We managed to get through all of Sarah’s stellar advice. Now the questions begin. Or perhaps only one question.
As one of the commenters on my blog asked, “Why does fidelity always fall to the wife?”
I think the answer to that is twofold. 1. I think women are much more likely to read crap like that. 2. I don’t think fidelity always falls to the wife. I think it falls to whichever partner is the faithful one. The cheater will always have an excuse for why he OR she was driven to cheat. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some of the reasons women give for cheating are him not paying enough attention to her, never spending time with her, the other man makes her feel beautiful/special/sexy/whatever, etc. They are probably very similar.
It does make me wonder, though, what advice for men who are trying to keep their wives from straying would be. While I think a long list very similar to what we were just subjected to would be very funny, more than likely the advice would be a lot harsher and more practical. But just for giggles I thought I’d give it a try.
- Listen to her and be attentive – Be interested in her and how her day was. Stay up late if necessary to catch up on the latest gossip. If she can’t vent to you about her mother, her fellow mommies, the PTA president, or the neighbor, she’ll find someone who IS willing to listen! When you get home from work ask your wife how her day was. Don’t concentrate on the fact that you’ve just worked all day. Your wife has been home alone with young children who are constantly demanding her time and attention all day long, or has arrived home after a long day of work herself. She needs adult interaction. If she can’t talk to her husband she might turn to her tennis pro for comfort. Make sure you save your problems for later and don’t drone on and on about them. She spends all day listening to kids whine and fight; she really doesn’t need to listen to you complain for 30 minutes about your boss.
- Be the man she married. She married you for a reason. She loves you. Don’t change the moment the wedding ring is on her finger. If you cooked and cleaned before the marriage make sure you don’t slack off and expect her to do everything. If you treat your wife like a maid outside of the bedroom don’t be surprised if she isn’t willing to act like a hooker in the bedroom.
- Get up with your kids on the weekend. Let your wife sleep in. She does this routine every day. Give her a break! This will give you a great chance to bond with your kids and create memories of your very own. Bonus- your wife will be so grateful there will probably be a “reward” for you later.
- Keep your appearance in check. Don’t let yourself go. Beer guts aren’t attractive. If you start to go bald, invest in some Rogaine or hair plugs. If you had 6-pack abs when you first met make sure you keep up with that (but don’t let time at the gym detract from your wife!). Your wife probably dresses you already but if she suggests some bold fashion choices that you’re not comfortable with, try it! A button down over a t-shirt is really quite comfortable if you give it a chance. And real men do wear pink. Remember, looking good will help YOU feel better, as well as making sure your wife only has eyes for you.
- Back rubs and foot massages! I can’t stress how important this is to a marriage. Note: 60 seconds of half-heartedly rubbing her feet or back while you try to watch SportsCenter is not considered a proper massage. Get in there! Massage those knots out. Feel the tension leave her body because of your magic hands.
- Be her best friend. When she wants to complain about her mother or her sister or her best friend listen attentively. Take notes if you must so that when you revisit this topic you can reference them so she doesn’t have to explain it all over again. If she wants to watch Steel Magnolias or The Notebook for the tenth time not only do you watch it with her but you also offer to whip up the cookie dough, hold her hand throughout the movie, and cry with her, explaining that everybody cries when Sally Field loses it in the cemetery. Extra bonus points if you can recite Sally’s monologue along with her. Tell her that you absolutely want to go shopping with her and ooh and aaah whenever she’s trying on clothes. Remember: If she’s not getting approval and attention from you she’s going to get it from someone else.
- Romance her! Bring her flowers. Pick out jewelry for her. Being married doesn’t mean you stop caring. Plan elaborate dates for her. Take her out to eat at romantic restaurants. Whisk her away for a weekend.
- Tell her everyday how beautiful she is, how wonderful she is, what a great wife and mother she is. She can never get enough compliments and if you aren’t going to be the one handing those compliments out then keep in mind when someone else does it that “someone else” is going to catch her eye and make her feel special.
- Don’t be afraid of a little housework. Nothing is sexier than a man scrubbing a toilet, doing a load of laundry, or cooking a meal. Your efforts will be repaid in spades.
- While getting together with your friends and family is great, and even expected, don’t let outside activities take up all of your time. If you’re always hanging out with your buddies, who is your wife hanging out with? If you spend all weekend on the golf course, or in the gym, or at the bowling alley (pick your poison), then what do you think your wife is doing? If you’re not willing to spend time with her she’ll find someone who will.
- Be Intimate with your wife everyday- but keep in mind intimacy doesn’t just mean sex. Don’t touch her only when you want sex. You’ll find that holding hands, touching her arm or waist, or gently nuzzling her neck for a little kiss will make her far more receptive in the bedroom. Cuddle time is wonderful! Don’t be afraid to simply hold her all night without any expectations.
- Cooking- don’t be afraid to try it! She’ll appreciate it so much.
- Communicating and the art of communication- Know when enough is enough. Your wife loves you but she’s busy during the day. Respect her time and don’t expect her to drop everything so that she can send sexy text messages. DO NOT ask for naked pictures of her. That is so disrespectful to your wife. Be fun and fun loving. Don’t nag- especially when she’s spending money. Ultimately make her WANT you to come home to her, not dread your presence.
I realize there are indeed women out there who really do expect all of the above. Jezebel comes to mind. I’d like to think that most of us are sane. The important part, though, is that most men don’t ever get advice like this. It’s almost always the women who get this type of stellar advice. Aren’t you jealous?
As an interesting aside one of my co-workers returned from lunch complaining about her husband texting her. Apparently, she told him he was bothering her. When he replied that he thought she was at lunch so how could he be bothering her, her response was, “Yes, I am. This is my chance to relax and unwind. Stop texting me!” Then when he told her that he’d only contacted her to ask her if there was anything she wanted him to do around the house she told him to look around because she was sure he could find something.
Coming so close on the heels of Sarah’s advice I was astonished at the differences between what Sarah recommends and what this co-worker actually did. Hmmm… I hope he doesn’t go fuck somebody since his wife didn’t want to text him over lunch.