Hollywood Career Coach Gives Reluctant Sitcom Actor Advice, More

Will my wife’s domestic demands harm my image?

Dear Rémy,

At first, it was just text messages with the usual requests that partners send each other: “go to the dry cleaners”; “we are out of diapers”; “I’m on my way home”; “Could you arrange my slippers?

Of course, my wife could have asked her assistant or the housekeeper. And yes, the tone was a bit rude and demanding. But it felt like she was playing the role of a normal couple (rather than two award-winning movie actors with a large crew). And I thought I also detected a hint of domination there. I didn’t say anything because I found it rather sweet and even a little sexy.

I should have said something to nip it in the bud – my wife had never treated me like a subordinate. I hoped this was all just a phase – like the time she took up Zumba or started collecting exotic houseplants.

But then things took a turn for the worse. She would page me with announcements in public areas, for the whole world to hear. We were at my parents’ country club and I heard over the tannoy, “Would Dave (not my real name) help his wife with the bags in the parking lot?” Or in our department store, I’d hear, “Dave, please head to the kitchen section – your wife wants you to pick out oven mitts.”

Just recently, my wife took these requests to a whole new level with cute requests via her social media like, “Hey Dave, come home already – the kids are waiting for their bedtime story,” despite the fact that we employ two nannies. She has millions of followers, and now they all know I do a great Elmo impersonation.

I know my wife is proud of everything I’ve accomplished as an actress, and she’s also very successful, so I don’t think she’s threatened by my elevation in the industry. She and I have always shared parenting duties and I wouldn’t consider texting her domestic demands. Not to mention paging your requests or posting them on social media. I dread to think what she will do next. Go on Oprah to give me my to-do list?

I think I should have more of a sense of humor about these forays, but my friends and colleagues started teasing me about them. I’m afraid that my reputation as an actor with “rejection energy” (the way my agent refers to masculinity: apparently I have it, and Eddie Redmayne doesn’t) is being imperceptibly damaged.

If I tell my wife about this, will it emasculate me further?

Dear Henpecked,

First of all, kudos for handling this with a modicum of grace and humor – qualities every actor and husband should aspire to. Your situation is classic, mixing the comical with the truly confusing.

I’m not a relationship coach, but I think it’s important that you explore what’s really going on here.

The next time you and your wife have some quiet time alone, you might want to ask her three open-ended questions:

1. What are…

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