“9 Ways of Getting that Divorce You Always Wanted”… Sorry, that’s not what it’s called. Let’s try again: “9 Fights to Have with Your Husband.” (h/t the Puppy Blender). OK, not all of the stuff in there is utterly useless, and His Imperial Majesty will try to be fair, but in the interest of avoiding a sudden sky-rocketing in the divorce rates, allow us to interject a bit of male perspective, something that Yahoo utterly neglected to do.
The fight: “You’re too obsessed with your phone/iPad.”
Aaand, they’re off! Please note that apparently men are the only ones constantly fiddling around with texting, OMG ROFL’ing and yakking for hours on the phone. News to us. But let’s go on…
After a long day, you want to catch up with your husband-not compete with Angry Birds or whoever’s texting him for his attention. “Energy spent on your phone is energy that’s not being put into the relationship,” says Alisa Bowman, author of Project: Happily Ever After. Rather than roll your eyes when he whips out his cell, start a conversation. Try: “If we’re talking and you take a phone call, I feel like I don’t matter to you,”
Aaaaand stop. Right there, or you’re about to regret it. Before we go any further, allow us to agree that there are few things more annoying, whether you’re male or female (we’re guessing in the latter case) than to constantly have to compete with some retarded electronic gadget, the TV, the radio, the car that just drove by and so on ad nauseam if you’re trying to have a conversation or, for that matter, ask a question or pass on some information. So we’re all on the same page here.
But don’t, don’t for the love of G-d use the “I feel like I don’t matter/you don’t care/I’m not important…” line, ever. Not with a male. We don’t “feel” things. We either “know” or “don’t know” things. Furthermore, there is nothing one can do, rationally, to address how somebody “feels.” Try this on for size: “If I don’t get a blowjob when I get home from work, I feel like you don’t love me anymore.” How is anybody supposed to rationally react to that? How about this instead: “Listen, honey, if you’d give me a hummer every day when I get home from work, I would really enjoy it.” That’s a straight forward request, which has either a “yes” or “no” answer. None of that emotional blackmail bullshit.
Still don’t believe me? OK, let’s continue the conversation from where you started:
“If we’re talking and you take a phone call, I feel like I don’t matter to you,”
“But. That’s not true. I love you, baby!”
“Stop telling me what’s true about my feelings”
“No, I mean, it’s not true that you don’t matter to me.”
“So? But that’s what it makes me feel like.”
“I’m sorry, honey, but I really had to answer that call. It was my boss.”
“See what I mean? Your boss matters more to you than me and my feelings do. Why don’t you marry your boss then? I’m going to go live with mom!”
Nope. That’s a non-starter. Unless you really wanted to end the whole thing, in which case just filing the damn papers is easier on both parties. And quicker too. Of course, it doesn’t come with a crown of thorns and a cross to crawl up on.
The fight: “I feel like it’s all on me, all the time.”
Besides growing exhausted from doing every chore on your own, you may also begin to feel like your hubby doesn’t care about you if he doesn’t chip in. But that’s not how he sees it. “Men process things in different ways. Women put the burden on themselves and personalize things,” says Lombardo.
Unlike men who blame everybody else and couldn’t care less. OK, thanks. We appreciate that. You’ve already won us over. In fact, you had us at “cold, cynical bastard.”
If you’re feeling unsupported, say something before you start resenting your spouse.
Good advice, actually. As we’ve gone through life and observed things, nothing baffles and frustrates a male more than to hear not a chirp of complaint until suddenly, one day, out of the blue, a dumpster’s worth of complaints and grievances are unloaded in his utterly blitzkrieged lap. It’s not a matter of whether it’s justified or not, it’s a matter of “why didn’t you say something?”
(Because you were on your iPhone all the time, making me feel worthless)
Oh do be quiet, will you? We’re trying to have an adult conversation here. Carry on.
Just know, however, that sometimes you will have to make requests if he forgets.
Because, you know, men are naturally dumb. And selfish. But don’t hold it against them.
“Assertively but kindly ask, ‘Honey, could you empty the dishwasher?'” suggests Bowman.
And don’t have a snit fit if we reply “sure, just need to go get a chizmadongle for the lawnmower first. Be ten minutes, hon.” Unless you want to add mowing the lawn to your list of chores. But other than that, yes. Please do. We actually like doing stuff for our honeys. It makes us feel all manly and shit and, no less importantly, it makes you smile which makes us happy too. Oh, and another little thing. Once you ask us to empty the dish washer, which is a perfectly reasonable request, do not proceed to telling us throughout the whole process or afterwards that we’re “doing it wrong.” Unless you have a tip or a hint that would be genuinely helpful.
“We don’t think we should have to make these simple requests. In reality, though, some spouses need a nudge.”
Also, we’re not, NOT mind readers. Another little point that bears repeating.
The fight: “You need to see a doctor.”
Jenny of Powder Springs, GA, grew tired of her husband’s complaints about headaches and arm numbness because he refused to visit a doctor. She even jokingly suggested she increase his life insurance policy! She finally got him to change his ways with help from family-she and his parents together convinced him to get checked out. The diagnosis: high blood pressure. “Now he’s on medication and doing much better. No more headaches!” says Jenny.
Erm… Ahem. That one actually sounds awfully familiar (he said, blushing ever so slightly). Yes, by all means. Don’t be afraid to give us a push when it comes to Mr. Sawbones. We will thank you later, although we’ll probably grumble furiously up until that point. Just ignore it, please.
Your first step: Try to figure out the source of your hubby’s doctor-avoidance, says Puhn. “People often ignore health concerns because they don’t know what to do if they get bad news.
Also, some males don’t go for a multitude of other reasons, all of which rank far higher than “fear.” Being too busy to waste half a day in a doctor’s waiting room reading Time or People Magazine (both of which are actually worse than just staring into thin air or, for that matter, poking your eyeballs out while slitting your wrists). Hey, doctors: Try Guns&Ammo, Soldier of Fortune, Throttle Nation or just about anything that doesn’t come with free estrogen samples, please. Other reasons would include the need to avoid additional bills, inability to get off from work etc. And, of course, our own often mistaken belief in our own immortality.
But regardless of all of the above: Yes, ladies, please do give us a nudge when needed in those cases, but don’t forget to give us a grace period of “toughing it out” first.
The fight: “Don’t undermine my authority in front of the kids.”
It’s tough to be taken seriously when your children witness Dad overruling one of your decisions.
No argument there. We just weren’t aware that it was only a problem with Dads overriding Moms. The bottom line is absolutely true, though: Always present a united front to the children, and if there are some differences in how to approach a given request, talk it out without them around. Unless it’s about allowing your male child to look like Justin Bieber. Dad has full authority on that one and no discussion will be tolerated. Ever. Forget about it, Mom.
The fight: “You spend too much money.” Or “You’re too cheap.”
Before you get into a spending spat, think about your spouse’s motivations. According to Lombardo, “a spender may want to enjoy their hard work, while a saver wants to feel safe.” Still, whatever money matter is important to you, don’t keep it bottled up.
*Monica from Detroit, MI, says her husband still thanks her for picking a fight about purchasing long-term-care insurance years ago. “He thought it was too expensive. Ten years later, the prices have exploded and the generous policy we bought then isn’t offered anymore,” she says. How did she convince him? She compared the costs of not having insurance (like what nursing homes may charge decades from now) to having it.
And it turned out she was right about that thing, so now she’s right always.
The male perspective: Don’t buy it unless you need it. Look up the word “need.” It may not mean what you think that it means. Also, if you don’t have the money, adjust your interpretation of the word “need” accordingly. “Plastic money” still have to be repaid. With interest. The compounded kind. Just because the Marxist freak in the White House (and all of Congress for that matter) don’t seem to understand that doesn’t mean that you have an excuse for not understanding it either. Unless you, too, can print your own money. Which is a felony unless Washington does it, by the way, just in case you’re interested.
The fight: “You work all the time.”
Especially in a tough job market, your husband may be putting in extra hours to stay in his boss’s good graces. Or maybe he simply enjoys his work. Whatever the case, you barely see him and you’re feeling lonely.
Or maybe he’s just one of those fossilized conservative sticks in the mud who insist on making sure the bills are paid. They do exist, you know.
But saying “stop working so much” won’t work.
Unless “OK, stop going to Macy’s and say goodbye to your friends at the hair and nail salons” works for you, of course.
He’ll hear “you don’t respect what I’m doing or how hard I’m working,” explains Lombardo. Instead, emphasize that you miss him and come up with ways to spend more time together, she suggests.
Actually, he’ll hear “I think money grows on trees” and get ready for another “you don’t love me anymore” argument, and will suddenly remember a strange noise from the car’s engine that needs to be looked into right away. For about six hours.
The fight: “You can’t let your family/friends treat me like that!”
It’s inevitable that an in-law or one of your hubby’s buddies will offend at some point, and your partner’s failure to defend you might leave you fuming. But here’s the thing: Your husband may not even know why you’re mad, says Lombardo.
Actually, that’s the case most of the time since no amount of study will ever help a male understand the female mind. So yes, talking about it helps. Again, we’re not mind readers.
But don’t hold your partner accountable for others’ actions, just as you wouldn’t want to be on the hook for something your mom or best friend did. Instead, discuss how you can eliminate the potential for problems in the future. For instance, when he hangs out with his old college roommate (the one you can’t stand), have alternate plans for yourself.
Oh, wait… I can’t find anything wrong with that. Stop it! What’s the fun in that? Except, maybe, pointing out that the next time you want the girls over for an exciting evening of discussing Tupperware, hubby finding alternate plans for himself is also OK. No, don’t worry about what might happen down at the pub while he’s hanging out with the guys, no matter what stories you’ve been told. 99.9% of those stories were made up by guys to impress other guys but, seriously, we don’t even believe them ourselves.
The fight: “You’re constantly complaining.”
Everyone has the occasional bad day, but if your ranting hubby is frequently sucking the joy out of your time together, get his complaining in check.
When your husband complains, be a good listener, but only for a few minutes, says Bowman. He may not realize he’s being a downer, so after he has his say, point out the bright side and then tell him it’s time to switch gears, she suggests.
Leave it at pointing out the bright side. Heck, if you really want success with that approach, make a joke about it. Few things make us happier when something pisses us off than to have an ally, and if you can come up with a witty remark about the jerk cutting into our lane/groping us in airline security/spending 20 minutes fumbling for coupons that they should have found before they went to check out, you’ll only rise even further in our already high estimation.
Just don’t get us too fired up unless you want to post bail for us later. We can be an excitable bunch.
The fight: “You only show affection when you want to fool around.”
“The interpretation is he’s using you for your body,” says Lombardo, even though that’s likely not the case. He married you, after all! Without consistent affection, though, a woman might not feel consistently loved.
Blame biology. It’s how we’re programmed. Of course, we could always stop showing affection first and just get straight down to business. That would fit even better with our biological imperatives, but we have a feeling that wouldn’t work out too well either. OK, OK, we get it, quit huffing and puffing already. You want a hug and a squeeze every now and again. Hey, we like that too and, by the way, if your guy ain’t hugging you or slapping your bum whenever he gets a chance, what’s wrong with him? Here’s the thing: Maybe he’s not affectionate enough, but don’t, for the love of G-d, turn it into a therapy session. That may work for those frigid spinsters in advice columns, but letting your hubby know that he’s behind on the “hug quota” isn’t going to result in spontaneous, genuine affection. It’s going to place hugging and squeezing right on his list of chores to be done during the day (or ignored, in which case it’s all over but the crying anyway) and you don’t want to do that.
As we pointed out in the beginning: Men don’t talk about their feelings, we don’t even want to think about them. So putting them under a microscope to be analyzed, tinkered with and modified is only making a bad thing worse. If you want hubby to be more affectionate in a spontaneous fashion, start being affectionate with him. He’s going to enjoy it and, as is most often the case with us troglodyte Neanderthals, when somebody does something that makes us happy, our simple little brains tend to make us reciprocate.
And if he doesn’t enjoy it? Oh well. Cut your losses and run, girl.
Final note, and that’s a general one regarding those silly columns by “experts” in relationships: If you want to learn how to understand your man, ask either him or another man. Don’t, don’t, DON’T get your “wisdom” from some harpy, frigid, femifisting “expert”, because no matter how many letters she can put behind her name, she still doesn’t have the first clue as to what makes a man tick. She certainly doesn’t know men any better than you yourself already do.
Heck, we wouldn’t ask another guy about what makes a woman tick, would we?