Wife doesn’t appreciate hubby’s ’Animal House’ decor
Question: My new husband and I recently bought our first house. He brought some furniture and posters and “guy stuff ” that he’s insisted on keeping. I didn’t have much of my own but am a good thrift shopper. I could find some nice things to “civilize” our home if it didn’t include contents like a ripped recliner, tattered Miami Dolphins posters and lamps from the set of “Animal House”.
I’ve hinted that I don’t like his junk and made comments like, “Wouldn’t a nice upholstered chair look better there than your torn-up recliner?” “Wouldn’t a framed print look great instead of that poster covered in scotch tape?” He just laughs, says “no” and changes the subject. I know he knows it bothers me, so sometimes I quit talking to him, hoping he’ll get concerned. How can I get him to stop being selfish and listen to my needs?
Answer: Start by stating your needs. He really may not know how much you dislike his junk. Many women (and it appears you’re one) learn to communicate indirectly: wouldn’t it be nice if ... wouldn’t you rather...
Many men simply don’t get hints, or don’t take them seriously. Men generally aren’t as attuned to uncovering hidden meanings in conversations as women (male FBI agent-types excepted). I think it’s time to clearly state your case — not by criticizing him, but by saying what you like and want. Let him do the same. What you tell him doesn’t obligate him to accommodate your wishes but ideally will prompt him to take you more seriously and to begin a discussion where compromise is more likely.
Gwen Carden has a master’s degree in mental health counseling. For advice on resolving a problem, e-mail happyhome@ cardencreative.com or write to Residences/ Happy Home, 2751 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405.