Apr 152007
 

Ask Dr. Stupe

Q. I really don’t like working in the kitchen–you know, doing dishes, cooking, cleaning, that kind of stuff. How much of that stuff do I have to do?

A. This is a common question, and the surprising answer is: not much at all. Even in marriages in which both the husband and wife have similar schooling, professional development, income, and schedules, it is an inherent joy for the wife to cook and clean in the kitchen. Because of thousands of years of tradition and instinct, she is hard-wired for such activities. Denying her the full use of those instincts is not only inconsiderate, but cruel. Your wife will love you all the more deeply for remembering that.

Q. When I’m sick, I’m just totally wiped out. My wife seems to handle it much better. Is this difference real?

A. Your intuition serves you well. In fact, you feel much worse when you are sick than your wife does when she is sick. Should you, for some strange reason, lower yourself to wait on your wife when she is sick, she will feel patronized, and you will pay the price when she is feeling better. On the other hand, when you are sick, she delights in catering to your every whim. Deny her this pleasure at your considerable peril.

Q. When my wife wants to tell me how her day went, is it appropriate for me to sit quietly and listen to what she is saying above all else?

A. No, of course not. Your wife neither wants nor expects you to listen patiently to the events of her day and leave it at that. Remember, your wife values your problem-solving skills highly, and this is one of those situations in which you are expected to interrupt whenever you have helpful advice and/or counsel to offer. Also, remember that multi-tasking is a virtue. Feel free to work on something else while you are listening, making minimal (if any) eye contact and muttering under your breath.

Q. My buddies are very much live-for-the-moment people. In fact, sometimes we make plans to go drinking for the night right as we are starting to drink for the night, and I call my wife on my cell to let her know. This is normal and just part of being a guy, right?

A. Yes! In fact, your wife appreciates this on a profound level. She knows how hard you work and how strong your need to “blow off steam” is. In fact, she’d be delighted to get up and make you and the boys an omelet when you come home drunk, loud, and farting in the middle of the night. See the previous question and answer for part of the reason why!

By the way, women do not need the company of their friends on nearly so deep a level, so no need to reciprocate. The “girls’ night out” is largely an invention of wussy Hollywood types who don’t know how to handle women and does not, in fact, exist. Always remember, her self-actualization begins with serving you.

Dr. N. Delicate Stupe is a licensed marriage counselor. He frequently eats Cheerios for dinner and hasn’t had sex in 5 months.

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 Posted by at 10:03 pm

  8 Responses to “Ask Dr. Stupe your marriage questions!”

  1. Dr. Stupe, why can I get no tang around here? And I don’t mean the powdered drink mix. I hear if I jump into marriage, I’ll get laid like low pile stain resistant carpet. Is that why my married buddies don’t come out drinkin’ anymore?

    -Single in Minneapolis

  2. Um, are ya trying to get yourself killed?

  3. Let me guess…, you learned all this from experience, right?

  4. Suzie: I, uh, vetted the piece first. LOL

    Saintseester: I think Lea would tell a pretty good story on me concerning the kitchen and social time with the guys. I’ve not always been exemplary at giving Lea proper respect conversationally, though I have made a concerted effort to improve and do much better than I used to.

    I’ve been a total wuss when I’ve been sick. In fact, I hope I’m flat on my back with some godawful virus very soon so I can demonstrate my sincere desire to improve in this department.

    The bottom line is that many, many husbands who are great at the big stuff (mutual respect; providing well; trust; fidelity; stuff like that), totally suck at the “small” day-to-day things. I don’t think many men realize how dramatically the quality of their lives would improve if they demonstrated even a little consideration consistently. Keep your bitching to yourself and just empty the damned dishwasher, man. SHE HATES IT TOO.

    ‘Course, I’m betraying some guy code or something saying so, prolly. Here is another, as long as I’m piling on: Lea and I are less than a month from ten years of marriage, and I still think being married totally rocks.

    There are sorry wives in this department. I’ve known some. But it seems to me that in an otherwise solid marriage, if there’s strife at the day-to-day shit level, it’s almost always his fault. (Anecdotal, to be sure, but steadily acquiring gravity as examples supporting the premise are consistently discovered.)

  5. Dear Single in Minneapolis,

    The ladies appreciate a man who takes charge. This is true both on the singles scene and in marriage. Whatever you are doing, be sure you are asserting your masculinity. This is the single most important thing. You might select a hobby that involves maiming and/or killing and talk about it incessantly, even over the oh-so-cute faux objections of the object of your desire. That gets you into low-pile stain-resistant territory.

  6. Single in Minneapolis: the statistic about married men getting laid more is usually qualified with the term “on average”. When you are in close enough proximity to beg for it every single night instead of just on “date nights”, it would stand to reason that you would have better odds. However, there are times that repeated begging doesn’t help your cause and will only be met with increased resistence – say, like, the year after she’s had a baby. (Contrary to popular belief, you don’t *really* have the option of seeking companionship elsewhere during those times.)

    Suzie and Saintseester: I didn’t laugh as uproarsly to parts of the piece as Bo thought I should have. I thought he’d pretty much nailed it on the head when he talked about men being wusses when they were sick… However, I recognized the rest of it as a joke. He really is a good guy and not at all like Dr. Stupe! I’m really lucky to have him. I just wish he’d take his own advice more often about unloading the dishwasher… 😉

  7. Crap. I wish I’d read the response sooner.

    -Newly Married and Divorced in Minneapolis

  8. I do fine. Really. 🙂

    I have figured out, though, that it’s not a suitable activity for which to pursue a “best time.” CorningWare does break.

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