Anne, I have been married to a wonderful man for 5 years, but I have found myself no longer physically attracted to him because he is, in short, a slob: He showers only once or twice a week and then complains to me that his cloths are never clean and that the house smells, etc. He constantly picks his nose in front of me and in public. Just last night, for example, while picking his nose so deeply I thought his face was going to cave in, he asked me if I was “in the mood,” and as I responded “NO”, he studied the contents of his nose and said, “why not.” ? He then complains that I’m a prude and that our sex life is non-existent. I’m sorry, but I not attracted to a man who picks his nose and smells like a horse. My best friend says I’m over-reacting; that he is just acting like a man. My husband is a wonderful man in almost every other way, and I would like to change him if I could. Am I over-reacting? How do I get a 33-year-man to stop picking his nose and shower a little more often?
- ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
- ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
- Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by ‘Anne’ to people submitting questions.
- ‘Anne’, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. ‘Anne’ and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
It’s sad to think that your husband is as clueless as you describe, but I can believe that he is. I’ve seen enough guys out there with more hair coming out of their ears and nose than on their heads to know that some guys just don’t understand hygiene at all. I don’t think you are over-reacting; I think you have a legitimate complaint. We all have limits within which we can accept things and outside of which we cannot. Your husband is outside the limits of what you can accept. Given the situation, you have a few options, but only a few. I’d start by providing him with a clear statement of what you cannot accept in his behavior – what he must stop doing and what he must start doing before you will feel okay with him. Be sure and tell him that you understand that his behavior is separate from him – that you love him, but cannot accept his behavior. It is vital to communicate this as people (motivated people anyway) are able to change how they act, but they are never able to change who they are as people. Spell out for him in detail the actions you need to see him take so that you’ve got both an instruction set and a contract. This is an ultimatum too – he either makes these changes or you do take action yourself (Are you willing to leave him over this if he can’t comply?). See what his reaction is to this. You can expect initial defensiveness and hurt from him, but hopefully he can get past that. See if you can get him to sign on (literally) to your contract, then see if he can make these changes. Be willing to compromise in non-essential ways yourself. Perhaps you can match his compliance with your demands by doing something for him that he’d like like being more affectionate towards him. This is serious business but it doesn’t need to be deathly or hostile. I’ll bet that if he can make changes in the direction of what you *need* from him, that you’d be more willing to give him affection that you’ve previously withheld. In fact, your willingness and desire to be affectionate with a cleaned-up version of this man might be the very reward that will keep him compliant. If he can’t get past himself, then you will probably need to take non-trivial action to get out of the relationship as you won’t be able to live with yourself for tolerating this man.
Designed to Help You Feel Better Daily
Download Now For Free