My husband of four years makes huge messes and refuses to clean up.
Sometimes he tries to appear like he’s helping. He’ll move things around - including dirty dishes he’s supposed to wash - in out of the way places.
He refuses to even take out the garbage daily.
I can spend whole days cleaning, while our two small children are screaming in the background. There’s no appreciation. One day I eight spent hours organizing kitchen cupboards, cleaning, washed the floors on my hands and knees (moving furniture).
When he came home, he said nothing.
The next day, he had dirty dishes on the counter (we have a dishwasher), and spills on the floor he wouldn't wipe up.
So I went on strike. I have not done many things for over a month. He complains but does nothing.
The man is a pig and I’m sick of it. What can I do to get him to really help out?
I don't want to leave him, since I take my vows seriously, but I’m emotionally drained from the constant bickering and have no interest in any physical relationship.
Disgusted and Exhausted
Since you take your vows seriously, you both must’ve had strong reasons and attraction to marry each other.
But now you’re overwhelmed with the responsibilities of keeping house and kids. You’re obsessing on the mess while the kids “scream,” and he doesn’t get it.
He reacts to the distancing and no sex, with indifference, instead of pitching in.
You’re both weakening your marriage bond with this tug of war.
Make a fresh start. Plan a weekend of taking the kids somewhere fun, then putting them to sleep, having intimacy together and committing to a joint cleanup the next day.
If you can’t agree on that, get to marriage counselling, fast.
I can't stand my boyfriend’s mother.
She wants to move to another country because it’s better suited for her.
But a mother of three should think of what’s best for her family.
Most people think high school relationships are only learning experiences, but I believe we’re different.
My boyfriend barely lets anything bring him down, but when we do things with his family, he seems almost shy.
Recently, his mom started talking to him, while I was on the phone (she didn't know). She said he seems stressed out and unhappy around me.
Now she has rules keeping us seeing each other at a minimum.
I’m a high anxiety person and that stuff really gets to me.
I’ve always been nervous going to his house because his mom and step-dad appear judgmental.
Now I’m terrified of her, but even more of losing him.
Could she be doing the right thing? My boyfriend has tried to convince me otherwise. What should I do?
Your “terror” and hostility towards her will only convince her to stay with her decision, thinking she’s protecting her son from your high anxiety.
Surprise her. Go to their home with a different attitude, showing politeness, and respect.
Your special high-school romance can only be proven “different” over time.
Meanwhile, you both need to stay with your education goals and learn mature ways to be independent adults.
That is what most parents want for their teenagers, and what they fear is at risk if a young romance threatens to interfere with personal growth.
If you show that you understand that, and that you also want him and yourself to pursue appropriate goals for the future, his parents will see you in a new light.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose boyfriend was a compulsive liar (Feb. 4):
Reader – “He may be an adult child of an alcoholic family. I am one and have been working with the Adult Children of Alcoholics program for 23 years.
“Children or grandchildren of alcoholics learn many coping mechanisms to survive. They watch adults lie about their situation, and often have to lie themselves to keep themselves safe, especially if the alcoholics are violent, controlling, and/or sexually abusive.
“Others in the family supporting the alcoholic may be manipulative, controlling, and perpetuate the cycle.
“Children are often abandoned emotionally and physically, their needs are off track.
“I figured out in my 20's that I too, lied for no big reason: e.g. running late wasn't because I changed my outfit three times but because of traffic.
“The young man should see someone who understands family alcohol issues and the lying will gently evaporate.”
Tip of the day:
When chores and intimacy become marital weapons, get counselling.