When living together becomes a chore

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November 11, 2019 - 10:09 AM

Dear Carolyn: I’ve recently moved in with my boyfriend, and a habit of his is really starting to bother me. He can’t seem to understand that when I make a request, it’s not a demand that he drop everything and do that thing immediately.

Let’s say he’s slicing vegetables. If I ask him to pass me a spoon, he’ll get annoyed because I’m asking him to do two things at once. I’m not, I just want the spoon when he’s done. I’ve even taken to tacking “when you’re done” onto every request, but he still immediately responds, “Can’t you see I’m busy?” It also happens if I mention something that needs to be done at some point (and not necessarily by him!). For example, I said I thought the front walk would need to be salted before we left for work. Cue snippy comment about how he’ll rush right out and do it in the dark.

When I explain, he seems to understand, but the next day he’ll go right back to doing this. What really worries me is that his dad is like this, only much worse. He’s a hothead, always angrily accusing his wife of nagging him, asking the impossible, etc. and he’ll ignore everything because “I can’t do 50 things at once.” Is this the way my boyfriend is going to end up? Is there anything I can do?

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