Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Things Husbands Don't Know How To Do (Very Well)

I know I would be casting a really wide net to talk about ALL husbands, but since I have had four of them, I think I am as good a person as any to cast some kind of net to talk about what husbands don't know how to do, or at least, do very well.

You know that I am always trying to be helpful in this blog, so by shining a light on some very real marital issues, I just might save your marriage.

I have yet to have a husband who knows how to fold a pillowcase or make a bed properly.

It's strange that our mothers taught us how to do these things, but they must have figured their sons would have wives so they didn't need to learn how to do them. The few times that Hubby folds the laundry (usually when he is searching for something in the dryer that he wants to wear and I haven't had a chance to fold it yet), I find the pillowcases folded into squares.  Though I know I should be grateful that he took the time to fold the laundry, I have to say NO!  A pillowcase must be folded lengthwise in thirds (and ironed that way if I am feeling particularly domestic), and then folded over into a nice rectangle, thus looking crisp when put onto the pillow.  As for making the bed, the top sheet is placed upside down with the pattern facing the bed so that when you fold the top hem over, the pattern shows.  So now that you guys know how to do these two things, you will no longer irritate your wife.  Well, you won't irritate her about those two things at least.

Husbands don't seem to know how to give their wives gifts they really want.

I mean, c'mon, a vacuum cleaner for Valentine's Day?  I suppose I should be grateful to get anything for Valentine's Day and birthdays, but how hard is it to remember that cute shocking pink faux fur vest I mooned over at Nordstrom the other week or the broad hint about that red BMW?  When confronted about the appropriateness of a vacuum cleaner as a Valentine's Day present, Hubby said he just wanted to make MY work easier!  Thanks.

Husbands are not very good at being honest about their food issues.

Husbands like to throw the word "allergic" around.  Their mothers must have started that.  Beware of your husband saying he is allergic to a particular food.  It could be he just won't admit that he doesn't like something.  It was 20 years before I figured out that Hubby was not allergic to walnuts.  He just didn't like them.

Husbands don't seem to know how to hear very well when it doesn't suit them.

That hearing loss seems to have a pattern to it.  I seems to occur during sporting events on TV, when the baby cries, when the teenager is arguing or when Hubby's mother is criticizing you. What he IS good at is a disappearing act when such things occur.

Being sick.

If men had to give birth, there would be no children.  They are just big babies when it comes to pain.  When they feel a sniffle coming on, they milk it for all it's worth.  However, when WE aren't feeling well and say so, Hubby says "You better get that checked out" and goes back to watching said sporting event.


After a day of silence, we wives might ask you, "What are you thinking?" to which you will probably reply, "Nothing."  Really?  You are thinking nothing?  You might as well say to us, "None of your business."  Answering "Nothing" will have the desired effect of stopping all conversation, which, I guess, is the point.  You could at least say, "I was thinking about that hot waitress who served us last night at the restaurant."  That would probably shut us up too, but at least we couldn't accuse you of not sharing.

Speaking of which, husbands aren't very good at listening to US share.

I think there is a written code among men that as soon as they sense a discussion about feelings coming on, their minds go into "fix it" mode so they can end the conversation as soon as possible.  I think they equate our wanting to share our feelings with a walk to the executioner's table.  They don't want to be there so if they can fix whatever is troubling us and get the hell out of there, they will try to do that.

Guys, listen up.  I am going to help you. We know you want to help and that you think that coming up with a solution to our issue is the answer, but it's not.  We want you to listen to us bitch about work or worry about our health. We don't need you to tell us what to do about it.  We will figure that out.  We just want you to LISTEN, to HEAR us, to ACKNOWLEDGE our pain with the appropriate head nods, an occasional "I understand" or "That must be really hard." 

So when your wife says, "I feel depressed," instead of saying "Better call your shrink," try saying "Tell me about it."  Or when your wife says she is having trouble with someone at work, instead of saying "Screw 'em," try saying "What's going on?  I'm all ears."  When your wife says she's lonely, telling her to get a cat isn't what she wants to hear.  Instead, when your wife starts a sentence with "I feel..." or "I am worried about...," say "Tell me about it," then keep schtup and nod appropriately.  At least pretend that you care because we women don't need you to fix anything.  We are perfectly capable of doing that ourselves.  It just helps us to verbalize things. 

And ultimately, if you don't want to listen to your wife, why the hell are you married?

There, I just saved your marriage.

Ladies, did I miss anything?

And sorry if you think I am "husband bashing."  I sometimes feel a rant coming on and just have to share.  You know, that thing about sharing.  Can't help it.

I do think husbands have their charms.  Check out my "Why Have a Husband? post, where I point out what a husband is good for.  There are some things.

Thanks for Reading!
See you Friday

for my review of the new movie 



The Week in Reviews

(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

and the latest on

My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Why Have a Husband?

Today is my 31st Wedding Anniversary. 

I guess I should say "our" 31st Wedding Anniversary. 

Hubby and I have been married for 31 years today.

However, I ask this question - Why Have a Husband? - because of a recent interchange Hubby and I had.

I had a conference in Seattle which is about 20 miles from where we live.  Since the conference started at 8am (and you know I am NOT a morning person), I had this bright idea that I would book a hotel room near the conference and spend the night so I could just walk to the conference and avoid having to get up really early and deal with rush hour traffic. 

It just so happens that the famous Edgewater Hotel was near the conference venue.  I have always wanted to stay there. I mean if it was good enough for Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, it was good enough for me and I wanted to experience a little of that.  It was the site of The Beatles fishing from their room and Led Zeppelin's infamous "shark incident" (and if you don't know about the infamous shark incident, click on this link). 

However, for this plan to work, Hubby would have to drive me both ways.  He couldn't stay over because, unlike me, Hubby has a job and somebody has to stay with the dogs. 

When I told Hubby about this great plan, he balked.  He knew that another option I had was to take the bus that was going down so why should he have to make two trips into Seattle, one of which would be in rush hour?

And that is when I replied, "What good is it to have a husband if he won't do what I want him to? If he doesn't do everything he can to make my life as easy as possible?"

So he kind of said, "Well, if you put it that way..."

And I said, "When you come to pick me up we can do Happy Hour."  (You have to throw them a bone from time to time).

So that little incident made me ask, why have a husband?

What's a husband good for, especially if he won't do what you ask him to do?

I mean, why put up with taking care of another person, having to listen to his opinions about decorating and his bitching about how much money you are spending or that the TV is too loud after he goes to bed, having to do his laundry, entertain him because he really doesn't have that much going on, cook his meals, clean his house and, you know, all of that other stuff, if he won't comply to your brilliant ideas and requests?

We working women no longer need men to support us.  Most of us are liberated enough to go to movies alone, pump our own gas, mow the lawn ourselves and take out the garbage.

So why have a husband?

So with much deep thought, I have come up with a list of what a husband is good for.

---Killing bugs
When my son was little he heard a ruckus in the bathroom and came to investigate.  Hubby was in there killing a large scary bug of some kind.  When my son asked what he was doing, I told him and said, "When you are a man, you will kill bugs for your wife."  He burst into tears and said, "I don't want to be a man!"

Sorry, husbands.  Killing bugs for your wives is on your job description (or if you are particularly humane, capturing them and setting them free outside).

---Taking out the garbage
I know I can do this myself, but as long as he's there, he might as well do it (one less housekeeping chore for me).

---Running to the store when you realize you don't have a key ingredient for a recipe you are right in the middle of
Your hands are full of flour and you look like hell and you don't have baking powder (I know, you should have checked all of the ingredients before getting started).  But Hubby is right there sitting in front of the TV watching football with his hand down his pants, so why shouldn't he get up and get you that baking powder?

---Putting the lights on the Christmas tree
Though every year I threaten to do it myself.  However, we have created a Christmas tradition.  He puts the lights on wrong, I bitch at him, he threatens me ("Why don't you do it yourself, then?! Cripes!"), I bitch some more, then I put the ornaments on the tree and we both admire it.

---Getting up on the roof to clean the skylights
Even though the last time he did that, he fell off the ladder.  I'm afraid of heights, so no way am I climbing up on the roof!

---Travel Plans
I tell him where I want to go and what I want to do and he makes it happen.  I know I could just as easily make the reservations and buy the plane tickets, but why should I when he is a know-it-all, take-charge type?  He likes to put the notebook for our itinerary together and all of the other little OCD stuff he likes to do.  I want him to feel important.

---TIVO and Computers
I often wonder what it would be like if something happened to Hubby and I had to connect all of that stuff to a network myself and keep it running properly. I would be afraid to move because then who would set up my TV and computer just the way I want it?  I would probably just stay where I am forever and they would find me here sitting in my chair, covered in cobwebs, holding the remote.

---Making sure the house is well-stocked with wine
That one is a no-brainer.

After all is said and done, having a husband is a good thing because when you get old and wrinkly and fat he still has to love you. 

Because remember when we were young, smooth-skinned and thin, we asked him, "Will you love me forever and ever and ever, even when I am old, wrinkly and fat?"

And what could he say?

And then we said, "Promise?"

Happy Anniversary, Hubby!



Thanks for Reading!

See you Friday

for my review of the new movie 

"Hot Pursuit"
The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

and the latest on

"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."


If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to Stay [Happily] Married for 30 Years

Hubby and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.

I can't believe we have been married for 30 years. 

That fact makes me reflect on what kept us together through all of the highs and lows of life during that time.

What does it take to stay happily married for 30 years?

Well, thank you for asking.  I do have some ideas about that.

Here are what I think are the necessary  ingredients to stay happily married for 30 years:

This is a film term for the charming, ironic or amusing ways a guy and a girl meet in movie rom-coms, such as Woody Allen meeting Diane Keaton's Annie Hall on the tennis court. 

 Hubby and I "met cute" when he hit me on the head with a full can of beer in Big Sur, California, and we ended the night singing a duet of "Endless Love." 
(If you are interested, the full, and brilliantly entertaining, story can be found in my review of the remake of the movie "Endless Love" in my blog "The Best Films of 2013 that No One Saw"). 

But my point here is, if you "meet cute," together you can bore people endlessly at cocktail parties recounting how you met.  It's a bonding thing and will keep you together for 30 years at least. 

How 80's can you get?  Headband, armband and, Hubby, what's with the chest hair and the ciggy?

Also if you both are single when you meet, that helps. 

Getting together while cheating on your spouses or significant others doesn't bode well for the next 30 years.

  • Kiss on bridges
Hubby and I have this tradition. 

 Not sure how it started, but whenever we walk across a bridge, we must kiss (I think Hubby started it. He's an affectionate guy).

The point here isn't that you must kiss on bridges to stay happily married for 30 years, but that you need little rituals that are just yours to add to that all important "history" that you need to make together.

  • Take turns planning the wedding anniversary
I think I got this idea from a magazine article, but it has worked well over the years. 

The article said something about if you want your husband to remember your wedding anniversary, take turns planning what you will do to celebrate. 

So that's what we did.  Each year it's one of our turns to plan the event (Hubby get's the even years, I get the odd years). 

And I'm not talking about a card and dinner.  I am talking about planning something BIG.  Our anniversary celebrations have taken us as far from home as Paris and the UK and as close to home as British Columbia, but it has always constituted something special.  This year's celebration was Vancouver and the Okanagan wine country in B.C.  

And the article was right.  Hubby has never forgotten an anniversary, and we have had some wonderful adventures together.

In England's Lake District c. 1994 with my hair in an 80's "Flashdance" side pony.

At Lake Okanagan 2014 - wish I could still rock that 80's side-pony.

  • Thoughtfulness

My father was the most thoughtful person on the planet so it's not easy to fill those shoes. 

I hope I have inherited some of his thoughtfulness, but being thoughtful also means recognizing when someone else is being thoughtful in all of its incarnations, large and small.

When Hubby fixes a big breakfast for himself (because as you know, I am not up yet) he always leaves me two pieces of bacon. He remembers things I am "wishing for." And he never forgets my birthday, Valentine's Day, our Anniversary, Mother's Day.  And when he travels, he always calls me every night before bed.

For my part, I try to be a "full-service wife and mother," meaning I don't forget to do what I am asked, I remember what people like and don't like, I think of fun things to do, I celebrate all accomplishments big and small, bring home gifts for no reason and anticipate what needs to be taken care of.
  • Pull your weight
If you both contribute equally to the marriage, then there won't be any resentment. Contributing equally can take many forms.  

I always worked and there were times when I made more than Hubby and times when he made more than I did
(mostly he made more than I did.  Librarians aren't in it for the money). 
Even when we had children, I didn't say, "I'm staying home with the kids."  Much as I would have liked to (and I know I missed a lot), we couldn't afford it.  And I did have a career I cared about.  However, I often wonder what my life would have been if I had been a full-time Mom.  Maybe my kids would have liked me better.

And I am not saying that the people who stay home with the kids don't pull their weight.  They do.  It's not easy taking care of kids, but I think staying home with the kids also means housework, cooking and other household chores, so the person who commutes off to work each day doesn't have to add yet more to his or her list of duties.  That doesn't mean, however, that the person who goes off to work doesn't also have household duties and needs to take the burden off of the person staying home. 

This is something that needs to be decided between the two of you.  Whatever you decide, it must feel right to each of you - that no one is being taken advantage of.  Think of it this way.  You are basically roommates albeit roommates with benefits, but you wouldn't like it if your roommate was always late on the rent, left the bathroom dirty or ate all of your food without fixing you any. 

See "Be Considerate" below.

  • Be considerate
More marriages than we can count have broken up over the toothpaste cap or the toilet seat.

 Hubby is a morning person.  I mean, he gets up at seven even when he doesn't have to.  I just don't get it, but at least he keeps things quiet for me while I am sleeping in because I am decidedly NOT a morning person.  He also will run to the store for me when I am cooking and suddenly realize I don't have those two eggs I thought I had, though they are probably gone because Hubby ate them.

On my part, I don't put walnuts in the brownies, I put things back after I use them, I am never late and I pick up after myself.  You can thank my Dad for that (except for the walnuts.  That's Hubby's thing).

  • Interests in common; interests of your own
I think you need to have some common interests.  If not, you will never do anything together, or one of you will be resenting having to do things he or she doesn't want to do.  On the other hand, you want to have something interesting to bring to the table and that only happens if you also have your own interests, friends and activities.
    For example:
Hubby likes sports; I don't (but I sometimes let him talk to me about them).
Hubby plays golf; I don't.
Hubby is in a band; I'm not (but I usually go watch him play so some groupie doesn't get him.  That's important for staying married too!)

I like to watch "Ru Paul's Drag Race;" Hubby doesn't, but he's not judgmental.
I write a blog; Hubby doesn't (but he shares it).
I meditate; Hubby doesn't.
I like to shop for clothes; Hubby fumes. 

But we both love fine dining, wine tasting, concerts, theatre, travel, dogs, stair walking and going to the gym.  Well, the gym, not so much.

One of the Seattle stairs we walked.

  • If one of you is bossy, then the other one can't be. 

        Bossy?  Hello, that's me. 

This child may not look bossy, but at seven she already knew how to pose and tell people what to do, so I rest my case.  Believe it or not, I am in a fashion show here rocking the latest fashion in pajamas for seven-year-olds with a little bunny as an accessory.

But by bossy, I mean I like to get things done, don't like procrastination, don't like being late, don't like lazy, so there is a certain amount of nagging going on.  Hubby certainly doesn't like to be bossed around or nagged, but he will be the first to admit my sometimes Teutonic methods have helped him. 

Being bossy, though, does not mean thinking I am always right, needing the last word or being a know-it-all.  That's Hubby's department. 

I can see the "smart-ass" element already forming.

In our early days, we argued more about the "being right" thing, but now I say, "OK, fine, whatever," knowing that if I really cared, I would look it up and point out the error of Hubby's ways (and he is wrong a lot).  But if you spend all of your time looking things up to prove someone wrong, then you won't have a life, will you? 

So he lets me boss him to a certain extent, and I let him think he is right, and answer questions about which he has no knowledge whatsoever.  The family joke used to be calling him "Mr. Know-It-All."  "He will answer any question whether he knows the answer to it or not including rhetorical questions."

Which leads me to the next criteria. 

  • Having a sense of humor.
Hubby makes me laugh and also has allowed himself to be the subject of a bit of family ridicule.  It's his own fault.  Once the family started watching "The Simpsons (and we were there from Day 1)," and Hubby started imitating Homer doing "Doh!," what did he expect?  It made the kids laugh, but he was forever after Homer.

But, the point is, he has a sense of humor about himself which is absolutely essential.  I feel I do, too.  If you can't make fun of yourself, you shouldn't be making fun of anyone else, says Ms. Bossypants.

I also make Hubby laugh because he gets a kick out of my foibles and my sense of humor.  He gets me.  And he still thinks I'm cute.

  • Be on the same page in the bedroom, if you know what I mean.
       That's all I am going to say about that.

  • Happy Hour
You can call it Happy Hour, sitting by the fire, reading together, whatever rings your bell. It's a euphemism for spending time alone together.  But the important thing is spending time together, quality time, no kids. 

Don't get me wrong, we adored our children, but I don't think we would have been doing them any favors by letting them stay up until they dropped.  No, they had a bedtime and we adhered to it.  And, yes, sometimes it wasn't necessarily convenient to "do bedtime," but we did.  I even did it when I was going through a terrible divorce, because it is comforting to a child to have a routine.  I would do "The Old Gray Mare (on my hands and knees, child on my back, singing)," perhaps there would be another song, then bath, two stories and then lights out. 

Then it was "adult time."  

Now that the kids are gone, we still make time for each other. 

At the end of the day, we get together on the deck or in the kitchen, share a cocktail and talk...or sing.  Out on the deck, we might crank up Pandora and enjoy our surroundings.

We are known to sing The Animals' "We Gotta Get Outta this Place" at the top of our lungs.  What the neighbors must think.  Who cares?

Each person needs to feel the other really wants to spend time with them. And it needs to be fun. You are supposed to be each other's best friends, right? If you can't do that, you might want to figure out if you really like spending time together without your kids, because once they are gone, what will you talk about? Do you have fun together, just the two of you?

Finally and probably most important,

  • Commitment.
None of what I have written will make any difference at all if you don't want to stay married.

When I discovered my ex-husband had been cheating on me with a coed, while we had a two-year-old son and I was slaving away to put my ex through college, I was devastated.  But what hurt even more was when I still tried to make it work, and I asked him if he wanted to stay married to me and he said he didn't know.  Wrong answer!

You will never make it for 10 years let alone 30 if the commitment is not there, because there will be times when you might resent or even hate your spouse for awhile.  Stuff will happen that you will both need to go through, stuff that isn't fun. There will be temptations. If you are not committed, forget it.  You just won't want to make the effort.

It's your choice.  Every day you need to *choose* to love, choose to forgive, choose to stay together.

I don't mean to preach.  I'm just celebrating.  After all, it's been 30 years.

I really don't have all of the answers by any means.  I just know that somehow, through thick and thin, Hubby and I are still together after 30 years.  My parents and Hubby's parents were together for over 50, so we have some years to go.  But at least, this is what has gotten us this far. 

And we still love each other.  And we still have had fun together.

Sure, you need to be on the same page about money and child rearing, but more than that, it's a shared history, it's those little things like kissing on bridges and going on stair walks, it's your shared love of your children, it's being best friends, it's having fun, it's wanting to stay married.

If that helps anyone, then I am happy.

And who knows? I could get served with divorce papers tomorrow. 

This is just how we got through 30 years.  If I make it the next 20, I will probably have more to say when I write, "How to stay married for 50 years," if I can still write...or see...or sit up...or stop drooling...

What are your tips
for a happy marriage?

See you Friday for

"Movies that make you go...What the...?
and The Week in Reviews"

Thanks for reading!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it, email it to your friends and
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