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Bad Habits Only Get Worse After Marriage

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I just became engaged, and now wonder if I'm getting cold feet? I've known "John" for two years, and he has some rude and annoying habits. Although I've often told him that these habits bother and embarrass me, he continues to do them (i.e. belches in public, blows his nose in the restaurant, chews with his mouth open). He does this in front of his office coworkers, too, so it's not just with me. John says that he has a right to do what he wants regardless of what others think, and he's not going to change. Am I being petty?


Cold Feet?

Dear Cold Feet?

No, you are not being petty. You are getting cold feet because you realize that spending a lifetime with this man will not easy.

If his habits gross you out now, once married, the situation will only worsen. While he may not care about dining etiquette, many, especially in the business world do. Deals can be made or broken by gross table manners, especially when dealing with foreign countries. Decent table manners reflect common courtesy. More importantly, if his table manners offend you, then he should try to change his habits out of respect for you.

Have another talk with him nicely pointing out that his manners do not reflect his level of intelligence and education. Also bring up how businesses place importance on proper table manners.

It would be best to not marry until you have worked out these issues. Either you must undergo a total change of attitude about his rude habits so that they no longer bother you at all, or break off the engagement and tell him why. If he still does not change or compromise for you, then you did the right thing. His refusal to listen or compromise shows his lack of respect and consideration for you, two important ingredients in a marriage.