10 percent of the poll have specifically looked for a home with two bathrooms during their last move.

For the couples still stuck with one restroom, sometimes the best thing to do is just grin and bear it. Fifty-four percent of the survey say they put up with their other half’s bathroom antics to avoid more bickering.

“As difficult as it is to agree with others on the acceptable state of the bathroom, once it’s right, it’s right – and it’s seen as a place of refuge by many from life’s daily grind,” the Triton spokeswoman added.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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1 Comment

  1. Archie1954 says:

    For 45 years of our 52 year marriage, we have had more than one bathroom in our house. The last 35 years we have had four (two sons). We have never had a hogging the bathroom problem. We also had a housekeeper so we didn’t need to clean our bathrooms ourselves. The problem with that is that we didn’t realize how big a job it was and the kids never understood it at all. That was a problem in raising children that you don’t realize until it’s too late.