Why Doesn’t My Husband Respect My Opinion About Moving?

My husband and I have lived in the same house for 20 years. It’s modest, which allowed me to stay home with our children when they were young. My husband worked hard to pay off the mortgage, and I’m grateful to him. But this was never meant to be our forever home. It’s near a busy street with lots of noise and traffic. I’ve wanted to move to a quieter location for several years, but my husband emphatically refuses. We are both working full time now, and we are bringing in more money. I believe this should be a joint decision, but he doesn’t seem to value my opinion. Am I being unreasonable?


Of course not! Any decision that affects both of you — or your family — should be made together. Occasionally, though, our partners need help reckoning with questions that unnerve them or make them shut down. I can imagine your husband may be hesitant about signing up for another long-term mortgage. He may be weary of that particular pressure or less rosy about your economic prospects than you are.

Still, his feelings don’t entitle him to brush you off. This would be a harder question if he were a bad communicator generally. But I assume — from the absence of your saying as much — that this housing issue is a discrete problem. So, start by asking him to elaborate on his feelings. Why is he so determined not to move? Is it a financial issue? Does he simply dislike change?

Now, it may take a few tries to get him to open up — or you may need the help of a couples therapist. But you are entitled to a substantive conversation. Also, you haven’t noted your relative earning power. You may assuage some of your husband’s concern by committing to a larger share of financial responsibility for the upgrade, if that’s possible. He may want to explore interests other than making money at this point in his life.

Credit…Miguel Porlan

Some Things Are Bigger Than Recycling

My next-door neighbor’s daughter has been clearing out her elderly mother’s house. She is a private person, so I don’t know if the mother died or moved away. Every week, she fills the trash bins with perfectly good things that could be donated or given away: kitchen knives and ceramic beer steins. Every week, it’s something else. The environmental impact bothers me. Can I pull things out of the trash to give away?

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