Dear E. Jean: My fiancé says I am mean, am messy, and get mad too easily, so he withholds his affection. We’re both 31 and have been engaged for a year. I’ve told him my housekeeping standards are so high that if our house is not super-organized, I just say screw it. If tumbleweeds are rolling through the living room, it’s not worth it to bust my behind cleaning. He does most of the vacuuming, washing of the dishes, and tidying up. (But I’ll take out the garbage, clean the toilets, Windex the mirrors, wash the linens.) He makes a lot more money than I do, but I talk about my real feelings more than he does. And I voice my anger. It’s difficult to write about a relationship in a letter, but he says he feels he has to walk on eggshells around me. How do I change that? —Don’t Want to Be a Henpecker
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Dear Don’t: Stop talking. Seriously. I hate to be rude, but shut up. Yes! I’m defying 50,000 “couples therapists” who tell everybody to talk, talk, talk, but what you need is silence. Hire a person (so many need a job right now!) to come in twice a week to do the housekeeping, and simply enjoy your fiancé. Indeed, the only reason to have a fiancé is for fun, and the only reason to get married is for joy, so decide right now: Go straight for the happiness, or forget it.
This letter is from the E. Jean archive.