Thankfully we now come to the final few nuggets of wisdom the professional yet reformed mistress has to offer us.
10. Time Management – Never make the ‘kids your life.’ All you will do is alienate your husband. Try to manage your time wisely so that when your husband comes home you have time for him. Couples that don’t eat together, or spend the evenings together, generally grow apart. Don’t allow your husband to become distant or lonely, or a space will be created for another woman to walk into his life.
Spoken like a woman who has no children. When your children are younger they should be your life. They are completely dependent upon you. I will make no apologies for putting my kids first and taking care of them. It’s a short season in your life. Suck it up, buttercup.
I know this is going to sound crazy but maybe, just maybe, if the husband actually pitched in and helped, the wife wouldn’t always be accused of making the kids her life. When you are the only one who takes them to school or practice and the only one who picks them up… When you are the only one to make their lunches, sign their permission slips, go to parent-teacher conferences, meet with teachers, and go to their programs… When you are the only one who will take them to the movies, on vacation, to the mall, out shopping, out to eat, or on any outing… it gets exhausting and then you’re accused of putting the kids first and neglecting the marriage. Most of this shit needs to get done and if Hubby is sitting around waiting for you to draw his bath for him and pop grapes into his mouth then that leaves only one person to do all of it. You can’t complain that she never has time for you if you’re not willing to help out with your shared children.
I can assure everyone that not once did CF grab his car keys and announce he was going to pick Rock Star up from gymnastics. I did not then spring up from the couch, knock him down the stairs in my quest to grab my own keys, and yell triumphantly on my way out the door, “Not on my watch, sucker!” I also never threatened him with bodily harm if he ever attempted to come into the kitchen and cook a meal for us. Never once did I lock myself in a room with my children, declaring with just a tinge of crazy as he banged on the door and pleaded with me to let him in, “I will never allow you to get up in the middle of the night with my children! NEVER! I’m the only one that is allowed to be woken up in the middle of the night. Do you hear me? Do you?” I also never threw my body in the path of his car in an effort to block him from leaving the house with our two kids to give me an hour or two alone. I never grabbed a laundry basket out of his hands and snarled, “WTF do you think you’re doing with that? I’m the only one that does laundry around this house! Stay out of the laundry room!” I never knocked him out of the way in order to run out and grab something for all of us to eat. “You’ve gotta be pretty fast to get one over on me!” I never tore the house apart after he’d cleaned it, screaming about how no one was going to clean this house except for me. Never told him I didn’t want him going to parent-teacher conferences with me because he would just get in the way. Never told him he wasn’t allowed to take the kids out to dinner. I would have welcomed the help. But it turns out all of those things were my job and he was busy doing other stuff (or people). I guess I needed better time management skills.
Here’s another thing that’s going to sound crazy. I actually agree with her when she says that when you don’t eat together or spend evenings together you will gradually grow apart. I saw it happen in my own marriage. But here’s the rub. It wasn’t solely on me. He played a huge part in that dynamic. He wanted to watch TV and he didn’t want to be bothered by young kids making noise while he was trying to watch something. Leaving those two alone so that I could sit by his feet and gaze adoringly up at him would have resulted in utter chaos. They were 2 and 4 at that time, for crying out loud! Maybe 3 and 5. My children are delightful these days, but in their early years… Let me just say I have been told more than once that I have the patience of Job and that if they had been born to any other person they probably wouldn’t have survived.
I gave him what he wanted. Peace and quiet. The ability to eat his dinner and watch television with no interruptions. Then he complained because he got what he wanted.
When we moved across the country the first time he began shutting himself up in the bedroom. That was his doing, not mine. He was always asked if he wanted to go with us whenever we went somewhere. He usually declined. I had to resort to getting my daughter to ask him if he’d join us. He’s the one that kicked me out our bedroom for years, complaining that my snoring kept him awake.
This was not a situation where I was the frigid, neglectful wife who treated him like he was disposable. This was him shutting himself off from the rest of the family.
Yes, ladies, all the childcare is your responsibility but please try to get all of that taken care of while your husband is away. Time management! Once he gets home he should be your entire focus. Please train your children to never need anything from you once your husband gets home. Also, please speak to all coaches and school administrators so that they never plan anything outside of your husband’s work hours because that, too, will take away from your husband. Your husband must never be neglected. Again, spoken like a woman who never had children and could concentrate all of her energies on the married man she was fucking.
11. Cooking – Be sure to spend less time in the kitchen and more time in the bedroom, as the way to a man’s heart is NOT through his stomach, it’s actually more South of his waistband! A nice hot meal need not take hours so don’t ever slave over a hot stove. Be adventurous in the kitchen, but even more so in the bedroom.
Oh my dear Lord! Let me make sure I have this correctly. I’m to make a hot meal. But it needs to be a simple, hot meal because anything that takes more than five or ten minutes will cause him to cheat. I call foul, Sarah! I used my crockpot all the time! So why did he cheat on me? I have checked off all the boxes. Hot meal? Check! Not spending hours in the kitchen? Check! Delicious goodness? Double check.
And don’t even get me started on adventurous in the bedroom. Suffice to say, dear sweet stupid Sarah, your advice is about as good as your morals.
12. Keep your own identity – NEVER be a doormat for your husband. Be a strong woman, and let him know that if he ever mistreats you, or cheats on you, you will not put up with it. Teach him to make sure he respects you, and that he will lose you if he strays. Also, have your own life and interests, so that you are not just ‘a wife.’ Otherwise you will have nothing to ever tell him or surprise him with. You should be willing to work for a relationship, but never suffer for it.
Ahem… oh, Sarah? You’ve just spent this entire list telling us to do things we don’t necessarily want to do. You’ve told us our husbands are the most important thing in our life and they should be put ahead of our needs and the needs of our minor children. You’ve spent 11 talking points telling us to not get fat, to stay sexy, to fuck his brains out and to do and be whatever he desires. So how is it that none of that shit results in us being a doormat? You’re giving the very blueprint of being a doormat and then saying, “Don’t be a doormat!”
How are any of us to be a strong woman or to assert our boundaries when you’ve spent this entire “lesson” teaching us to be perfect little props for the important man in our life?
It’s a little difficult to tell your spouse that you won’t tolerate cheating and to demand respect when everything you’ve advised us to do so far puts us completely at his mercy. If he’s been taught that he’s #1 and the most important thing ever to exist then why would he ever believe that we would leave if he cheats?
Oh, and newsflash, Sarah! Many women DID tell their husbands cheating would be a deal breaker. That’s why they’re divorced now. And why do you think people lie and gaslight and do their best to keep it a secret? They KNOW it’s wrong. In some cases I’m sure they know their spouse will leave when she finds out.
How am I supposed to have my own interests and my own life when I’m supposed to be catering to him 24/7? You seem to be very worried that I will have nothing to “tell him or surprise him with” but I thought my problems and my life weren’t of any consequence and that everything was supposed to be about him and his day.
I think Sarah’s advice highlights the problem some have between fantasy and reality. It gives voice to those people (cheating men and women alike) that really believe marriage should be exciting and fun all the time and that they should have every need met instantaneously. If they don’t, then they are entitled to cheat.
This advice thrives on fantasy. How many women can honestly say they could do everything that good ol’ Sarah advises us to do? I’m exhausted just reading that list. It’s one demand after another and there doesn’t seem to be any give and take.
Let me be clear, lest I’m accused of being a man hater, I think that much of what she talks about here is fine if it’s done occasionally. I think it’s great when couples can do some of the things on this list. I have no problem with sending a flirty message to your husband. I am a very physical person myself so touching someone, holding their hand, rubbing their back, is something that I would do naturally. I’m not opposed to throwing on some eyeliner and wearing a cute outfit. I think it’s important to not lose yourselves as a couple in your quest to raise children. Keep the romance alive! If you’ve got a chance to spend some time alone as a couple then go for it. But I also think both people need to be participants. And I think that when one person believes that they are entitled to all of the things on the above list then you’ve got some major problems. Regular, real, day-to-day life doesn’t work that way. You might be able to do some of this all of the time. You might be able to do all of it some of the time. But I don’t see how anyone who has actual obligations and responsibilities can do all of it all of the time. Then again, affairs thrive on fantasy and most affair partners don’t see each other every single day. Most affairs also don’t last more than six months so there’s the whole “they can do all of it some of the time.”
I liken her advice to the difference between every day life and taking a vacation. Sarah seems to think that relationships should be like being on vacation every day. You should always be lounging on the beach and sipping cocktails brought to you by smiling servers. You should always be free to wander aimlessly all day long if that’s what you choose to do, or embark on some exciting adventure. You should indulge every day- eating every meal out and not having to worry about cooking or dishes or doing laundry. You should be able to sleep in every day and go to bed whenever you’d like. It should always be one exciting choice after another- cruise this week, skiing next week, a trip out of the country the week after that. Fun, fun, fun with absolutely no responsibilities.
I’ll say it one more time so that I’m not misunderstood (although I’m sure I’ll be accused by someone of being a man-hating, relationship deficient bitter bitch): I think trying to do some of the things good ol’ Sarah suggests is a good thing. By all means, look your best. Talk to your husband. Spend some time with him without the kids around. Surprise him with something fun and/or sexy. Talk to him. Have sex with him. Maybe wear something a little risqué once in a while. Go out and have fun together.
Where her advice falls flat is in the fact that she believes this should be the ordinary. This should be every day life; it’s where the bar is set. I believe those things are “vacation ideas” if you will. I don’t think anyone can live up to all of that every single day. As I said earlier I’m exhausted just reading the list.
The other problem I see with it is there is no talk of equal reciprocation.We women are only as useful as our ability to satisfy our man. Our lives are all about pleasing him. There is nothing about him pleasing us. I guess our big reward is that our husband won’t cheat on us. Because Sarah thinks cheating is a relationship problem.
Honestly, if this is what all I have to do in order to keep a man and have a relationship I’m not interested.