Spouse tires being at-home masseuse


Dear Amy: My husband and I have been together for 16 years, during which time he has always been obsessed with having his back rubbed. More specifically, it is his back, his legs (if we’re sitting on the couch), and even his neck while riding in the car.

I am a people-pleaser. I did this to show him I loved him, and it just became the norm.

Fast-forward to two kids, a house to run, and a full-time teaching job, and I can’t stand that during our down-time together he asks me to constantly rub his back and legs.

We have other problems in our relationship that I am working on with a counselor.

I had thought once those problems were fixed, I wouldn’t hate the idea of being my husband’s in-home masseuse.

However, after telling him no today — and watching him pout yet again — I realize I am just done performing this act of service for him.

I want to enjoy sitting next to him again without the rage that I feel when he asks me to do this for him.

My husband says that this “time together” is what makes him feel loved.

If that’s the case, am I doing a disservice to my marriage to refuse to spend our time together massaging his back?

— Burnt Out Wife

Dear Burnt Out: If being your husband’s “in-home masseuse” is the act of service that makes him feel loved, then what is his act of service that makes you feel loved? I assume it might be something as simple as him allowing you to sit quietly in proximity without requiring you to do anything in particular — in short, letting you do and act however you please.


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