Monday, February 20, 2012

Go Forward! Move Ahead! It's Not Too Late...


Dear Eve,

How do I let my husband know that while I appreciate all he does it just isn't enough?  Like he'll load the dishwasher but never empty it and he'll sweep up but never dust.  It drives me insane.  I finish completely everything I start.  I don't want to sound unappreciative because I know he does more than other guys I know but I'm starting to be resentful.   And I don't want that either.  I've tried to gently talk about it with him and he says he'll do better but it doesn't last and sometimes he reacts by not doing anything for a while.  He feels that I don't appreciate anything that he does so why bother.  I will say that he does other things to help out --man stuff-- but I don't think carrying his share of the household clean-up is too much to ask.

How do I get my husband to help out more?

Dear Whip-Cracker,

This is such a cliche, isn't it?  The husband that just doesn't get it and the resentful wife tip-toeing around the subject.   Let's end it there, though, and skip the years of pent-up anger and nagging that will lead to divorce when you're kids are in college.  When that happens, kids don't feel angry or guilty at all knowing that you spent decades living a lie just for them.   You loved them that much!

The fact that you don't want to feel this way anymore is a great first step.  The goal is for you to get the help you want and for your husband to feel appreciated for what he does.  The first step is for you to stop being his mom.  There's a couple of reasons for this, but the most important is that no one wants to have sex with their mom, except Oedipus of course, but he was the king of Thebes so it doesn't count.  You know how those Thebians are.  You're nagging him, judging what he does and, in return, he's petulant and reluctant to go the distance for fear it still won't be good enough.

Step back and look at him as an equal.  If he was one of your girlfriends would you act this way?  I doubt it.  If it was your friend you would probably poke fun but be brutally honest.  No games.  No worries about hurt feelings because you choose not to make it a big deal.  Treat him as you would your best friend.  In fact, if you let him, he will be the best friend you've ever had.  You will find that he stops acting like a child if you stop treating him like one.

Do this and you'll see a positive change, though it probably won't be the complete turn-around you're looking for, but you've got to respect that.  You are built to be a cleaning machine; he's not and probably will never be. It's important that you believe that he is doing his best.  Stop honing in on his shortcomings and notice the good work he does.  You said he helps out in other ways.  Does he take care of the cars, house maintenance, the yard?  Think of how much harder your life would be if he didn't.

Then again, maybe I'm over-thinking things.  For lack of a better analogy, go all Pavlov on his ass.  Every time he does something excellent give him a blowjob.  They're a quick and easy reinforcement technique.  Just ask my best friend.

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