Wednesday, January 8, 2014

mCat's response to Middle Aged Mormon Man's 12 Tips for a Better Marriage

Middle Aged Mormon Man wrote a great post today titled 12 tips for a Better Marriage - for Men (Level 1).  

Before we go any further, you need to click THIS LINK and read it.  Go ahead, I'll wait for you to come back.

It was good right??

 I think it was straight up stellar information for husbands.  Of course, as in every marriage, what works for one, doesn't mean it's going to work for another, but he really listed some good basic (Level 1) tips.  

As I read through them, I was thinking  - but what about wives?  If marriage is an equal partnership, then women should also have some tips to help them.

So being the bestest kind of  friend that I am, I decided to help our good brother out and provide the "other side of the story".

Without further ado, I present:

12 Tips for a Better Marriage - For Women (Level 1)

1.  If you've always wanted to have your side of the bed warmed up before you get in, then by all means speak up.  Suggest that while you are washing your face and brushing your teeth, your husband could simply lay on your side under the covers and yes, he can control the remote to his hearts content if you have a TV in your bedroom, so that when you are ready to climb in, your spot is sufficiently warmed.  Think also, his lingering scent will be there and who doesn't love to feel all wrapped up in your man all night?  Now, on the other hand, if you don't like that and prefer cool sheets to slip into, then make your preferences known and ASK him if he likes warmed sheets.  If he does, well, I don't need to spell it out for you.  Take care of his side of the bed and think of it as a win-win.  You get cool sheets twice, he gets warmed sheets.  Nobody suffers here.

2.  Men and boys like to drink from the carton.  It's just part of their nature.  Consider his/hers separate cartons and then he can do whatever disgusting thing he wants with his and you can still pour from yours knowing that not a speck of backwash is going to come flying out.  If his/hers cartons are not feasible, make it a habit to never watch your man drink.  Ever.  Turn your head, leave the room, avert your eyes and go to your happy place in your mind.  This is not a battle you want to pick.

3.  When your husband calls or sends a text to say he's leaving and is on his way home from work, respond with enthusiasm but since you aren't really face to face, go ahead and let loose with an eye roll.  You'll feel better and he'll never know.  Then add another 20 minutes to the ETA he's given you knowing that he legitimately is trying to leave the office, but because he is so good at what he does, and is highly regarded at his employment that he is certain to be detained.  Consider it a compliment to your husband and therefore that transcends to you and the kids.

4.  Decide exactly what household chores you will do and which ones he will do.  It's nice if husbands can throw in a load of laundry, or load the dishwasher but remember, that if he is willing to do those things for you, you should in turn be willing to mow the lawn, empty the trash, take the cans to the curb (in the middle of a polar vortex) and put them away (in the still raging polar vortex), change the oil and have to talk to the direct tv man without wanting to claw his eyes out.  Is this what you want?  If so, more power to you.  In all reality - this is a really personal and individual decision that couples should make early on in their marriage.  Splenda Daddy and I have a very solid deal that has served us well for nigh unto 30 years.  I never have to change the oil in the car.  Ever.  I wash people's underwear.  Fair trade.

5.  Encourage pictures.  Family pictures.  Silly pictures.  Random, candid pictures.  Please don't tell yourself that you don't want to be in the photo because you're carrying more weight than you would like.  Don't always volunteer to be taking the pictures so you can avoid having to see yourself and unleash the self criticism that is inevitable.  Your family needs reminders of you.  They need to see pictures.  Your smile, your goofy faces, your silly antics, even the posed formal family photos.  They are important to your children and to your husband.  Lose the attitude of "we'll get pictures when I lose those last 15 pounds"  Tell yourself the pictures aren't ABOUT you, they are FOR your family.  Your husband and kids don't see you the way you see yourself.  I promise.

6.  If you like physical affection, then instigate it on occasion.  Don't wait for your husband to "make the moves"  Grab his hand as you walk, hold his arm.  Simply touch him.  There is power in the human touch and your husband needs it as much as you do.  As for opening car doors, discuss whether or not you like it, want it, or are comfortable ditching that chivalrous act.  It's not really an act of chivalry unless both parties enjoy it.

7.  As much as your man might think he's an NBA star during church basketball, we all know those same skills don't necessarily translate to dunking his socks in the hamper.  So what?  They're socks for crying out loud.  Instead, as you bend over to pick them up, tighten up your core and glutes and consider it a chance for a little body work.  You can change the grumblings from his dirty clothes strewn around to thankfulness for him allowing you to get a little bit of a work out it.  Bonus - you can work on your toe dexterity by practicing picking them up with your toes.

8.   Use the inspired-by-God pause button as often as needed.
(yes I copied and pasted that from MMM's blog - it applies just the same over here)

9.  Just as you do daily scripture and prayer, add to your personal time of repeating the ever important mantra "If it's important to him, it's important to me"  Repeat it over and over and over again until it becomes ingrained.

10.  Sometimes when you get angry, you might see a smile sneak across his face.  Maybe he'll even laugh or giggle.  TAKE IT AS A COMPLIMENT!  Consider that he's smiling because you are adorable when you get mad.  Or, he's so embarrassed by his wrong act that all he can do is laugh out of sheer nervousness.  Either way, don't hold it against the poor man.  They often can't control themselves as well as we can.  Take it as a compliment.

11.  If you're married to a man that loves sports, you have a choice to make.  Ask him to limit his sporting schedule, or embrace the sport, learn everything you can about it, and make it something that you do together.  The first winter Splenda Daddy and I were married, I discovered that he liked NFL football. *GASP*  I could not for the life of me understand why he would want to spend the entire day watching football and not paying attention to me!  There was a Sunday or two that I left the house in a huff.  It didn't take me long to figure out that it was something he really enjoyed, it helped him decompress after stressful work weeks and it was unfair of me to take that pleasure away from him.  Instead I decided to devote myself to learning the game, choosing a team and watching with him.  Our fondest memories of our early marriage days are Sundays spent in bed, watching football, and eating a frozen pizza ( a treat on our poor finances).  My attitude adjustment made all the difference in the world and since then, when there are things important to me, Splenda Daddy makes the effort to learn about it and engage in it with me whenever possible.

12.  The bathroom.  There just isn't much you can do there.  Men have crappy aim.  And even those that do have some decent aim - there are......dribbles.  Leave a can of clorox wipes on the back of the toilet so he can easily do a quick wipe down.  Some Febreeze spray (works better than any other commercial product) or at the very minimum, a box of matches.  Having those readily accessible will remind him to use them.  If he forgets, simply avoid that bathroom for awhile.  Again, not a battle worth fighting.  And guaranteed, you're no rose smelling cable layer either.

Bonus tip:  When he is deep in sleep and snoring so loudly that you can't sleep yourself, just lean over and whisper in his ear "My wife is the best thing that ever happened to me"   Repeat it over and over and over again.

And that's it kids.  The first 12 step program in hopefully a series of tips designed to help us as wives to be the kind of spouse WE would want to be married to.  

PS - if you have any hateful comments that you feel inclined to leave because you disagree with me, go leave them on Middle Aged Mormon Man's blog.  He's anonymous and can take the heat.  Me?  I'm just lil 'ole mCat who thought it would be fun to offer another perspective.


Ben G said...

I appreciate what you said about sports, but it goes for any hobby. My wife and I bond over football on Sundays, and over geocaching when we can. I feign interest in Downtown Abba while she drools over the Doctor so I can watch Doctor Who. Marriage isn't a war zone, it's a playground.

Ben G said...

Oh and thank you for speaking out against passive aggressive behavior.

Unknown said...

Nice one Melissa. Spot on. It's almost like you could be his EC. Hmmmmm....Is Splenda Daddy THE MMM????

BulldawgC said...

^^^^ I can promise you MMM is not her husband. Incredibly awkward thought.

Monique said...

I don't know about that. She seems pretty in the know, if ya know what i mean...

Middle-aged Mormon Man said...

BulldawgC is correct. I am not married to mCat. If that were the case, one of us would have run screaming into the night long, long ago.

Connie said...

I'm printing these 12 "suggestions" off and hanging them on the wall. Thanks M. And thanks to MMM.

DeNae / SHP said...

Brilliant! Except I really have a 'thing' about dirty socks. I don't make a stink, but I don't pick them up, either. Blech! And I like my side of the bed to be COLD, so I've had to ask my husband to kindly keep to his side while I'm getting ready for the night. But what you're really saying is be patient, communicate, let things go, and find a balance that works. That's why you and I have been married to awesome guys for years and years.

Welcome to the Garden of Egan said...

Great comments.
I believe they all have good points.

The main point to take away from this is marriage is A LOT of work.
AND takes A TON of patience.

Just ask my hubby.

Kristin Klein said...

Hehehee - I bookmarked this last week because I didn't want to miss it . . . finally getting around to it and it was worth the wait . . . thanks for the interjections of reality and humor :)


karen said...

Well, I kind of liked ALL of it - MCat and MMM both. And don't feel bad MCat - most men would run screaming into the night if they were married to me. That's why I love my "L" so much. He's a special one.

DesertHen said...

Read them both and loved'em both! Hands down, marriage is Work! A lot of work on the part of both parties involved! I heard somebody say something a while back and it stuck with me; "Make sure you want a marriage and not just a wedding!" Makes so much sense! So many get wrapped up the "wedding" part of it all and it's sad! Great post MCat!