My fiance, “David,” and I are getting married soon. We have been living together and engaged for a year, and together 8 years. It takes him forever to get things done around the house or buy things we need. I have tried lists and constant reminders.
David recently lost his job and is interviewing to find another one. He loves sports, so he plays softball with his friend in a league, which takes up an entire day of the weekend. When he comes home, he wants to watch sports on TV.
The house is old (it was my grandfather’s), and there’s always something that needs doing or fixing. When I ask him to help, he pushes it to the next day or says he’ll get to it eventually. I told him he needs to grow up and start shouldering responsibilities. This is causing our relationship to suffer. I have been wanting to see a marriage counselor, but David refuses.
We’re about to get married and I’m afraid I’m walking into a trap and the rest of my life will be one in which he has all the fun and I do all the housework. Help!
– Sees the Writing
on the Wall
I’ll try. Before entering into a marriage, couples should have premarital counseling. Clearly, you and David haven’t done that. Please understand that at this point in your relationship, he should still be on his best behavior. This may be the way he handles – or more accurately, avoids – responsibility.
I recommend you put the wedding on hold a little longer and talk with a counselor. If he’s unwilling to go, please do not let it hold you back. You will find it to be supportive, enlightening and valuable.
My husband of 11 years and I have a running argument. I say a man should walk curbside. My husband insists that in the military, the higher-ranking officer always walks on the right. He says he “honors” me by doing so. I am grateful to have such a loving, caring spouse, but I’m not comfortable with this. Your insight would be appreciated.
– California Pedestrian
You were taught traditional rules of good manners. One of them is that when men and women walk on the street together, the man should stay toward the curb.
Back in the day, the rule was instituted because people used to empty chamber pots from second-story windows and the refuse was less likely to hit the person closer to the house. In the horse-and-buggy days, the pedestrian closer to the street was more likely to get splashed in rainy weather. (The same can happen when cars pass through puddles today.)
Because you’re uncomfortable with your husband’s show of chivalry, you should explain that to him. And if he continues because it has become a reflex, all you have to do is remind him and I’m sure he’ll accommodate you.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.