Guide To A Happy (or at least tolerable) Relationship

Jack: I’m going to read a romance novel.
Me: Why?
Jack: So I’ll understand what you want.
Me: Romance?  You think I want romance?  Puh.  Maybe if my time machine could take us back to 1985.

It took about eight years of marital misery before I figured out the male psyche.  Then I immediately felt stupid for having been so clueless about something so simple.  The minute I figured it out and adapted myself to it, our marriage clicked.  Like a born-again Christian wanting – needing – to spread the word to the unenlightened, I find myself compelled to impart my wisdom upon you…

Step One: Wake Up
Ladies – We should file a class-action lawsuit against Disney.  He is not a prince. He is not dreaming about you instead of ruling the kingdom. His kiss will not awake you from your slumber.  In fact, he’s going to tip-toe by you while you sleep because he knows he’s screwed something up and there will be hell to pay when you wake up.
Guys – You should file a class-action lawsuit against Hugh Hefner and Larry Flint.  She doesn’t look or think like that.  Her turn-ons are a guy who’s gainfully employed and won’t care (or notice) that she owns 30 pairs of shoes. Her idea of a good time is not rubbing you down with oil and making sweet love all night.  Her fantasy is not walking in on you with another woman and joining in.  Her idea of a good time is reading a good book or taking a nap in peace.  Her fantasy is you and the kids cleaning the house while she reads a good book or takes a nap in peace.  She is not fantasizing about your penis.  Ever.

Step Two: Understand And Embrace Reality
Ladies – Boys want three things – physical contact, tranquility and nourishment.  In that order.  And, let’s be honest, they would take a pass on nourishment if they could get touched and be left in peace.  They assume we want the same things, bless their hearts. Don’t bother writing him a sweet little note about how much you love him; in the unlikely event that he actually reads it, it will only confuse him.  He will either wonder what you’re trying to hide or which of his mistakes you’ve discovered.  Also, a bird flying by the window will make him completely forget the note ever existed.  More importantly, don’t expect him to write you a sweet note.  He’s not wired for that nonsense.  The only note you should expect to receive is ‘please pick up beer and jock itch spray when you go out’.
Guys – Girls want three things – appreciation/kind words, thoughtful gestures and your financial assistance with filling their home and closets with nice things.  Note: grabbing her boobs as she prepares dinner does not count as a ‘thoughtful gesture’.  Instead, tell her that she’s entirely too pretty to be stuck in a kitchen.  Tell her to change her clothes so you can take her out to dinner.  Comment on her pretty outfit.  Do not ask when she bought it/how she paid for it.  Do not comment on her overflowing closets.  Do not question why she needs so much clothing.  While at dinner, mention how much you appreciate having her in your life.  Resist the temptation to roll your eyes when you say it.  Trust that you will be rewarded with physical contact and tranquility.

Step Three: Cut To The Chase
Ladies – Stop expecting him to know what you want or need.  Boys are not complex thinkers.  They are simple creatures with simple needs.  They don’t ponder why things are they way they are or what motivates people to do the things they do.  Know why?  Because they don’t care.  Know what they care about?  Getting laid and being left in peace.  In that order.  They would rather eat glass than figure out what you want or need.  Especially because they know that what you need will inevitably involve them getting yelled at and/or being given a task of some sort.  If you want/need something, tell him.  Use small, easily understood words and don’t ask for more than one thing at a time:

Right way:
Me: Honey, will you please take out the trash?
Jack: Sure.
Me: Thanks for taking out the trash, will you please unload the dishwasher?
Jack: Sure.

Wrong way:
Me: Honey, will you please take out the trash?  When you’re done, unload the dishwasher, put those boxes for Mat in the car and feed the dogs.
Jack: Did you see that bird that just flew by the window?

Guys –  Seriously?  She’s exhausted.  You got up seven minutes before you had to leave, showered, brushed your teeth, got dressed, went to work and came home.  She got up at least an hour before you, ran around like a maniac making sure the house was in order, lunches were made, the kids were up, dressed and fed.  Then she went to work, thought about what to cook for dinner, remembered that she forgot to defrost chicken, rethought an entire meal, finished work, ran to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for Plan B, rushed home, threw dinner on the stove, and fought with the kids to do their homework.  Standing a foot from her asking her why she’s so cranky may result in a pan-shaped dent in your forehead.  Offer to help her instead.  Do not be insulted when she asks you why you’re being so nice.  Tell her that you know she’s had a long day and you just want to help.  Resist the temptation to roll your eyes when you say it.  Trust that you will be rewarded with physical contact and tranquility.

Step Four: Change Your Mindset
Ladies – Going forward, your motto is ‘Treat them like shit and they’ll stick to you like toilet paper’.  If you want your husband/boyfriend to pay attention to you, behave as though his disappearance would merely cause you to wonder why there’s not as much laundry to do.  The male love for boobies and sex is trumped only by their aversion to drama.  They will lose interest the minute they sense insecurity in a woman.  Someone once said you cannot love another until you learn to love yourself.  I say you will not find love until you stop giving a shit whether or not you find love.
Guys – Going forward, your motto is ‘Happy wife, happy life’.  Just do whatever she asks you to do.  Arguing is futile.  Cooperation will be rewarded.  This is a no-brainer.  If you don’t have a DVR, contact your cable provider and order one immediately.  The ability to pause or record a game will result in much more physical contact, tranquility and nourishment.  It may very well save your relationship.  At the very least, it will make her stop screaming at you. Don’t do it for her; do it for yourself.


18 thoughts on “Guide To A Happy (or at least tolerable) Relationship

  1. You nailed it, Donna!!! Wow…You should be a relationship/marriage counselor!!! I need to put these words of wisdom to heart and in to action in my own life 😉

  2. Hi! Thought I’d take a peek at your post since you tweeted about it. It’s well-written and humorous post! I’m still trying to figure out if it’s tongue-in-cheek or not because parts of it seem like it’s trying to be relevant while others just seem pretty outlandish. 🙂 I can at least say that it certainly doesn’t describe how to make ME happy as a guy! 🙂

  3. While your observations are mostly true, I’d like to offer this: I cook. I’m pretty good at it. I can arrange flowers. I’m funny and I’m pretty easy on the eyes… For these reasons, much of my bullshit is tolerated… I, my dear, know the score here…

  4. I wish I knew about “Cut to the chase” 20 years ago. In an effort to use this technique I conveniently got knocked in the head last week which resulted in a concussion. (Boring story) There I was in need of special care and there he was a man who had no idea what I needed. Sure he covered the basic human needs: brought me food & drink & pointed to the 4 bottles of meds on the night stand. As I laid in bed wondering when he was going to “visit” me I recalled this gem of a blog and thought “I am going to tell him what I want!” I texted him from my bed to his location which was directly under me in the family room. I asked him to come sit with me. I imagined (notice I didnt say it) he would stroke my aching head & rub my shoulders as we watched a black & white Bette Davis movie (she is my favorite). Well, the movie played and he plopped onto the bed with his feet near my face, punched a pillow into the perfect shape for his comfort, jostling the bed and suffered through about 1/3 of the movie. Thank God my meds kicked in & I fell asleep. While I have not mastered this new technique of telling him exaclty what I want/expect. I feel a little bit closer to the concept.

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