10/03/2012 06:33 pm ET Updated Dec 03, 2012

Ask the Relationship Doctor

Dear Dr. Relationship,

My boyfriend just won't respond to me emotionally. I can't get him to open up about his feelings and he is not sensitive to my needs. He makes decisions that affect me all by himself. I never get consulted. Then when I mention a problem, he immediately tells me how to solve it and tries to end the conversation. If I try to continue the discussion, he says he already told me what to do and walks away. Can you give me some hints on how to get through to him?


Dear Frustrated,

I could, but they wouldn't work. He's a guy.


Dear Dr. Relationship,

Last Monday was our 25th anniversary. When my husband did not mention this during the day, I assumed he was planning a surprise for me that night. Some surprise! He went to watch Monday Night Football, Seahawks vs. Packers, with his buddies.

When he came home the first words out of his mouth were, "Did you see that call?"

"Do you know what day this is," I asked.

"Golden Tate committed pass interference, but they called it a touchdown," he shouted.

I became upset. "Today is our 25th anniversary and the only thing you think about is football," I cried.

"Those replacement referees are bozos," he answered.

Am I right to be outraged?


Dear Furious,

You have every right to be outraged. I share your outrage. The replacement refs made a terrible call.


Dear Dr. Relationship,

I think the only time my boyfriend thinks about me is when he wants sex.
Outside of this he won't communicate with me. Moreover he drives like a maniac, has no fashion sense, and embarrasses me in front of my friends. One of my girlfriends said that he has a testosterone problem. Do you agree?


Dear Too Much,

Yes. This is a common problem with guys.


Dear Dr. Relationship,

My husband never listens to a word I say. I can tell him something four times and he claims he never heard me. If I talk about my problems, he is unresponsive and unsympathetic. I don't think he really hears what I'm saying. How can I make him understand that I need him to listen and to empathize?


Dear Neglected,

I'm sorry. I got distracted. What was your question?


Dear Dr. Relationship,

What is a wife to do? My husband occasionally pretends to help me prepare holiday meals. He makes a feeble attempt to wash the dishes, but leaves them covered with grease and bits of food. I have to rewash everything because he is so sloppy. If I ask him to redo them, he reacts as though it's a criticism and has a hissy-fit.

At times like Thanksgiving I'm stressed out cooking for the family and would love his help, but he's more trouble than it's worth. Discussing it with him hasn't been successful. Friends have told me they have the same problem. Can you provide a strategy that can keep us humming along happily with our husbands in the kitchen?


Dear Dreading,

I wish I could but I can't. The problem is that they are guys.


Dear Dr. Relationship,

My husband doesn't appreciate all the things that I do during the day.
He doesn't understand all the work involved in keeping up the home and bringing up the children. He won't lift a finger around the house. He leaves his dirty clothes and dirty dishes everywhere and expects me to clean up after him. He doesn't spend any time with the kids. If I complain, he replies that he has a job, as if I do nothing all day. If he thinks his work is hard, he should spend one day doing what I do.


Dear Overworked,

What is your question?


Dear Dr. Relationship,

I have been in an on-again/off-again relationship with a man for 6 years. He recently moved back in, and things are going well. We're in our 30s and pretty much act like a married couple. I feel I am ready to become engaged. He, on the other hand, feels we should wait until Republicans control both houses of the California Legislature. He can't explain why other than it just doesn't feel it's "right" for us to marry before then.

Something in me is beginning to think he's just making excuses. Do you think he has a commitment problem?


Dear Floating,

He's a guy. Does this give you a clue?