These problems are real for many women

Dear Aunties

I knew my husband was neat and careful with his possessions before we married. Now that we have been married 18 months I notice his need for everything to be in place is causing me distress and could spoil our time together.

While I am a bit untidy it didn’t become an issue until we married and set up house!

I think my housekeeping is fine. The house is reasonably tidy and comfortable in fact homely!

However, Bill (not his real name) cannot bear a thing out of place. He even wants the venetian blinds the same length from the sill when they are half open (when he leaves for work he stands outside to check that they are suitably matched).

He doesn’t like anything on the kitchen benches unless in use and worst of all if I make a cup of tea, stir it and leave the spoon on the bench he grabs the dish cloth, washes the whole bench top while cursing and swearing! And I must place the cup on the saucer with the handle on the right side!

This may seem trivial but it is very difficult to live with. I feel he is never satisfied with whatever I do ?

I am now wondering what he will be like when we have children?


Dear Denise

Our advice is to act now! Persuade your husband to go to a counsellor or psychiatrist (see Community Health at Manning Base Hospital). Your description would indicate obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) which is an anxiety disorder that requires professional assistance. The longer you wait the worse it will be. 

At an appropriate time say, when you are both relaxed, explain to your husband just what this behaviour is doing to you and your marriage. Explain that it must be disturbing to him also.

The Aunties

The Manning River Times presents a series of letters under the title ‘Ask the aunties’, focusing on potential scenarios that could lead to domestic violence. While the people letters are imaginary, the problems are real for many women.

To seek help, phone 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732); Lifeline 13 11 14 or the police 000.

Some signs of abuse can include: unfairly and regularly accuses her of flirting or being unfaithful; controls how she spends money; decides what she wears or eats; humiliates her in front of other people; monitors what she is doing, including reading her emails and text messages; discourages or prevents her from seeing friends and family; threatens to hurt her, the children or pets; physically assaults her (hitting, biting, slapping, kicking, pushing); yells at her; threatens to use a weapon against her; decides what she uses for birth control; forces her to have an abortion or to continue a pregnancy; constantly compares her with other people; constantly criticises her intelligence, mental health and appearance; prevents her from practising her religion.