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My Husband Won’t Let Me Take More than Two Showers a Week – I Learned His Reason When I Visited My MIL

My husband can be quite eccentric, but when he came up with a new and restrictive rule, our home life turned into a battleground. He couldn’t quite explain his new convictions and refused to budge. Yet, when I found the reason underlying his demeanor, changes began happening in our lives.

I’ve always known that my husband, Ethan, had his peculiarities. As a gifted computer programmer, his mind is a complex blend of logic and wild conjecture. His beliefs, as varied as they are, have often charmed me, painting him as both intelligent and quirky.

He’s a sweet and loving darling of a husband, and I really love him.

However, lately, his eccentricities have shifted into something more oppressive. They were particularly about something as mundane as our household water usage. It began innocently enough with the installation of an advanced water filtration system.


I must admit, the water tasted heavenly after that, and I appreciated the upgrade. But Ethan’s focus on water didn’t stop at ensuring its purity. His concern escalated to the point of obsession with how much we used.

He implemented a household rule that felt both arbitrary and severe. We were to limit ourselves to only two showers per week! I must admit, this is the strangest rule he’s ever come up with!

As someone who cherished and must have my nightly showers before bed, this new rule was a drastic change. Initially, I tried to work around his restrictions by sneaking showers at our local gym.

But trying to balance this alongside our family duties and children was a nightmare! When I attempted to defy the new house rule by stealing extra showers at home, Ethan shut me down!

He literally would cut off the hot water abruptly mid-shower after I had surpassed our “quota!”

The ongoing battle between us escalated last night, reaching a boiling point! After denying my warm retreat again by shutting off the heat, I confronted him. At this point, my frustration had boiled over.

“Ethan, this is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done!” I yelled as he met my anger with a resigned gaze. “If some sort of compromise or change doesn’t happen, I am going to move back to my parents’ house!”

Despite my threats, he still refused to relent! In the heat of the moment, words flew like daggers, piercing the calm of our once peaceful home. “You’re turning our home into a battleground over showers! Do you hear yourself?” I retorted, my voice sharp with incredulity.

“Look, I’m doing this for us!” Ethan shouted back, his face flushed with a mix of passion and frustration. “You think I enjoy being the bad guy? This is about more than us!”

My threats were really empty ones because I loved this man more than anything in the world! I was just frustrated and annoyed by this new rule that had been going on for months.

We slept with the tension palpable between us. The heated argument made me feel sticky and dirty because he still wouldn’t allow me to shower as I pleased. The stalemate remained as is, and I was at my wit’s end!

But last week I visited his mom, and everything finally became clear. This was a turning point as the visit was to his childhood home, where his mother, Marianne, still resides. My mother-in-law (MIL) and I are quite close, so I felt comfortable confiding in her.

“Mom, Ethan’s making my life a living hell. Would you mind if I showered here before leaving?” I said. “What is that silly boy doing to you? Why can’t you shower in your own home?” she asked. That’s when I explained exactly what had been going on for the past few months.

After hearing all about our issues, my MIL sighed and demanded, “Follow me.” When we got to my husband’s old bedroom, she gestured for me to do the honors. I’d never wondered what was in there before. But when I opened the door, I gasped as I saw what finally made his behavior sensible.

It was there, in a room filled with memories and secrets, that I began to understand the depth of Ethan’s obsession. I’d never entered his old room before. It was lined with environmental science books, charts, and a collection of globes—all relics.

They were from his father’s studies on global warming and environmental conservation. Marianne, seeing my intrigue, shared more stories about Ethan’s father. She revealed that he was a dedicated environmental scientist.

Her late husband had died tragically in an accident during a research expedition. “Ethan’s dad never thought people should shower more than twice weekly due to ecology,” my MIL explained.

My husband’s stringent water-use policy wasn’t a direct legacy of his father’s teachings but a distorted manifestation of his unresolved grief. His mother shared how it seemed Ethan’s new obsessive compulsion was her son’s way to “contribute” to his late father’s work.

“Ethan never talked about his dad’s death, not even to me,” Marianne confided, her voice a whisper. “He found solace in these books, in these walls.” She emotionally added, “Maybe he thought if he could save enough water… somehow, it’d bring his father back.”

Armed with this new insight, I initiated a heartfelt conversation with Ethan and Marianne. I explained how his actions, though well-intentioned, were straining our marriage. Understanding the roots of his behavior opened a pathway for healing.

Together, we decided Ethan needed to address his grief and misconceptions professionally. We started attending therapy sessions, which were uncomfortable and revealing but transformative.

Over time, therapy helped my husband to unravel his grief. It even got him to see the misplaced convictions that stemmed from it. Slowly, our home life began to return to a semblance of normalcy, and the shower rule was relaxed.

Reflecting on these changes, I feel a renewed sense of hope for our future together. By confronting the underlying issues head-on with professional guidance, we were able to mend the rifts that Ethan’s obsessive conservation efforts had created.

It’s a testament to the power of understanding and addressing the emotional undercurrents that can disrupt our lives. For me, it’s a reminder of how deeply our past can influence our present.

While it took a visit to her MIL for Ethan’s wife to understand that he was suffering from trauma, in the following story, a woman’s husband also kept a secret. However, just like the previous tale, all things ended on a good note.

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