Monday, November 10, 2008

Top ten ways to lose your domestic happiness

... A reminder to self as much as to anyone else...

1. Nag. Nag about whatever needs to be done around the house and requires your husband's cooperation, such as fixing a leaking sink, moving furniture, or digging in the garden. Just reminding your husband once or twice about whatever needs to be done cannot be considered proper nagging, so be sure to nag constantly and repeatedly, especially when you're supposed to be having fun (such as on your "eat out night" or "movie night" or just during a relaxing evening).

2. Moan. Moaning can be considered a variation of nagging, but comes with explaining just how miserable you are because the walls aren't painted yet, or you can't afford a vacation right now, or you don't have new furniture, or he didn't wash the dishes or whatever. Refuse to be fun and easy-going, and moan, moan, moan about... well, just about anything. The possibilities are endless.

3. Criticize. When you can no longer nag because your husband went out and did whatever you asked him to do, criticize the result. Did he move that sofa two inches left of the exact spot you wanted? Does it seem the walls are painted unevenly? Don't do anything to acknowledge his hard work; instead, criticize. Also criticize his salary, your lifestyle, his hobbies and habits (such as liking sports and leaving the toothpaste open), expressing your deepest dissatisfaction with him in general. Don't forget to compare him to other men you know, who are more successful/understanding/funny/intelligent.

4. Under-appreciate. In the rare cases you can't find anything to pick on, take it for granted. Never express your gratitude for what your husband does for you, from washing the dishes, to spending his only free morning during the week working in the garden, to buying you expensive gifts or taking you on vacation.

5. Neglect. Never ask your husband about how his day went; actually, even a simple "how are you?" is too much. Around the house, be as frumpy as possible. Wear shapeless, stained and torn clothes, and don't bother to brush your hair. When you go out, dress nicely and wear make-up, and make sure your husband knows you do it for other people and not for him.

6. Accuse. When you think about your husband's intentions, always assume the worst. For example, if he forgot to take out the trash, say "you don't care about me!". If he says you can't afford to buy new furniture right now, say, "you want me to be miserable, right?"; the basic principle is: whatever he forgot to do, he did it on purpose. Whatever he did that isn't to your taste, he had the specific goal of making you unhappy. No doubt about that. You are a poor, suffering martyr. Oh, and don't forget to make your accusations as broad as possible ("you always talk to me like that; you never take out the trash").

7. Suffocate. Foster your rightful indignation about the fact that your husband has hobbies, friends, a life. Does he like fishing, woodwork, tinkering with the computer, or playing sports? It's a waste of time which he could spend working around the house doing what you want. Resent him for spending time with friends once a month, surfing the net for twenty minutes, reading a book or even taking an afternoon nap during the weekend. If you are on vacation together and do some sightseeing, make sure you don't go to the places he wants to see. Take all fun out of his life. At first signs of protest, apply techniques of nagging, moaning and criticizing.

8. Suspect. Ask your husband to call you at the very minute he leaves work, and throw a jealousy scene if he's ten minutes late, according to your calculations. Every time he talks on the phone, demand to know who called him, and why. Allow a traffic jam, a delay at the doctor's office or a call from the secretary at work be a source of jealousy. Let your husband know you don't trust him one bit.

9. Be a kill-joy. Eliminate all your husband's attempts to get you two to have fun together. Don't allow a bit of spontaniety in your life, such as an unplanned dinner date. Stifle every ounce of romance, even some candles in your bedroom or wearing some perfume when you go to bed. Sigh when he tells jokes, cut across him when he tries to communicate with you, don't ever let him see you smile. Don't ever wear anything but thick and shapeless flannel pajamas when you go to bed.

10. Reject intimacy. During the week, always be too tired. On weekends, pretend to have a headache, or simply be grumpy and not in the mood. If you have a baby who wakes during the night, this is even easier. Don't be generous with hugging, kissing or holding hands, either. When there is absolutely no way you can avoid intimacy, make it as dull and technical as possible. Keep the room completely dark, keep your flannel pajamas on for as long as possible, and check the watch from time to time with an impatient sigh.

32 comments:

Nea said...

This one was great :D! I'm sure you don't need to go further than number 4 to accomplish your goal of unhappy home..

Is it ok, if I translate this to Finnish and use in our ladies meeting?

elena rulli said...

That was sooo scary!!! I read the list and kept asking myself: do I behave like this? Constantly? The answer wasn't pleasant, I admit it. I'm guilty of nagging - not always but enough to make me feel shame - and I'm not spontaneous, I love too much my habits. In time I'm learning from my mistakes, especially thanks to my partner, who is spontaneous, funny and a great help at home.
I should print your list and read it every day from start :)
Thanks for this very useful and ironic post, I needed a lot.
Have a nice day
Elena

Anonymous said...

Anna, this is wonderful!. Very true and still funny. Well done.

Melody

Mrs. Jacqueline said...

Thank you! I'm putting this on the fridge- consider it my mission this week,

Courtney said...

You are so right, and yet I see quite a few women I know do most or all of these things! Its no wonder husbands cheat, if we as wives dont fulfill our calling, our marriage vows and give them a wonderful, loving place to come home to with someone who truly cares, why would they want to come home? I wouldnt. Thanks for stating the simple truths so many of us need to hear.

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

Brilliant post. Any further commentary would be superfluous. I'm certain I'll be linking to this in the future.

Anonymous said...

This is all excellent advice. Of course, husbands are just as likely as wives to fall into these traps, and so the advice is equally applicable to them. (But I understand that husbands are not the general audience for this blog.)

I would temper the part about not criticizing. I think we DO need to tell our husbands (and they us) if they are doing something that bothers us, or if we need something from them. I don't see what is wrong with asking him to move the couch another two inches to where you want it. Squelching our needs is a sure way to become unhappy and resentful. I find that if I do swallow my tongue when I am upset, I become more and more angry and then eventually I DO say something I regret. It is much better to say something up front but in a kind and compassionate way. The key is to (a) communicate clearly; (b) do so with kindness; and (c) to be open to hearing your husband's point of view if there is a conflict. But I wouldn't hesitate to press your own point of view if it is an issue that is important to you-- there are 2 people in the marriage and the needs of both should be met as much as possible.

-- Pendragon

Mrs. Parunak said...

This is hilarious! And so true! What a great list. I like how you linked it with loosing "your domestic happiness," too. It sounds like we're just making our husbands miserable, but the fact it, we're making ourselves miserable, too.

Kristi said...

Thanks for the reminders, Anna. It's good to stop and take a look at myself to make sure I'm not heading in the wrong direction. It's amazing how sometimes the smallest things, if left unchecked, can become huge problems. It's like King Solomon said about the little foxes that spoil the vine. The little 'foxes' you mentioned, if allowed to remain in us, can spoil the fruit of a Godly marriage.

Anonymous said...

Hey, my husband likes my flannel pjs! :-) (It was a surprise to me too!)

Sue said...

The flannel PJ's and watch cracked me up!

Point well taken. It's always good to take a step back and look at myself, eventhough I think I have a great marriage. Thanks for the thought provoking, yet entertaining, post!

messy bessy said...

Amazing that a woman so recently married could write this post! It took me years for my thick skull to realize that my dh is a human being, with feelings! Not just someone to please me and think of me.

Great insights.

Dani said...

Everyone of those are true. I have learned much of that the hard way. Thanks for reminding us of what not to do. :)

Ace said...

Oh boy, consider my attitude adjusted :)

Many Blessings :)
Ace

MarkyMark said...

Anna,

Please do not publish my last comment, as it its wording is unclear. All I'll say is this: do the opposite of what's on most of the list, and a guy will move mountains for you! As for #5, it's okay to ask how he is when he returns home; just don't PESTER him about how his day went. He'll talk when he's rested & ready. I understand what you're saying though; don't neglect or ignore him, with which I'd agree. Any woman (with a good man, that is) who goes against this list will have their man moving MOUNTAINS for her!

Anna, we have to get you on the radio, so you can counsel your fellow women out there. You need to share your wisdom with a wider audience-seriously. If more women did what you do, not only would I take my blog down; I and many men would actually be interested in getting married... ;)

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

Ouch---you got me on more than one. Thanks for being brutally honest---really---it sure made me think of some things that need to be changed around here.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Nea,

Yes, you are most welcome to translate this into Finnish and re-use it!

Pendragon,

When I talk about criticizing, I don't mean never telling our husbands if we think something is wrong. I mean CONSTANT criticizing of just about everything, and being impossible to please.

Of course, much of this list can also apply to husbands as well as wives. However, I would still write a slightly different list for men. Anyway men are not the major audience of this blog, so I focused on women.

Leslie said...

This is usaincognito. I shut down my site and started a new one:
frontporchsociety.blogspot.com

lol. Had to laugh at the humorous twist of the what not to do list! Sometimes we can fall into that habit without even realizing it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anna! I just wanted to say, as an atheist and working woman (don't worry, it's not that kind of note), I applaud you for truly living your faith... without compromise. I have so many friends that claim to be religious and adhere to the teachings of the bible, but when I try to discuss points of it with them, they always seem to ignore bits or claim that certain parts of it are meant to be taken 'metaphorically' and generally pick and choose which parts they intend to follow, leaving out the rest. I don't believe you can selectively follow the bible or apply the confirmation bias approach to your faith. That's the coward's way out.

=)

ChRlswfe4Jesus said...

So true. Over the 7 years of my marriage I have done each one of the first 9 only to have all of 5 and 10 removed from our marriage by my husband. To anyone who does not think she knows what she is talking about. She does. Take this from a wife that sleeps up stairs while her husband chooses to sleep in the basement. You may not even see it coming as little by little things disappear from the relationship. I know when it all started I was a bit relieved, then one day the things being taken away started to hurt. Finally I put it all together way to late. Who knows how many years if ever it may take.

Mau said...

Quite profound for a newlywed! Even being happily married for 17 years now, I definitely found thoughtful food to chew on.

What an interesting blog. I truly enjoy your writing style and look forward to reading more about your life experiences and thoughts.

Laurie said...

Excellent post. You really hit the nail on the head with this one.

Tamsen said...

I've been married for 8 years, and just about every day you teach me something. I can't figure out why I *know* I married a great man, but can't seem to get it together to treat him that way. We're under a lot of strain right now, with a disabled child and a 10 week old, but I can't use those as excuses, rather I need to see them as the reasons to be a good wife.

Anonymous said...

Anna,

I wasn't criticizing your list, which I liked a lot -- just making an observation!

Pendragon

Blue Castle said...

I need to print this out. And review it often.

Thank you.

Mia said...

Excellent Post!
I find that although this was meant for a wife, for me, it also applies to the way I treat my dad. Until I marry, he's the "guy" in my life that I need to treat with respect; not nag, critisize etc. So I find this very very helpful! I've often fallen short in so many ways, I appreciate this "exposing" list to help me with submission!! :)

--Mia from aspiring-homemaker.blogspot.com

Karen said...

LOL I plead guilty for the thick and shapeless flannel pjs thing. But hey, it's cold here!

I find it hard to picture being so suspicious of a husband coming home late. Unless my husband was an hour late or more, I probably wouldn't even notice. I'm not even sure exactly WHAT time he's supposed to get off work now. I just know he manages to walk in the door just as dinner's cooking every night. It must be insinctual or something. :)

Fiona said...

Hi Anna, Thanks for your inspirational essays - you have a real talent with the written word. I would love to read the opposite 'proper' list to this one if you felt so inclined! Kind regards, Fiona.

Z said...

Dear Anna,

This is a great post. I really needed this reminder, and putting it in this perspective really helps. It has been a pleasure to get to know you through your blog (even though you don't know me). :) Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

Take care,

~ Zipporah

Kat said...

Oh jeesh, is there any way that I may copy this (giving credit to you, of course) and post it on my blog? There are SO many people it would resonate with on SO many levels...

Mrs. Anna T said...

Kat, of course, feel free to quote me with a reference and link.

Anonymous said...

ok what happens when you have tried majority of those and this egg head still dosnt get it, is he just stuck on stupid or what.