An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 6

hand holding

If you’re a guy, and you’re married, you’re probably doing it wrong.

You think you’re being nice. But you’re not.

You think you’re doing her a favor. But you’re not.

You think you’re just staying out of her way. But you’re turning yourself into a large obstacle. The one on her path to happiness.

You’re just another nice guy like me. Just another nice guy destroying your marriage without even realizing it.

I spent my entire life being told how nice and wonderful I am. That mostly still happens. That’s why it was always so surprising when my wife got upset with me and acted like I wasn’t.

But I’m so nice to her!

But I love her more than everyone else!

But I almost always let her have her way!

What’s her freaking problem?

Just another crazy, emotional, hormonal woman!

And I totally get it. I do. It’s often easier to just do what she wants (or what you think she wants) than it is to challenge her, argue with her, fight with her, whatever.

Maybe you really just believe it’s “nicer” to do things this way.

But it’s not nicer. And I don’t want you to learn the hard way like I did.

I don’t want your children to have two “nice” parents who can no longer live together because you spent so many years doing so many things you didn’t even know were wrong.

“Not all women in relationships with “nice” guys are drama queens who want to control, emasculate, or dominate their man. In my case, I was desperate for him to make a decision… have an opinion…contribute 50/50. Instead, he thought he was being “nice” by leaving all the decisions up to me… which ultimately led to me feeling more like his mother than his wife. It was exhausting and frustrating. Everyone thought he was so “nice” and the “perfect” husband. Far from it…he was avoiding responsibility and didn’t want to be blamed for any problems or mistakes. So I shouldered all the burden while we slowly began to resent each other and grow apart.” – @jessiesgirl

The Eye-Opening Moments

I had one yesterday.

I wrote a post which was mostly about two things:

1. Things “nice” men do that turn off women.

2. My general belief that “nice” guys are every bit as viable bedroom partners as “bad boys,” but I left out some details for decency reasons.

The results were fascinating. A bunch of comments similar to @jessiegirl’s.

And that’s when it hit me. Sonofabitch. That’s what I did.

And listen up, dicks. That’s what you’re doing, too.

I helped my wife with about 5 percent of planning our wedding.

I helped my wife with about 15 percent of potty training our son.

I helped my wife with about 25 percent of the housework.

But I want to be careful about confusing the messages here, because we’ve already established this: Yes, asshole. You have to help your wife around the house.

This isn’t about you not doing enough physical work.

This is more about you ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING in your relationship. The little things you don’t realize are huge.

“What do you want to have for dinner?”

“Do you want to go to the Smith’s housewarming party three weeks from now?”

“Can you send the RSVP?”

“Who is getting the gift?”

“Are we going to put little Johnny in baseball camp? Karate? Golf? Football?”

“How much do they cost? When do they start? How will he get to and from these activities?”

We can go all night with these conversations.

“I spent nine years with someone who never contributed, he let me organise everything, take the decisions, etc… and by the end of it there was nothing left but resentment… on both sides.” – @larebe

So, here I was taking a step back. Letting my wife control the action, make the decisions, do whatever was “easiest” for her.

Turns out, in many cases, what would be EASIEST is for us—you and me, guys—to make the decisions. To speak assertively and thoughtfully about what we want and why.

It’s not “nice” to leave all of the decision making for so many people to just one person. It’s hard enough for people to think for themselves without breaking something. And you want to ask your wife to think for both of you, all the kids you have, along with all of the other things that need managed?

Hope you like masturbating.

What Women Feel

Me: “Can I ask you for a favor?”

Friend I trust very much: “Of course.”

Me: “Can you write me an email articulating how it makes you feel when your husband doesn’t show assertiveness in making decisions? In taking care of things at home? In being part of the planning and decision making?”

Fifteen minutes later, I received the following.

How do I feel when my husband isn’t assertive in making decisions, in taking care of the home, in planning and decision making for our family??? Gosh—I feel like I do every day. Worthless… oh yeah… and tired… and alone.

I wonder things like:

“Does he even love me?”

“Why would he let someone he “loved” do all the work around here?”

“Does he think our family was a mistake?”

“Why doesn’t he want to help with work and decisions around here?”

“Aren’t we important enough for him to take an active role with us?”

“Are we not enough for him?”

“Are we too much for him?”

“I guess we just aren’t worth his time.”

My husband is a nice guy. The nicest of the nice guys. The give you his last dime-shirt off his back guy. He just doesn’t pull his fair share of the weight around here. And that is putting it nicely. If you ask him he would tell you that I’ve got the “good life”. (He’s actually said this to people.) I make all the decisions and run the show around here. What he would fail to mention is that I do everything else too: cooking, cleaning, laundry, scheduling, laundry, doctor’s appointments for the children, pick up and drop off for school, bill paying, grocery shopping, laundry, vacation planning, homework help, reading books, school shopping, laundry, saying prayers, working full time, and oh yeah… carrying and giving birth to the children!

So somewhere in his mind he thinks he’s doing me a favor by letting me “hold down the fort” or “sail the ship” or whatever. But in all actuality I’d just like him to take control of a little bit of the “good life” that I have. Perhaps 50% of the responsibilities would be a nice place to start. If you look at the list above there are A LOT of freaking decisions that have to be made to run this family. It’s hard on one person when they have to make them all. It’s even harder when there is another capable adult who can’t/won’t step up and do their part to lead a family.

For me—it gives me a feeling of worthlessness. I’m not worth his time. I’m not worth his effort. The decisions I have to make to run this home and take care of this family aren’t even important enough to him to matter.

For me—that leads to questions about his character and his integrity and his ability to be a partner in this life. Which then leads me to questions about my choice in a spouse… It’s all downhill from there!

You’re Not a Bad Guy. Don’t Act Like One.

One of the most-valuable lessons of writing personal stories has been learning how alike so many of us are. How similarly we experience life in our various human relationships, and how our hearts and minds respond to these things.

If I could get back into Doc Brown’s time machine and tell myself 13 years ago the things I needed to know to avoid my life turning shitty, I would have started with all of my marital screw-ups.

Just in case anyone invents time travel AND reads this, would you please print out the following and give it to me in 2001? Thanks!

Dear 21-year-old Matt,

You’ve spent your entire life telling people your biggest fear was getting a divorce.

I have bad news.

You’re going to get one. You’re going to marry your girlfriend. You’re going to have a beautiful son. And then when he’s the EXACT same age you were when your parents split? You’re going to get divorced.

It’s going to tear your entire world apart.

You’re going to cry infinitely more than you ever have before.

You’ll miss your wife and son WAY more than you used to miss whatever parent you weren’t with when you were a little kid. Read that last sentence again. Let it soak in.

You’ve spent your entire life being coddled by your mom.

You’ve spent your entire life being spoiled by your dad.

You’ve spent your entire life being loved and supported by people who felt sorry for you because your mom and dad lived so far apart.

You’ve spent your entire life being told how nice and smart and funny you are.

These things are going to ruin your marriage. And this beautiful girl you’re madly in love with right now? You won’t even remember what she’s like because everything will be broken and shitty.

Every bad thing you have ever experienced is going to seem like an amazing vacation compared to how you’re going to feel from about ages 32-35.

But you can avoid it. You can choose a better life. One with a happy ending.

Marriage is harder than you think it’s going to be. It’s NOT like having a permanent girlfriend. Wives and mothers are something more.

Choose to be a better you. Choose to be great at the only two things that really matter once you’ve made the choice to marry: being a husband and father.

Don’t just give the bare minimum. Don’t just obliviously walk through the world doing whatever you want and wondering why your wife is getting upset with you.

Be engaged. Every day.

1. Give more than you take. Of your time. Of your energy. Of your love.

2. Choose to love even in the moments that are really difficult. Your feelings are fickle. If every couple ended their relationship during the tough times, no one would ever survive.

3. Love and respect yourself. You’re worth it. You’re a good guy. Be a leader. A kind one.

4. When your son is born, don’t even think about leaving your wife’s side. Stay awake for 72 hours straight if you must. Hold your child so your wife can sleep. Hold her hand when she’s holding him. And assure her every single second that she’ll always be able to count on you. Then prove it every day after that.

5. Start writing soon. More than news stories. Stories about your life. It will help you make sense of things.

6. Have crazier, more-frequent sex with your wife. She’ll like it.

7. Just because you say and feel “I love you” DOES NOT adequately convey the message. It doesn’t matter that it’s true. She doesn’t know. You don’t know how she can get upset with you. You think she’s a crazy, emotional girl. You don’t understand. The same is true in reverse. SHE DOESN’T KNOW if you don’t show her you love her. And all the ways you think you show someone you love them? Only some of it is true. Don’t dismiss her when she asks you what you want to do Friday night. Have an opinion. Don’t wait for her to suggest something then shoot it down because it’s not what you would choose.

Pick something. Have a reason. Care about it. Challenge her, if you must. Just do it with kindness and respect. Compromise.

You will have a MILLION of those little moments throughout your marriage.

Every time you say or act like you don’t care?

You’re telling your wife she’s not important enough to care about. To think about. To put effort into.

It’s going to kill her.

And then she’s going to leave you.

And you’re going to miss your son.

And it doesn’t have to be that way.

You get to write your own story. And I want you to listen to me. Because I’m you. Because I already did all the stupid shit you’re about to do.

If you make the same choices, everything breaks.

As both of us like to say: I hate being right all the time.

So don’t. Make better choices.

Choose yourself.

Choose love.

Then someday when you get a few minutes, maybe you can write Future You and tell me how great you’re doing. Thanks!

You May Also Want to Read:

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 2

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 3

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 4

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 5

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 7

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 8

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 9

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 11

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 12

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 13

…..

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190 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 6

  1. […] An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 6 […]

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    • Lyle says:

      They need someone to shoot down and make the bad guy, right? They need someone to reject and belittle, so it might as well be the husband. Listen, wives, you immediately asserted dominance the minute you said, “You’re not wearing that, are you?”. You don’t want his actual opinion, you want him to agree with you. Now, when you condition them to finally do so, you cry and whine because they’re doing it? You send him to the couch when he disagrees with the bathroom tiling, you force him to rattle off a bunch of choices and shoot him down for hours in regards to food. Then, when he ignores it and picks something, you whine that he’s not listening to you. I’ll get replies of “I don’t do that!”. I know I will. If that’s true, then listen to yourself the next time your husband makes a decision, or opposes one of your decisions. You’ll fly off the handle, and bam! He’s on the couch or moving out.Guarantee it.

      Like

    • JustJess says:

      I ran across your blog after typing in to Google, “why is my husband nice to everyone but me?” Yes, that is where I am. After nearly 12 years I am so at a loss that I am resorting to Google to help me figure out my life. Pathetic. But it did lead me to this which has been such an incredible eye opener.

      My husband is tall (there is a shortage of tall men-haha no pun intended), smart, REALLY funny, classically handsome (he even has the Superman “butt” chin for Pete’s sake), works hard, is a great provider. Good in bed, actually very good. Took on my two children from a previous marriage…and I am leaving him. Sounds crazy right? That’s what I have been telling myself for longer than I care to admit.

      The flip side of that coin is he is at best neglectful, at worst, abusive. His father and mother have a marriage that has largely consisted of them living separate lives. He did not witness affection, therefore he cannot seem to express it. His mother did everything while his father worked. I bet you can guess the dynamics in our household. On top of this for many years I stood by him while dragging him through breaking habits and hang ups that you just can’t maintain while being a grown up. I won’t go into details. There was of course, lying, sneaking and backslides. I still deal with his excessive drinking and Jekyll/Hyde personality after too many.

      That’s where (most times, but not all times) the real hateful stuff comes in. He yells, like at the top of his lungs. Names, filthy things, he does not care if the children hear. He has had “tantrums” breaking things and yes there have been times things got physical. And I am not innocent in that equation.

      Even when sober, he does not care “to be bothered” with my problems, concerns or frustrations. If I am having a tough time at work (or fill in the blank) he sits mutely, staring at the TV, sometimes audibly sighing until I am finished. He does not offer a response. If I press for one, it generally consists of me being to blame in some way for the situation. I am then told how I complain “all the time” so what does it matter. And besides, it stresses him out. Don’t I know how tired he is from work?

      He is quick to judge and almost non existent to praise.

      His joy in life is doing anything, literally anything away from me and the kids. If I am at work, he will consistently leave our 12 year old for hours upon hours to hang out with friends, citing she is old enough to pick up the phone if there was an emergency. I guess 911 is the baby sitter?? My one stint in the hospital (I was terrified) he left me to go hunting with a buddy. He in fact did not even make it to the hospital, going straight from work. He once left me in a bar to go smoke for almost an hour with a complete bunch of strangers. Getting drunk with his friends on my birthday. Ruining countless dates by starting arguments because he had one too many. The examples go on and on.

      I don’t know if it was a lack of relationship with his father or what, but he seems to have an unnatural need for male companionship. If you are thinking what I think you may be thinking, yes, I have thought that too. I don’t think it is the case, but who knows…all I know is again, he’d rather be anywhere, doing anything before being with his family. We stress him out. He’s just “trying to live his life.” And boy, does everyone else think he is just the GREATEST! And he is…for them.

      His defense strategy for this behavior is he sacrifices everything for us. He works very hard to provide for us. (He does.) He has always let me do whatever I want (true, mostly because he doesn’t care). In a nut shell, he brings home the majority of the money, mows the lawn, does the major house repair so he’s done his part.

      Which is also why he cannot be bothered with cleaning, cooking, errands, bill paying, managing of appointments, health care or well…anything beyond “his part” which I listed above. In addition to all those things he can’t be bothered with, I manage the kids (including discipline), ran his books for multiple years for his business while holding down a job myself.

      And he wonders why I am inexplicably upset, stressed or lately, depressed. I mean, what’s the problem right?

      Lately I had a real breakdown, crying on the couch. The whole bit. He left, spent the entire day gone, coming home after 9pm. When I finally nailed him down to talk he responded with how I needed to suck it up and get a life.

      How do you find time to fit in a life when you’re single handedly managing a house and job? Hmmm…

      Even reading my own words I think what a loser! Why would she stay?! I think it is a combination of life events and choices that conditioned me to “accept this”. I am from a broken home and while my father did fight to keep me from my completely incapable mother, he was also an alcoholic. In my early teens, I began to act out, eventually leaving at 14 to be married. Yes. Married. At 14. And no, I was not pregnant. I was separated from my family for many years and grew up feeling abandoned and let down by those who should have loved me most and not given up on me.

      After that marriage ended (shocker!), I went on to marry my own alcoholic who was very abusive, both physically and mentally. As a result I continued to make bad decisions and did not develop a proper career for myself.

      After ten years and two kids, I finally left and about two year later, met my current husband. Anyone would seem like a dream after what I had come out of.

      And in some ways he is. And I hate him all the more for it. Because I see what could be but that he won’t let it.

      Anyways, I have quite taken over here and go on far too long. But my desire is to say THANK YOU. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Reading these posts and the comments make me see I am NOT crazy and do not have unrealistic expectations of what a functional, respectful marriage looks like.

      It has given me courage to do what I should have a long time ago. As a Christian (another wonderful thing he has done for me-like I said, Jekyll and Hyde) it pains me greatly to divorce. Please pray for me, my kids and for my husband too.

      Like

  2. I read all 7 volumes and loved every single word. AWESOME. Thank you. I know that my spouse will not read it, which makes me sad, but it is what it is. The first thing he asked me when I told him what I was reading and suggested that he read it, because “it’s him and me” to a “T” right now…he asked if it was one hundred pages long. I said it was about 7, internet long lol…

    But I still thought…am I or our relationship not worth one hundred pages of words? (-_-) He doesn’t get that he is about to end up single. I don’t think he will get it, until I am gone.

    Thanks again…best read of the year for me!

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Most marriages/relationships seem to fail for the same reasons. Over and over and over again.

      I really think we can do a better job. I think men have a huge role to play.

      Thank you for investing time and emotion in these posts. Best wishes for you as you try to reconnect with him. I hope you believe it’s possible. He just needs to want it as much as you.

      Like

      • Sad chica says:

        I wish my shitty husband just needed to help out and so forth. For me, my life with him has been one criticism after another. He doesn’t like the way I dress, the way I walk, the way I sit. He wants me to be quiet when we are out with others. He gives me a list of what his mother, sister, and brother say are wrong with me. He allows them to be cruel or completely ignore me.

        Sex involved ripping my tongue out of my mouth, shredding my lip, and the claiming quite vehemently that he had no idea; couldn’t taste my blood. He didn’t realize he had hurt me in other ways to explicit and awful to mention here. He broke my thumb and claims he didn’t hear it snap. Claims he didn’t notice me not being able to use my hand for weeks after the incident.

        I finally grew a pair and started fighting back. I told someone. They didn’t believe me. I finally told someone that did. It was the other manager at his job. He knows I will press charges if he hurts my body again.

        He still insists that I go to family events whrere his family ignores me.

        I do none of the things I once did. I no longer run, dance, or even exist. I’m the walking dead. If my children didn’t have medical needs I would leave him. But I can’t afford their care on my own.

        Everyone thinks he is such a nice godly man. He knows a lot about the bible. He rarely attempts sex anymore and this is a good thing. Instead he stays up on his computer until all hours of the night. That isn’t much better. Except now instead of raping my body, he rapes my soul.

        I have tried to get him to understand what he is doing. He has amazing ways to justify all the things he does and allows others to do.

        He would tell you that he is a good husband. He does the dishes sometimes and if I say I’m going to ask someone else he will finally fix the ceiling fan that hasn’t worked in over a year. He will say he pays the bills and that all his money goes on us as if we are some huge inconvenience to his life. He will also do and say anything he can to avoid having to take responsibility for his family’s actions. But he takes the dog out every day. I can no longer even look at him without feeling repulsed. My fear has been replaced with contempt. The admiration and hope I once had for him has been replaced with disappointment and hopelessness.

        I find out things he has said are not true and he says feels he is justified in lying to me.

        I once did everything and anything he asked me to do. Even that wasn’t ever enough. He feels wronged that I started to fight back. He feels he is the victim. At least he feels something. I feel numb most days unless I have my regular nightmares where he and his family are chasing me with knives. I used to wake up in a panic. Now j just wake up wishing they would finally catch up to me and do what they will with the knives.

        My sons no longer value women. They say derogatory things about women and treat me with the same indifference that he does.

        I was once a woman of faith. I had a servant’s heart. Now I question the existence of a God that would allow someone to do so much evil to me- unpunished. I no longer serve but spend most of my time hidden in my house.

        I will never understand why I wasn’t worthy of being respected, honored, and protected. My life is truly like living in the movie the invasion of the body snatchers. He looks human on the outside but inside he is a monster.

        Like

        • Matt says:

          Your personal life and your personal choice are none of my business. It was brave of you to share. Thank you. But I need to say this:

          I advocate fighting to make marriage work. But only when two people legitimately aspire to living up to their marital vows.

          Sounds like this has not and is not happening in your marriage.

          Don’t live in fear and misery, fear of physical harm and psychological torture.

          Thoughts and prayers for you and your children.

          Like

      • victoriaking says:

        Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights. It’s nice to know how considerate of others one can be.

        Like

    • Nicole says:

      Very interesting and insightful read. Thank you for putting it all out there, sometimes it’s nice to know others are going through the same thing. I struggle daily with an inner battle, is it because I’m a shitty wife? Or because he’s a shitty husband? Both are true, and I take on a lot of the blame for our problems. But as a stay at home taxi mom who home schools, Mother’s Day is a day I unfortunately get my hopes up for every year. And just like always, I sound up cleaning while who got in a two hour nap. I’m thankful for the card he gave me! It’s just that it was another day for us. I get meals for the kids, I do laundry, I referee fights, etc. Then I get to the breaking point where I say screw it all and refuse to do anything else, then he asks if I’m in a bad mood because it’s mothers day (in his usual condescending tone). Your letters have helped me to think of ways to approach this with him when he gets home tonight. And yes, after 8 years of marriage, I’m starting to think of another man. It scares me, because I can’t help myself and I don’t see myself ever physically cheating, but the thought alone feels unfaithful.

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      • KatJean says:

        Dang…all these letters are far too relatable. I’m finally divorcing after 22 years (6 years of homeschooling). The toll with an un-involved but nice husband finally got to be too much. Don’t let it go on for 22 years. I hope you can make things better, if not, I hope you can find the courage to leave. I know that for me it was very difficult since I hadn’t worked for 17 years and am almost 45 and needing to suddenly find a way to support myself. We are separated now, and although it is very hard and sucks in so many ways, it is also really freeing and nice. I wish he knew and understood all these small ways he killed our marriage (and I know I contributed in my ways as well). Good luck.

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  3. Julia says:

    Brilliant! I am full of admiration and was taken by surprise by the warts and all sincerity. Your insight is a real gift.

    My story: I said to my husband 13 odd years ago, “Do you know how hurtful it is for me for you to sit back and make me be the Captain of this ship? I am mentally and physically exhausted and sometimes I actually HATE you for it…. HATE ….YOU!! It’s like you think so little of me, you don’t care,even though you can see how at times I’m barely hanging in there by a thread. I resent that if I were one of your workmates or just a friend, you would be the first one there to help shoulder that load, but with me there isn’t even a flicker of recognition that I am buckling.
    I don’t want to be the Captain of this ship any more, it’s chipping away at my health and my soul, please… I’m begging you step up because I need this. I need you because I just can’t do it anymore”.

    No, it didn’t help at the time. Not one iota. Roughly four years later I disengaged from my job, my friends, life and him. I went into a deep depression that hung over me every waking moment for nearly sixteen months. It was only then that he truly ‘got it’.

    When my depressive state lifted I had another twelve months of having a mix of resentment and anger towards him. I seriously, for the first time, contemplated divorce, I had blamed him., probably somewhat unfairly, a 100% for my depression. No doubt he contributed, but where and how did I allow for our relationship dynamics to progress to that state? Was it a slow barely noticeable force where he took a step back one at a time? Did I buy into that being a “good” wife meant stoically accepting that it was my duty to be “all” and above all never expect nor complain? I actually understand his contribution to it more than mine. It’s not about blame or guilt, I just want to know where I was in it.

    For us, we ended up for the first time in twenty years truly, cliché as it sounds, connecting honestly. We are mostly (have the odd snap) very happy- home at last.

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    • KiwiGirl says:

      I also felt like this, I took on more and more out of love as he was stressed about other stuff. But by not actively giving back the responsibility when that time had passed I actually allowed, almost invited, being treated like this. Unfortunately we didn’t make it, but there are additional reasons. I do often look back tho, and wonder how different it would have been if I just did a few things differently early on in the marriage.

      Like

    • me347 says:

      I checked out years ago because of this. I don’t care anymore if the house is a mess, or if I am. As long as the kids get fed and have clean clothes to put on, it’s a good day. I do still make sure the bills get paid (If I didn’t, we wouldn’t have utilities.) because he can’t be bothered to manage a budget or log on to pay them. I do still make sure there is food in the house, as soon as the kids are grown and on their own, I can stop doing all of that too.

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  4. […] Husbands Vols. 1, 4 and 6 get shared a decent amount on Facebook. (For the record, Vol. 4 and Vol. 6 are the only ones I think have much value. Vol. 2 is a preachy, shitty post and I should take it […]

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  5. Anne says:

    This article is as if you have observed my husband since we got married. Thank you for your articles. I sent him the links specifically with columes 2,4,6 and 9 to read. We do not have children, but everything else is spot on. He thinks I’m the only woman like this and to “require less” when I beg for some attention and help. I am not sure if I can hang on much longer. I fear that he will not realize what he lost until I am gone. I pray it doesn’t come to that. Thank you for making me believe that it ISNT just me, that my feelings matter, and I deserve more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Matt says:

      Marriage is so hard because even good people who care have a difficult time with it.

      I dropped this link into another comment recently, and I may have even referenced it in this very post. It’s worth doing again…

      http://www.amazon.com/Improve-Marriage-Without-Talking-About-ebook/dp/B001PSEQ6U/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424889919&sr=1-1&keywords=how+to+improve+your+marriage+without+talking+about+it

      I think that book is a game changer. The problem? I’m pretty nice and conscientious and even I wouldn’t read a book my wife wanted me to read when asked (“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” which is a pretty similar premise).

      This book, though? As a husband and man? It spoke to me in ways no other book has. Helping me realize why men and women have trouble communicating with one another. Helping me understand myself better. Helping me understand my wife better. Helping me to realize one of the most important life lessons in the world that your husband (just like me) didn’t/doesn’t understand: This happens to EVERYONE. You are not alone. And the things you experience, think and feel are very similar to how other frustrated married couples going through hard times think and feel.

      It’s common because EVERYONE does it. That’s why therapists and PhDs can write these books that can make so many people go: “Holy shit!!! That’s ME!”

      I love that feeling. The one you get when you realize you’re not the only one and that you’ve somehow stumbled on some universal piece of code that makes us all human.

      Your husband is probably a really good guy. And he gets really confused when you’re upset because he would NEVER get upset about the things you get upset about. He knows he’s not crazy. So you MUST be crazy. That’s what he thinks.

      But you’re not crazy, Anne. He’s not crazy. My wife wasn’t crazy. I’m not crazy. It’s just, you speak Portuguese and I speak Mandarin. You speak French and I speak German.

      And we don’t get one another because we are fundamentally different on the inside.

      And I think once the husband understands–in his heart and soul–that his wife is a radically different person experiencing everything differently than him… and once the wife understands throughout her entire being that her husband isn’t some emotionless, totally oblivious robot, that both partners can find a way to speak the same language, or AT LEAST understand that different languages are being spoken so that feelings aren’t being hurt and fighting isn’t taking place.

      Six-second hugs. So the oxytocin kicks in.

      Lots of eye contact and gentle voices.

      Being in the same place at the same time, even if there isn’t much to talk about.

      And respecting and appreciating that everyone involved has different personal goals and feelings, but that BOTH actually want the marriage to work in the end.

      I’m pretty sure that’s how we get it done. That, and good friends. That, and a little grace. That, and maybe a few extra drinks and some messed-up sheets.

      You have my very best wishes on this journey.

      That grass isn’t greener anywhere else.

      Six-second hugs!

      They work.

      Thank you so much for reading and taking time to comment.

      Like

    • Chara says:

      You aren’t alone at all. When we fight it’s 90% THIS that I’m trying to get him to understand. He goes to work and leave everything else to me. It’s demoralizing to know that a good paid housekeeper and personal assistant could replace me for him. I want more than that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. heather says:

    Your letters have been mesmerising for me. I am that wife, the wife that was unloved, unsupported, under valued by her shitty husband. The man who is such a ‘nice’ guy he couldn’t possibly be a shitty husband. It wasn’t him it was me that was crazy, needy, insecure and just not a nice person. If sometimes I felt overwhelmed by the enormity of managing the house, two kids, two part time jobs, renovate the house and deal with the debt whilst he worked away all week, then I must be crazy! At least that is what I was made to think. I even apologised over and over again for being the bad person I was. My husband was such a ‘nice’ guy he didn’t need to apologise for anything. The only difference is it was my shitty husband that left me because I was such a shitty wife. Maybe one day he may realise every thing I did for him and appreciate me for the wife I was.

    Like

  7. I don’t know you. But I thank God for you. I googled “my husband is an asshole” and there it was. I expected to find result after result of angry wives. I found you. After vol 1 I was in full breakdown. I couldn’t stop crying. By vol 6 I was on the floor locked in my bathroom. It feels like someone reached inside me and laid me bare for the world. As I read my husband played (and is currently playing) video games. I begged him to watch something with me. I begged him to play board games with the kids and I. He didn’t even acknowledge my presence. I am sorry that you had to go through what you’ve been through. I hate to say that after 13 years I will be going through it as well. But its like you said: the misery of the divorce will be less (for me anyway) then the misery I’d feel everyday I continue this marriage.

    Like

  8. theladyraptor says:

    I spent an hour drafting my woes and just erased the entire thing.

    Your words truly touched me. I can only hope that you reach the many men out there who have the power to be not just “good guys’, but become GREAT MEN.

    My husband is a “great guy”. He works hard. I have not, and will never, take that away from him. He’s made ends meet when I have faltered in my “bread winning” responsibilities these past few years.

    Somewhere along the line, the rivalry we had, turned into a one-sided vendetta, and sex went from something I really enjoyed to being compulsory to being completely unwanted with him.

    He spent eight of the last ten years playing video games and/or watching Steven Segal movies or westerns. (Yay! :( )

    He’s mad at the world and has been for most of his life. (You can see it in the pictures of him as a kid, too!)

    I know that he sings my praises to other people.

    I’m sure that he loves me.

    In August of last year, he had a partial amputation of one of his feet due to complications associated with diabetes. He had an average of 8-10 doctors appointments every week. He had a PICC line in his arm and three bags of antibiotics pumped into his body every day, starting at 5 AM.

    I dropped everything professionally and worked to build a new business, that was starting to see some headway and profit, in the hospital cafeteria and between appointments, wound changes, followup surgeries, picking up prescriptions, taking care of the house, taking care of the kids, taking care of the pets, and etc.

    Oh and, did I fail to mention that I slipped, fell, and herniated three disks in my lower back just prior to his hospital stay and put off any followup care for me until he had become more stabilized. (I was also lugging around a 50 pound wheelchair and lifting it to and from the trunk and backseat of our cars during this whole time.)

    For the first time in 14 years, he was NORMAL, like he’d finally cleared the cobwebs from his eyes, looked around and realized that he had a good thing going with people that he loved and cared for (and, more importantly, loved and cared for him back).

    He went back to work in December of last year.

    I’ll admit that, after the holidays, after the constant running, I had no idea what I was doing, and how to kick start my company again. I was in a malaise and went to Psychiatrist to get help.

    Since February, I’ve been slowly rebuilding my business and repairing relationships with clients that were sympathetic to what I was going through, but had businesses of their own to run. Things are starting to pick up again.

    During that same time, I saw my husband, that I had grown used to actually and genuinely liking and loving again, disappear back to where he was before.

    Before his illness, I would fantasize about walking out after the kids grew up. (I spent a lot of time figuring out how exactly I was going to do it, too.)

    In December of last year, I started to play video games myself while he followed the same routine he had done for the previous year….

    1. Come home.
    2. Yell at the kids.
    3. Change his clothes.
    4. Turn on the television.
    5. Wait to be served his dinner. (Sometimes he would switch things up and come to the kitchen to get his food himself.)
    6. Wait for someone to pick up his dishes and ask him if there was anything else he needed.
    7. Come out a few times for something to drink.
    8. Yell at the kids some more or complain about whatever was on television. (Take your pick, both items do equal time.)
    9. Wait for me to come to bed.
    10. Bitch about his work.
    11. Interrogate me about how my business was going.
    12. Tell me how much “better” I had it than he does because I can work for myself (and how much he wishes that he had that kind of backing).
    13. Tell me how I was either doing something wrong with my business or would tell me that I had just “lost” money when a deal would fall through.
    14. Tell me that I must live in la-la land because I didn’t stress out about things like he did.
    15. Tell me that he, unlike most people, don’t think that life is too short, but that life is too long and his life, in particular, is shitty and he can’t wait for it to end.
    16. Take a shower.
    17. Go to bed and either get a blowjob or explain how, although he would never cheat on his woman, he could understand why men did when their wives withheld sex because they were using their lack of wanting to fuck as a weapon. Doesn’t matter how the day had gone for her… What mean things were said to her by her husband… Just that sex should be somehow a mandatory thing. To hell with interactions between coming home to the bed!

    Before that time, substitute items 4 through 8 with hide in his office upstairs and either play video games or play guitar really really really loud so that the entire house vibrated with the din of someone who is literally tone deaf. (He would admit to this.)

    I admit it. Since his reverting back to his good old “self” that I had truly become to loath and stayed only to finish raising our kids, I pulled back and avoided confrontation. I played video games. I folded myself into our kids for friendship. (Yes, I continued to parent… I just didn’t seek conversation where it wasn’t necessary.)

    I’ve been holding onto those four months where I felt like I had a partner that truly saw me and valued me with the hope that he would come back!

    Two weeks ago my oldest son was admitted into the emergency room and transferred/medivaced to the children’s hospital because the doctors thought he had a perforated esophagus. (I took him when my husband was tired and was hoping that it would remedy itself by morning. I do not blame him. I was tired, too. )

    They kept him for two days.

    We went home for a night to grab a few hours of sleep when my husband started in on a 2 1/2 hour long lecture about how he was being used, how I was a failure in my business, how I was a failure at being a parent and did nothing at home other than vacuum every couple of weeks, and even spent about 30 minutes on my weight.

    Oh and, I was also informed that, during that four months that I’ve been hanging onto like a life preserver, he was a doormat. (Yes, you read that right… He was the doormat.)

    I remember spending over an hour in the car one day when I took him to his office to pick up some paperwork because everyone wanted to talk to him. He was upstairs chatting it up while I stayed in a stuffier and stuffier car.

    I’ve NEVER (not even now) brought that up to him.

    When I brought up the fact that I had set everything of my own on hold during that time, I was told that all “dictators think that are victims”. (I’ve checked the quote with my son.)

    All this was in front of our 13 year old son. (Who started timing my talking… I got a whole 15 minutes and 47 seconds to speak during the time!)

    For the first time in my entire adult life, I asked my husband to take his hands off of me the other night. I didn’t even mean to say it. It just slipped out.

    It wasn’t that I didn’t want sex. It wasn’t that I had someone (anyone) else in mind.

    I’ve apologized.

    I’ve tried talking about it.

    He honestly thinks that it was all me and that everything from his gripes to the timing of his diatribe were warranted and that I am going to make things worse by trying to discuss any of what transpired two weeks ago tonight.

    I will admit to not being your typical female.

    I don’t expect a guy to “get” what I want. I will straight up tell him.

    I won’t talk about my problems just to vent. (Please excuse this extremely long-winded post to the contrary.)

    I always treated sex just like the guys for most of my life.

    I am heart broken by this recent turn of events and it hurts even more when the guy I sleep next to can’t understand that the only time during our relationship I felt valued and not like an albatross around his neck has been shattered and that his entire life (at least in his eyes) is shit.

    Who wouldn’t be attracted to that and want to fuck the shit out of it? Huh?

    This is the third time I’ve rewritten this. Every time I’ve erased it out of feelings of guilt because, although it would sound otherwise, he really is a nice guy.

    I don’t understand why he would want to stay with anyone that he believes is a part of his shitty existence and who is so unattractive, he felt the need to do a half hour of fat commentary in front of his son.

    I don’t expect anyone to help me, but me.

    Thank you for your blog. Thank you for allowing me to vent here.

    Like

    • Do it! On behalf of wives everywhere who wish their husbands would wake up I commend you!

      Like

    • I totally feel what you’re saying. Mine too is such a nice guy. I just wanted to say I get you.

      Like

      • theladyraptor says:

        Update: We split up about 6 days before you posted your replies.

        He’s in counseling for abusers. (Who, coincidentally, are often thought of at “nice guys”. It is kinda their “thing”.)

        The house is quiet, peaceful, and their seems to finally be time to concentrate on something other than how terrible the last 16 years have been! :)

        Breathing deeply and without suffocating is a wonderful and new thing for me and my boys, but it is not a commodity that we will ever be forced to live without again!

        If anyone’s relationship has the turmoil and derision that was in mine, please seek help before the damage is done and permanent.

        I don’t really know if my shitty husband will ever learn to take responsibility for his words and actions. I don’t know if he will ever seek redemption through atonement and genuine remorse for his entitlement and abuse issues. Those are his issues.

        I do know that we are taking this one step at a time and hoping for the best, but keeping a very watchful eye on where this goes from here.

        Like

  9. Turo says:

    I’m that guy that thinks I’m so nice and so good to my wife, and sit there and wonder why my wife thinks that I don’t show her enough attention or that I don’t love her as much as I once did. I’m pretty ignorant to what my wife is really thinking and feeling. But I aim to change ALL that. Count on it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tempted to text this link to my soon to be ex. How would that go over anyway? He hasn’t even asked how I’m doing since last March, but who’s counting? It’s my fault he says, I’m harsh. I told him last August I’d put down harsh if he wanted to try to talk and I did. For 3 weeks. He didn’t call. When I called him after the third week and told him he’d had his chance I was hurt and angry. He told me he was right. See? You’re harsh.

    I don’t want to ruin my childrens’ lives but he’s now entitled and emotionally abusive. I think had anyone told him these things much sooner and had that person not been me we wouldn’t be where we are now. I’ve since learned my value and its much higher than the price tag he puts on me. I hate to bail on the beautiful life I imagined with exactly him. I accept his faults and failings. I tried not to nag and whine when he chose any other activity besides spending time with me. He killed us. I couldn’t keep it together when he became abusive on top of it. I tried for 16 years. I didn’t like who I became out of my desperation of needing help and wanting comraderie and wanting to fight the world back to back and enjoy each other when we grew old. I’m sure if I texted him this link he’d read the tagline and roll his eyes and remember what a bitch I am.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. George says:

    Since you are going back to 2001 if a time machine is invented please email me a copy of this letter! Thanks for the insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Astounded says:

    So how do I get my husband to read this?

    Like

    • Meghan says:

      I sent the link to him in a text message, no word about what it is. The title of the post will get his attention mine read it and pretty much got the hint. I have already moved out so anything I give him he will eat up because he wants me home. He even thanked me for this post and said he would read them all. He’s going the extra mile to show me we can have an amazing marriage.

      Like

  13. V says:

    I have a nice husband. We have been married for 17years. Oh he makes most of the decisions. He contola everything in our lives. What we may or may not do. I have a decent full day job as does he. We both receives decent salaries. We have 3 kids. Because I baked afterhours before I recieved a good steady job. He still expects me to do it daily. We have no personal feelings because as he puts it he ia not someone who speaks from his heart or talks about his feelings. I recently accepted a position at my company in a management position this required me to leave home and stay at a guesthouse. Leaving my kids and our animals and also accept challenges way out of my comfort zone for the good of the family. It killed me to do this and still it is unfair of me to complain about this because he was left with all the care of the children. Now that I am home he hardly speaks to me and when i ask to go somewhere I am unreasonable in expecting him to make time for me and him. He is always the funniest guy at any gathering always pretending to put me first. When I asked for a divorce he to me I can get out he ia not leaving the kids. I am paying all the bills. I tell him exactly when and why I apent money. Yet his account is a mistery and he recievs all the cake money. Am I being unfair. There is no longer any mention of love between us. Should our relationship not be more important than anything else in our lives?? I hate this life!!

    Like

    • theladyraptor says:

      These kinds of situations are complicated and make you feel like you’re being selfish because you have these feelings. I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (a couple of times), and lot them.

      The strange thing that I’m learning through my own journey is that trauma can be just as binding as love (if not more so), but it isn’t a healthy thing and leads to a myriad of maladies including PTSD for you and your children.

      When a spouse puts you in a position where you feel helpless and straightjacketed into a rigid set of hoops that you have to jump through (which, at the beginning, you do happily), the number of hoops needed to hop through tend to be more and more difficult to surmount and numerous. The demands on you emotionally and physically are just impossible to meet.

      Then you find yourself putting yourself down, your partner putting you down, and ignoring you, leaving you to deal with what he perceives of as your inadequacies alone.

      Taking money and controlling the finances are his way of keeping you there, fearful of how you’re going to live without him, without options, and unsure of your own footing.

      If and when you’re ready, reach out to the link below:

      http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/help-for-abused-and-battered-women.htm

      If your husband is tracking your data, phone, and/or computer, go to a public library.

      Please stay safe both physically and emotionally.

      Like

  14. Cece says:

    I feel like I’m living each and everyone one of your posts… Through the female point of view though! I’ve tried to get my husband to read but every time he’s says why would I wanna read something about shitty husbands? It’s crazy how you’ve really nailed what women want from their husbands. It’s really simple but I don’t know why men have to make it complicated?!?

    Like

  15. Lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing your perspective here. I wish I had been able to explain things as well to my ex. Reading what you write unburdens me of some of the guilt of leaving a nice guy who loved me and was not abusive or addicted or dishonest. I guess if I could write my version of your blog it would be “do not let him make you his mom” “do not clean up after him every day and do the shopping and cook the food and take on all the financial planning and dictor’s visits and vacations and holidays and manage everyone’s birthdays and all of it while paying most of the bills because you will not be able to keep that up and your resentment will eventually grown bigger than either of you can manage”. I married someone else the week our divorce was finalized which I am not proud of. He is an adult and equal partner.i’m so glad that my son has a better role model now. But if I could go back and just stop being his mom all those years ago I would because I know he would have stepped up. He has had to in the years we’ve been divorced.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Cynthia says:

    You have written what every wife thinks & feels but doesn’t know how to communicate effectively to her husband. Now how do I get him to read this & take it seriously? I do still love him & want to be married forever to him but I am miserable and think of divorce often. Very often. After almost 24 years of marriage, I’m not even sure how we have made it this far. All I do know, is that I love him & I want it to work. So how do I get him to care? To try? To start by reading your articles that are spot on?

    Thank you so very much!

    Like

  17. mrsn1218 says:

    Thank you for this. It gives me tons of perspective. Someone blames us as women for being bossy. Fear makes us control. We don’t always know how to stop it. We need push back. We never thought that overly expressing our opinions would make you guys stop engaging at all. I don’t think it’s fair to place all of the blame on that. Respectfully, I think it’s an excuse. Where else would someone just give in and let someone keep them from doing what they knew they were responsible for doing? Out of love men could explain to us what our opinions are doing to you. Giving up and giving in tells us that you don’t care even if that isn’t true.

    Like

  18. Frances says:

    How I WISH with all my heart that I had read this during marriage! It’s taught me more about marriage than when I was married! I left my husband of (26 years) 8 months ago (Feb). Why did I wait so long to leave? The first 2 years were great, honeymoon period and all that. He was a nice guy. Never abusive or hurtful, but here’s my HUGE error….I thought that it was “fair” that he work full time while I stay at home with the kids. There’s your 50/50, right? I thought I was being a “nag” if I asked him to pick up his dirty laundry off the floor. So I did it all to keep the peace. All the decisions, most of the housework. 3 kids under 5, and I still did 95% of it. Then, even when going back to work part time, I still did 95% of it, despite ex-hubby “promising” to share the housework more. He didn’t. That’s when the deep resentment started to set in. Every time he left dirty footprints on the clean floor, (and expected me to clean it up) a small nail of resignation and resentment was hammered in my heart. Every time he spat in the bathroom sink (which I wash my face in) and didn’t clean it was another nail. And so on.
    And I simply couldn’t understand why I was feeling so resentful! A dirty footprint isn’t such a huge thing, is it? NOW I know why!!!!

    I’m free now. Of course, I deeply regret the hurt that leaving has had on my ex and our kids (now adults), but I simply couldn’t be in a loveless marriage for the next 30 years of my life.
    In fact, you know what he said to me when I came to collect my stuff?
    “You only cooked twice a week!” (it was a lot more than that) and,
    “Why didn’t you have a career”?

    And the real kicker? He said to my mother…..
    “All I thought I had to do was get married and that was it”.

    Thank you SO MUCH, Matt, for taking the time and deep humility to write these letters and posts.
    I hope and pray like crazy that you meet an awesome girl and have your happily ever after.
    F.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Kris says:

    My husband is a nice guy too. But I have to do everything. I make all the decisions for our son and the household. It is tiring. I stay at home right now so I pretty much feel like any complaint I have is not valid since I don’t have a job. I am made to feel like an ungrateful wench if I make any requests of him. He mostly just reminds me of how hard he works to support our family. Yes, of course I appreciate he works hard. I make all the meals. Get up at night to attend to our son if he needs it. Clean the house. Run the errands. 7 days a week, 24/7. I plan to go back to work. Mostly to empower myself. My father in law sits around while my mother in law does everything. I guess that is what my husband learned. I just wished my husband would say “stay in bed this morning. I got this” or the coffee would be made by him. Just once. He is very self absorbed. He is not abusive or cheats. He just never thinks of anyone but himself. He reminds me of an 8 year old child. Not very attractive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Frances says:

      I hear your pain, Kris! Like you, I always felt like an ungrateful wench if I complained about my ex’s general laziness. (He worked, I stayed at home).
      My advice? Get your husband to read all these letters. MAKE him read them.
      Then (do what I wish I had done 26 years ago) give him an ultimatum. Either he starts to treat you with the respect you deserve or you are out of there.
      I’m all for counseling. Perhaps he would be willing to try that? If he really loves you, he will see how much this is upsetting you, and be willing to change. And the bonus of him changing, is that you will be a happier wife, so it’s a win win situation!
      I’m not “pro divorce” but there comes a time when enough is enough.
      Hope that helps. :)
      Frances

      Like

  20. Uncle Pop says:

    To be honest. Being fully engaged and a partner in decision making is hard as shit. Early in marriage it’s easy, but as kids, house, careers and everything else piles up over the years, the disagreements start to pile up. Most men want to cut right to solving problems, most women want to discuss, as time pressures mount, it gets harder for guys to take the time to discuss. They want to solve, which turns them in their wife’s eyes into a control freak.
    After the control freak stage comes the resigned stage where guys totally check out.
    It sucks. I guess I would suggest…guys…try and listen more and ladies, this is your husband not your girlfriend so at some point let him express his solution

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Wife says:

    what’s your advise for women in this situation. I’m sure your wife reached out to you 100,000 times. What are we doing wrong in addressing it?

    Like

  22. Carmen says:

    My husbands believes this was all written by a woman… he is doing nearly everything you say here. And slowly but surely I will get to the point where I dont care anymore. I have a very hard time getting the message accross and I think it is because he chooses not to listen.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Saying “this was written by a woman” is what someone would say when they believe Men are Right, and Women are Wrong.

      Or, at the very least: That men and women are different (which I’m okay with people believing, because there’s a lot of evidence of this), and that he’s simply not going to validate the female point of view because he doesn’t agree with it or doesn’t want to.

      I think that’s fine if you’re a single man.

      I think it’s really, really bad when you promised to love, honor and serve your female partner for the rest of your life.

      Everyone has choices to make. In marriage, when you make too many choices that are all about yourself, bad shit tends to happen.

      If that sounds like “something a woman would say,” then so be it. I haven’t seen any evidence that men function better in relationships than women. Quite the opposite.

      So, if keeping a marriage or family together is a value one holds, perhaps thinking and talking “like a woman” on a few of these matters is exactly what’s needed in order to not find oneself depressed and living alone in your 40s.

      Another choice is to double-down on the Man Card and see how that works out.

      With a 50% divorce rate, 70% of which are initiated by wives, I’d say The Man Way doesn’t have an amazing track record.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Donegoner says:

    He helped with 25% of housework and felt it wasn’t enough and wants to make YOU do more. Holy shit.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I’m not going to invest much time and energy in your trolling, but because this is such a critical piece of any marriage or relationship involving cohabitation, I should address it.

      I don’t care who does what percentage of housework. Both can do a ton. Both can do very little. One can do a lot more than the other.

      The only thing that really matters is that any two people choosing to share a life and space together be in philosophical alignment.

      There’s no one-size-fits-all model. I just believe MOST of the time, that wives tend to do the most housework and child rearing.

      And much of time, that’s perfectly okay with the wife/mother.

      But some of the time, it’s not. Some of the time, every day feels shitty because she’s managing households and calendars and responsibilities for multiple people: herself, her children, and frequently, her husband.

      It puts her into a maternal role with someone who is supposed to be her partner, and she stops wanting to have sex with him — because moms don’t want to bang their kids.

      It’s really quite simple. When someone feels fucked over every day BECAUSE of their partner (a partner who promised in front of everyone they knew that they wouldn’t fuck over their partner, but do the opposite), the marriage is on borrowed time, and will end one way or another.

      Here are the options:

      1. Don’t marry.
      2. Marry and don’t give enough to it, and break your vows.
      3. Marry and do it well.

      You don’t think I believe wives don’t screw up their relationships or mistreat their husbands?

      You don’t think I believe many men are great husbands and fathers?

      Don’t be a disingenuous sack. If you want to know what I think, ask me.

      But you cherry-picking one-liners out of context, OR saying ridiculous things like I want to “make” guys do more housework or anything, is ridiculous.

      I tried to tell you, but you responded “Huh?” like an asshole.

      My sole purpose here is to help people UNDERSTAND WHY certain shit goes down in their marriages. It doesn’t apply to all people. It just tends to apply to most. It’s a math thing.

      I’m not advocating marriage. I’m sure as shit not trying to shame men, but I can appreciate how my self-flaggelation in the early days of writing here would cause you to draw that conclusion.

      I want people who want to have a good marriage and not get a divorce and make their kids sad to not accidentally do a bunch of thoughtless little things that they don’t even realize will lead to divorce.

      People used to smoke without knowing it causes cancer.

      People do shit in their relationships that they don’t know will ruin them.

      And everything here is saying: “Hey. You’re probably a good person, and you probably don’t want to hurt your spouse and/or get divorced. This thing you’re doing that seems innocent and benign is actually really bad for the other person, and if you don’t stop, fuckness will ensue.”

      I have no idea what you find so offensive about it. Whereas, I think it’s really damn obvious what’s offensive about you.

      Like

  24. Susie says:

    Ypu got this right on the head! You just wrote my story. Why oh why have men forgotten how to be men? Women’s lib and women’s rights are one thing. But that doesn’t mean we want to BE men. We still want our man to be strong. To take charge. To kill the dragons and make us feel safe. To open our door and make us feel precious. We may still want to have “work” outside the home to contribute. To challenge our minds. But that doesn’t excuse him from being the actual provider. We still need men to be men.

    Like

  25. Trapped says:

    Thank you Matthew for this blog and all your observations. I have a shitty husband. I lost him years ago when he started having major health problems. He uses his illness as an excuse so we have no life. I am isolated and miserable living with a man who wants no part of me. Some day I will leave….hopefully soon.

    Like

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