How to navigate the obstacle course that is marriage
Women and men think differently and their emotional and intellectual circuits are wired differently. This can lead to communication gaps, which pose a danger to anyone who is not paying enough attention. For men who are especially clueless, we have a handy survival guide.
1. Pretend to pay attention
When the wife asks some factual questions from the story she is narrating:
“Remember which colour I just told you it was?”
You might be sleeping with your eyes open without any idea about the topic of her story. But your reply should never be “huh?” Your response should be
“Colours affect us. Some soothe us and some disturb. As we grow old, colours become more important as a therapy and as a philosophy ….”
You talk some philosophy mumbo jumbo, which should distract her from her story. In no time she will forget all about the question, because she is overwhelmed thinking her story has taken you on a philosophical journey.
2. Use reverse psychology
When you need permission to go out and chill with your boys.
You never ask for permission but play the devil’s advocate.
“X is planning out a boys’ night out with some bowling, etc., but I told them I am not interested. Although there will be couple of perspective business contacts. And there is someone who can give us a pass to the Fashion Week (or whatever your wife is interested in). But it is so boring. I want to be here with you…”
You continue till the wife casually asks, “Why don’t you go?”
Then you vehemently refuse. This will definitely make her mad and she will be more insistent. Finally you pretend as if you are going under duress.
Related reading: 7 reasons to have your own friend circle distinct from your spouse
3. Offer her a kid-free break
When you need to skip shopping or going to one of her “thinking” kind of movies mostly starring Meryl Streep.
“But if the kids come, then you never enjoy the movie/never can shop in peace. I know how much you need a break. You go, I will be here and take care of the kids.”
And remember, taking care of kids does not mean you sleep while kids watch TV eating junk food. You do that and the next time she will drag you with kids for shopping and Mama Mia 2.
4. Praise her clothes
When you can’t skip shopping and are stuck outside the trial room while she comes out wearing different black dresses to show you (or are those the same black dress?)
“I like this one the best.”
“But I liked the second one.”
“Oh, I meant the second one.”
You agree, but always with reasons or she will know you don’t care.
“The way the second one fell on your body, I loved it.”
Then add, “I think you are looking a bit pale, let’s wind up and eat.”
Women love it when you notice they are pale. This should speed up the leaving part.
5. Show her you care
When she has a long complaint against her co-worker/domestic help/frenemy
You obviously can’t keep track of all the “I said” “she said”. You can safely sail through by saying only from time to time “I know”, “I understand”, “How could she”, “Of course you are right”. You can end by saying “You had a tough day. I will make coffee for you.”
6. Don’t wait to be asked
When she asks, “How do I look?”
Remember there is no correct answer to that. You compliment her without her asking.
Related reading: How to compliment a guy?
7. Which hot girl?
When she asks, “Did you notice the hot girl in the party?”
This is always a trick question, because she has seen you checking her out or laughing at her lame jokes. You better be ready with stories like “I thought for a moment she looked like my dead cousin” or “I have to butter her up because her father is one of our biggest clients” or a very convincing “What are you saying?”, etc.
8. Be prepared with presents
When you forget your anniversary, her birthday, etc.
Always stash a few gifts at home. The moment she says, “Do you remember what day it is?” you run and grab a gift. But remember, always check properly in which tone and style she is talking about the day, or you will end up giving her a gift on the “last date of tax filing” and start a difficult-to-maintain new tradition.