Living with other people is hell. Living alone can also be hell. When you decide to live with others, you must take a calculated risk: are all the fights over cleanliness and possessions and boundaries worth the respite from loneliness and having to pay for housing and utilities on your own? This is the central dramatic conflict of every episode of House Hunters. And it is also the central conflict of a recent letter to Slate’s advice columnist, Dear Prudence.
The letter-writer, who goes by Husband vs. Chocolate, likes to have a stash of chocolate in the house. Unfortunately, they also have a husband in the house who cannot limit himself to just one piece of chocolate. Instead he eats the whole damned bag, every time, leaving our poor LW hungry and chocolate-less. He promises to replace them, but he never does, which makes his habit all the more infuriating.
Prudence, aka Danny M. Lavery, suggests that HVC be upfront with their husband and explain that the habit is annoying and that they feel dismissed when the husband repeatedly promises to replace the chocolate and never does. In the future, Lavery counsels, HVC should keep their chocolate in an inaccessible place and, if it is discovered and stolen, demand that the husband replace it immediately.
But then Lavery gets psychological:
It’s possible that he feels guilty or self-conscious about his relationship to chocolate and that’s contributed to his avoidance. And you could use this issue as a springboard to litigate whether he has more deep-seated issues with food, scarcity, abundance, and pleasure, and if so whether he ought to start addressing them more directly, but that’s a deeply personal decision, and if your husband isn’t prepared to take on that sort of work, you won’t be able to substitute your willingness for his.
What do you all think, dear readers? Is compulsive chocolate-stealing a sign of deep-seated psychological issues, or is it just another man being a thoughtless asshole? Let us know in the comments.