Sunday, November 10, 2013

Words of advice to a man on his wedding day

Congratulations and best wishes to Morpheus and his new bride. As a long-time married man, I thought a few words of advice might not be amiss:
  1. Never hesitate to admit when you are wrong and apologize as soon as you realize that to be the case.
  2. Never admit you are wrong when you believe that you are not. Stand your ground in the face of her tears and hold firm in the face of her anger. Never appease in the interest of short-term peace.
  3. Learn to let things go. In every conflict, there is a point at which there is a choice between conflict and conversation. When you choose conflict, let your choice be a conscious one and not a reaction.
  4. Encourage her when she decides to let things go rather than argue. Don't take any passive-aggressive shots, don't make any little comments or provide any ex post facto reminders. If she is willing to let it go, you should be willing to do the same.
  5. Don't expect her to hold herself to the same standards she holds you. Accept her failure to do so as a compliment to your sex and do your best to provide her with an example to follow.
  6. Don't let her get away with being dishonest. If her story changes, call her on it.
  7. The sexual norms for your marriage are set in the first six months. Keep that in mind and behave accordingly.
  8. Don't be surprised if there is more relationship conflict than before you were married. The relationship dynamic and the daily patterns of life have changed and they are as new and unfamiliar to her as they are to you.
  9. Both of you will have unconscious expectations of marriage that are unrealistic. Learn to let them go as they surface.
  10. Remember that you are a team. If necessary, remind her that you are a team.


Denton said...

Good advice. I got similar from my father before I was married: 31 years later it still works.

Anonymous said...

#8 applies even if a couple lives together before marrying. My parents knew several who lived together for years (back before that became a common practice), then got married, and were divorced in six months.

Anonymous said...

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Matamoros said...

A few thoughts:

I tell men getting married to remember it is easy to get married, and hard to find someone to live with.

Also, that in the three main departments - sex, cooking, and cleanign - decide which one is most important to you and put your stress on that. You can get one, maybe two if you are lucky, but the third will probably side more or less.

So if sex is important set the pattern early, whether you want daily sex, or however often, and don't let her get away with excuses, or "why do I have to do this all the time" - "Why, because you are a wife, and wives must submit to her husband. The Bible/God says so. And because I love you."

If she says, "but I don't enjoy it that often", say: "Well sex is always enjoyable, and you can either enjoy it or not, that is your choice; but we will have sex when I want it.

Women are far more malleable than men, but must be trained into conditioned behavior. Remember it takes 21 days of constant repetition to set a new habit or behavior.

Trust said...

We just had our 9th anniversary. One important thing to keep in mind, and this holds true regardless of what situation you are facing: her standards will seem to be double standards and hypocritical more often than not. However, she will hold them with absolute certitude because to he, there is no double standard. The reason is that she holds the same standard for everything -- how she feels about it. Constant goal post moving.

Be firm, but also be understanding -- she really won't have a clue she's doing it. She won't be swayed by reason, and certainly not by appeasement. Her feelings are like the ocean tides swinging her back and fourth, and what she really craves is a rock she can cling to as the the powerful waves of her emotions confuse and drown even her.

Good luck.

Doom said...

Are you, sort of, in the wedding moment and cheerfully hopeful with this post? Some of it looks okay, but...

For one, the very first sentence? In some cases, yes. But when she goes on an "everything is wrong" binge, and cannot be reasoned with, forcing a wrong and compliance with it is sometimes required. While it is nice to be able to work with a woman, in logic and reason, it isn't good to have her question everything or even believe that is always possible. She often doesn't look at the reason why x is not y. Costs, time, complexity, all can play a part. But she won't always know, want to know, or care.

Look, I hope them the best. But I'm not going to start off supporting them with fairytales. He best be ready to go against a recalcitrant grown child and learn quickly how to be assertive without (too much) aggression, or throw her off scent, or diffuse, depending on his capacity at a given moment, and his own mood. He is in charge, not they or she. Sure, know what is her area, and let her to it but try to learn some of it. And vice versa, for the business of life. But he is the marriage manager. He best buck up quickly.

VD said...

For one, the very first sentence? In some cases, yes. But when she goes on an "everything is wrong" binge, and cannot be reasoned with, forcing a wrong and compliance with it is sometimes required.

You're completely missing the point. It has nothing to do with her and everything to do with you. You have zero authority to insist that others admit they are wrong if you are unwilling to do it yourself.

Markku said...

Doom: 1. means when you yourself realize you were wrong, either by getting new information, or after reconsidering. The wife's opinion is irrelevant to point number one.

Yohami said...

Relationship game in a nugget.

LP2021 Bank of LP Work in Progress said...

Excellent. My dad would have said "hide the wallet or something silly like that."

Nate said...

I would add that you should move number 10 to the top. You are a team. Your team has a mission. Make sure she knows that. Make sure she is in that mode as much as possible.

Nate said...

"For one, the very first sentence? In some cases, yes. But when she goes on an "everything is wrong" binge, and cannot be reasoned with, forcing a wrong and compliance with it is sometimes required."

Well for one if she does this you have already done something very wrong to begin with. You should consider the cause of the fit rather than dealing with the mere symptom.

Also... forcing a wrong and compliance is a really dumb way to try to stop her fit. With no anger or ill-will what-so-ever... tell her to go to bed. Literally... send her to her room. The more unflappable you are the more mystified she will be.

RBM said...

#1 is just being a person. #2 is the key. Keeps your sanity and makes her know you can't be bullied. Been married over 25 years and hold to this one like a pit bull. It is the key for a man.

paul a'barge said...

One flesh. You are one flesh. If she doesn't act like it, divorce her in a heart beat.

paul a'barge said...

She is not a princess. She is not royalty. She would like you to think of her that way. Always remember that she is as flawed a human in her own special way as you are. And never forget, she ate from the forbidden fruit before you did.

LibertyPortraits said...

Married two years here. You cannot stop gaming her, although the game has to change somewhat since you shouldn't be walking at the drop of a hat, in fact, if you think divorce is an option you should never have married. Marriage to me is about building a powerful union that can raise exceptional children that prove a benefit to society through their better intelligence, creativity, morality, and health than other peoples' kids.

Lastly, it took me about a year to get used to spending more time with my wife. Gone were the days where I got a lot of solitary time to pursue my own dreams. You can still pursue your dreams, but adding a wife, and later a kid, takes a great deal of your time if you decide you want your family to be strong and to lead them. This is why it is so important for a guy to build his wealth/stature before marriage, and marry a younger woman.

Anonymous said...

When you "admit" that you are wrong, take a tone where it is not an "admission" at all. Just be like "oh ya", and move on. And when she's wrong be just as gracious. Being wrong is not an admission of guilt. There is nothing wrong in being wrong. Behave like this consistently and she'll also learn to feel no shame in changing her opinions. It's not a concession of self esteem to have been in error. Re-train her by your own attitude. It's just a simple quick "oh ya", and put no more attention to it than that. Don't apologize.

Anonymous said...

I don’t feel that apologies for being wrong are being necessary. Just change your opinion and state it and move on. If you are corrected for being wrong, just say “oh ya”, and thats it. And when the girl makes a mistake, be just as gracious. Don’t bring things to a painful point. Don’t make it a contest and a point of pride about who is right. There is no loss of face and nobodies nose is rubbed in anything.

Now if the guy hurts the woman in a way that was the fault of an error in judgment, and apology could be called for. But chances are the man was already making the best decisions he know how. Apologies should not really be asked for or given, really. People just graciously do the their best, and correct their errors, and move on without making a fuss of it.

If you set that example it makes it easier for the girl to not be stubborn in her opinions.

No “I told you so’s” allowed. No “gotchas”. And no self effacing “You were right and I was wrong!”

Markku said...

xsplat: Since the converse case mentions tears, obviously we aren't talking about being wrong on who was the actor in that one TV show in the eighties, or something like that.

Ian Ironwood said...

I heartily endorse the entirety of this list.

While it might seem at odds with the masculine-positive element of the Manosphere, when a man decides to make the commitment to a woman as her husband, to let her on to his boat, so to speak, he should understand that there will be compromises in how he conducts himself, because he is no longer merely responsible for himself. He has to provide quality leadership on a daily basis, and that means keeping his first officer functional. The rules above are an excellent guide to getting started in that direction.

And congratulations, Morpheus, to you and your bride. Blessed be your union, and welcome to the club.


Harold Carper said...

If I may add a few suggestions of my own:

-Don't be too predictable. Chaos is bad, but predictability is boring and easier to manipulate.

-Make decisions. If she asks you what she should do about such-and-such or where you want to go out to eat this weekend, tell her. If you don't have a strong opinion about it, get an opinion immediately. Opinions are like backbones. If you don't have one, you're spineless, or at least she will perceive you that way.

-Remember that she exists to aid you in your life's mission, not the other way around.

RobertT said...

"... or at least she will perceive you that way."

Not necessarily. But women's standards are higher than men's on issues like this. If she does think you're spineless, you need to do something about it.

RobertT said...

"... or at least she will perceive you that way."

Not necessarily. But women's standards are higher than men's on issues like this. If she does think you're spineless, you need to do something about it.

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Morpheus said...


Thanks for the well wishes. Good stuff on this list.

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The Sanity Inspector said...

Remember that she is your wife, not your mother. Help her to remember that you are her husband, not her assistant wife.

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