My Husband’s Terrible Flatulence is Ruining Our Three-Decade Marriage by Lisa

An illustration of two people under⁤ a ⁣cloud of a bad smell
A ‍foul odour fills the room after⁤ my spouse falls asleep (Credits: Metro.co.uk / Getty Images)

Our resident advice-giver Em Clarkson is ⁢ready to tackle your dilemmas.

This week, ⁢she’s offering wisdom on dealing ⁢with difficult parents, secretive ​friends, and a relationship strained by excessive ‌flatulence.

Continue reading for this week’s reader ​queries and Em’s ‍responses.

How do I prevent​ my husband from⁢ passing gas? If I ‍retire to bed after him, the entire bedroom reeks. Uncovering the bedsheets to climb in is even worse. It’s a very warm, smelly bedtime. He always says, ⁣‘I ‍can fart as much as I want when I sleep because I don’t even realise I am doing it’. This is serious.⁤ After 30 years of marriage, I can’t stand it anymore, but he ‍is the love ⁤of my life.

While it’s ⁢a daunting thought,⁣ he is correct that we don’t have any control over​ the flatulence we release while we ‌sleep. It is therefore challenging to be upset with a man who is behaving in a way that⁤ he can’t control.

However, it seems like excessive flatulence might be more of a *cultural* issue in your household, ⁣and ‌I believe ‌you have every right to be upset about⁣ that.

Now, I must preface​ the‍ following advice with‌ the fact that I ⁤believe that if you can’t ​find humour in a fart occasionally, ⁣you’re taking‍ life too seriously.

But I also acknowledge that they can be quite disgusting, especially‍ when ⁤not ⁤released ⁣for comedic effect, but – as appears to be the case in your relationship – as a consistent and frustrating lack of respect.

Yes, everyone ‍needs to pass gas and yes, it can be amusing, but I think ‌you need to express to your husband that it is really starting to ⁤bother you; that ⁣he ‌is making you uncomfortable in your own home and that his⁤ disregard of you, your senses, and your ‌feelings are really hurting you.

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I believe he needs to hear from you that you are genuinely ⁤upset by this, and that he is being selfish by continuing to ignore the issue or justify his ⁣actions. I’d ⁤also suggest‌ that he might consider seeking​ medical advice ⁤if⁣ they really are beyond his control.

IBS is ‍common but there are measures he can take‍ and dietary improvements that might help.

I sympathise with you, and I hope that this is something you can resolve. If not, might I suggest you could always consider plugging the hole with something while he⁣ sleeps… a cork perhaps?

I love and cherish my mother but her behaviour‌ is straining⁤ our relationship. When we meet, she frequently comments on my weight, my inability to lose it, and alters photographs of us so that ​I look thinner than⁢ I ‌am (I am actually happy with how I look and my weight, and ⁢I am the fittest I have ⁣ever been). We are both‌ single and she often ‌seeks the attention of men when we are out together, despite⁢ me preferring to do anything else. I just want to spend time with ⁣her and⁢ not⁢ random men. I know these issues are more about her than me, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult.

I am truly sorry to hear ​this. The comments about your body are completely unacceptable and the fact‌ that ⁤she is altering your photos without your consent is very hurtful and ⁣absolutely not OK.

You are absolutely right that these issues are hers‍ and not yours, but I understand ‍that even with‌ that knowledge, it is still painful. Our mothers are supposed to‍ love us unconditionally and I ⁤can see ​how her actions would make you feel that you aren’t ⁣being loved.

But I think that’s why it’s more ⁤important than ever that you really ‘do the work’ here to ⁢recognise these⁣ issues as being a reflection of your mother’s character and nothing to do with you. It seems as if she is struggling ⁣with being single, with ageing, and‌ she is, by the sounds of it, ⁤(incorrectly) trying to control⁣ how she is‌ perceived by everyone and⁢ treating you as ⁢an extension of herself.

With that in mind, I think it ⁤might be helpful ⁣for you to remind yourself that everything she says to you is something she intends for herself.

Metro columnist Emily Clarkson

Our resident advice-giver Em is here to tackle all your dilemmas (Picture: Metro.co.uk/Natasha Pszenicki)

Her judgments are a confession ‌of her character, and when you think about it like that, it might become sad, rather than hurtful. And⁢ when you ‍can approach⁣ it from a position of ‘I’m sad for you’ rather than⁢ ‘I am ⁤hurt by you’, you might​ be able to have a conversation with her⁣ about what is really going on​ with her.

Why⁤ she’s prioritising the attention of strange men over time with you, why she’s consistently saying hurtful things about the way that you look and deceiving ⁤herself⁢ and ‍everyone around her with the editing.

These are not the ⁢actions of a happy person. I hope you’re able to​ approach the situation‍ with love rather than anger, but ‌as⁤ her daughter, if you just want to be really annoyed and upset that’s OK too.

Either way, she needs to ‍really understand how her‌ behaviour is affecting ⁢you, and⁣ that if she continues in this way you’re⁤ going to ‍have to distance yourself, for ⁣your own wellbeing.

My best friend of many years is becoming distant, keeping secrets, and excluding me.⁣ What should I do?

Set ‌your ego aside – the part of you that ‌is hurt⁤ about being excluded and lied to and ⁢ask her about it. Do ⁢it gently, without confrontation, in a way that⁣ communicates ⁢your concern for ⁢her.

She obviously has something going on that for whatever reason she doesn’t want to tell you about; maybe she’s embarrassed, or is doing‍ something⁣ she⁣ thinks‌ you will disapprove of and is scared that​ you’ll judge ⁣her.

Maybe she’s taken up karate or is breeding ferrets, or has joined a flash mob, or⁣ is⁢ moonlighting as ‍the tooth-fairy or⁢ having a ⁣scandalous affair with someone odd.

There’s a lot she could be ​doing, but relationship breakdowns occur when we are​ given too much time to ‌speculate about what the ⁣other person might be doing or saying, and ‌create realities in our heads and act based on those assumptions.

Try not to do that here. Give your friend time‍ and space to come to you when she needs to, and trust that she will.

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