Airing Dirty Laundry
“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” said Isabella, 26, an advertising salesperson who’s been married for two years. “Ryan left the computer on when he went out to walk the dog, and on the screen was an online journal he’s been keeping, apparently for months. There, for the world to see, was a list of complaints: ‘She gets hysterical if I leave a dirty dish in the sink.’ ‘I hate coming home.’ He even called me names!
“When I confronted him, Ryan claimed he was ‘just sounding off.’ But this was a betrayal. Sure, things have been tense, but why didn’t he talk to me instead of ranting to the world?”
“Ryan dreams of being a comic-book writer, and I know that one day he’ll be successful. He forgets how talented he is, partly because he’s stuck in a dull job at a real-estate agency. To make matters worse, I think he resents the fact that I make more money than he does. We never talk about any of this, though. Mostly we just argue, often about petty stuff, like the throw pillows I just bought: Ryan deemed them unnecessary. But fixing up our home makes me happy.
“The real problem is that Ryan is a slob. I don’t get home until 7; he’s home by 5. It’s infuriating to walk in and see him sprawled on the couch, with the breakfast dishes still piled in the sink. Would it kill him to vacuum? Is he incapable of making a bed? If he picked up his clothes on his own, I wouldn’t nag him.