Hey Mia, I bet you’re not involved with a chronic procrastinator. If you were — like I am — you would understand that it’s not about “griping” about things that “don’t really matter” and being a “perfectionist.” It’s about both parties needing to contribute as equally as possible to the marriage partnership. All those little things he isn’t doing eventually add up to one big problem: one person pulling most of the weight. That’s frustrating, unfair, and often leads to marriage-damaging resentment. Your suggestions to the wife — closing her eyes to the dirty kitchen and eating on paper plates, spending extra money she may not have on a maid service, going outside of her marriage to spend her vacations with her friends — are insensitive and dismissive. Especially that part about taking a yoga class. Even worse, they don’t solve the problem. Steve’s advice sounds promising. Yours? No, thanks.
Mia: I actually am married to a procrastinator whose favorite word is “mañana.” But I made peace with it early on because I’d rather break every piece of china in the house than turn into the kind of woman who nags her husband about washing dishes or doing chores. I’m not going to do it. I love him and value our relationship too much to do that. If the house needs extra cleaning and we don’t feel like doing it, we hire a house keeper. That leaves more time for date nights and other fun stuff. I suggest you try it. Being married to a control freak is no fun. I feel sorry for your husband, girlfriend. Lighten up.
Steve: Thanks for liking me and I’m a 50-50 guy, but I’m not going nuts over things that don’t get done. I do them myself. Also, there’s things I like to do 100 percent: Fixing things, not washing them. So I fix all lights, hammer everything that needs it, do most of the dishes, oversee the trees and grass. She cooks every weekend, does all the laundry, uses the vacuum cleaner and remembers all the bills. Is it perfect? Beats me. But if that stuff was causing a marriage problem, I’d be looking at the marriage, not the messy dishes.
I’m making pretty good money as a salesman in my job, which deals with various kinds of financial investments. I make a pretty good pitch and I always thought it would work as well in my dating life as in my selling, but it doesn’t. I went to a great college — Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania — and I think I’m a pretty good guy! Still, few seem interested. What am I’m doing wrong?
Steve: On your dates, how much do you get to know them? Do you ask many questions? Do you ask, for example, what kinds of things they like to do? What topics they like to discuss? What movies they like to see? If you didn’t do any of that, or other topics, then you’ve got a problem. Put your ego aside and use it to find out what the woman likes.
Mia: Notice how you lead your question with a statement about how much money you earn? Take Steve’s advice and change that. Forget about your wallet. Instead, think about a woman you’re interested in dating. What is it that she wants? Answer that question first and lead with that. I’ll bet you get a better result. Good luck.