Tag Archives: husband

Should I return my birthday present?

My husband got me a beautiful pair of diamond stud earrings for my birthday. He was especially proud of them and himself because he bought them at Tiffany. This is a big step for him because he’s usually reluctant to buy me anything other than inexpensive costume jewelry. I do know, however, that he could get the same quality for about half the price at a store I know in the city. Should I tell him this and return them, or should I keep my mouth shut?

Definitely return them. And the next time he takes you out to dinner, take three bites, throw your fork down in disgust, and drag him off to the grocery store where you can angrily point out that for a lot less money, he could have bought the ingredients and cooked himself.

I hate to perpetuate this whole ridiculous “men are simpletons” thing, where everyone just writes guys off as bumbling fools lumbering around town with their heads up their asses, thinking about nothing but football and boobies. But sometimes, I admit, they do need a gentle guiding hand and a little positive reinforcement. If he’s been shopping for your birthday gift at Family Dollar for the past few years, and he finally went to a real store and bought you some real jewelry, for the love of Christ, why on earth would you discourage him from doing that again? By pointing out that he spent too much, and went to the “wrong” store, you’re sending him a message that he made a mistake, and that he did it wrong, and you’ll probably scare the shit out of him to the point where he doesn’t try again. So if you want to spend the rest of your life wearing Made in China specials that he buys on the sidewalk, go ahead and take them back. Otherwise, say thank you, give him a great big hug and kiss, and enjoy them.

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My husband won’t throw anything away.

My husband is a pack-rat. He saves everything: movie ticket stubs, broken furniture, Styrofoam peanuts, take-out containers. Our house is starting to be full of these things and I’m scared that one day we’re going to be like those people on Oprah who have tunnels through piles of paper in their living rooms. He won’t let me hire a cleaner, he won’t let me throw anything away, and he won’t even discuss it. What should I do?

Lucky for you, it’s not 1952 and your husband isn’t in charge of you. I know he doesn’t want you to hire someone to clean, and he doesn’t want you to throw anything away, but really, who cares what he wants? I bet he wants to watch sports with his hand down the front of his pants all day on Saturday, but that doesn’t fly with you, I’m sure, so why should this?

Someone I know, who is definitely not me, on occasion will go through her husband’s clothes and throw stuff away. When this person’s husband asks, “Where did my Poo Rules t-shirt go?” this person will chew her lip, thoughtfully consider the question, and then say, “I don’t know, but I really hope you didn’t lose it! I loved that shirt.”

If your husband is just a lazy pack-rat, then you can either be self-righteous and cluttered, or you can clean it out yourself. If your husband really is a compulsive hoarder and freaks out when you get rid of his things, you might want to urge him to get some counseling before you’re buried under a pile of McDonald’s coffee cups and newspaper.

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I accidentally read my husband’s email. On purpose.

I accidentally saw on my husband’s email account, which he left open on the computer, that he had an email from an old girlfriend. I read it (I know, I shouldn’t have) and it was harmless, there was nothing bad in it, but he never mentioned that she emailed him so of course now I’m suspicious that something shady is going on. If I bring it up, he’s going to know I read his email and he’s going to be mad, but if I don’t ask about it, I might go crazy. What should I do?

You should hop in your time machine, go back to seeing his email on the computer, and think to yourself, “Reading other peoples’ private correspondence is sneaky, rude, and an enormous invasion of privacy and only a complete and utter assface would read her husband’s email without his explicit permission.” Then you should shut down the computer and go shopping and buy yourself a treat for being such an honest and wonderful person.

If you don’t have a time machine, then you should consider your mental torture your punishment for putting your shnoz where it doesn’t belong, and remember this shitty feeling the next time you’re tempted to peek at something you shouldn’t. He’s allowed to have friends, and he’s allowed to catch up with old friends.

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If you buy outrageously expensive jeans in the forest, will anyone see it on the credit card bill?

Sometimes I go shopping, buy stuff, and hide it from my husband. Or I’ll lie and say it cost half as much as it does and hide the receipts, or sneak shopping bags in the house when my husband isn’t home. We just have very different ideas about how much stuff should cost. I think it’s fine to spend $200 on a pair of jeans, but since he’s unhappy when I tell him I spent $100, there’s no way I’m going to tell him the truth. We’re doing fine financially, so it’s not like I’m putting us in serious debt, but I feel uneasy about lying to him. What do you think?

I have been unjustly accused of fudging the numbers, although once in a while I’ve mumbled something about something costing “around $100,” which gives a girl a lot of leeway. But I didn’t feel right about it, because it’s not right. My husband would never lie to me about how much something cost, because when he buys something, he’s sure that it’s something he wants and that it’s worth the cost.

Maybe you should stop shopping just for the hell of it. I know I just advocated fibbing, like, two days ago, but in this case I think it’s a little smarmy and disrespectful.

But if you’re not impulse shopping to fill the gaping void in your soul, here’s a conversation that’s worked for me.

To Chea: Honey, do you like my new bag?

Mr. To Chea (giving To Chea a wicked hairy eyeball): How much did that cost?

To Chea: You don’t want to know.

Mr. To Chea: You’re right.

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