After 16 years of marriage you don't even have to have the arguments out loud, you can just look at each other and instinctively know exactly what the other person is thinking, what their irritation with you is, what you would say in response, what THEY would say in response, and you can just avoid the argument because you know exactly how it would play out, and any actual argument you might have would be anti-climactic.
This is both a benefit and a curse - a benefit because instead of retreading old ground you just roll your eyes and stomp off feeling a vague sense of self-righteous irritation because REALLY - ARE WE BACK TO THIS AGAIN, but since you didn't actually fight about it, five minutes later you can move on, pretend like it didn't happen, both of you sending out those tentative I'm Over It Are You signs of a mutual desire to just drop it already (a touch on the shoulder that could or could not turn into a hug, depending on the reception of said touch on the shoulder, gifting the other person with the remote even though you know it's going to mean watching an hour of Cops, etc.). And if those signals are positively received you get to curl up on the couch together, feeling somewhat satisfied with yourselves for being grown-ups, feeling warm toward each other for realizing that neither one of you wanted to fight, that you both gave each other that gift of letting something go, and good for you, yes, YAY FOR US even.
A curse because sometimes you imbue you partner with irritations and motives they never even had, just because you know they've felt them in the past, when in fact you're fabricating their irritation out of a sense of your own guilt.
I mean, I'm a terrible co-parent on car trips. I tend to pick up a book and then just read and read and read for the entire time we're in the car. I will forget the children exist, forget that my bored husband is sitting there for miles and miles with nobody to talk to - I see a spare couple of hours where everyone is safely strapped into place and (for the most part) distracted by other things, and I mentally check out. I read What is the What on the way home and you could not have gotten my attention if you were on fire. Sometimes this really irritates my husband, justifiably so, when the kids need something and they've asked for a drink ten times and I just don't even hear them because I'm lost somewhere between the pages - and sometimes he doesn't really care. But I almost always assume he's really irritated, because I know I'm in the wrong. And because I don't really want to stop doing what I'm doing (READING TIME, MY PRECIOUS) I conjure up my own defensive irritation in response - EVEN THOUGH HE HASN'T ACTUALLY SAID OR DONE ANYTHING.
This is the curse, this sense of knowing what will make your partner angry (or what should make them angry) so that even if they are not, you assume that they are, because they probably have the right to be.
It would be so nice if I granted my husband the grace to have his own feelings, and not to just paint him with the feelings I believe he has. That would be such a graceful thing to do, wouldn't it?