I've been married to my wife for eight years; before we married she told me that she kept a clean house. I've yet to see that - I wash the clothes, cook, mop, sweep, iron; I do all the household work. She'll help every purple moon.
We've argued about it and it has affected my relationship with her, I love her but I'm not in love with her.
We bought a house and had a child over the past year.
She saw this as becoming a homeowner; I saw it as more work for me.
I've become mean to her, and find myself snapping all the time, I barely talk to her!
What should I do??
- Mr. Maid
This cleanup standoff is a power struggle, and meanness only muddies the issue further.
Instead, ask yourself the crucial question: Are you willing to work on your marriage if this cleaning problem can be solved? If Yes, here are practical choices - 1) hire a weekly housecleaning service; 2) insist your wife choose the chores she's willing to do, e.g. buy groceries, pay the bills, garden, etc; 3) set up a schedule whereby you do the work one week, she does it another, or you do some things together, such as cooking.
Let her know that if she doesn't pick up some slack, or help pay for cleaning help, you're getting close to giving up on her.
If she won't co-operate, marriage counselling is your only chance to stay together.
I recently discovered that my boyfriend of five years has been having a sexual relationship with a girl he met before me, for the last 18 months at least. I stumbled upon an email in his Blackberry; I was horrified because I'd had my suspicions last January 2006 when he got a text from the same person.
Then, he denied everything, explaining that she was crazy and periodically sent something stupid.
I suggested he text her, saying to stop contacting him.
When I saw that recent e-mail, my heart broke.
Eventually, he admitted something had been going on for the last couple of months, but it was over.
I emailed her asking how long had it been going on, and did they have sex in my bed under the sheets my mother got him for Christmas.
She responded the next day with a forward message from him from January 2006 about how he was so excited to see her, and a bunch of sexual stuff.
I decided to have a couple of weeks away but I missed him too much.
We've since made up. However, I can't seem to get over what I read in the e-mails. My crying is increasing.
Should I stay or go?
- Lost in Love
Face the reality: He had an affair in the midst of his relationship with you. You need to know why. The fact he ended it means he went through a decision-making period, on his own.
You now need to go through that same process of deciding what you want.
To help you, he must explain how the affair started, what he felt was missing in his relationship with you, etc.
You don't need the "bed sheet" details, they'll only muddle your decision with jealousy and insecurity. You do need to know enough to believe it's truly over and unlikely to happen again with her, or anyone else.
Stop crying and start having that tough but necessary conversation.
If he won't participate, leave.
My boyfriend and I have been going out together for two years, and although he's met my parents, I have yet to meet his. I'm positive the love is genuine but I'm getting antsy. What could be keeping him from introducing me to his parents, and should I be worried?
- In the Dark
Ask him the question that you care most about: After two years, you're entitled to know, and not guess, whether he's serious about you. If he fudges the answer, that's what's important to discuss, far more than when you get to meet his parents. But if he's positive about loving you and wanting a future together, insist on meeting his Mom and Dad. After all, if he's hiding something (or someone) from you, it's best to find out fast.
Maybe he also needs encouragement that your love is strong and accepting, no matter what his parents are like.
Tip of the day:
When practical solutions don't resolve a household standoff, counselling is needed.