- Gender and Relationships
Marriage Advice - Husband Training
How to save a marriage
So…you’re wondering how to save a marriage, huh? First of all, you need to understand that 99.72% of all marriage problems are caused by husbands. Older, wiser men usually understand this. With that in mind, please understand that this marriage help is for women and wives. After all, few men have the foresight or humility to ask perfect strangers for marriage advice. Secondly, even if they did, they probably wouldn’t follow the suggestions, anyway, so girls – it’s up to us. Consider this a little free online marriage counseling. Do not read this article if you’re male – unless you’re gay. We women can’t give away our sacred secrets to a happy marriage!
I have an almost-perfect husband, and my friends and daughters have noticed this phenomenon. I try to explain to them that Johnny (my husband) didn’t come out of the box this way. It took some intense husband training on my part to create such a wonderful man. He’s hard working, considerate, thoughtful, respectful, supportive, honest, and faithful, but he wasn’t always this way. When I met him, he was a terrible womanizer who spent all his evenings in bars and clubs. He had a veritable fan club of adoring females. I’m not sure if this was due to his good looks and charm or to his American Express business expense card – probably a combination of all of these. Johnny was also self-centered and had a male-superiority attitude that he was better than any woman, which is all too typical of southern males. Even so, I fell hopelessly in love with him, but I knew I had a lot of work to do - especially since he's eleven years older than I. I had to do some serious husband training!
If you have an unruly husband or significant other, there’s hope. Follow some of my suggestions, but don’t wait until it’s too late. The sooner you start, the easier your job will be.
Jobs and Work
“Gotta have a J.O.B. if you wanna be with me!” These are words to live by. Every man needs a job. Even if you don’t need the money, any man under the age of 65 who’s not disabled needs to work. Working gives the man a sense of purpose and fulfillment, making him feel as if he’s achieving his inherent role of provider. More importantly, it gets him out of the house and out of your hair for several hours every day.
Cooking and Housework
If you and your husband both work at jobs, you shouldn’t be expected to do all the cooking and cleaning. Most southern men expect the woman to automatically assume the role of cook and scullery maid, largely because their mothers probably did all these chores. News flash – you’re not his mother! During the fifties and sixties, most southern wives didn’t work outside the home, AND they usually had maids to help them. The times, they are a-changing, and your husband needs to realize we’re now in the 21st century.
NEVER allow your husband to disrespect you! In the heat of anger, he might call you bad names, and some women will overlook such transgressions. Sure, it’s easier to just let little things slide, but when you do, they often lead to bigger transgressions. Men will usually get away with as much as they can. If they got away with calling you a b**ch once, they’ll do it again. Then they’ll move their verbal abuse up a notch. As Barney Fife would say, “Nip it, nip it in the bud!”
It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t be disrespectful to your hubby, either. And it’s also extremely important that you respect yourself. You should have enough self-respect not to allow a man to treat you like a doormat.
Good behavior in a husband should be rewarded. You know those clicker thingies used for dog training? Don’t waste your money – they don’t work on men. I tried that, and it just confused Johnny. You know how dogs tilt their head to one side when they’re confused? That’s the same effect I got from Johnny when I tried the clicker system. Instead, use real, tangible rewards for good behavior. What are the most effective rewards to use? Every man is different, but beer, food, and sex usually prove effective.
Keep in mind that normal good behavior shouldn’t be rewarded – it should be expected! Rewards are for “above the call of duty” actions.
Just as rewards should be given for exemplary behavior, punishment should be meted out for bad behavior. You know what works best for your husband. Mine can’t stand for me to be mad, and he really can’t handle it when I cry. In your choice of punishment, make sure the punishment fits the crime. Don’t be too harsh on simple misdemeanors – you want to train your husband, not completely break his spirit.
There’s an old saying about how men never grow up – their toys just get more expensive. I totally agree! I get tickled sometimes at how Johnny likes to play with his model cars, video games, and RC airplanes and boats. I’ve often wondered what he’d think if I still played with Barbie dolls. Although his hobbies might seem silly and childish to you, males seem to need such outlets, so try to be understanding. That is, of course, provided that all his chores have been completed and he’s been on good behavior.
Men need to have guy pals, but try to ensure that your husband is hanging out with the right type of men. You don’t want him to be influenced or pressures into doing something bad by a bad friend. This is a very important point. Testosterone poisoning is easy to catch. Even an otherwise good husband will “act out” in an attempt to appear “tough” to another man. Encourage your man to make friends with men who are good husbands. It works out even better if your husband is good friends with your girlfriends' husbands. Best of all, get your spouse to befriend a gay man.
If It Ain't a Problem, Don't Make It One!
In most cases, it’s best to save your most vehement ire for the important misbehaviors. For example, Johnny likes to have a beer or two every night. As long as he doesn’t get drunk, this doesn’t bother me. I actually know a woman who ended a relationship with a really nice guy because he drank ONE beer every night. What was she thinking?? If it’s not a problem, don’t turn in into one! When you “raise the roof” over unimportant things, it takes away the effectiveness of when you really need to rail.
I hope you realize that much of this is tongue-in-cheek, although some points do ring true. I have a couple of girlfriends who are married to overbearing Neanderthals, and I can’t believe what they put up with. Personally, I have too much self-respect to allow myself to be mistreated. I think some women don’t realize how much power they really have in a marriage. We women wield an amazing amount of power, but not all of us realize it or take advantage of it. Also, training a husband can be hard work, but the results are definitely worth the effort. Remember, though – use your power only for good. Now, go and be happy! May the estrogen force be with you!