Marriage Mondays Tuesday: Breaking the Wife Rules

I recently came across this article in Women's Day: 9 Things You Should Never Say to Your Husband. Here's the list (in brief):

1. “Yes, I had an orgasm.” (when you didn’t)
2. “You’re just like your father.
3. “When are you going to find a new job?”
4. “My mother warned me you’d do this!”
5. “Just leave it––I’ll do it myself!
6. “You always... [fill in the blank]” or “You never... [fill in the blank]”
7. “Do you really think those pants are flattering?”
8. “Ugh, we’re hanging out with him again?
9. “Please watch the kids. But don’t do this, take them here or forget that...”

Oh, boy! That's certainly one way for the universe to tell me I've been a terrible wife the past year and a half (and a terrible partner before that). I certainly haven't committed all of those sins (especially #1, thank God...that's a lie I know better than to tell), but I have committed at least three.

The thing that gets my goat is that I never see lists like this for men. EVER. In fact, if anything, I see articles advising men to lie about their happiness to make women happy (Does "happy wife, happy life" sound familiar? Or "you're not fat!" even when you are and you know you are because you have literally GAINED WEIGHT?). So why are the rules so different for wives than for husbands?

Quite possibly the worst part is that I don't regret saying some of those things. I remember the circumstances behind some of those incidents and they were real. I'm sure I said I was sorry later if I was rude (or mentally projected my apology by all of a sudden being sweet and affectionate), but the fact of the matter is that I felt justified in making those comments by his behavior at the time. So who was really the jerk?

I'm a big believer in being 100% honest, even if it hurts. I don't like to hold in lies or how I'm feeling. It eats me up inside and I don't like feeling that way. Sometimes this facet of my personality can get me into trouble, but for the most part, I've always felt good about the fact that I was being honest and true to myself. This is true in my marriage, too. Maybe it's not nice that I've told A.P. to leave something, that I'd do it myself (and better), but let's face it, we all have our strengths in a marriage. Organizing is mine and A.P. knows that. So is it so wrong that I told him to let me do something I'm good at? I sure don't think so. Or what if your father-in-law was a violent person? What if one day you see the same in your partner? Would you keep quiet about that? Hellz to the no, I hope! In the end, I think it's more important to be honest...no matter what the consequences. And if that means saying one of those 9 things up there, well, then, so be it.

Have you broken the rules according to Women's Day? Have you ever said any of the 9 things above to your partner?


  1. I don't know. I agree with being honest, especially in marriage, but on the other hand I feel uncomfortable making comments to somehow about who they are (these are not all of the 9 in the list, just some of them). I wouldn't like getting those comments myself, it's who I am - you knew it, deal with it LOL You can express that you're frustrated but making it a reproach like if something is wrong with me, not so much :)

  2. I think it also depends on delivery. I mild, "hey, don't bother with that task, I'll get it" is totally different than those same words gritted out in frustration, you know?

    Actually, I try pretty hard not to use any of those. I've been in a relationship where we both used a lot of those on each other, and they were all pretty hurty, so I'm much more careful now. There are nicer ways to say things.

    Although, I have told David he's just like his father in some ways, but I meant it as a compliment, but I don't think that's what they're getting at...

  3. oh lord. the hard and fast rules.

    it really IS usually a woman-targeted thing, isn't it? similarly, all of those articles about "what men are really thinking." do men have articles like that about women? i've never seen any.

  4. I hear you on the whole a-wife-needs-to-change-everything-about-herself but a-husband-should-just-be-accepted-as-who-he-is meme that seems to be pervasive in our culture. There are ZERO reasons that list couldn't be titled "9 Thinks You Should Never Say To Your Spouse."

    That being said, I have to say that I would generally strive not to say most of the things on the list - not because I think it's good to edit myself or not be truthful but because I think I, at least, could stand to find more thoughtful ways to express what I'm trying to say instead of blurting out something that may be hurtful. But I also think different relationships need different things and panacea lists like that are usually pretty useless.

  5. @Musing, @Highdivingboard, @accidentallyyours: Oh, boy, I guess I should have been more clear. I am certainly not advocating being rude or mean. I just meant that if there are things you NEED to say, a list like this shouldn't make you feel bad about it. Especially since men are never told "Don't say this to your wife!" I just meant that an open, honest relationship is key and sometimes we have to say things that might sting a bit or might feel uncomfortable in order to be honest and clear about our own needs with our partners. I know I break some of the rules of that list, but honestly, I never try to intentionally hurt A.P.'s feelings. I certainly hope that's not how I came off, but I fear I might have. Oh, no!

    @Liz: I've never seen any articles like that either. Maybe I should read more men's magazines and see if they have any articles, but somehow I feel like that would be a fruitless search. : )


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...