Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: I've been in a relationship with a basically good man (we're both in our 60s) for three years. We have many things in common and enjoy each other most of the time, but some of his behavior is very difficult and tiring to deal with. If he makes a mistake of any sort, he becomes angry and often throws the offending item (never at me). He hates to admit he's done anything wrong and has lied numerous times. At his place, he keeps everything very neat. At my place, he couldn't care less (although he will offer to help me when I ask him for assistance). We've talked about his attitude and behavior, and he says he most certainly will take care of it. That lasts about two days. He becomes so negative at times that it just wears me out. I'm so tired of it all, but I don't want to give up before asking your advice. Is there any hope that he will correct any of this? -- Very Tired
DEAR TIRED: Your account of this relationship is that your guy is negative, deficient, angry and inconsiderate. He is a project in need of constant correction, and then he is either too set in his ways or negligent to stay corrected.
It sounds like he is trying, but he just can't get there. You are locked in a ridiculous and exhausting dynamic with him. Not only is this not good for you, but imagine how he feels to be such a consistent disappointment (according to you).
If you want to stay in this relationship, your choices are to either accept his considerable flaws and go all in with him -- as is -- or draw up a short list of non-negotiables. Let him know what they are. And let all the other stuff go.
If someone throwing an object in anger is one of your non-negotiables (it would be on my list, unless said object is a basketball), then the next time this happens, you're done. If being lied to is on your list of non-negotiables (again, this would be on my list), and if you get lied to, then you're done. And you don't go back.
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