"He Never Comes Through for Me"
"I'm glad my wife admitted she's a nag -- at least she can't accuse me of calling her one," said Tom, 38. "Sara acts like an annoying mother, always nudging me to do this and that, and then calling me a 'slob' or 'couch potato.' It's true that I don't finish my chores as quickly as she does. I don't share her sense of urgency, but I get everything done, eventually.
"Unfortunately, that's not good enough for Sara. She expects me to follow her timetable. So what if all the dining-room chairs aren't reupholstered yet? We only entertain in there twice a year. So what if the lawn gets a bit overgrown? If our neighbor thinks the height of our grass is an eyesore and wants to cut it, that's fine by me. The fact that I'm not fazed by that stuff only upsets Sara more. Sara is a neat freak, but household disarray doesn't bother me. I can't understand why she gets so worked up over petty things.
"Sara portrays me as the bad guy, but that's her perspective. She's right that I didn't pursue my job hunt as aggressively as she would have liked, but I had enough connections to find a good job. I wasn't worried that I'd end up unemployed. I had no idea how upset she was until she went on a tirade about how I'd disappointed her and how she'd have to take care of me.
"As for mailing the adoption forms, I was leery of making a mistake because the paperwork was so complicated. Besides, after she left for her trip, I realized it was something I wanted us to do together. But she's furious at me and has been giving me the cold shoulder ever since. Well, she's not the only one who's miserable and anxious about our future. I'm excited about becoming a father, but our recent spate of arguments is making me wonder what kind of mother Sara will be. Is she going to nag our daughter the way she nags me? Will she scream at her and give her the silent treatment?"