I always compare my wife with my friends’ wives. Help. Jean Pierre

Dear Jean Pierre you sound confused by your assessments of your wife. It seems she is not fulfilling your expectations in your relationship which is making you wonder if other women could be better than her.

To begin with, no person woman or man, is perfect. So people may not give everything 100 per cent, but it is how you learn what your partner wants and how you compensate for the needs of your partner that enables spouses to be able to meet their partner’s needs.

I do not know if you ever had the opportunity to go for premarital counselling. This would have enabled you to start understanding each other’s needs and expectations in marriage.
It would also have helped you or exposed you to learn better each other’s temperaments. As far as we are wired, we all have different temperaments or in simple language personality traits that differ from individual to an individual because of the gene make up that we inherit from four generations of our great grandparents down the road.

We have temperaments such as Phlegmatic-these are very patient people, humorous, easy to go along with but have their gaps as well, such as laid back, reluctant to be involved…then we have Melancholies-these are perfectionist, with the highest IQ, very analytical but on the other hand they are very critical about everything, have a lot of mood swings and they are loners, then we have the sanguines- people persons, very social and outgoing and they too have their flaws, lastly we have the cholerics- these are result oriented driven people, over confident, though on the hand they are quite insensitive because of their nature and many other flaws. As explained above, there is no one who is 100 per cent perfect.
You need to think through what attracted you to her and also consider what you need her to fulfil. Sometimes what could have attracted you to each other may at the end turn up to be the source of conflict in future because of one’s traits.

You could see a counsellor who can help you to go through these issues then you could talk to her and let her know your expectations of her in marriage. It could vary from food, clothes, to sex, etc.

Allow her also to express her views and also to be able to tell you what she expects from you.

Encourage her to go with you to the counsellor. Sometimes in marriage when the fire dies out then all these thoughts start coming but these are issue that need handling together and with the help of a professional counsellor.
Joseph Musaalo is a counselling psychologist