After 14 years of being married to the same woman, I’m learning.
I wouldn’t say I’ve arrived, by any long stretch of the imagination, but I’m learning. If this were Mount Everest and I were on a climb, I could safely say I’ve long left base camp and the summit is in view. But I’ve yet to reach it. Again..I’m learning.
Some of you dads are learning too. Admit it. You’re still picking shrapnel out of your forehead for that flippant comment you made the other night when you arrived home from your “long day at work,” and she asked you to help with the kids, aren’t you?
I feel you. I’ve been there. Mushroom clouds are not a new thing above my home either.
You blurted out something you wished you could grab in mid-air as it floated into the atmosphere. In your lack of understanding of the circumstances surrounding a stay-at-home-mom’s world, you commented on the condition of your home. Oops!
If this is you, hang on. I’m here. As a fellow land-mind tripper, I can offer some tips to help you stay married to the same beautiful woman for the rest of your life (without her killing you in the process). I can do this with confidence because I’ve learned each one the hard way. They are tried and tested, I promise!
Here they are in no particular order…
Tip #1- Never, under any circumstances, complain that you’ve had a long day.
Lets get one thing straight gentlemen- our worlds are difficult. That’s for sure. We’ve got meetings and conference calls, budget planning sessions, and the dreaded department reports. Our women would acknowledge this. They understand our jobs are tough at times. But our world has something that her world lacks a lot of- adult interaction. Each time I complain about the amount of ‘offsite’ meetings I’ve had in a given day, I’m reminded that her meetings have included cold coffee, burnt toast, Dora, a potty seat, and a 4-year old. There’s also actual crying over spilled milk on many occasions.
Tip #2– Speaking of complaining, it’s not a good idea to complain about the slow service you experienced at your lunch meeting at Olive Garden earlier in the day.
This is the equivalent of pulling the pin on a hand grenade and rolling it into the middle of the room. You might as well turn around, head to the garage, grab a shovel, and start digging your own grave. While our Chicken Parmesan with Alfredo sauce might have been a little cold after waiting for a while, it’s the 5th time this week she’s dined exquisitely on Jif with a side of Welch’s.
Tip #3- Don’t ever, ever, ever ask her “what in the world she does all day long while you’re gone”!
There’s a great commercial, from several years ago, where a man arrives home from work and the house is a disaster. The dishes are piled up in the sink, children are running around dirty and half-clothed, and laundry is strewn about the house. The man looks at his wife and asks “What happened here?” She replies, “Remember the other day when you asked me what in the world I did all day around here? Well, today, I didn’t do it!” Classic!
The truth is, stay-at-home moms have the hardest job on the planet and they work harder than anyone else. Their job is the most important in the world as far as I’m concerned. It’s urban legend that they lounge on the sofa, eating bonbons and watching soaps all day.
Tip #4- Grab a cup of coffee on the drive home to wake yourself up, suck up the long day you’ve had, and choose to serve in anyway you can when you arrive home.
Here’s what I know: the times I’ve done this, it’s made her feel honored and also made for a peaceful evening. The times I’ve failed to do this, and selfishly focused everything on the day I’ve had, she’s left feeling un-important and useless, and the evening is rough. I have to play catch up. I’ve also learned an important truth about communication- when you serve her she’ll be more interested in hearing about the day you’ve had. It’s a two-way street.
They’re not the only tips in this world. There are plenty more where these came from. But I can honestly say, in-spite of the humorous approach I took with the first 3- they work!
Your marriage is healthier and your wife is happier. 🙂
Men (or woman): what other advice would you include? Leave a comment below…
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