My boyfriend and I have lost our passion.
Physically, I look the same as five years ago, though we both agree I want to get more fit.
He always says I have bad breath. But my brutally-honest friends don't think my breath smells.
Yet unless I've just brushed my teeth/used an oral strip, he insists it smells bad. I’m at the end of my sanity, feeling awful and helpless.
I've said that if he loves me, has passion towards me, this shouldn't be such a huge issue. What should I or we do?
It may be tempting for many readers to just think, “Dump him.” But let’s first consider some basic facts about bad breath (halitosis):
It can be caused by poor oral hygiene, strong-smelling foods and dental-health problems.
Chronic bad breath usually results from bacteria on the tongue and mouth surfaces, releasing unpleasant odours.
Short-term bad breath is associated with strong-smelling foods and drinks e.g. fish, onions, garlic and coffee.
You and a caring boyfriend should’ve already researched these facts online, then checked further if needed.
Poor dental care can cause bad odour, as can health problems like postnasal drip, chronic reflux (heartburn) and some more serious diseases.
However, what else could be going on here?
Why is he so critical of your physical shape, and so persistent about your breath being bad when no one else agrees?
Most important, why does he make you feel helpless?
Here’s what you can do now: Get to a dental clinic, fast. If fine, see your doctor.
If there’s no dental/medical/food-related cause, drop the bad-breath label by dumping him!
You deserve better. Someone who makes you feel awful/helpless, and losing sanity is no longer a good partner for you, passion or not.
My wife is smart, and a terrific mother for our kids from day one.
The problem is, she’s always right. When we need to discuss something, she always begins with her final answer. It isn’t easy to get a real exchange of views.
Also, these impasses often arise when the kids are around. I’ll raise a topic, and she’ll make a pronouncement before I finish the sentence.
I then tense up, and we’re all uncomfortable.
There are times when her decision on what’s right is not right for us, as a couple or family.
But she clings so hard to her first opinion, that even when she occasionally accepts my view, she never apologizes.
I love her but it’s tough being only a so-called partner.
Some would call it a power play, since she clearly feels she has to be right.
But that can also mean that, for reasons you either don’t know or don’t get, she’s insecure.
Living together, raising children, working at a job or at home, all require a constant stream of decisions.
Sometimes, the early years of raising newborns and small children, moves one parent to adapt quickly and choose what seems the best practices.
The feeling of being the responsible one, can lead to inflexibility about the ways of doing things. Over time, it can create a sometimes-dominant personality.
Meanwhile, in your particular situation, you’ve stayed together and you admire your wife for her positive qualities.
Tell her so, and raise the idea of couples’ counselling as a new look together at how you can both learn to improve your communication and make decisions that leave you both feeling satisfied (instead of stressing who’s “right” or not).
FEEDBACK Regarding the frustrated/confused woman caring for her special-needs child (Oct. 28):
Reader – “While your advice to her was sound, I’d add the suggestion that she hand off the research role of finding helpful community services for her child and herself, to a trusted family member or friend.
“People who are overwhelmed are often given more things to DO at exactly the time that they cannot possibly see themselves taking on even one more small thing.
“Bringing someone else into the picture might make "Frustrated" feel less sad and alone in her important but challenging role.”
Ellie - Good advice! It’s caused me to also re-consider the role of her husband, whom she says is “used to her doing everything.”
He works hard for their income since she’s left her job, but he also needs to support his child emotionally and physically, which is only learned by him spending more time with the child.
Tip of the day:
A loving partner helps you find out why your breath smells bad, rather than just shaming you.