Power/Money in Relationships


I have been married for 30 plus years. My husband (who I respect greatly) is sometimes very judgmental in his behavior towards me. For example, in doing the dishes, he calls audibles (groaning so that I can hear) if I’ve left a little liquid at the bottom of the glass that he will then have to pour out before he puts the glass in the dish washer. An extra step he finds offensive, I have tried to talk to him about how this makes me feel (like I can’t relax in my own house for fear of offending his idiosyncrasies) and he just wants me to change the behaviors that trouble him.
I have been very successful in my career …made more than two-thirds of the income over time. Not to say that he hasn’t also had a brilliant career, he has. We have both been lucky. But he’s now in a place where he is almost retired but I have 2-3 years more to go. This means I have the daily stress of going into the office and putting on the power suit while he gets to stay home. All I ask is that when I come home from this, he understands how difficult that is and that I need to relax, especially on the weekends, with no one judging me on such small things as leaving a little liquid in a glass.

I have tried to have reasonable conversations with him but he is so set in his ways. His whole life he’s been the top of his class …an exceptionally smart person in a highly technical field…and so his self confidence is high and he doesn’t accept feedback easily.

I am not sure what to do. I know I deserve to come home to a peaceful place everyday….I work hard and pay more than my fair share but I feel in some ways that perhaps he resents this. With all that said, I feel it would be a shame to end a relationship that has been full of such great mutual respect over the years and produced 2 highly accomplished kids who would be devastated (they are adults now and working).

But here I am ….55+ …wondering if that is where we are destined. I am a triple diamond…and literally have never been coached …although I have benefited greatly from the SCS learning over the years. I’d appreciate Brooke’s perspective on this, thank you.