Stake out your territory

I hate the term ‘man cave.’  It implies that the woman has taken up every single square foot of the house and has made it such an unpleasant place for the man to be that he has no choice but to retreat to some hollowed out hole in search of refuge.  It’s terms like these that contribute to the idea that marriage is bad.  If you want a happy marriage you don’t need a mancave, you simply need to stake out your territory from the start.  I’m not saying you should draw a line down the center of the house but you do need to make sure that your wife isn’t designing a house that will make you want to puke every time you come home.  In most cases women are much more attuned to home decorating than men, which puts men at a distinct disadvantage when it comes times to move in together.  Whereas the woman will look at a piece of furniture and question whether it matches the existing sofa, wall colors and overall aesthetic feel of the room, a man will simply ask if it reclines.  This makes it difficult for men because they feel completely overmatched by women when it comes to home décor so rather than argue in favor of what they want, they simply give in, and give in, and give in, until one day they realize they are surrounded by pastels and have no choice but to seek refuge in the garage.  The key to ensuring that your home design incorporates elements that you find enjoyable is to educate yourself on the basics of home decorating, that way when she starts talking about flow, texture and accents, you’ll be able to engage her in conversation, counter her points, offer up your own, and arrive at a mutually beneficial compromise.  As with most things in marriage, TLC is a great place to start.  Simply tune into any show on home decorating and I guarantee that within one hour you’ll learn everything you need to know about ‘defining a room,’ ‘establishing a theme,’ and ‘identifying function.’  That said, once you enter into the home decorating arena you had better be prepared for combat because she is going to expect you to play at the same level as she does.  If her childhood dolls are all expensive collectors items you had better make sure that your G.I. Joe toys are in their original packaging!

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The grass may be greener on the other side but you still need to mow it

It is a common misconception that single guys have a better sex life than married guys.  We are constantly bombarded with images of single guys having these great sex lives that it’s easy to start believing that all of those commercials and TV shows are actually indicative of a real single person’s life.  As such, it becomes easy to start thinking that if you were single you would be hooking up with total hotties every night and each one of them would be unbelievably awesome in bed.  Don’t buy into it.  Aside from the fact that those commercials are all trying to sell you cheap beer, hooking up requires a fair amount of effort, and the results are less desirable than those you can achieve with your wife.  Great sex is a result of time and understanding of what your partner likes.  If you do it right, sex with your spouse will become more intense as time goes on because you will become more attuned to each others desires.  One night stands may carry with them the thrill of experiencing something new, but let’s not kid ourselves, there really is very little ‘new’ out there, at least in the circles most of us occupy.  Furthermore, single life carries its own set of commitments, often for far less sex.  The ratio of the total amount of time single guys spend trying to get laid to the actual number of times they have sex is far greater than the same ratio for married guys.  I’m not saying the single sex life doesn’t hold appeal, I’m just saying that the next time you see a hot girl sitting across from you on the metro and you start thinking about how you wish you weren’t married, remind yourself that 1) you’re probably not smooth enough to pick her up anyways, and 2) she may be hot, but as the old saying goes, someone out there is still sick of her shit.

Avoid disparaging remarks about your wife

If you get a bunch of married guys together and get a few drinks in them I guarantee they will start up a game of one-upsmanship about who has the most annoying spouse.  Most likely this isn’t because their spouse is annoying, it’s because they want to beat the other guys.  The best way to avoid this trap is to not get involved in the first place.  If people start talking about how their wives annoy them, just sit there, drink you beer, politely laugh when appropriate, and don’t play along.  If someone tries to call you out you can either deflect the question or simply say you don’t like talking about your wife behind her back.  Don’t be a douche bag when you say it and be prepared to take some shit, but those are better options than giving in because once you start down that road, there really is no good way to stop.  I’m not saying you should be the buzz kill of the group; just ask yourself if impressing your friends is more important than honoring your wife.

Be proud of your marriage

I work with a lot of single guys and it never ceases to amaze me how often I have to listen to snide remarks about the ‘old ball and chain.’  Marriage can be a great thing.  I am a far better person married than I ever was single!  I enjoyed my single life, but the level of happiness I share with my spouse is far greater than anything I could ever have if I was single.  That’s why I always make it a point to refute ‘ball and chain’ comments by informing people that I enjoy being married and am a better person because my spouse is in my life.  Marriage too often gets a bad rap due to the imagined actions of a stereotypical ‘nagging wife’ and it’s important that you counter those accusations.  If you don’t, you may start believing what people are saying.  People are susceptible to the idea of self-fulfilling prophecies, which in this case means someone tells you that marriage is a bad thing, which causes you to think about it, which causes you to pay undue attention to the bad things, which in turn makes your marriage bad.  Often when people say disparaging things about their marriage it’s because it’s what they believe is expected of them.  Don’t let yourself fall victim to this perceived expectation.  Be proud of your marriage and don’t be ashamed to stand up and say it!

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 6:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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