My fiancé and I have been together three years now and will be getting married in a month. I love him dearly — he is a generous and very strong man. I've been off work for almost five months because I've been struggling with depression. Before, I had been working as a graphic designer at the same company as my fiancé — he managed me on multiple projects. I was beginning to feel like I had my boss at work and at home so I quit. Since I've been home, I've started doing all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and housework and when my fiancé is home, he just plays video games.
When I first met him, he was a total slob and never picked up after himself; he's an only child who's used to having his mom do everything for him. I grew up in a big family where organization was mandatory. Needless to say, I like things clean. My fiancé makes almost triple what I did, plus he works long hours, so I don't expect him to come home and cook and clean — plus doing all the chores doesn't really bother me.
The problem is that even though he doesn't help out, he is constantly telling me how to do things down to the littlest detail, like how he likes his socks rolled and the order in which I wash the dishes! When I explain to him that I don't appreciate his nagging when I'm trying my best, he'll throw a tantrum and it ends up being my fault. I love him, but I'm feeling resentful. How can I fix this?
— In Need of Respect Rita
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Dear In Need of Respect Rita,
If your fiancé micromanaged you in your last job the way he does at home, it's no wonder you needed time off. Frankly, I don't care how many hours your fiancé works, he has no right to be so unappreciative and demanding when you're trying your best to keep the house in order without his help. He's acting like he's still the only child of the family! It's time to put those selfish desires behind him before he commits to being a husband, which is one member of an equal team.
You have to have a serious heart-to-heart before it's too late and this unacceptable behavior becomes an endless pattern. If he wants to yell at you and get upset then that's his choice, but you have to be able to speak your peace. Explain to him that you're happy to accommodate his ideas, but you need him to approach his requests in a much kinder and respectful manner. Obviously he's gotten used to this lifestyle, so it may take multiple conversations to make your point. Let him know that he's hurting you, and in turn putting your relationship in danger.
If this continues into your marriage, I highly recommend you seek therapy to combat it before your resentment takes over, which it inevitably will at this rate. Good luck.