Question: Dear Luise: The guy I dated was polite and considerate…attentive. We saw each other for about ten months, pretty constantly. We went to each other’s homes and mingled with family. We went out to eat and to shows. We danced, went to church and visited friends. All during that time, he was very well mannered. Then we married. Well, let me tell you that I now share my life with a belching, scratching stranger who talks with his mouth full and who thinks nothing of passing gas in my presence. All of a sudden I am invisible, unimportant or something equally as flattering. He actually laughs at my complaints and then adds, “Get over it!” What happened? Linda
Answer: Dear Linda: I have had a number of women write to me in a similar vein. No men, however, have complained about uncouth wives. This is something you wouldn’t even think of addressing during your engagement, since it wasn’t an issue. It sounds like your guy won the fair maiden by acting like a prince and now it’s frog time. You honestly can’t do much if he doesn’t respect your feelings. Some men think such behavior is funny. Others are just not interested in how they affect those around them. A few like to do it to get a rise out of a dissenter.
You are going to have to see if the pros outweigh the cons. Are you still in love with him? Does he show that he still loves you? It looks like he’s not going to change, so take stock and see what else is positive? This kind of behavior is very common in adolescent boys. Do you have a perpetual kid on your hands who doesn’t want to grow up? Certainly his conduct is a strong statement, since you have asked him to cease and desist without success. He may have grown up in a home where such habits were seen as natural and to be expected. Absolutes are often just perspectives, not rights or wrongs.
What does the other side of the coin look like? Does he complain about your being different after marriage? Are his complaints valid? What have you done about it? No one is perfect, including you.
If the two of you can’t discuss this, it may be marriage counselor time. My sense is that you would ignore it, if you could. The important thing, now, is to not become a seething, negative and reactive person. Know that your feelings matter. Don’t let it drop. Blessings, Luise