My husband and I joke that he lives in a different time zone because no matter what happens, he is always late and it drives me crazy! I like to be on time or a little bit early but he is always late, late, late. It’s been years so I am not hopeful that I can change him, but it’s worth a try. Help!
– Mrs. On Time
Dear Mrs. On Time,
My husband does the same exact thing and it used to make bonkers mad. These days, though, I have learned that if the event or appointment is something that I think is important then I leave without him. Or I yell a lot.
His lateness used to bother me because I felt like as a couple his inability to be on time was a reflection of me too, and as a person who is chronically early for everything, this just wasn’t going to do. I had to learn to draw hard lines and stick to them. Although my husband is still late for damn near everything, he has also grown accustomed to me saying, “listen, I need to be on time for this so if you’re not ready to walk out the door by XX o’clock then I”m going without you.” He’s also used to me following through.
If you’ve been trying for years to get your husband to not be late for things then I can assume that you’ve chatted with him about how it bothers you, what it looks like to others, and why it is important you that he be on time. Maybe you’ve even tried changing clocks to be a bit fast (this never worked at my house, by the way) in hopes that he will magically be on time. And maybe you’ve even tried lying about start times like telling him an appointment starts at 10:00 am when it really starts at 10:15 or 10:30.
If his being late doesn’t bother him but rather bothers you instead then I suggest finding ways to avoid the problem altogether since you’re the one who inevitably gets mad in the end. In other words, if it isn’t his problem then don’t make it yours either. Let natural consequences catch up to him!
If you have a question for Dear Liz and her team of experts just drop us an email at email@example.com.