"She Needs to Stop Texting and Start Talking to Me"

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Brett's Turn

I don't get why phone calls are such a burden to Heidi. I know she's busy, but if I were away on business I'd make it a priority to call and say hello no matter how busy I was. And that's the problem: Our marriage just isn't a priority for her. It's all about her career. She's a total workaholic. In my opinion Heidi hides behind her BlackBerry. If she just texts and e-mails, she doesn't have to have a real conversation -- about the real issues in our marriage -- that might blow up into an argument. But here's the irony: We've fought more about the stupid texts than we ever did about anything she's said.

Heidi's e-mails sound like she's writing to an employee: "Make a dentist's appointment for Madison" or "Did you take care of Item B from my previous e-mail?" Sometimes she'll fire off four of them within a few minutes. I've started to just look at the subject line and if it sounds like it's going to turn out to be more micromanaging -- I got one yesterday with the heading "Carpet cleaning info" -- I just delete it.

After six years I think I know how to take care of the kids and the house. Sure, I let some things slide. And God knows I don't fold towels the way she'd like. When Heidi is finished folding, they're so beautiful you don't want to touch them. On weekends she'll redo all the household tasks she thinks I screwed up, including refolding the towels. It's ridiculous. The girls are healthy and doing well in school and the house isn't falling apart. Heidi needs to get off my back and stop hammering me to get a better job. In this economy I haven't found a full-time paralegal job, but this part-time one lets me be there for our family. Why can't she appreciate that instead of always tearing me down?

Heidi expects a debriefing about the week every Friday night, and if the house isn't straightened up, she goes ballistic. It takes her at least 24 hours to start acting more like a wife and mother than a boss. But she's still not warm and fuzzy. Emma and Madison are both going through puberty, and they really need their mother now -- they don't want to talk to me about certain things. Heidi is kidding herself if she thinks teleparenting is working.

In the past year we've gone weeks without having sex because Heidi's either too busy or too tired. The last time I made a move she looked up from her laptop and said, jokingly, "I'll pencil you in for next Friday at 11 p.m."

I still love my wife. But the Heidi I married was spontaneous and adventurous, not bossy. I told her if this was how it was going to be for the rest of our marriage, then we really needed to talk to a counselor.

Continued on page 3:  The Counselor's Turn


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