Thursday, May 19, 2005

Yes, Dear...

Well it’s official, I have now been married for a year. Well just over a year actually, but if I’d so much as looked at the computer on our anniversary, my wife would have killed me…literally.

My wife and I have been lucky. Our first year of marriage has been relatively problem free. We’ve had mostly good times, and as for the bad, the doctor has said the vision in my left eye will return, the wife’s knuckle prints on my forehead will eventually fade, and the nervous twitch I get at the words: “We need to talk,” can be cured through just a few years therapy.

You see, the biggest problem with marriage is that it doesn’t come with an instruction manual. For example, no one tells you that you need to invest in a concrete, lead lined bunker, in which you’ll spend up to a week of every month. (If you don’t have that sort of budget, I’ve found a suit of armor, a slingshot and a supply of chocolate mixed with period medication does the job almost as well…you do need to be a good shot with the slingshot though, a Pamprin laced Hershey’s kiss bouncing off her forehead instead of landing in her mouth can make the situation 1000 times worse.)

Well, I’m a practical type of guy, and seeing as no-one gave me a manual to marriage doesn’t mean everyone else has to go without one.

So guys, I give you “The Married Man’s Guide to Marriage.” A 10 step program which should help you sidestep the worst problems married life has to offer:

Golden Rule #1. Honesty is not always the best policy.

Now everyone will tell you that a good marriage is based on honesty. This is true. However, there are situations where a fib saves everyone’s feelings, makes life easier and saves thousands in hospital bills. For Example:

“Does this dress make me look fat?”

This also covers all the other blood chilling questions that no man wants to hear. IE, ‘Do these shoes go with this dress?’ To which the ‘real’ answer is ‘Who the hell cares!?!? We’re already 8 hours late! They're exactly the same, woman!!!!”

However, the correct answer, that lets you keep your reproductive organs where they are, is whatever she wants to hear.

The fact is she’s already made up her mind, and just wants you to confirm her choice. In other words, if she thinks that dress looks great, and you say she looks fat, she’ll wear it anyway and you’ll be in the doghouse. If she doesn’t like the dress, and you say it’s great, she won’t wear it and will tell everyone how you have no fashion sense.

The best tip I ever heard is to pick and memorise a dress that you know she likes. That way, when she’s making you 5 hours late, or is asking the dreaded fat question, you have a get out of jail free card.

You say: “Why don’t you wear that little blue number you wore to Jeff and Tina’s wedding, you look great in that!”

Not only does this get you out of the door in record time, you earn brownie points for apparently taking notice of what she wears and what she looks good in.

Golden Rule #2. Exercise Tact At All Times.

In other words, your wife is always right, everything she does is perfect and she’s incapable of making a mistake.

For example, if she cooks something so inedible she might as well have served a block of concrete in dog urine sauce, you will like it. Do not mention anything that makes the food seem anything less than culinary genius, even such minor things as ‘it’s too hot.’ Do not be fooled by such statements as "I think I made a mistake, you don't like it do you? You don't have to eat it. You won't hurt my feelings."

The correct way to get out of eating that pulsating, vivid purple monstrosity on your plate is to do one of three things:

a) You aren’t hungry right now. Bear in mind this can mean you won’t be eating that day, unless you can sneak off to McDonalds.
b) Fein Sickness. Make sure to emphasize how upset you are that you can’t eat your wife’s delicious meal, and curse your upset stomach. Make sure to run to the bathroom a few times during the day. This has the added advantage of giving you a bit of peace and quiet as well.
c) Accidentally ruin it. In other words, drop it on the floor, ‘accidentally’ pour a whole shaker of salt on the top, put it on the floor while you ‘get a drink’ so the dog gets it (although some things even the dog won’t eat.) Bear in mind, this doesn't work if there's more in the kitchen.

Golden Rule #3. Be purely reactive.

For example, if your normally talkative wife is unusually silent, or even worse, silent and letting out long theatrical sighs (a sure warning sign.) Do not ask what is wrong. The answer, infallibly, is something that you’ve done. This brings up a 4 hour argument, with the added bonus of you getting in trouble for being so insensitive and not even realising what you did.

This is a classic rookie mistake. If things are quiet, enjoy it while it lasts (it usually doesn't), and don't...instigate...anything

If, for some unknown and stupid reason, you do ask ‘what’s wrong?” and your wife says ‘nothing.’ Take her at her word, do not press the issue. That way, you’ve been a good husband for taking an interest, and can now ignore her because she said she was fine. Being male, you can get away with this. We are notoriously uncomplicated.

In a troubled silence situation, act exactly as you would if you had just been pulled over by the police. Look directly ahead, use short yes and no answers until you find out what it is you’re being accused of. There’s no sense confessing to a crime she doesn’t know about.

Golden Rule #4. Your Wife is Always Right.

Sorry, but this is the way things have to be. Get used to it.

Every married man seeks the Holy Grail of Marriage: A few minutes silence.

Even if you know your wife is wrong, simply say “Yes Dear.” Otherwise, you argue for hours and hours (sometimes weeks), and end up apologizing and saying sorry anyway. It just makes sense and saves a lot of hassle to simply cut out the middleman.

Also, your wife has a secret weapon…crying. If she doesn’t grind you down through days of argument, she’ll turn on the waterworks and trust me…wife tears have the same effect on a husband as kryptonite has on Superman.

Trust me. ‘Yes Dear,’ is penicillin for marriage.

Golden Rule #5. Make your wife believe that you are completely incapable of at least one household task.

This has a two-fold payoff, but requires good acting skills, timing, finesse and patience.

First of all make a good show of making a total disaster of a simple household task. Take an hour to iron a single t-shirt, dye all the laundry red, spend 3 hours trying to remove the curtain you accidentally vacuumed up from the vacuum cleaner bag. You must make it look as if you are really trying, want to do the task, but are incapable. Your wife’s mothering instinct will kick in and she’ll take over.

Now for the payoff. First and most obviously, you’ll never have to do that task again. Secondly, when your wife leaves the house, do the job in 5 minutes, and act like it took all day when she comes back. She’ll think you gave up your day especially for her. Many, many brownie points.

This does have its risks, however, your wife may decide you just need ‘practice’ and force you to do the task anyway. Then you’re stuck either pretending to have problems, which will take up your time, or you get ‘good’ at it, which causes the task to become ‘your’ job. It’s high risk, it’s up to you to decide if the payoff is worth it.

Golden Rule #6. Anything she does wrong is inadmissible in an argument after 1 day. Your transgressions do not expire.

This one is self explanatory. Yes, it’s not fair, deal with it. For the consequences, see Rule #4

Golden Rule #7 Eyes forward at all times.

You do not like supermodels, porn stars, pop stars or actresses. You can admit that they’re attractive, but you must also mention one fatal flaw that makes them ‘not your type’. IE ‘Cindy Crawford, yeah, she’s good looking, but have you seen that mole? Eeeewwww. No thanks!"

Remember, No-one is more attractive than her.

Golden Rule #8. Keep an undated Birthday Card, Anniversary Card and Valentines Card hidden in the house at all times.

We forget these things all the time, it’s a gene that gets turned on the second you get married. This way you can ‘pretend’ to forget, and when she says: “You Bastard! I can’t believe you forgot my birthday!” You toddle off to the bedroom, and return with a triumphant ‘surprise’!

But what about the gift? Repeat after me. “I didn’t know what to buy, so I’m taking you shopping!” Works like magic!

Golden Rule #9. Listen to what your wife says, then do the opposite.

This rule applies so often, that you will get in less trouble for always doing the opposite of what she says, than you will for doing everything she says.

For example, do not be fooled by any of the following:

"I don't want a big deal made of my birthday/valentines day/our anniversary. Don't bother getting me anything."
"No, honestly, you go to the bar after work, I don't mind."
"I know you think she's attractive, I won't be mad or upset if you tell the truth."
"Of course you don't have to come grocery shopping with me, you can stay at home, I don't mind."
"Leave the dishes, I'll do them when I come home."

The fact that she told you not to bother with her birthday, or told you it was fine for you to go to the bar is not an adequate defense. Even if you have video evidence of her telling you that, you're still in for a shitstorm when you go ahead and do what she says.

Golden Rule #10. You're being tested 24/7

It doesn't matter if you've been married a month, a year of a half century. Women are devious. They will deliberately set you up, give you every opportunity to screw up, just to see if you will.

Unfortunately there is no defence for this, as you will never know what she wants you to do, or what answer she wants. The only advice I can give you is expect the unexpected, and maintain constant vigilance. No matter how clear cut and simple things seem, she's planning something. It's always calmest right before the storm.

So there you have it. 10 steps to marital bliss.

Of course, rule 11 is not to write all this down on a blog that your wife will see.

I also accept no responsibilty for any limbs lost if your wife discovers that you've read this.

If you don't hear from me in a couple of days...hunt my wife down and avenge my death.

But I'll warn you, she's wily.


Paul's Wife said...

Girls- get ready for a fun couple of months. We can use this blog of instructions for men to our advantage by mixing them up and doing some of them and then not doing others. Then after a couple weeks- we can switch them around....

Oh, Paul.... What HAVE you done???

Glennius said...


I have just come home from work and found your Blog on screen. Your mother has obviously read it. You`ve given all the newly-wed wives a rule book to live by! What have you done, as your lovely, beautiful, understanding, even-tempered, thoughtful wife has remarked.

May the force be with you,.........because you`re going to need it.


Eyre said...

How's this plan working out for your now?