I'm so frustrated with my husband of almost 15 years. What I find most difficult is our domestic incompatibility, because almost everything we do, we do differently.
I don't understand doing things "half-fast." I was brought up with an attitude of, "If you're going to do things, do them right."
My husband doesn't realize all the work he creates for me. Whatever he does, it's not actually done and he doesn't see it.
I need to see things differently so I can accept our differences. It’s been an ongoing struggle and I’m very stressed out.
I'm concerned about the "wear and tear" on my health and what’ll happen to my health if I don't learn to deal with our differences.
I’ve begun to think we should live apart and just be friends if that would be possible. Seeking your thoughts.
Not My Way
There’s only one positive thought here, halfway through your letter:
“I need to see things differently so I can accept our differences.”
That statement - if only you mean it! - is the essence of all relationships.
Yes, you grew up with the “do it right” attitude. But you married a guy who grew up with something else - maybe even, “life’s too short so don’t knock yourself out.”
Had you both been raised exactly the same way, you might never have been attracted to each other.
Or, you’d both be consumed with tasks and no fun.
You need to try accepting him as he is, and he the same with you.
It’s the adjustment process almost all couples face.
But if you’re emotionally more attached in most instances, to your way of doing things, the wear and tear on your health is coming from within yourself.
It’s very hard on yourself to always do things “perfectly” (in your opinion), and just as hard for him to live with a driving perfectionist.
However, you do have choices, and I’m not talking about living apart as “friends.” Unlikely.
You can work on yourself by exchanging some letting-go of tasks for having some good times together.
You can get counselling to learn why not having things done your way makes you feel so stressed (don’t be surprised if fear of “failing” comes into the discussion).
My point is the one you made yourself: You need to try harder to accept the differences between you.
My wife cheated on me, but I still love her and want things to work out between us. But she’s too proud to accept my love.
It’s not that simple. Even though your love for her remains steadfast, it doesn’t provide an easy solution for her.
You may not even know why she cheated, and maybe neither does she. A foolish mistake? A passing fling? She still has to answer to herself and you, as to why.
But if it’s because of something lacking or disturbing her within your relationship, she must speak up before you two can work on it.
You say she’s “proud.” I say she’s afraid of whatever’s the truth in this situation.
Because of your love for her, give her some time to face the necessity of explaining herself.
If she can’t/won’t do it, tell her you may still love her, but you won’t sit on the sidelines of your marriage for long.
A break of a few months should help clarify whether there’s a future for you together.
My 46-year-old gay single son, who still lives with us, likes to dress up in cowboy gear (boots, jeans) and regularly (a few times a week) masturbates in the privacy of his own bedroom.
We’re wondering if this is normal behaviour or should we seek professional help?
Being gay is a normal fact, as is being single, as is private masturbation that’s connected to a harmless fantasy.
Yet you raise the question of his needing professional help.
It suggests to me that you may actually be more concerned about his still living with you at 46, and questioning his “dress-up” habit, based on your own discomfort with it.
I recommend that you, as parents, speak to a professional counsellor about your concerns for your son’s lifestyle as it affects yours.
If living with you is his only option, for health or financial reasons, then maybe privacy issues need to be resolved.
Tip of the day:
Since opposites often attract, it’s almost inevitable that many couples have to learn to accept the reality of each other’s differences.