Part 1: A User Manual for the Male Mind
I’ve thought about writing this article for a long, long time, but until now I was too frightened. It’s too easy to be misinterpreted, that’s a lesson I’ve learned from marriage. But there is nothing to gain from walking on eggshells, marriage has taught me that as well.
A message from my sister eventually convinced me to put ‘pen to paper.’ It was simple “I love that you and (your wife) are so happy together.” We are. After 23 years, 10 of them married, I’m still in love. We’ve had our share of good times and more than our share of bad times, but we’ve stuck together. I would say ‘we’re still in love,’ but I know better than to speak for my wife.
Obviously I don’t hate my wife, not permanently. The vast majority of the time I love her. But there are moments when she infuriates me, and I know I do the same to her. Love and hate can coexist, what matters is which is dominant. Hatred is a spark, and the more often it occurs the greater the danger that a fire will start. And that fire destroys relationships. If your husband acts like he hates you, remember that he probably still loves you most of the time, otherwise he might not be around anymore.
I know my relationship is not a good data set, it’s one in a million. The information in this article (and others which will follow) is gleaned not just from my experience, but from conversations with many married men. Yes, we talk about you, often in good humour, occasionally not. What do we say? Wouldn’t you like to know? I’m going to tell you, anyway.
Amongst my married friends and associates there are men who earn less than their wives, and men who earn several millions of pounds a year. The wives do the same things that infuriate their husbands. Money is not the issue. There are men who have the freedom to spend as much time as they please with their wives, and men who work all the time. Again, the wives have the same gripes and do the same things to trigger hatred. “Quality time” is not the issue. There are ugly men and handsome men, bland men and charismatic men, sensitive men and cold hearted bastards. All of their wives do similar things to make them angry, hateful men.
As well as anecdotes, there will be insights. Fortunately I paid enough attention to learn something during my psychology degree.
The articles which follow will each highlight a ‘universal’ complaint that the men I speak to have about their wives. I think it’s important to point these out because unless all wives secretly enjoy infuriating their husbands, I doubt they’re aware of the ire the said behaviours provoke. And why don’t men instantly react with open and honest communication? Why don’t they just say “When you do that it really upsets me because…..”? They’re walking on eggshells. We don’t want to upset you because most of the time, most of us love you. Or do we just want a quiet life? Maybe that will be revealed as well.
A lot of the infuriating behaviours so many wives seem to unknowingly partake in arise from a simple lack of understanding. They don’t know how the male brain works, but they think they do. The problem arises from a simple mismatch between predominantly male psychology and needs and predominantly female psychology and needs. It’s not your fault, you weren’t given an instruction manual for your husband’s mind. There is no shame in having no idea how the love of your life’s mind works, just like there is no shame in a caterpillar not understanding music theory. There is no reason for it to be so.
At best these articles will provide you with a user manual for the male brain. Imagine that, you’ll finally know why your husband is sometimes acts like he hates you! At worst, they will be a gossip column, full of entertaining stories to share with you friends. Actually, at worst, the might get me death threats, that’s happened before.
A loving, lasting, satisfying marriage is one of the best things in life and it takes work from both parties. I think sharing the male perspective with women, free from the fear of reprimand, arguments, or divorce proceedings, will make that work a lot easier. Whether these articles simply entertain (because you know it all already) or they actually educate, hopefully they will help you live happily ever after.
Watch this space.