1/2/2000 Advice Column
Also...we argue so much about little things...why do we do this when we love each other so much!!
Since most couples have never planned such a big event, let alone dealt with both sets of relatives together, and since it's supposed to be "the most important day of your life," things do tend to get blown out of proportion. Whatever you're arguing about now will seem so silly and will probably be forgotten when all this is over. In twenty years, I promise you, it won't matter.
You've got a bad case of bride fever. It will go away. Almost every bride has at least one good case of hysterics on the way to the altar.
You and your fiance are arguing about little things because you're both under a lot of stress. Try to remember that what really matters is that you love one another, and the details of the wedding don't have any relevance to whether you'll have a happy marriage or not.
Don't fight every battle. Just give in if it's not really important. I remember my husband balked at wearing a tuxedo when we got married. Instead of arguing about the tux, I told him that was okay as long as he went along with all the other plans. This is a good time to learn to negotiate instead of arguing. It will be a skill that will serve you well in the future.
My advice for your wedding day? Go with the flow and just get though it. By then it's too late to change anything, so be happy with whatever happens. But be sure to take lots of pictures, because when the cake is eaten and the flowers are dead and the arguments forgotten, they'll be all you have left of your big day.
People who are sexually uninhibited like you are should find someone else who shares their ideas. After all, you wouldn't try to change a Catholic into a Protestant or a Republican into a Democrat. So why would you try to change an uptight woman into a let-it-all-hang-out, run-around-naked type?
You and your fiancee have different value systems and that's a tough problem to get past. If she's not interested in sex now, believe me, she won't be after you're married. There is nothing I can tell you that will convince her to become a different person with different values.
This is not a matter of who's right and who's wrong, it's a basic incompatibility problem. If you want to run around naked, go to a nudist camp. If you wanted someone who's sexually exciting, you should have thought of that before you became engaged. Now you're going to either spend the rest of your life unhappy or break your engagement and make your fiance very unhappy. Not a great choice, but those are your only options.
But lately I've been so sick of it that I haven't done a thing. My house is a disaster! Whenever I ask him to help me he gives me a "Yes dear" like I'm nagging him and he conveniently forgets. I'd love to tell him to just grow up but I fear his fragile ego couldn't handle it and that would cause greater conflict. I've tried being persistent in reminding him about simple things like putting the toilet seat down or closing the shower curtain when he's done, in a non-threatening manner, he's done these things but not persistently. It should become a habit after awhile shouldn't it? He just sees it as a chore and always forgets.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely anal when it comes to cleanliness. I've had my days when I just don't care if it's clean or not and I certainly don't go around the house with a white glove. And I understand that these things aren't important to him but shouldn't he want to do it so that I'm happy? It's getting to the point where I look at him in a different light. I feel so much resentment towards him that I often doubt my love for him. I've tried explaining my feelings to him but he gets defensive and concludes that I don't love him because he doesn't clean, which is not the issue at all. The issue is that he doesn't do his part and I feel taken advantage of because of it. Although this is a major problem to me, I don't feel that breaking up the relationship is an option. He's wonderful in many other ways. This is the first time I've ever really loved anyone in my 30 years of life and I want it to work. I need advice on how to remedy the problem, I don't want to get rid of him. Maybe it's just my problem, seeing as I'm set in my ways, having been independent for 12 years now. But I feel I've been doing a lot of the bending and adapting and he's done none. How do I get through to him?
In love with a pig
In many relationships, there is one neat person and one slob. It's not an insurmountable problem, if you can learn to compromise and work together. Instead of arguing all the time, learn to nag gracefully. If you continue to argue, you will indeed wind up making both of you miserable. Forget talking about it. You'll only cause more stress.
The best way to deal with your slob is to work together. Make it fun. Put silly signs on the bottom of the toilet seat. Promise him a night of unbearably wonderful sex of his choice if he'll help you clean up. Make it a group project. Set time aside to clean together.
Don't expect him to become neat. Instead, cordon off areas that are his to be sloppy. Then keep your areas neat. Put his mess in his area and let him wallow in it. If you really can't stand it, then help him get organized and clean it up. But don't kid yourself into thinking that he'll keep it that way. He won't.
Give up a few evenings out and hire a cleaning service to come every two weeks. That'll take the burden off you and give your relationship some breathing room.
Traditionally, men are less flexible than women. It goes back to the cave days. Men took a woman from her tribe back to theirs. Then the woman had to learn to adapt. That's why women are flexible and men aren't. They can learn, but it takes a long time.
I'm glad that you're not thinking of breaking up over this. What's really more important - having the man you love or having the shower curtain pulled closed?
Dr. Tracy says, "Is your question urgent? Many of the most beseeching, desperate messages I get are not answered in this column because the answer is just a couple of clicks away in my Love Library. Have you tried my Love Library? I know that nobody goes to libraries anymore, but check this one out -- it's so easily searchable that it's fun and easy to use!"
If you can't find your answer in the Library and you feel you MUST have an answer, you can get a personal answer from Dr. Tracy within 48 hours by availing yourself of her inexpensive private counseling.
You may submit your question to Dr.Tracy's column by e-mail here. (Tips: to increase your chances of having your question chosen, state your age and your marital history, and remember to use paragraph breaks so that your question isn't just one big, hard-to-read clump of words. Also, questions in all caps won't be answered.)