I am sometimes baffled by conversations I have with people regarding marriage. Anyone who has been, or is currently married understands that a successful marriage takes plenty of work. There is a lot of compromising, and patience is an absolute necessity. One thing that confuses me is when I hear go through a list of what they refuse to do for their husbands. Some of the items on the list were completely understandable, others were not so much. “I refuse to clean up after a man.” Yes, I have heard this more than once. I’ll go into a little bit of an explanation before continuing. Men are not always very bright creatures when it comes to certain matters (no offense to any male readers, or my own husband). They don’t have the insight that women have regarding certain matters, especially when it comes to cleanliness. I was truly blessed with a husband who happens to be a neat freak (however neurotic he might be), but that doesn’t apply to most men. I can assure you that if you refuse to ever clean up after a man, your house will eventually resemble something from the show “Hoarders”. I was listening to the Steve Harvey Morning Show (damn you, 102Jamz for not renewing your contract) and he talked about male and female relationships. He said something that made perfect sense: “A man will change you 100 times over before you change him. Please understand that you can’t come into a relationship expecting to change a man.” With that being said, many men are not clean creatures, and will not suddenly become so with the recitation of wedding vows.
He will also not suddenly become more aware of your feelings. Be prepared to have to sit him down, look him in the eye, and tell him how you are feeling. Yes, he can see you pouting. But he isn’t going to ask why your lip is dragging on the floor. You need to make him aware of what’s wrong, But have a game plan first. Men happen to have pretty short attention spans and if you are still trying to sort through your feelings while talking to him about them, his thoughts will drift off to basketball after the first few minutes. You need to practically put together a Power Point presentation to help him understand what made you upset. And make sure you have a solution to present as well. You can tell a man that it upsets you when he smacks you on the behind every time you walk by, but you also need to ask him to refrain from doing it going forward. Remember, men are not the most intuitive beings.
I could go on and on, but I want to make another point that we as women don’t often understand. Men are problem solvers. When you tell him about how disappointed you are with the weight you have put on, he will likely tell you in a matter-of-fact way to “just lose the weight if it makes you so unhappy”. As a woman, I know this is not what you want to hear. You want him to sympathize. You want to be able to curse out those love handles together, and then have a heaping bowl of ice cream afterwards to make it all better. That is what your sister is for. Your husband doesn’t want to hear about a problem unless you actually want his help fixing it. When the garbage disposal breaks, talk to your husband about it (unless your husband is anything like mine, in which case you should call a repairman instead). If you just want someone to listen to you rant about how horrible the cashier at Walmart was, phone a friend (of the female variety).
Divorce is so disturbingly common nowadays, and I think it has a lot to do with our unwillingness to compromise. The compromise must usually begin with the woman, unfortunately. Men don’t really compromise, but don’t lose hope. They can be trained to behave like upstanding citizens in public, keep the toilet clean, and maybe even prepare a meal. Just don’t expect him to be like you. Two people in a relationship should compliment each other, not necessarily mirror.