Dear Annie: After five years of dating, my fiance and I have purchased a house and are in the process of moving in together. Everything is going well, except for one thing: "Walter" does not want me to bring any of the furniture my mother gave me.
My mother has kept several couches, rugs and other household items in storage for me, and I love these pieces. Walter has expressed the desire to simply buy new items rather than use what was left to me, which I find disrespectful, not only to me, but to my family. I tried to compromise by donating many of these items and only keeping a handful, but he wants all of it gone.
Annie, this is causing a major rift. I refuse to give away items my mother left me simply because he is being stubborn. Walter thinks I am being difficult and that dumping these things is no big deal. His cavalier attitude makes me even more upset. I would never ask him to donate an entire storage locker of items from his family because I disliked the style or wished for new things.
I don't want to resent Walter over this. Any suggestions? — War of the Roses
Dear Roses: We see that you have made concessions about the furniture and donated some of it. Has Walter made any concessions? It's his turn. He should agree to keep most of the remaining pieces, provided they are in good condition. If he has legitimate objections, he should voice them.
This may seem like a minor disagreement, but if Walter refuses any compromise, then you are getting a small sample of every decision the two of you will make in the future. Please don't assume his attitude will mellow. Get some premarital counseling so Walter can understand that his autocratic style is not going to create a happy marriage.
Dear Annie: I am at my wits' end when it comes to my husband's behavior. Whenever my opinion does not coincide with his, he plugs his ears, walks away or filibusters. I have reached the point where I refrain from giving my opinion since every time I do, he accuses me of trying to start a fight.
How can I make him see how destructive his ear plugging is to our marriage? Any help would be greatly appreciated. — Lonesome Wife
Dear Lonesome: We know 2-year-olds who behave with more maturity than your husband. Is there someone he respects (a relative, friend, clergyperson) who would referee for the two of you and make it clear that married couples have a responsibility to listen to one another?
A spouse who disagrees with your opinion is welcome to say so, calmly and respectfully. But plugging one's ears or otherwise preventing you from expressing yourself is childish and damaging. If your husband won't listen to any third-party suggestions, please get some counseling and see whether you can find different ways to cope — or whether you want to.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.