Pulling a Complete Bait & Switch

(NOW: You can read Dategirl every day on the Daily Weekly!)    Dear Dategirl, My husband-to-be and I are both in our late 20s. We dated for two years before we got engaged and up until that moment—three months ago—we'd had a fairly egalitarian relationship. We were living together anyway, so I didn't expect much would change once we decided to marry. I was wrong—so wrong. Since I said yes, it's like he has time-traveled back to the '50s, when the man went to work and the little lady stayed home and made dinner every night. Not that I'd want to anyway, but I can't quit my job because I make more money than he, and I'm kind of anal about keeping up with our mortgage payments. Yet suddenly he expects that I'm going to do all the cooking and cleaning. Not only that, but when we have an argument, he'll suddenly announce, "That's it! End of discussion!" And he seriously won't discuss it anymore! The first time it happened, I thought he was kidding. He's not. The other night I wanted him to help me start writing thank-you notes because we're already getting wedding gifts, and he absolutely refused. He said, "It will all get done eventually," and refused all further discussion. He actually said "end of conversation!" We're in premarital group counseling through our church, but that's usually hijacked by a whiny couple whose big issue is whether or not she's going to change her name. By the way, I have no plans to change mine, but that's one of the things he's no longer willing to discuss. I feel like my best friend has turned into a stranger. Our wedding is in a month and a half. Help! —Flabbergasted Fiancée Postpone! You still have time and it's not as cataclysmic as cancelling, but ferchrissakes, woman—it's not like this behavior is going to get any better once you're legally joined to this tool. If you want it to work things out with him, it needs to be fixed before you marry. Screw this group-counseling bullshit at your church—you guys need one-on-one time with a serious ass-kicking shrink, not a wasted hour listening to other people's bitching. You need to make this a condition for going forward, because if he's inflexible now, he's going to be immovable once you've made it official. Your boyfriend (see, I've already downgraded him) probably isn't a bad guy, but he needs to grow up and start treating you with respect. Does he pull that "end of discussion" crap at work? Doubtful. You're supposed to treat your partner—the person you love—better than you treat anyone else, not worse. When he shuts you down, he's telling you that you don't matter. Whether he actually believes this is anyone's guess. What is his parents' marriage like? For better or worse, that's what most of us use as a model for our own relationships. So if his family is hard-core old school, that might be where that's coming from. However, that doesn't excuse the Little Prince's imperious behavior, nor does it mean you need to put up with it for one second longer. I get that most of us try a little harder at the beginning of a relationship—we shave our legs more often, floss daily, and generally bust out our A-material. But that doesn't mean once you're securely in love you can turn into a hairy, nose-picking troll. In fact, your man is actually worse than the guy who bathes a little less often and lets his ear hair run free—he's actually pulled a complete bait and switch. You need to figure out which is the "real" him. Is he the sweet guy you met two years ago, or is he the Ward Cleaver wannabe who's going to make your life a living hell? Don't walk down the aisle in a flowing white dress until you know dategirl@seattleweekly.com

 
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