repeat to self: I love that man

Us Wannabe Hippies, we consider ourselves ecologically minded.  We garden, we eat organic because it's good for everyone (not just our own bodies), we use sustainable materials as often as possible, we are fanatical about recycling.  Wait, scratch that, I AM fanatical about recycling.  And despite the fact that my husband frequently gets to hold the moral high-ground in our relationship, I am constantly finding recyclable material in the trash can and having to dig it out for the bin. 

This makes me feel a little angry inside.

Today while standing in the kitchen I watched my husband reach for the trash can with an empty cardboard butter box in his hand.  He was looking right at me, talking away, obviously distracted.  So I shook my head at him, not saying a word, just silently pointing out the error. 

He went off on me.  He was so pissed off that I had told him, claiming that he would have noticed and would have put it in the correct place had I only given him the chance to follow through on his action.  He was scolding me for always being on top of him and not just letting him get there on his own.  We're talking about a wee head shake here, not a nagging bitch fest to end all bitch fests.

I had two choices: engage him in a battle or walk away.  I went right out the front door and didn't stop until I hit the canyon.

I hate the stereotype of the nagging wife.  Really, really hate it.  I try not to be that and think I do a pretty good job.  I deeply resent being told I am a nag, can't even stand the implication.  It pushes buttons in me in the most primal, deeply personal way.  So I walked away and seethed in the canyon and took deep breaths while I thought about all the good that is my husband (a very long list, indeed).  And then I went back inside and pretending the whole thing never happened.

What sets you off?  How do you cope?  How do you keep yourself from unleashing hell on a loved one when they mash at your buttons?  I need some tips for when it's raining or cold or I'm completely naked.  Anyone?