Dear Carolyn: Several months ago, my wife informed me she wanted to hire a house cleaner, saying she was tired of the mess, tired of feeling overworked and tired of fighting with me about chore division. A week later, a maid arrived at our house. I find it incredibly stressful. I worry that the maids aren’t careful with our things, that they might peek at our private documents, and that all in all this is a ridiculous expense ($300 a month!) that could better go elsewhere, though my wife said this is what she wanted to spend her entire annual raise on. When the maids leave, I’m fried, but I admit that my wife does seem much happier. I still wish she could just relax and lower her standards a little, but … am I the one who has to get over this?

— Fried

Fried: Why don’t you just relax and lower your standards a little?

You're the one who's unhappy.

If you don't like that idea, then do the same job yourself that the cleaners do. Same schedule, producing the same results. Charge your wife $290.

If you don't like that idea, then work up a good argument for why it's better for your spouse to be mess-fatigued, overworked and fighting with you on an endless loop than for you to take a few minutes to secure the stuff you're nervous about.

I'll wait.

Hi, Carolyn: I, a married woman, developed a crush on a co-worker (married man). He felt the same way, and we established that while it is tempting, nothing can or will happen, so to speak.

Obviously, that’s the right thing, but now I’m just sad — partly because the libido I thought was dormant suddenly awoke, and partly because of loneliness in my marriage. I also don’t want to lose a legitimate friendship just because hormones got in the way. What do I do now?

— Anonymous

Anonymous: Be sad.

It won't kill you, and it. will. pass. And that's a pretty good outcome, considering the other implosive possibilities here.

When your body runs out of sadness, or at least the acute kind — the awful but fleeting denied-crush feeling — then get to work on your marriage. “I am lonely.” They are powerful words your spouse needs to hear.

Talk about your libido, too. Which can be a great way to kill a libido all over again, but your physicality is important — it’s not “just … hormones” — and your choices aren’t limited to either cheating or suffering in silence.

If you have already said these things to him and neither you nor your spouse has made any adjustments to address the problem, then that's how you start the next conversation. Stay on the remedy path (talking, adjusting, counseling, treating, lawyering) until you like where you are, wherever that may be, together or apart.

You did the right thing about this work crush, yes — but it’s not a one-time gesture. Rightness is an ongoing commitment not to let yourself drift to the easier, tempting relationship when no part of you is in the mood to deal with the difficult relationship. So be sad and then get through the difficult thing.