Fourteen years. In just a few days my husband and I will bask in springtime Pacific desert beauty as we celebrate our wedding anniversary. And on such an occasion as this, I remember “The List.” For if not for “The List,” our marriage could have ended in a legal battle over who gets to keep the Moroccan mosaic glass light fixtures.
Over a decade ago, I read every book I could find on marriage. I would like to say I’ve got the whole wife thing down. I do OK on most days—all glory to “The List.”
Allow me to rewind. I consider myself a chart-maker of sorts. Over the years I have collected stories from wives who surpass me in greatness. Their valuable wisdom plus fourteen years of marriage plus trial and error plus some pearls I have picked up along the way have culminated into my list of fifteen things every wife should say or do to her husband. I feel honored to share it with you today, my dear sisters…
1) Roll your eyes. Often. This works best if he sees you do it.
2) Chuck a wrench across the room from that shiny red tool kit for the garage that he has worked overtime to save for. Then on a whim buy yourself eyelash growth serum. (Because all 40-year-old women need the luscious lashes of a teenager). Plus this will add glamour to your eye-rolling.
3) Submit to him like a begrudgin’ curmudgeon (see what I did there?) when he says he needs you to spend less time shopping and more time with his relatives. (Refer to item #1).
4) Throw him under the bus. Public humiliation will work wonders for his self-esteem.
5) Tell him what to do. Don’t allow him to figure things out on his own. Men adore domineering women. He will feel extra adequate if you do this in front of his children. (Refer to item #4).
6) Dwell on how he’s disappointed you. Focus on his weaknesses instead of his redeeming qualities. Make sure your BFF’s know the details of how he’s let you down. (Refer to items #4 and 5).
7) Make said dwelling come to life for him by describing how your best friend’s amazing husband buys her heart-shaped jewelry, does his own laundry, and breast feeds the baby so she can sleep.
8) When he confesses that he struggles with lustful thoughts, encourage him to share future vulnerabilities by thumping him on the head with your Bible. I would say to do it with his Bible, but his is obviously broken.
9) Pursue revenge. Sprinkle cayenne in his Raisin Bran.
10) Then flirt with other men. (In his presence or behind his back.)
11) Call a waaaambulance by complaining every time you do a recreational activity of his choice.
12) Nag Nag Nag. Because you know with enough pressure you can change him.
13) Bring up the past.
14) During an argument (refer to items #1-13) keep talking until his diastolic blood pressure surpasses 100.
15) Make it clear you would prefer to clean every toilet in the neighborhood than have sex with him. Withhold hugs and kisses too.
Well there you have it ladies. Whether you got married twenty hours ago or twenty years ago, this list should keep the home fires burning for decades to come. May you find the marital bliss every Disney and Barbie princess has assured you since kindergarten. You’re welcome.