Things Men Didn't Own Before Marriage

I know we all remember the day we got married, the intense feelings, the excitement, being surrounded by loved ones.  And I also know we all remember the Honeymoon, just you and your sweetie on some beach or mountain, spending "quality time."  But now I want you think back to the weeks following the Honeymoon and how when you and your wife combined everything and you found out all the things you didn't know you needed, but your wife did.  So without further ado I give you:

Things Men Didn't Own Before Marriage
  1. Kleenex : Toilet paper served this use well for many years, why change a good thing?
  2. A Top Sheet : Hell, most of us just thought top sheets were just fitted sheets that lost their elasticity.
  3. Vases : Do I even need to comment on that one, why the hell would a single guy have a vase?
  4. Coasters : Put to be fair most of us didn't own any furniture worth protected, and even if we did that is what old copies of Men's Health/Game Informer/PC Magazine/Playboy were for.
  5. Rugs : You will never hear me utter the words, "This rug really brings the room together."  That is, unless I am quoting the Big Lebowski.
  6. "Good China" : Before I was married "good china" what when I didn't use paper plates.

A Husband's Guide to : Car Buying

This post to be subtitled as "Hunter or Gatherer"

I recently bought my wife a new car.  Her previous car was 10 years old with over 100K miles to it would be very easy to say "it was time."  The whole experience was interesting to say the least and I feel like I came out of it with some pointers that I just had to share.  Now I know what you are thinking, "TheHusBlog, I have bought my wife a car so I going to file this under TL; DR."  Or you might be thinking, "TheHusBlog, Really?  Still referring to yourself this way, Really?"  In any case you know how I love share the knowledge that I have gleaned from my experiences.  But you know what is about to happen...  Oh Come on you know!

TheHusBlog Definition Pause : Tips to make Buy a Car more fun for your Wife
  • Make it about her -  Let's face it, even though we live in 2011, car sales people still talk to the husband.  You can stop that in its tracks by introducing yourself and your wife to the sales person and explaining that the wife is in charge.  I just said something like, "Hey talk to her, it is her car and she is the boss."  If you have a good sales person they are going to pick up the cue and run with it from there. 
  • Take a back seat roll, literally - During the test drive, make sure your butt is in the back seat.  This is for two reasons.  One, you are setting the stage for the sales person to talk to your wife (he/she will be riding shotgun).  Two, you will be testing the back seat comfort of the car.
  • Step in when you the car buying process stops being fun - You are more than likely going to be test driving several different makes and models, so you are going to have the "Not Today, Thank You" talk with several sales people.  This is where things stop being fun, so if you wife wants you to, step in, be the bad guy and get you both on to the next dealership.
  • Take breaks in between test drives to go grab lunch or even just a cup of coffee so you both can talk about the car.  Ask her questions and get her talking so that you can be sure she is getting what she needs out of the experience.  This is also a good time to plan out the next dealership to hit up.
  • DO NOT GO TOO FAST - Let her set the pace.  Remember we men are like hunters by our very nature (bet you were wondering when I would fit that in).  I know that I am a buyer not a shopper. Most the guys I talk to are the same way.  We think in simple fashion, "Need New Car," grunt, grunt, "Buy New Car" grunt.  Be more like a gatherer.  Take your time to look around and find what is right for the wife.  And above all listen to her.
Buying a car is often the first big purchase that a couple makes together, and it could set the tone for the rest of the big purchases in your life together so be sure to make it a positive one.  If the car is for her then make sure she feels like she is in the driver's seat.


Terms of Inquiry

You know the term "loaded questions?"  Well when you are married some questions seem more loaded than others.  How many times have you been asked :

  • What the hell were you thinking?  Let's be honest, more often than not when asked this question we husbands want to say, "nothing."  Now, no matter how much that is true don't say that as your answer because the wife will not like it.
  • Are you out of your mind?  Anytime I am asked this by my wife I really want to say yes...  But I bite my tongue.  Although, consider that you have decided to install a ceiling fan by yourself with no electrical knowledge. Now think about wires coming out of the ceiling, the old fan lying on the ground, and fan parts everywhere.  Sure her response to that situation might be to ask "Are you out of your mind?"  Maybe just respond with "Yes I am, out of my mind with loving you."  I am kidding don't answer with that.
  • Sssssssooooooo?  This is a dangerous one.  Remember when you where younger and your parents would act like they knew what you did so you would self incriminate.  Well the elongated "so" falls into this category as well...  Danger, Will Robinson, Danger.
  • Whose Idea was that?  This is a lose - lose question.  If you answer "It was my idea."  Then you are the dumb ass who came up with something stupid.  If you answer "It was TheHusBlog's Idea."  Then you are dumb ass who can easily be persuaded to do something stupid. 
  • Can I ask you a question?  Loaded from the get go.  Make sure you pay attention to tone in which she asks this one because if the tone starts out bad, then you know the "question" she is going to ask is probably not good.
  • Does this (Blank) make my (Blank) look (Blank)?  This question sucks!  I cannot believe people still ask it, but they do.  I think you should just decide now if you are going to lie every time this question is asked, or tell the truth.  I always tell the truth, but hey what do I know.
I know there are tons of other ones so put them in the comments, I would love to read them!


A Husband's Guide to : Confrontation

Also to be subtitled as "What you can learn from your GPS"

I had to drive my wife's new car to test out her GPS.  It seems being a tech person is required to operate most pieces of new technology.  It makes me wonder if back in the day (which was a Wednesday according to Dane Cook), when the hammer came out were people like "Is this backwards compatible with a Club," or "Why do they have to make these so heavy and hard to use..."

But I digress, the real point of this post is to touch upon the conforntations that we have with our wives and what we can learn about them by studying the GPS systems of today. 

But first I must do a quick TheHusBlog definition break :

TheHusBlog's Fair Rules for Couple Fighting
  • Stick to the topic.  If you are fighting about not picking up your honey's favorite item from the store when shopping without her, it is not fair for her to mention the cute girl you used to work with three years ago that she is sure had a thing for you.  BTW she totally didn't.
  • If a teenager on a WB show does it, you don't.  Let's go with some sub-bullets on this one.
    • Silent treatment, come on really?!
    • Slamming doors, look I know you are angry but slamming doors makes you seem like you cannot control your temper and more importantly makes me want to sing the theme from "Dawson's Creek" to you.
    • Being self destructive to prove your point.  Don't do something wreckless or dumb just because you are upset.  This means don't decide to finish a fifth of Jack Daniels because your wife was rude to you.
  • Take a break if you need to.  You don't have to solve all the problems at one time, if that were true the United Nations would still be in session and probably in sore need of a potty break.
  • Think before you speak.  This is wise lesson we can learn from GPS.  When you make a wrong turn or go off route, GPS doesn't immediately yell at you.  Instead in calm voice it says "Recalculating Route."  If the fight takes a sudden turn and your are lost for words, for heaven's sake do not say the first thing that pops into your head.  Instead just think "Recalculating."  Take a deep breath and respond.
Fights are going to happen in your marriage, hell, sometimes it is going to seem like all you do is fight.  Some wise married people have told me that you have good years and bad years so if you and the wifey seem to be fighting a lot it just might be a bad year.  But those are times that strengthen you as a couple.  Fights allow you to set boundaries, air out grievances, and learn more about each other. 

An arguement can be a positive thing if you manage to not make an ass out of yourself and say something dumb.  Look we all are selfish creatures and tend to see things from a narrow point of view.  Even doing something that you might think is nice, might cause your partner to be enraged so do yourself a favor, fight fair, behonest and above all remember when you take a sudden wrong turn...



Terms of Enragement

Ah a fight by any other name would it sound so sweet...  Well that is not the right word, but you get my drift.  How many times have you said :

Last Night We Had A :
  • Tiff : Oh My Gosh, that is so cute, we had a tiff.  "Honey! Honey! we had a tiff, let's snuggle until we aren't mad any more."  This term usually signifies some small argument, like you left the toilet seat up or something.  Pretty much non-events in most 'marrieds' books, but hey if you are newlyweds have at this little annoying term.
  • Lover's Quarrel : Well at least you are still using the term lover, so you must be newlyweds or fiery Italians, and of course the husband must have a mustache.
  • Disagreement : Now we are getting to the good stuff.  A disagreement is at least handled, more than likely without yelling, but definitely more serious than, "I can't believe you ate the last hotpocket!"  (PS I know that no one actually eats hotpockets).
  • Confrontation : These usually mean someone did wrong and the injured party is about to tell them.  Definitely more intense than a Disagreement, well in less you really love Hotpockets...  (why do I keep talking about Hotpockets, must be channeling Jim Gaffigan)
  • Fights : These are the typical events in a marriage where one person feels like they have been done wrong (usually the other member does too.)  These happen in both healthy and unhealthy marriages.  Most of the time a fight, leads to better understanding, a conclusion, and hopefully some make up sex...  Disclaimer "Make up sex more likely if you are not the one who was wrong"
  • Knock Down Drag Outs (The dreaded KDDO) : These are the bad ones, usually centered around either major life decisions, major life events, or your in-laws.  These generally take hours to talk through, sometimes over the course of a few days.  If a fight lasts longer than a day then you are in KDDO territory, my friend.  The up side to these is that usually the make up sex is really good.  The down side is everything else...
So there you go some more terms of...

Do you have one that isn't on the list, add it to the comments would love to read them!


A Husband's Guide to : Wife Gifts

Okay look, I am a Gun Guy.  I love firearms in all forms.  At this point I own 24 guns and my wife has spent much of her own time to learn about my hobby.  Although I will say she is a better shot than me, most women are naturally good shots, I swear.  She took the time to learn about what I enjoy which means she has bought me some awesome gifts.  This also means that I had to buy her some awesome gifts as well.  Let’s be honest, a girl in sporting goods store, or a men’s clothing store is a social norm.  But a dude in a Victoria’s Secret… alone, just somehow feels wrong.  How about a dude in a women’s shoe store…  AHHHHHHHH!  If you want to buy the perfect gift you have to follow the R.G.A.

Husblog Definition Pause – R.G.A. (Research, Go, Ask)

  • Research : You need to know sizes.  I will be honest with you, Girl sizes don’t make sense to me. So if you want to buy shoes or clothes you need to look in her closet.  Check the shoe sizes of shoes SHE WEARS OFTEN.  Check the size of the clothes SHE WEARS OFTEN.  If you are buying jewelry take a ring she wears often to a jewelry store to get sized so that you can get the right size(IF you are buying a ring…bracelets, necklaces, and earrings are easier).
  • Go : You have to go to a store, sorry dudes, online shopping is a more advanced maneuver.  You need to see what is out there before you can search for it online.  You are going to feel a bit strange walking into a “typically female only” store, but don’t worry a sales clerk is going to take pity on you, and help.
  • Ask : You should ask for help.  Most store clerks will be more than happy to help out a poor lost man in a shoe store.  Just remember to be honest and don’t try to pretend you know what they are talking about if you don’t..ask.  Because really, do you know what an A-Line Hem is?  I think not.
Now that should cover the basics.  Remember that the key to gift giving is give the person what you think (or know) they want.  It is okay to give a small gift that is something you want them to have but also make sure the big gift is something they WANT.  I remember one Christmas I got my Wife a Brahmin Purse (something she wanted), but I also got her a pair of speed loaders for her revolver (practical and fun, might I add.)   Well wouldn’t you know it she uses that purse all the time and still tells me how much she loves it…  The speed loaders, not so much, but if the Zombie revolution comes she will be happy she has them dang it!

Now let us move on to the Advanced Course.  There are a couple of things you should know when it comes to giving flowers:
  • The point of the flowers is not for her to appreciate them.  The point of flowers is so that her friends and co-workers can see that she has a good husband and thus become envious of her.  So have them delivered to her work place.  It is a way better surprise than at home.
  • Don’t go cheap.  You are going to expense of have something delivered make sure it is worth delivering.  Three little roses in a small vase say only one thing “My Husband is Cheap”
  • Know what her favorite flower is.  Not all women love roses, some like Orchids, Lilies, or even Daisies.  So know what she likes and I am sure you can find a florist that carries an arrangement with them in it.
But if you want to earn a Ph.D in gift giving follow the style of a good friend of mine.  His opening salvo was flowers delivered to her work.  Then he made reservations at a nice restaurant for the evening. 

Quick Sidebar : If it is a nice night out to celebrate something you should MAKE RESERVATIONS.  If the restaurant you have selected does not take reservations that is a clue that maybe you should not be going there.  Oh and Call Ahead at Chilli’s doesn’t COUNT!

Before dinner he went out and found a really nice piece of Jewelry and made arrangements to have it couriered to the restaurant during their dinner.  So they are having a nice dinner, she is basking in the glow of flowers and BAM!  Someone comes over to the table and says “Mr. FriendofTheHusBlog, this is for you.”  I know what you are thinking, “FriendofTheHusBlog is an odd last name…is it German?”  My friend executed a flawless day by using what he had available to him and getting her things that he knew she wanted.

Gift giving can cause great stress, but if you follow the rules and make sure to get her something that she wants then I promise you will be fine.  Besides the only thing for stressful that shopping for the perfect gift is giving a crappy one.  Put in the time, you’ll be fine.


Terms of Coupling

I had to cover this one because think of all the ways we can say "Making Whoopie"(Making Whoopie did not make the list because it just sounds like you are creating a clone of Whoopie Goldberg in a lab).  Each term really has it's own meaning so here we go.

Last Night We...
  • Made Love - The most romantic way to phrase intercourse in my opinion.  Usually reserved for either the truly romantic, those dudes trying to seem romantic to get some, or most characters played by Leonardo DiCaprio (before The Departed).
  • Had Sex - The classic.  And in all honestly I like the Juxtaposition(no idea why I capitalized Juxtaposition but I am sticking with it, just feels right for a word worth that many points in Words with Friends(like anyone remembers Scrabble any more)) of Made love vs. Had Sex.  Think about it.  Made indicates that you both had to come together to create a physical manifestation of love.  Had Sex sounds like you ordered off the menu at a local Thai Restaurant.
  • Were Intimate - This one feels kind of old school, like instead of saying your wife is pregnant you would say she was in "a woman's way."  Because of connotation we as a society know that means intercourse, but in reality it could just mean that a couple finally shared their intimate feelings about how they feel about Pauly Shore, a bridge my wife and I have already crossed I might add.
  • Got Laid - If I thought I loved the Juxtaposition(still capitalized) of Made Love vs. Had Sex then I really love "Got Laid."  It is usually reserved for the unmarried single male because it conjures images of winning something that you did not earn(which is so often the case in a young man's life).  Got Laid sounds like you won a prize on a radio contest, which lets face it, think back to your sexual skill as a young man, its probably pretty close to truth. 
  • F#?!ed - Okay, this one is vulgar but has to be covered because it is the most carnal of the intercourse terms.  To be honest F'ing is something that generally happens very rarely later in married life but it is still so important.  Reserved for the times when the most passionate displays are required.  Often it occurs after a major fight (or hell during one).
Okay Making Whoopie aside, I am sure you all can think of some terms I missed.  Put them in the comments I would love to read them.


A Husband's Guide to : Unspeakables

First of all I know what you are thinking.  “TheHusBlog, Unspeakables isn’t a word.”  Well either that or “TheHusBlog, I really wish you would refer to yourself differently, I mean really why not just use your real name, or hell make one up, I mean come on TheHusBlog doesn’t really roll off the tongue.”  To which I say Unspeakables might not be a real word (as the red squiggly underline in Word is indicating) but it works for defining those things that can’t be taken back. 

We have all said things we regret in the heat of the moment and for the most part deep breaths, apologies, and caring reassurance can erase them.  But nonetheless there are some things that linger long after the fight is through.

TheHusBlog Definition Pause : Those which cannot be taken back
  • “Well I make the money so I decide how it is spent”  This is tough one, especially if you are the sole breadwinner.  But remember when you got married you combined everything, which renders money decisions a joint affair.  But to use this phrase is to indicate that you think your decision making is better and let me tell you, it’s a bell that cannot be unrung.
  • “Your mother/father is a Bitch/Asshole”  In-Laws can be a great stressor in a relationship but remember they birthed and raised your spouse and I bet she has a certain fondness for them so you cannot just start name calling, no matter how appropriate it seems at the time.  Remember on the school yard how if someone called your mom a name you would beat them up(or pay someone to beat them up if you had the funds but lacked the muscles)…  Well your spouse will probably feel the same so watch your mouth or it might get smacked off.
  • “Well maybe we should get a divorce”  This is never a phase to be uttered lightly and to say it in anger is doubly worse, so watch it bub!  Saying that you want a divorce can be a lot like giving up and your partner will always feel like in any conflict that will be your end game.
  • “I Hate You”  Just don’t say it.  You may hate the situation, and you may certainly hate your spouse’s behavior but don’t slip up and say that you hate them, because that will be something your spouse will remember.
  • “You are a … “  Bitch, Slut, Whore, Dumbass… insert really any name here.  Do not result to name calling.  Not only is it childish, but it is also unproductive.  And at the same time do not stand for yourself to be name called either.  If an argument gets so heated that name calling takes place then that is your cue to suggest that you both take a break for at least an hour to cool off.
  • "You Don't Love Me"  Yeah, this is a bad one too, and on two fronts (see how I successfully used 'too' and 'two', I know you are impressed).  First it is bad because you are assuming your partners emotions, which trust me from personal experience, they won't like.  Second it is bad because you are assuming an awful emotion to boot (and I hit all three; 'too', 'two', and 'to', I am getting myself a brownie).  And too top it all off this phrase just sounds angst-y.
Now along with certain things you should never say, I also have a collection of popular Couple Fighting Concepts that I disagree with.  Who am I to disagree you ask?  (Remember to insert clever retort here later)

TheHusBlog Definition Pause (again) : Bad Ideas in my opinion:
  • Don’t Go to Bed Angry - I know this seems like a good idea but when it is 1.34 in the morning and you both have to get up the next morning, your thoughts are not exactly going to be on each other.  In fact more resentment is going to grow because as the fight lingers on you both are going to be blaming each other for all the sleep you are not getting.  Or the opposite will happen one or both of you will give in so that you can get some sleep and the issue won't be resolved, which means guess what?  Next time you are out to dinner at let's say a PF Chang's you or your spouse are going to say something to bring it all back up and you are not going to enjoy your Salt and Pepper Prawns due to all the bitterness floating around the table.  Set a time and if the fight is not resolved by then, GO TO BED.  Trust me the fight will be there in the morning.
  • Use “I” Language -  I was a big proponent of using "I" language for many years until I realized I sound like a douche bag.  I understand the point behind it; using "I" language keeps you from putting words into the other persons mouth or intentions behind their actions.  However if you spend too much time on how you are going to say something, the meaning can be lost.  Don't be intentionally hurtful and express yourself, but wrapping dog crap in a nice package doesn't make it any less dog crappy, so say what you want to say just don't be mean.
  • Try to have physical contact during your disagreement - This one is a recipe for broken fingers and bruised wrists.  Some counselors say that "if you can, hold hands or have some kind of physical contact during a disagreement, you should."  My wife and I do not have kids yet so I have never held her hand during birth.  I have heard that a woman, during childbirth can have unnatural strength and crush her hubby's hand.  I am fairly certain that strength is second only to an Angry Wife.  So if you aren't too fond of your hand then by all means hold hands...  Look I kid, but let's be honest, when you are arguing physical contact is not the best idea.
Fights are a funny thing, they can come out of nowhere or build over a period of time, but when they happen keep a cool head and remember, this is not the argument that is going to end your marriage.  So stay neutral, really listen to what your PARTNER has to say, and avoid the Unspeakables.


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