Recently, a close family friend has confined in us that she thinks her husband has cheated on her with someone at work. O.K., it happens alot, what does she know. Without giving specifics, it something akin to "womens intuition. When asked why she thinks this, she says "well, some woman answered the phone at his work and her tone of voice wasn't very nice to me. I think she has something going on with my husband." Are you kidding me? What about that cashier last week that said "thank you, have a nice day" down at the local grocery? Does she have something going on with your husband? "Well, a woman's gut tell's her, it must be true." So its a feeling now? Really? Then, one day out of the blue she packs up their child and leaves without telling him. Not only that, she leaves the state and makes him think it is because of something "that woman" at work said to her. She lied to him. The irony of this is that she is the close friend to us. Not the husband. However, the husband called us to let us know and for us to take care of her if she came to Tennessee. She didn't. Thank God. I would have probably escorted back to her home. The long and the short of it is this: she wanted out. She now tells of how her husband didn't do all the things she needed (affection issues and chores around the house type of stuff). However, she admits she never raised these as issues with him. Over the last few weeks when she did, his response was simply I'm sorry, I did not know you felt that way and I will change. Afterwards, when he would do those things, she would respond "you're only doing that because I caught you in an affair." The bottom line is she wanted out for her own unknown (to us) reaosns. Fine. Handle it like an adult. Sit down and talk with your spouse about what you are feeling and let them know what is really going on. Don't pack up the child and leave while your spouse is at work and unable to stop you. Why is it that some parent's think of a child as mine? That child is not "yours", the child belongs to both parents. In fact, a child needs both parents to be well rounded and have the best chance at being a successful parent themselves. Anyway, I say all of this because I have realized this same type of scenario playing over and over again in my practice. The woman, after many years togather, just decides she wants out and when she does, she remembers every dish the husband left out for her to clean, or every time he forgot to take out the trash, or remember all those Monday nights when all you wanted to do was watch some football? All these things along the way were never such a big deal. But once she decides its over, she can do some quick math and add it all up!
So having rambled through that, let me make some suggestions for a happy marriage. Men, do the little things. Maybe not everytime, but often enough it is appreciated. You know, take off the trash in a timely manner, help with dishes, for that matter, help with supper. Pick up your own clothes and help with a load or two. I promise, it will not kill you. Go hunting, fishing, drinking golfing or whatever with the guys a little less and suggest to your wife that she go out with the girls (and no, don't make her take the kids with her). Buy some roses for no reason, maybe some chocolate. Be thoughtful. If you live near a Melting Pot Restaurant, take her for a romantic evening once in a while. Let her know she is just as special to you today as she was the day you were married. If you need more ways, contact me and I'll help.
For women, well, its easy ... give us ... sex, right? That's what you are expecting me to say aren't you? Well, o.k., yes. But it's more than that. When your man actually does do somthing you have been wanting him to do, express sincere gratitude. Don't make a big deal out of it, don't call the neighbors over to witness the event. Just let him know what it means to you. help your man learn what you need. Don't just take it for years and then decide you can't take it anymore. Communicate. Train your husband, if he wasn't already, in the ways of romance. Show him what you expect by example.
We all know that in the traditional family the woman does more of the housework. In older times when just the man worked, the woman did it all, she cooked, cleaned and took care of the children. In modern times, however, we now know that a man is capable of doing housework. Let them do it. But when they do, remember to show appreciation and to never accuse them of cheating on you with the cashier at the local Wal-Mart jsut because she was friendly to him!