Small issues cause large rift


I’m a married man who is at the point of divorce. I am the breadwinner in this family and I have a demanding job.  I work hard to support my family and I feel that I get little appreciation. When I get home my wife who has been home all day gets on me about chores I have not done, specifically like taking out the trash. This seems like such a petty issue, but it comes up so often that I am irritated by it.

I really think that my wife expects me to work hard, make a living and still worry about trash. I seriously am not worried about the trash. I really feel like yelling and screaming because she starts up almost the minute I walk through the door.

We have tried talking but mostly what happens is a yelling screaming match. I want to walk out the door. I am staying but not happily.


I wonder if the trash is the real problem here. You try and talk and you get nowhere except to get in an argument.  What do you think you are both angry about? I could say that you are missing the time and attention that you would like individually. It does not sound like you are putting in the right ingredients into your communication to be heard and understood.

If you have this same problem daily, what would you think your part of the problem is? If she has been home taking care of homework, children, housework, and details that have to be taken care of, she might feel neglected and taken for granted? Who knows? You seem to be feeling overwhelmed with your work, so maybe you are in the same boat, just different circumstances.

When a relationship goes south more or less, it basically means that you are not working on the relationship. Counseling could not hurt. Asking simple questions might be even more helpful. Caring behaviors work, even better. Less complaining and nitpicking arguments also work. If you are not getting what you want, do more of what you would like for yourself. For one week, say a few brief words of affirmation. Say I love you more, hug more and kiss more, make the other person feel valued more. See what happens and if it does not make things better, seek some counseling.

To submit problems, contact Juanita Sanchez, psychotherapist, by email at [email protected] or through High Plains Journal.