Sunday June 29 2014

ASK UNCLE JOE: She dislikes my cologne

Why does my wife hate my cologne yet she buys me what I hate for an option? George T.

Dear George, You seem disturbed by your wife’s feelings about your cologne (perfume) and what she wishes you could wear. Basing on the description of her feelings, you seem to imply that your wife is not bothered at all about your feelings.

I think this reflects on the kind of communication between you. It shows that your communication is quite a challenge. It is possible that your wife may be bothered by the kind of perfume you are using, which may elicit either some bad memories of unfortunately due to the problem of communication between two of you, she may have fears to tell you. She instead goes to buy a replacement especially in dealing with her past feelings or memories that your perfume may be associated with.

Firstly, appreciate her for the caring gesture and respectfully share your feelings with her about the perfume she got for you. You may not even bother to find out the details why she hates your perfume and how you hate the one she bought for you as this may hinder her creativity, in coming up next time with some good surprises for you.

Though as mentioned earlier, if your communication was at level four and five (Refer to my response in Sunday Monitor –Sunday, April 27 and May 4) you would feel free to express your feelings to her and vice versa, but it seems your communication is between levels two and three.

When your communication is good enough, you would not have any problem in finding out why she hates your perfume and you would also let her know respectfully why you do not like the one she bought for you.

I’m aware that even when we get married, each one of us is an individual in themselves and therefore there is need to respect one another’s opinion. However, this ought not to be done at the expense of building the unity that is repeated during your vows. “So man shall leave his father and mother to cling to his wife to become one.”

Work on your communication so that you are both genuinely open to one another. Your wife’s hatred for your kind of perfume may just be a symptom of something either from her side or yours that has never been addressed. Find out why she does not like your perfume or seek professional counselling.

Uncle Joe Musaalo is a counselling psychologist