5 Things Guaranteed To Annoy Your Wife

The grotesque nagging wife

The grotesque nagging wife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One from the vaults….

If you’re married, or anything close to being married, you’ve irritated your wife.  Even if you think you are perfect and the epitome of unannoyingness, I promise, there has been a day when she strongly wished you traveled for a living.

It’s long been known that the two things most likely to break up a marriage are money and sex.   The former because there is too much, too little, or just the right amount going to the wrong places, and the latter because there is too much, too little,  it’s not with each other, or it is with each other, but you’d really prefer otherwise.   If your problem is the latter, I can’t help you.

If your problem is the former, I can help you understand some things you may be doing that are driving her batty.   Kill-you-in-your-sleep-and-pretend-it-was-the-dog type of  batty.

1.  Nagging her about her shopping, but buying whatever you want.  Gentlemen, this is known as a double standard.   Don’t do it.  In my house, my wife’s on an allowance.   It was her idea.  A few months later, I realized that I needed to be on one, too.   Naturally, her allowance is bigger than mine.   I don’t mind the disparity, because she still smokes.  If her allowance didn’t give her room to smoke and shop, her allowance would be nothing more than a polite fiction.  Whatever you do, find something that works for both of you and meets both of your needs, fairly.    Anything else will only build a resentment that will burn for a long time.

2.  Nagging her about her shopping, yet demanding she do all of the shopping.   My wife has a weakness: clearance tags.  If something is on sale, there’s a good chance it’s going to come to our house.   I have an aversion to shopping.  I hate it.   Our budget dies a little bit each time my wife shops alone.     We’ve come to an agreement.   Now, I do most of the shopping, so she doesn’t feel tempted.   I’m learning to embrace my inner material girl so we don’t have to have “discussions” every time she steps out for milk and comes home with $100 worth of clothes for the younger brats.

3.  Nagging her about her shopping.  Nobody likes being nagged.   If you’re having a problem that keeps repeating itself, talking about it more won’t help.  Neither will talking about it louder.   You need to find a way to communicate that she will hear and understand.    Different people communicate in different ways.    Find the way that works for both of you.

4.  Nagging her.   A wise man once said, if everyone around you is a jerkface, maybe the problem isn’t everyone around you.   Have you ever considered the idea that the problem might be you?   If nagging is the only way you have to deal with people, you need to work on that.  Don’t blame her.  Maybe you’re ticked off about something that isn’t irritating.  If that’s the case, she certainly has the right to be annoyed that you are nagging her.

5.  Going on and on about how much you’d like to be me.   Yes, I live the rockstar life, driving the station wagon with 6 disc changer and all.  Yes, I am the neatest thing since sliced bread, and even that was a close contest, but really, confidence is important.  You don’t have to be me to be cool.  You’re swell, too.   You’re right, this one isn’t about money, but it’s probably still irritating.

There you have it, my perfect solution to a happy marriage: don’t nag and quit trying to be me.     There are other important bits, like love, respect, and communication, but this is a good start.

What do you do that annoys your spouse?

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Kids Are Temporary

Have you ever watched someone go nuts after they have kids?

I mean, even after the I-haven’t-slept-more-than-20-minutes-in-a-row-for-3-months stage of babydom?

These people dedicate their lives to their kids.  They sacrifice all of their hopes and dreams and focus on the brats.    They can’t have a date night because little Sally might get lonely without mommy and daddy.  Can’t have a hobby because Johnny’s on the traveling soccer team.   Can’t get laid because it’s a family bed and that’s kind of creepy when the kids are right there.

Everything for the kids.

As they grow, it gets worse.  You spend more time helping with homework and less time talking to your wife.   More time playing chauffeur, less time playing doctor.

It’s a nasty cycle, and it comes with an abrupt stop.

What happens when school’s out?  Little Johnny graduates with a dual degree in Practical Philosophy and Experimental Art History, gets a job at the local Stab-and-Grab, gets married, and starts a family.

When that happens, parents suddenly become “extended family”.  The kid has a life of his own and probably doesn’t need his clothes picked out in the morning, a ride to soccer practice, or someone to write his name in his underwear.

This is planned.  It is–in theory–the reason we raise our kids.   It shouldn’t be a surprise, even if it is a bit of a shock.

Can you survive it?  Can your marriage?

If you’ve spent the last 20 years of your life pretending you are nothing but a system for delivering food, rides, and gadgets for your kids, what are you going to do with your time when they are busy pretending they are that system for their kids?   If you’ve never developed a hobby, are you going to go extra-special, bat-**** crazy now?

For 20 years, have all of your conversations been about your kids?  Have all of your outings been birthday parties?  Will you have anything to say to your spouse when the kids are gone?

Your kids are temporary.

They are important.  They are your genetic legacy and the people who will choose your nursing home.  Don’t neglect them, but you do have to hold something back.   Make time for yourself.  Make time for your husband or your wife.  Or both, if you can make that work.

When your kids are working 90 hour weeks building a new career, or hustling 4 kids to 10 after-school activities, your life doesn’t get to revolve around them.

All you’ve got is yourself and your wife.   If she’s not feeling secure about your feelings now, when she loses the distraction of puke in her hair, that insecurity will blossom in unpleasant ways.    If you can’t find a conversation that doesn’t involve the kids now, the silence will be blistering when you eventually lose that crutch.

If you don’t have a hobby, get one.

If you don’t have a relationship with your wife, get one.  Take her on a date tonight.   Your kids are temporary, your marriage shouldn’t be.    This is the rest of your life.  Make it worthwhile.

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Do 1 Thing

I’m lazy.

Really, I am.  When I get home from work, I want nothing more than to plop down on the couch, dial up a movie and ignore the world for a few hours.  I need some downtime to relax.

While I am keeping the couch from flying away, my wife gets home, makes dinner, does the dishes, changes the cat litter and  maybe vacuums the floor.  Once dinner is cooking, she usually throws in a load of laundry.  Three kids is a great way to guarantee a lot of laundry needs to get washed.

I have just two things to say about that:

  1. It makes me feel really lazy.
  2. I love you, honey!

I’ve never considered it a problem because I work my butt off on the weekend.  My wife isn’t happy with the arrangement because I tend to do next to nothing during the week.   I think it’s a good balance.  I’m productive on the weekend, she’s productive during the week.  Unfortunately, my habitual laziness has caused a bit of tension.  We’ve had a few “discussions” about that balance.  It’s obviously not working.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying something new.   When I get home from work I’ve been doing just 1 thing.  I do one thing per day.  One day, I fold laundry, another day I do the dishes.  Some days, I pick a room to organize.  It’s never very much, but it’s always something that needs to be done and, possibly most important, it looks like I’m doing more so my wife feels less abandoned to the housework.   I’m not actually doing more, but it gets spread out over the week, so it looks like more.  Slowly, surely, all of the work is getting done.

It’s not a perfect solution, but it seems to be working.  More is getting done, my wife feels like I’m helping out more and I get more time on the weekends to pursue whatever I feel like pursuing.   It’s a win for each of us.

How do you balance relaxation and a shared workload?

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