Ask Laskas: It’s Your Turn To Give Advice

Jeanne Marie Laskas writes our magazine's monthly advice column; now you help counsel this couple with their marital problems for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue.

My wife and I have developed very different rhythms. She drives fast, I drive slow. She eats fast, I eat slow. She gets a second wind just as I’m falling asleep. Every night she’s in and out of bed, rustling papers and so forth past 11pm. It’s disturbing. What can we do?

We want to hear your opinions! Comment below to weigh in on how you would advise this couple to handle their tricky marital woes.

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52 thoughts on “Ask Laskas: It’s Your Turn To Give Advice

  1. To Distressed Bro, August 2013 issue: Call your sister and invite her to lunch or coffee at a restaurant on a weekend day. If she balks, tell her you have a HUGE problem and desperately need her advice. Once you’re at the table, ask her what’s wrong. It may be something involving you and/or yours, or it may be something entirely different. Talk it out.

  2. It doesn’t sound like she’s being very courteous at night. I’m a night person too, and have insomnia on top of it. If I can’t sleep I get quietly out of bed and go into another room. It’s not fair to keep someone else up. All the other aspects should be trivial, learn to appreciate each other’s differences. You’re never going to completely mesh with anyone.

  3. I don’t think I’m in the right place but I have a suggestion for the person who didn’t know how to handle all the photos received. How about having a decorative album on a table in the living room for guests to enjoy.

  4. for any girls out there who think they’re  getting away with being prostitutes, you have a P  on the top of your head and when your creator looks down He can see whos been doing what.

  5. this is not a RERTRACTION , the list i wrote about in my last post is actually 22.

  6. we  have a judge in our county who is a “little person’. its my understanding that they are not allowed to be judges. i can’t find the web site where you can post questions or i would be posting this there.  i have a child going into the crimal justice program and i am concerned that the planned future in law enforcement could be immpacted in a negative way.

  7. most people don’t know this but it is the right of every defendant to have every single person, even the judge, bring thier birth certificate in the first of trial and proove that they are a united states citizen. everyone but the defense attorney and one prosicuting attorney have to.

  8. The youngest employee at the workplace should feel honored that he is considered a peer. He has shown that he respects them. Now he is one of the workplace team.

  9. Talk with her to figure out what causes the differences. There could be work hours.. health…so many variables. I find communication leads to understanding. I sense frustration in your question. Talking with your wife will answer your query and relieve your frustration.

  10. What’s most important is to be yourself. Upper management should make the call kn how they want to be addressed. Continue your politeness unless those addressed suggest otherwise.

  11. Meet in the middle.does your spouse drink a lot of caffeine? as far as sleep try simply sleep or maybe she can . tell her you can’t sleep without her,abl always be loving,

  12. Ha ha. Learn to laugh at yourselves.  Wear earplugs to bed if your wife keeps you awake.  Be happy, plenty of men would jump at the chance to have a wife that energetic at night-time (maybe a little romance late at night would calm her down).  (Or get her off the energy drinks and soda pop).  Enjoy each other and your differences.

  13. Opposites work well in marriage when a couple’s abilities and styles compliment each other. The pull and tug can keep the marriage interesting.
    Where it goes off track and causes trouble is when those in this type relationship do not negotiate terms well. Find common ground.
    Both would agree that sleep is necessary and should be respectful of each other’s needs. 
    With this common goal in mind, negotiate to stay out of the bed and bedroom while you are restless. The bed should be used only for sex or sleep… whichever is most appropriate at the time. Besides if you have sex than maybe she will be tired enough for sleep. Wink, wink:) 
    In any case be respectful of each others needs at any given time and negotiate what you each want. Opposites Compliment :) 

  14. First off, the couple needs to ask themselves this: Were they like that before they got married? The question doesn’t seem like this is the case. Then ask this question: How did you get out of rhythm with each other? People’s job schedules can change that. My husband used to work the late shift at work, and sleep in later in the morning. Now he has an early morning shift and gets to bed early. I’m not ready yet to go to sleep. I try to keep quiet so he can sleep. We try and make time to do things together so we connect and have a routine. Sometimes it’s nice to break away from the routine to add fun together.
    Your spouse can be an early riser naturally, or has to because of his or her job. Also, kids can effect the rhythm as well. One or the other parent is up taking are of the child who needs mommy for a glass of water or a tummy ache. There is a structure to the routine in there somewhere. There also has to be some time for fun.
    Partners have to see which of these things the other partner is doing is not such a big deal or really bothering him or her. If the other is up late making noise, say something. You need your sleep so you can have the energy to go to work the next day. If he or she watches tv, and the noise bothers you, shut the door. If there is no door, get some wireless headsets that can be used for listening to the tv quietly. Voicing what bothers you at some point needs to be done. You shouldn’t live that way.  If the other person drives too fast and becomes reckless, say so in a nice way. Offer to drive. My husband eats too fast, and when I sit down, he’s almost done. We watch tv while we eat most of the time. If you make time to talk, then the food eating slows down.
    Have a night where you both do something together, that will make you both tired, and go to sleep together. Have a night out, play a game in.
    There can be compromise if the whatever bothers you is voiced nicely.

  15. Take your differences as complimentary and not as the usual excuse for separation as irreconcilable differences. For example if both of you need to catch up to some schedule, let her do the driving, or if you’re going out for some leisure activity without risk of being late then you drive. What can you do? Do accept your partner for whoever she is. Don’t attemp to change her “rhytm” instead change your reaction towards it by enjoying it rather than being disturb by it. Enjoy your partner, she is certainly unique and focus on her attributes that attracted you in the first place.

  16. Different person – different pace. There is no rule that a happy couple needs to be identical twins. Driving and eating should be ignored but disturbing sleep is rude. Either ask her to stay out of bed until she is ready to sleep or entertain separate bedrooms. My husband and I have very different sleep habits and sleeping separately has helped our relationship for 13 years!

  17. Different person – different pace. There is no rule that a happy couple needs to be identical twins. Driving and eating should be ignored but disturbing sleep is rude. Either ask her to stay out of bed until she is ready to sleep or entertain separate bedrooms. My husband and I have very different sleep habits and sleeping separately has helped our relationship for 13 years!

  18. According to Sigmund Freud’s theory, maybe your sex life was not perfect, and her hormones can’t be released out completely. So she was angry in mind but she couldn’t tell you because of shame. So i advice you to talk about your feeling deeply. Then you will find it easy to handle some chaotic habbits. 

  19. Just enjoy each others differences. As long as your morals and goals still match nothing else has to

  20. Are you sleeping in her office or is she doing office work in the bedroom? Set up a space where she may go do her paperwork. Learn to respect each others differences. If you were both alike then life would be quite boring. If you love each other, you will find a way to make this work out.

  21. Are you sleeping in her office or is she doing office work in the bedroom? Set up a space where she may go do her paperwork. Learn to respect each others differences. If you were both alike then life would be quite boring. If you love each other, you will find a way to make this work out.

  22. COMPROMISE. Accept each other for the people you are and remember that you love each other.When you married you must have known your differences. Accept them and move on. Life is too short to let habits affect your feelings for the person you married.

  23. Get some earplugs and an eye mask. Works wonderfully for my husband and me. :)

  24. Unless her faster rhythm has developed as a result of frustration from a lack of communication between you, it’s all about compromise.  For instance, I always finish eating first in my house, so I just make tea for us and we chat while he finishes eating; he works late, so I keep a sleep mask handy so he can read when he comes in without disturbing me.  You need to talk about the areas in which you are out of sync and then decide together how you can compromise and when it’s not that big of a deal.  On the other hand, if this faster rhythm is new and accompanied by “that look”, it’s time to take her hand, make her some tea, and say, “Let’s talk”: she may be craving communication, closeness, or just stressed out and hyper with the need to vent verbally about something (“venting” means she just wants you to listen, not fix it).  Either way, talking is the solution and empathy for each other is the key to success.

  25. It’s natural to have a different pace from your partner, and sometimes it’s even better if you do! My husband and I are exactly the same as you! It’s important for you to get enough sleep, so talk to her about reading or working at the kitchen table or in the living room and coming to bed when she’s ready to cuddle up and sleep. And maybe you can agree to eat a little faster at the restraunt or drive a little faster to get to places on time (don’t break the speed limit)! There’s probably a reason you were attracted to her pace and she was attracted to yours!!

  26. Dont ride in the car with your wife and try sleeping on another room.

  27. Say “since we are both up we might as well mak a little whoopsie”. She’ll be asleep in less than a minute.

  28. It is the opposite with me and my husband. He does everything fast, I am more laid back. I, after 34 years of marriage have learned to accept this behavior. However, I never let him push me to do anything at his speed…which he does try to do.
    I acknowledge that I try to get him to slow down while he is eating…to no avail! I have learned The Heimlic (sp) Maneuver. I also make a joke of his driving fast by putting on a sleep mask when he is behind the wheel…or covering my eyes with my hands. There is nothing else we can do.

  29. Sleep in different bedrooms. I know of several couples who do this and it saved their marriage.

  30. It would be good for this couple to find a few common interests and share those with each other. While it’s good to have differences, it’s the commonalities that keep a couple feeling close.

  31. A few adjustments and you and your wife can have the best of both worlds. She drives when you need to be someplace in a hurry, you drive on those easy Sunday afternoons. She can start the kitchen clean-up while you enjoy the remainder of your meal. Doing the final clean-up (your dishes) should be a snap and you both can sit back and enjoy the rest of the evening together. Maybe she can even finish those tasks that normally have her jumping out of bed as they pop into her mind while trying to fall asleep. If not, perhaps she just isn’t ready for bed as early as you are. My husband says, “give me a kiss now in case I’m sleeping when your ready to come to bed.”. Works great for us.

  32. Difference in habits is not enough cause to have conflicts in an otherwise happy marriage.Marriage is all about happy adjustments.After all two people from two different backgrounds are living under the same roof ,there are bound to be things you find strange about each other…I try and adjust to my husbands habits a s far as possible,because I believe in avoiding conflict.Over a period of time he has begun to change for me…and I might add that we have been married happily for thirty nine fulfilling years ans still love each other deeply.

    Arti

  33. My husband and I have the same issue; what I do is I take myself into the bedroom, turn on some music, or even grab a book until I feel sleepy, then go to bed. Self-distraction can help when someone is up and you’re ready for bed, getting yourself relaxed and at ease is better than being annoyed that your spouse is still up and making noise. Close the door if you have to shut out the noise and get your mindset relaxed. Hope this helps!

  34. Maybe you should ask her to pray with you. When praying, ask for God’s intervention and blessing for a good partnership and family formation. God knows what is best for you.

  35. First of all you each have to learn that you can’t make the other person change, it’s their decision. If you can both talk, in turn, & let the other know your true feelings then change can begin. It could be a slow process, so don’t give up.

  36. First of all you each have to learn that you can’t make the other person change, it’s their decision. If you can both talk, in turn, & let the other know your true feelings then change can begin. It could be a slow process, so don’t give up.

  37. First of all you each have to learn that you can’t make the other person change, it’s their decision. If you can both talk, in turn, & let the other know your true feelings then change can begin. It could be a slow process, so don’t give up.

  38. First of all you each have to learn that you can’t make the other person change, it’s their decision. If you can both talk, in turn, & let the other know your true feelings then change can begin. It could be a slow process, so don’t give up.

  39. It is okay to be very different from one another, so long as you can each find the good in the other.  Sleeping in separate bedrooms can be a great boon for disrupted sleep.  Working in your own rhythms without disrupting your mate’s is just the space you need.  Over the past year, my own long-term relationship improved in that we truly appreciate each other’s company all the rest of the time in our daily lives.

  40. Get her pregnant!  When she’s got a sleeping baby in another room she’ll try her hardest to be as quiet as possible.

  41. You aren’t the only ones with different rythms.  Remember the Jack Sprat nursery rhyme?
    The important thing is to accept each other’s differences, instead of always trying to make
    the other person “see the light”.   However, if there is interference with something essential like safety or sleep, respect and understanding must be shown.  For example:  a fast driver would drive only when driving alone,  and a night owl will retreat to another room until she through rustling papers.  The fast eating isn’t interfering with anything essential, so it’s to be tolerated.  Nicely.

  42. For any relationship to work smoothly, there is a need for open, honest, yet respectful communication, and the willingness to compromise.  The question, “What can we do?” should be directed toward the man’s wife.  This way, both can voice their ideas on how to solve their dilemma.
    Perhaps the wife could go to bed only when she’s actually ready to sleep, or at least be quiet with whatever she’s doing.  The alternative would be to get separate beds or even bedrooms.
    Maybe the wife isn’t aware of how much her nocturnal behavior disturbs her husband — a discussion is definitely in order.

  43. After being together for a while, if you have started noticing these differences , see if you can list a similarity for each of the difference that has surfaced. Since most people drive their own cars, may be you can compromise on the speed while riding together so neither of you are scared out of your mind or impatient. She can probably do her reading or other hobbies in the living room , so you’ll get a good night’s rest, before she joins you in bed. The speed with which each of you eat, should not be an issue as these are personal preferences. Ultimately, ask yourself if the differences are indicative of other problems or dissatisfaction with the spouse or marriage in general. If so see a therapist. If not, every time you notice a difference , try to think of something that you still share in common and concentrate on what attracted you to each other in the first place.

  44. I think he should accept her the way she is.  Tell him to get ear plugs.  I am usually up late and my Dale wears ear plugs and he has no trouble sleeping.

  45. I would recommend medical workups, since this problem appears to have driven this couple out of whatever they had in common. If their lives are so separate that it developed without some serious medical issue, divorce or separation would have been inevitable sooner or later.

    If they are still in love and want to continue their relationship, then each one should agree to move towards the middle of their opposite behaviors. Mediation or some counseling may help.

  46. If they’ve developed these differences over time, they can make some changes to try and meet in the middle again, but they also need to embrace some of the changes. My husband is quiet, I’m loud. He’s ready for bed early, I cherish the time when the house is quiet and I can wind down, etc. I will lay down in bed with him at night and when he falls asleep, I get back up and go read or write in the living room for awhile. The things that are different about us are sometimes really wonderful. They even us out as a couple. And maybe you could both just agree to go the speed limit! HAHA!

    1. From your words we can imagining you guys love each other deeply!

      Actually, we can use Game theory to explain our martial life. That is one is leader the other is
      followe! Also we can say  harmonious based on a party’s compromize.

  47. Actually having a different rhythm is quite natural for people. However if it becomes a problem such as one person having no sleep and the other one is trying, compromises have to be made. I would suggest if your wife, loves the fast driving part, she can do that without anybody being in the car at the time, then you do not know about it (unless she’s racking up speeding tickets). For the eating, just telling her, that eating a little slower is better for the digestion maybe helps. As for getting up in the middle of the night, to look through papers, I would say she has to go to another room, or designate a different room for office work. If that does not work for both of you, maybe earplugs and an eye cover will give you, your deserved sleep. 

  48. In a lifetime together, you will often find yourselves moving at different speeds.  Celebrate the differences, learn to compromise, and remember to always respect each other.  That means that he shouldn’t pressure her to go to bed before she is ready, and she should do everything possible to be quiet and allow him to sleep when he goes to bed.  

  49. They need to try and compromise and meet in the middle.  Don’t nitpick at every little difference; pick your battles.  If it’s important that he get his sleep, she could agree not to come to bed ’til she’s through “rustling papers”.  :)

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