I am a 33-year-old married man. I got married a year back, and it was a love marriage. My parents did not approve of my choice because they thought that S’s personality was very different from mine and we would clash a lot. I told them we were both aware of this and would make compromises to make our marriage work. In the same way, she was cautioned by her parents, too. They told her that I am not affluent enough to give her the lifestyle she is used to, but she also disregarded their warning.
Unfortunately, our parents were right. We clash very often and over things we knew about each other. For example, I knew she is extravagant but I thought she would realise that I am not as rich as her father and would change her ways, but she is so used to spending money without a thought that that she thinks I am a miser. She knew that I am an organised person and don’t do things on the spur of the moment. To catch a flight, usually to Lahore where my parents live, I like to be at the airport at least two hours before boarding starts. My wife has made me miss two flights because she has no concept of time management. We are never on time when invited by anyone, which is very embarrassing for me. On the other hand, I am very punctual as my father, a retired army officer, inculcated this habit in me. Before I got married, I was charmed by her personality and habits. I thought it was cute the way she kept losing things and coming late to meet me, but these things just irk me and we have fights. She wants designer dresses and jewellery that I can’t afford, and she accuses me of hoarding money that I don’t even have!
Now the situation is that I still love her but am fed-up of her behaviour. She does not want to change at all and I don’t know what to do. She is a genuine person and my parents, who were against our marriage, now adore her. She is a warm and loving person, and she loves me a lot. My apprehension is that when we will have children, she will bring them up the way she was brought up. I have discussed this with her, and she thinks I am overthinking. I don’t want our children to grow up in a tense environment. I have even thought about not having children, but it’s been just over a year and all my relatives have started asking me when they will hear ‘good news’! My parents even tell me that she will become more responsible after becoming a mom, but what if she doesn’t?
How can this problem be solved? Do you think we need professional help?
Dear Anguished Husband,
Well, love does cause temporary blindness, and after marriage, this causes problems. You knew exactly how she was before you got married, so you walked into this relationship with your eyes wide open. Now that she is your wife, you have suddenly become disillusioned. Her endearing qualities have started irritating you. She probably feels the same way about you. The only thing that is unchanged is your love for each other, which will help you in making your marriage a success. My dear, you don’t need a professional; you need to sit down and discuss with each other calmly how to manage your affairs in your income, as you will need to save for your children once you become parents. Your parents have a point, too. She may become more responsible once you have children, so don’t be ‘anguished’ and try to work on things that really need to be worked on like not missing your flights! The problems that you have mentioned are no doubt significant, but since you love each other, you can overcome them. For instance, tell her what you earn if she doesn’t already know, and fix an amount as her monthly allowance so she can spend it the way she wants. Coaxing her gently about not embarrassing you by being late for family and other occasions will take care of her disregard for time management as well. Talk to her about problems, but not all the time. Have fun activities with her too so she knows that you still love her, which will help her to make some compromises herself. Good luck!