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Hate Your Husband? (or Your Wife?)

“Help! I hate my husband!” a reader recently wrote to Iris Krasnow, author of The Secret Lives of Wives. Krasnow’s reader, Cindy from Dallas, emails her that “[this] hate I feel, it simmers and I wonder if it’s a sign that there could be a better partner out there for me. Little things grate on me every day. My husband chews his food loudly. I hate his father. I hate our domestic hum-drum. This can’t be love!”

“My hate comes from this feeling that I’m missing out on something else.”

We Americans are born and bred to expect, well, everything. The American Dream—which, from a happiness habit standpoint, is a bit more of an American Nightmare—teaches us to always be striving. We can always have it better than our parents’ generation, if only we work hard enough.
More than that, we are entitled to more, and better. We expect that we should have unlimited choice when it comes to shoes, housing, cars, types of jam at the grocery store … and spouses.

This abundance of choice in our society—and the advertising and media culture that (quite effectively) makes us feel that we won’t be complete until we acquire that next great thing—is taking its toll on our relationships.

Of course there is someone else out there for you. There always is. The real question is about whether or not you can be happy with the person you are already with.

Read this post about the expectations paradox we Americans tend to experience in our romantic relationships on my Greater Good blog.