A few weeks ago, Hubs and I were chatting over a glass (okay, a bottle. Don’t judge) of lovely red wine at one of our favorite wine bars, when a group of Hubs’ male buddies spotted us and promptly pulled up chairs to join in. An hour or so later, as the group got more boisterous, someone mentioned my blog and the fact that I never give the male species equal coverage. They complained that my posts always seem to be directed at what their wives want from them. How the husbands need to step up, figure it out, and “get it right.” Soon, everyone was jumping in with “What about us??” “How about things she needs to know?” Never being one to back down from a writing challenge, I agreed to give them their own post. After a raucous debate, ending with a democratic vote on topics, this was the winner.
10 Things Your Husband Doesn’t Want to Hear:
1. “Notice anything different, Sweetie?” This is a land mine for men. They do notice you, but it’s usually more as a “package deal.” Men rarely see the details like we do. A girlfriend would instantly exclaim “Fabulous bag. Is it new?” Most men would only notice a new handbag if you came out of the shower, naked and soaking wet, wearing nothing but the bag. (I had a girlfriend who did this with a pair of wildly expensive boots. Her hubs immediately called the store and ordered the other two colors. I love this woman.)
2. “Do you know what today is?” The group groaned loudly. “You’re killing us with this one,” one guy moaned. They want to know “what today is.” They really do. But we tend to celebrate things big and small, while men feel like they’ve nailed it if they remember your anniversary. If this is five years since your first kiss, or two years from the date he brought home Sir Binky, your beloved Toy Poodle, he won’t get it right. Wailing “How could you not remember??” makes him feel like a schmuck and sucks any possibility of celebratory sex out of the picture. If it’s a special day, tell him and get on to the fun part.
3. “I only told a couple of girlfriends. They won’t tell anybody.” Well, if you couldn’t keep his ED a secret, why do you think they can?
4. “I love you, Pookie Bear.” Or God forbid, “Can Sammy come out and play?” (wink, wink.) In public. Pet names for each other, or for intimate southern regions, are common, but best used in private. His fishing buddies will be calling him “Pookie Bear” for the rest of his life. Or forever referring to any man’s junk as “Sammy.” And he’ll haveyou to thank for it. “Snuggle Bunny” him all you want. But do it at home.
5. “If I died, would you get married again?” Well, that depends. Are you dead at 52 or 97? This is a stupid question, to which there is no right answer. “No” is probably not true if she dies at 50. “Yes” is worse, because now she thinks you’re waiting for her to kick it so you can run off with her best friend, Bitsy. Either answer is going to get him summarily launched out of the marital bed for the next 24 hours. And he knows it.
6. “Do I look fat in this dress?” The classic, all-time winner for things men don’t want to hear. Seriously, what are his options? There’s only one possible response if he wants to live. “No, you look great.” If you know that’s what he’s going to say, no matter what he actually thinks, why even ask?
7. “Do you think Sally is pretty?” Or you could just lob a live grenade into the middle of your marriage. There would be less bloodshed. You wouldn’t ask if you didn’t think he did. So when he says “No,” you’ll say he’s lying. If he says “Yes,” he’s pretty much screwed. And what difference does it make if he finds Sally pretty? He’s married to you. So unless he sleeping with her, who cares??
8. “Is that what you’re wearing?” If you want to fight all night at the party, start here. It’s commonly argued that women dress to impress and men dress for comfort. But this is an “equal gender response” question. When you imply that he looks like crap, he’s going to react exactly the same way you would if he asked you the same question on the way out the door.
9. “Oh, you’re having another drink?” In the history of the universe, this question has never made anyone drink less. Especially if you ask him in a public setting. Now he feels like a three-year-old whose mommy is counting his mistakes in front of his friends. It’s belittling, embarrassing, and it doesn’t work. If you’re having a problem with his alcohol intake that night, be the DD or take a cab home, and duke it out between the two of you.
10. “Our sex life is fine.” Ouch. “Fine” is a word you use when picking out carpet or selecting a dog groomer. “Fine” means it’s okay, it’ll do, we can work with it. You know that deflated feeling you get when you spend two hours getting ready and he says “You look fine”? You just said that about his skills under the sheets. It may be awhile before you have “fine sex” again.
So gentlemen, there you go. I promise not to forget you next time.