Following are leftover questions from my online chat, “Relationship Boredom” (November 4):
I was thrilled when I started dating my boyfriend because he’s very good-looking, buff, and well liked.
But when I moved in with him, I found he’s very rigid in his ways at home.
If I clean something, like the floor, in a different way from what he wants, he doesn’t say why it has to be that way, and he gets very angry!
He has a “right way” for all kinds of things and it’s very annoying, but also scary that he makes it such a big deal.
We don’t go out much since we’ve been living together, because we’re often fighting over something.
When we’re with friends, he’ll say nice things about me, but once we’re home it’s back to all the criticism and only doing things his way. Is he just bored with me?
He’s controlling and angry, which is deep within his own personality, and not about you.
He’s not at all bored. Instead, he’s busy dominating you in “his” home.
That’s not what a healthy relationship looks like.
If you continue to be afraid of his reactions, move out.
The longer you put up with his showing you the “right ways,” the harder it’ll get for you to try to have your own voice and ideas.
Get out before life’s bigger issues come into play and his reactions become even scarier.
I thought that my boyfriend and I had a perfect relationship (three years) but everything’s slowed down.
We used to rush into bed nightly, but now only have sex on the weekend. We stopped going out to clubs, and mostly watch movies at home.
We shop at only one grocery store nearby, and eat pretty much the same five types of meals. We don’t have a lot of money.
I don’t know if we just stopped finding interest in each other. Can this relationship be saved?
You don’t need money to save the relationship, just energy and desire.
Most couples start off rushing to have sex everywhere and anywhere. But that’s not sustainable in most people’s daily lives.
However, you CAN make sex happen during the week. Don’t wait for him to initiate. Follow him into the shower.
Find free or inexpensive activities outside of the house.
Go to a farmer’s market on a Saturday morning, for the bustle and the bargains.
Cook together. Creating and experimenting can bring back both fun and passion.
My husband, who’s from another culture, was initially excited about new activities available here, and about my enthusiasm for them.
Now when I make suggestions, he brushes me off. A concert? He’s not interested. Having people over to dinner? Rare. He prefers watching TV and using the computer.
If I’m dealing with our kids a certain way, he argues, “it may be the way here, but it doesn’t make sense” to him.
He may be feeling like the odd man out.
It’s easy to correct: Go to a concert of his traditional music, and have some of it on your playlist to listen to in your home.
Invite some of HIS people over for a dinner.
He sounds like he’s escaping when he comes home to TV and the computer.
With child rearing, pre-empt any dispute by first asking what he’d do under a particular circumstance.
Then try to incorporate some of that into your parenting.
My husband of seven years is always talking about the “good old days” – mostly the great times he had with his ex’es!
He mentions wild parties he attended, a cottage weekend where everyone got drunk and went skinny-dipping (all before me).
When I recall fun times we’ve had together, he nods, then goes on about those better times when he wasn’t always attached.
Is this a signal that he’s tired of being married?
Your husband’s being unkind and insensitive. Maybe he has the seven-year itch, so help him scratch.
Invite his old friends over and laugh at their “remember-when’s.”
Tell him you feel that you’ve also had good times together over the past seven years and you’d like to have more good times.
But if he only has happy memories of the past without you, then there’s a problem he hasn’t told you about.
Tell him you’re listening, and it’s time for him to talk.
Tip of the day:
When someone’s control and anger becomes “scary,” make a safe plan to leave.