I received a “forwarded” email with marriage tips, saying that they were written by a man. Generally I don’t care for email forwards, but this one caught my eye, and I’m having a little fun with it here…and hoping to provide some helpful information at the same time.
The email was meant to be funny, but I have to admit some of the things made me think…I picked those ones especially. As I thought about them, I realized they really do help us understand how our husbands think. They don’t think in the same way that we do in many areas…no matter how much we wish they did.
I’ll include a chance for you to share how these things make you feel…and hope both men and women will respond, as it may just be an eye-opening experience!
In the email, the man who supposedly wrote this list numbered all of the items #1, saying they are all equally important…well as a woman, I hope he’ll forgive me should he ever see this, as I’m going to mess with that a bit and number my favorites 1-10.
1. Men Are Not Mind Readers
The interesting thing is that as women, we think that we can hint at things, or act a certain way to get our message across. But that’s not how it works, our men need us to be direct with them. It’s not because they are dumb, it’s just how their minds work. Woman tend to manipulate things rather than just come right out with it…now don’t get mad at me, think about it, we are manipulative sometimes, aren’t we? I’m sure there are exceptions to every rule, but generally, this is true…don’t agree? Head down to the “duel” lens and tell us about it.
2. Learn to Work the Toilet Seat
“Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.”
If you can’t resolve this issue between yourselves, the following might be a solution you can live with.
3. Crying Doesn’t Work
“Crying is blackmail. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!”
I guess this one is a nice follow-up to tip #1, makes it a little clearer. Personally, when I cry, I really mean it…I don’t just cry to get my way, what about you? Let us know in the “duel” section below…and in the meantime, hand me a box of tissues!
4. Men are Problem Solvers
“Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.”
There really is some truth in that, men tend to be problem solvers. They aren’t necessarily interested in hearing our sad tales of woe. As woman, it’s good for us to understand that not all men are “in touch with their feminine side”…even if we wish they were…they will hear a problem, and offer an immediate solution to fix it, even if all we want is for them to feel sorry for us, or comfort us. It’s an area men can grow in, but until that happens, it’s good to have compassionate trustwothy girlfriends that you can confide in.
5. We Don’t Always Mean to Hurt You
“If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.”
Another one related to Communication, probably one of the most challenging aspects of any marriage. Do you agree with this quote…no? Head on down to the “duel” section and let us know why.
6. Ask…or Do It Yourself
“You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.”
Okay, this is fair. I am known to ask for something to be done, then to give advice, or criticize after, because things don’t turn out the way I hoped. Sometimes I should consider how tired my husband must be after working all day (we still live the old fashioned way…me at home, he at work) and ask the right thing at the right time without complaining, or learn to do some things myself.
7. Talk During Commercials Only
“Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.”
This is a real big issue in our house. When hubby comes home from work, we sit down to dinner right away, and since the children are grown, watch TV while we eat. I want to talk about the day, he wants to “chill” after a long day at work, eat, watch TV.
We’ve come to a fairly good compromise, we use a DVR w/ Tivo, and can stop programs as they are playing or that have been recorded to talk, then start them right up again where we left off.
Still, I try to be understanding when he comes home tired and give him his space.
8. Men Don’t Ask for Directions
“Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.”
Here’s another pet peeve, when we are traveling, he never used to stop to ask for directions. Last year I gave him a GPS, bought it on Amazon…but he still likes to have maps along, or to map a route on google. Maps, he loves, stopping to ask for directions? No way.
9. Ask the Right Questions
“If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear” and “Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball or motor sports.”
Communication once again…that first one really makes you think…what kind of questions could the writer be referring to, “Do you think I look fat?”, “Can I go spend $1000 on shoes”, I don’t know.
As for the second question, woman often think “below the surface”, more deeply about things. When we ask “what are you thinking”, it’s often not just to generate conversation (though it can be), but because we want to communicate on a deeper level.
So I think what our friend is trying to get across is that we shouldn’t be disappointed if their response is a surface one. I don’t know much about sports, so I wouldn’t be able to communicate back with a husband interested in talking sports, but maybe I can learn to…just like maybe our husbands can learn to communicate on a deeper level under the right circumstances.
10. What About Sex and Money?
I am a little suspicious, because sex was never mentioned once in the list I received by email, either someone deleted it thinking that mention of it wasn’t appropriate, or the list was actually written by a woman…it’s a rare man who wouldn’t include something about sex in a list of this kind. So we’re going to take a look at it ourselves.
Oh, and money too, sex, communication and money are said to be among the top issues that trouble our marriages.
Most men would put sex on the top of their list of what is important to them. Most woman would not. And yes, there are exceptions to the rule.