Sense & Sensitivity

Couple Reaches Impasse Regarding Housekeeper

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am about to get married, and my fiancé and I have come to an impasse over something that I don’t think is such a big deal. I grew up in a household where everybody had chores, but we also had a housekeeper who came once a week to do heavy cleaning. It was so helpful having Mrs. Lancaster with us. She became part of the family. I want the same thing for my new home. Of course, both of us should do chores, but I believe having extra help will ensure we keep everything organized and clean. My husband thinks this is excessive and a waste of money. He grew up in a household where no extra help was ever there. They couldn’t afford it. We can. Plus, I work 80 hours a week usually. I need the help. How can I get my fiancé to see that? -- Clean Up, Rochester, New York

DEAR CLEAN UP: This is one of many value-driven conversations you must have with your fiancé to determine whether the two of you can compromise when needed to build your life together. While it may sound clichéd, it is the little things in a marriage that help to make your bond stronger or erode it entirely.

Since your husband-to-be does not see the need for a housekeeper, a compromise might be to have someone come in once a month in the beginning. Suggest this as an acknowledgment that you know he doesn’t see eye to eye with you on this point but that you know you need help in order to keep your home in the manner you believe appropriate.

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