DEAR AMY: I have wonderful, loving husband who can be a tad controlling when it comes to doing things his way. Honestly, he would probably say the same about me.
My husband wanted me to have some new jeans for Christmas, which was a nice thought because I am still wearing my maternity jeans. I had my third child a year ago so. Unfortunately, I am no longer the size 8 that I was when we married.
We went shopping, and he kept picking out jeans I hated. We had a big fight. He says I'm ungrateful and unappreciative, and I say he's controlling.
I've tried to tell him how I feel, but he won't listen and thinks I'm just being argumentative.
I know that when you are given a gift, it is the thought that counts, but is it wrong for me to want to pick out my own clothes that make me feel comfortable and look good on me?
Should I just wear what he picks out and be thankful?
I feel sick over this whole silly fight. The problem is that we always fight over little things. What to do?
DEAR UNGRATEFUL: This tussle is really a metaphorical a tug of war over who "wears the pants" in your family.
You are correct that when receiving a gift you should be appreciative, but your husband needs to realize that jeans fall into a special category for women because we have an unusual (sometimes oversensitive) reaction to how our behinds look in denim.
I blame Heidi Klum for the fiction that a woman can have babies and be a supermodel at the same time. Your husband may be trying to tell you that he wants the "old you" back, and you could use this episode as an incentive, but if you aren't ready to graduate from your "mom jeans," he should take a rain check on giving you this particular gift.
In a healthy relationship, partners understand that each will wear the pants at different times. Recognizing your control issues will help you both to tackle them more appropriately.
DEAR AMY: I'm getting married in September and have been planning my wedding for quite a while. My mom and I have been paying for everything related to the wedding, and my father and stepmother haven't offered any money.
They've been telling me about financial hardships that they've been having, but I notice they have been buying high-ticket items for their three girls.
How can I ask them to contribute when they claim to have "no money?"
My fiance's family also hasn't offered to contribute.
How do I broach that subject with them — I know his mom doesn't like me, but I'd appreciate the support.
— Fed Up
DEAR FED UP: You and your fiance (not you and your mother) should be in charge of paying for and financing your wedding.
Consider this the first test of your marriage. If you and your fiance tackle this together, you will have the benefit of each other's assistance when trying to raise the money for your nuptials. If your mother isn't in the mix, your father may be more inclined to contribute, and if your future husband takes the lead in approaching his family, they may pony up. The best way to do this is respectfully — and in person.
You should take your discomfort as a sign that you should be judicious and realistic when asking people to open their wallets.
You two should only plan the wedding you know you can afford.