By STEVEN HAUSLERHays Daily NewsGrumpy, grumpy, grumpy!

I love my gal with all my heart, but ...

Being the ultimate guy that I am, our anniversary passed by this summer, without much fanfare. As the ultimate guy, I can't remember the actual date, but I think it is in the month of June, or maybe it was July, I can't recall.

Sometimes, I wonder if it is my forgetfulness that has sparked this recent grumpfest.

I am at a loss for words as I remember the relationship we once had. The times we have shared together have been wonderful, memorable moments.

But lately, I have seen quite a change in her behavior.

Let me explain.

It becomes increasingly more difficult for me to understand why women get so darn grumpy as the years pass by. Is it me? Maybe so. It seems that no matter how much I do for her, there is just no appreciation for my wants and needs, while her needs continue to mount.

Her desire for attention is ever-increasing. Sometimes a guy just likes to be left alone. Just give me 30 minutes in front of the TV so I can watch my favorite weekly outdoor show. That is all I ask for -- no interruptions.

Take for example our regular evening meals. I don't understand this one. At dinner time, why is the food that resides on my plate, more appetizing than the food on hers? My daughter is probably the worst at this as she thinks I fill my dinner plate for her too.

My favorite place on the couch ... gone, and claimed by her.

Maybe it is the boredom of sharing space with the same old guy. I don't really know.

Maybe it is the barrage of things that come out of my mouth -- the simple things that I expect from a companion that I have shared my life with. I don't really know.

Over the last several months, she has become very demanding. Her personality is just different these days.

For example, there has been a drastic change in her relationships with others. She is much less tolerant, at work and at play.

I know that I am being critical of her and it makes me feel really bad that I am being so selfish and judgmental.

I must be getting a bit crotchety too in my old age to be so unwilling to accept change.

As I think about our relationship today, I characterize our life together to resemble a patch-work quilt -- each block being different. Yet we have common threads that bring us together at the seams. However, she now takes particular delight in selfishly claiming this quilt as her own. It figures!

Fortunately, our common bond is the outdoors.

Even as we endure these tough times together, it has always been her smile that brings me back to reality. Set aside our quirky behaviors and I still believe that we were meant for each other.

I see those advertisements for Web sites that make perfect matches every time.

It makes me wonder.

After all we've gone through together, I know that if our profiles were entered online, we would probably match on several levels of compatibility.

I have come to realize that acceptance is the key to longevity in love.

For me and my gal, Leather, my beautiful chocolate Labrador retriever, we are learning to accept the changes we are going through together as we age gracefully.