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Explore reasons for husband's behavior
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Dear Carolyn • My husband insists that meticulous plans are necessary before embarking on anything — but he hates to plan himself. Here's how it plays out. Me: How about we go to Annapolis this weekend? I'll find a B&B, ask some friends for restaurant recommendations and get a dog-sitter. Husband: What else will we do there? What are the hours of the museums? The admission costs? Is the dog-sitter insured? Have you read all of the TripAdvisor reviews for this B&B? What if it rains? Husband feels I should be willing to do the extra research to make him comfortable enough to participate. I believe that if he needs more, he should put on his big boy underwear and do it himself. He thinks I'm flighty, and I think he's critical and neurotic. Advice?

The Best Laid Plans

Dear Best Laid Plans • The only fair response to his grilling is: "I've planned it to my satisfaction. If you want more assurances, then you're welcome to do the research." Unfortunately, it sounds as if you've tried this, so your option list is short and unpleasant: Fight to stay reasonable under constant pressure; take this to couples counseling — and also to the office of a mental health professional who is qualified to screen him for OCD, anxiety, ADHD and the other usual suspects that produce such an unquiet mind; or talk to an attorney. In other words: His position is completely untenable, and easily turned around to, "Unless he's physically or mentally incapable, he has no right to make such demands."

Re: Best Laid Plans • It sounds like the problem here is that it cannot be planned to his liking because he doesn't want to go. It also sounds like a very one-way relationship. She is to please him, and he will decide whether he is pleased. The therapy, if they go, should be to ask: What is his role in and commitment to this relationship?

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous • "He will decide whether he is pleased." Well said, thanks. This is, however, beyond the typical I-don't-wanna behavior. The dog-sitter has to be insured?

Carolyn Hax's column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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