The Idiot's Guide To Marriage

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

How Zit?

Well, as you can tell, I've let this blog lapse for awhile.....But hey. Sometimes life is hard, and you have your little speed bumps (ex's legs under car tires) but then you move on. You get the hell up and you move on. And now? It's time to stop moping around, and get back on the marriage train. Time to start whipping this world into shape..Time to warp some of your minds with my advice. Time to torture you with my rants about marriage. So, where shall we begin? Where to begin again....hmmm...

Have we covered the marriage/zit analogy yet?

marital problems are like a festering zit....The longer you let the problems fester, the bigger they get until one day, there is a huge explosion and shit goes flying everywhere. But if you take an antibiotic that prevents zits in the first place, then you won't have to go to the pus place. That icky place where people go, where they wallow in big pits of pus and blood and goobers. And usually don't come out smelling too good. Lots of times, by then its too late. The damage is already done, and even if the zit explodes and you clean up the mess, there's a big pit left in it's place, or at the very least a scar.

We need to prevent those festering zits in the first place. Lets have a little discussion. Lets talk about prevention.
What are some things in a marriage that are "icky" (like my big words?) that need to be prevented

1. Arguments that turn into war zones
2. Money problems/spending problems
3. Nasty habits/addictions
4. Kids/step kids
5. ex's
6. Religious differences
7. Political differences
8. Chores
9. Television
10. Sex
11. Blame
12. Name calling
13. Nagging
14. Inlaws
15. Discipline of kids
16. Hobbies/ or lack of
17. Collections
18. Work or lack thereof
19. Vacations
20. Where to live/relocation/moving

ok that's enough for now....Feel free to add to it, or bring up a subject you'd like to address.

First we'll talk about fighting/arguments that turn into huge wars.

That is the issue, but at the root of it, is a communication breakdown. Because couples are going to have things come up they disagree on. There's no way around that when you have two unique individuals co-habitating under one roof.

So, lets start with an example....We have an issue that needs to be discussed.

how would you approach it?

Well, that depends on your partner and their unique personality. Consider the following: let's call them the 3 T's

Type of issue: How important is this issue....What are the motivations behind the need to settle it. Is it potentially damaging to another person or property? Or is it something that is just a pet peeve. Pick your battles. Let the little things slide, and attack the big issues, the ones that could fester and grow. An example would be you don't like the husband leaving his dirty underwear in the bathroom....Maybe there is a way around this....vs, you don't like your husband staying after work late with just his female secretary. See the difference? Pick you battles.

Time of day: Is your mate really tired after work? Have they spent the day dealing with irrational people? Do they need some time to unwind before you off load stuff onto them? Could it wait until they are in a better mood, or until they are better able to cope with an argument?

Tone of voice: What sort of tone do you use with your spouse. Is it accusatory? Is it inflamed? Is it louder than usual? Is it whiney? What if you approached the issue using a normal timbre, and tone.....as if you were talking about something pleasant, like say: the sale down at the department store.


So lets re-cap:
don't bombard your mate the second they walk in the door, don't nit pick over stupid little things, and don't use a snotty tone of voice. Other wise you'll put them on the defense immediately and things will escalate. Next thing you know words will be flying through the air like pigs off a cliff during a windstorm.

Next post, we will be talking about I statements and Feelings vs opinions.

ok, your turn...drop some issues on me to talk about?

6 comment(s):

oh dont get me started..ok I have been married 11 and a half years, and why is it that just becuase i stay home with the kids most days, when he comes home he acts like he works just as hard here at thouse as I do?..its bullshit.

I say I have been working here all day, its your turn..and he says, i have been working all day too.and when i come home and still have to work..

damn fukcers

By Blogger Bossy‚ô•'s YOU, at 8:28 PM  

Great analogy!

We've been married 18 years. He changed jobs last Feb. less pay, but also a lot less stress and tension. I've had to start working. He gets home a little after 5, I don't get home until 7:30. And here's my festering zit: I still have to figure out what's for supper AND cook it! Even on the days that he has off and I didn't. The few nights he does help out (usually by telling the oldest to go peel potatoes) he acts like he deserves a medal or something.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:22 AM  

Fuckin hell... where to get started on this subject.

First off, thanks for stopping by my blog. I agree... husbands are very poor mirrors. Additionally, I think that if we are looking to a man to be the mirror, we are on the wrong track. In my post, I was speaking of a desire to have people "know" you. I'm from a military background and have done a lot of moving. I make friends easily, but sometimes get tired of the getting-to-know-you period. ;)

I think your marriage/relationship advice is good. I was married 18 years. We did go to a counselor once. It was his idea. He insisted that if we went, the counselor would advise me that if I would just do what he says, then all would be well. The counselor wound up telling him that she's surprised that I haven't committed suicide, having to live with him. Of course he wrote it off due to the fact that she was a woman and probably crazy. (By the way, he chose the counselor.) The day I left him was one of the happiest days in my life.

Counseling can be very effective. Unfortunately, there are many poor counselors. I think the whole thing is really designed so that we are to receive our counseling from our surrounding family. But the family unit has been dismantled and we've sent the old ones away. (They smartly responded by setting up retirement communities where they can live in peace without being told that their advice isn't worth shit.)

As our ladies commented, women are often left to feel that they are being disregarded. Their struggles somehow can't touch the struggles of the man, so resentment starts to build. As they say, "A man works from sun to sun ~ a woman's work is never done." And all too often, she's had it up to here when he gets home from work, and hands him the baby when he walks in the door. This does not harmonious home make. And as lynn says, even with both working, it still seems to land on the woman to do the domestic work.

I don't really have any solutions that are any better than the ones you've already suggested. Sorting out the real battles and root problems is always a challenge.

My solution? I'm never getting married again. Neither will I set up housekeeping with a man. Not unless there is one somewhere who really and truly can mind his own damn business.

Reiterating my favorite quote by Kate Hepburn:
"If you want to exchange the admiration of many for the criticism of one, then go ahead and get married."

By Blogger cathouse teri, at 8:03 AM  

(sorry that was so long! eek!)

By Blogger cathouse teri, at 8:04 AM  

first off Teri, you are so freaking wise.....i hope your kids can see this, and don't send you off to a retirement community but rather listen to your advice.

and as bossy and lynn brought up, this age old issue of the man thinking he can come home, and just sit on his ASS with the remote.

I DO NOT know where this all got started. But it's true, a womans work is never done. I'm going to use a post to address this becuase it is HUGE HUGE HUGE

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