A few years ago, I wrote a post entitled, “The Marriage Cheat Sheet (for guys)” on my old blog, and it was basically a collection of either expectations or communication techniques to help men get along (or around) their wives.  It was written in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, and it was well-received by those who practiced the advice (though some people reported using it on pushy female co-workers, moms, and sisters with equal success).

A request was made for a sisters version of the cheat sheet, and apparently I had written one up and never gotten around to posting it.  I’m not sure why, but I went back and re-read it today, and I couldn’t help laughing.  It was again, tongue-in-cheek, so to speak, and I’m not sure if I were to re-write it I would write it like that.

Nonetheless, for your viewing pleasure (or horror), here it is, 2 years after requested.  Enjoy!

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There’s been a request from sisters for a cheat sheet of their own to deal with husbands.  There’s even been some brothers requesting a cheat sheet for sisters ;) You have to realize that the last cheat sheet I wrote was from a guy’s perspective, with conclusions which I’ve learned from the experience of others as well as myself.

Each guy is a bit different, but there are characteristics that many of us share, so chances are, much of what you read below will pertain to a guy you know, religious or not.

Also, keep in mind that as a guy writing this for the benefit of sisters, some of this may come off as chauvinistic – it’s not meant to be.  It’s meant to give you insight into the mind of men so that you can better cope with the (sometimes unpleasant) realities you’ll have to work with.  Life is a test, isn’t it?  So anyway, here goes:

KISS (Keep it Simple, Sisters)

Men, for the most part, are pretty simple.  They tend to say what they mean, and mean what they say, without too many hidden agendas (there’s one specific exception I know of, and that’ll be mentioned below).  So if you don’t recall getting into a fight with him, and you ask him what’s wrong, and he says nothing, and then proceeds to surf the net and not speak with you, chances are, nothing is wrong.

You, on the other hand, have all this internal commentary going on, wondering if there’s some hidden underlying message.  That’s the way it is with girls – when you clam up and say nothing is wrong, to you, you want the person to keep asking you what’s wrong and show that they care, and then you want to vent your feelings.

When guys say nothing is wrong, they mean it.  He will, however, get angry if you keep asking him what’s wrong.

Conclude Before You Explain

Whenever you talk with your friends, you guys love to tell the whole story, from start to finish, and then get to the main point.  It’s a girl thing – you guys are communicators, and the one receiving the message enjoys the rapport as much as the one delivering.

Not so with guys.  Our attention span is limited.  And if we’re forced to maintain it for too long, we get irritated.  So before going into story mode, think of the main point of what you’re trying to say, say that first, and then go into the story.  If you think it won’t make sense starting with the end, don’t worry.  He’ll ask questions and then you can go forward.  And if he doesn’t, well, he probably doesn’t want to talk right now.

Make A Man Happy

As I said above, men are really simple.  They need:

1.  Food on Time
2.  Physical Intimacy on a Regular Basis
3.  Don’t Diss Mom – Do your best to make my mom happy with you
4.  A Clean Home

I know that sounds very old-fashioned, but it’s true.  Take care of those, and most other issues cease being issues.  Let’s talk about Issue #2 a little more though.

The Polygyny Fantasy

Here’s the thing that most sisters will hate to know, but you should know.  Whether the guy is religious or non-religious, politically correct or politically incorrect, guys want to have multiple wives (or hoories).  This brings me to the issue to that exception to the KISS rule – has your husband been joking around with you about polygyny?  Chances are, he’s trying to get you to be more accommodating to the idea.  It’s a longshot, he knows, but he’s trying.

Don’t be angry at him.  It’s how we were created.  You were created as a bent rib.  We were designed to desire more than one.  You have to take it up with the Creator.

But, you contend, I want him all to myself.  In most cases, you’ll always have him to yourself, but mentally, his mind and heart might still wander in that direction.  It’s NOT infidelity.  It’s our natural instinct.  You, however, can trick that natural instinct if you’re willing to apply yourself to it, and you keep a few principles in mind.

Firstly, we all get tired of what we’re used to, and always want the next thing.  Secondly, whereas your attraction to your partner is partly physical, it’s largely emotional, and the opposite is true of men.

So step 1, on a monthly basis, you’ll want to “re-invent” yourself – new hairstyle, new hair color, new anything (get your husband’s feedback for specific likes / dislikes) that is “physical” and put it together in each month.  If he gets a “new” wife every month who fulfills the previous point, he’ll likely not even think of anyone else.

And step 2?  Repeat step 1.

The Nag Factor

Men hate nagging.  With a passion.  Especially when we’re being nagged to do something during a time in which our minds are focused on something else.  For example, taking out the trash.  Look at what he’s doing – is it something useless and wasteful to you?  Chances are, it’s relaxing for him.  So leave him be.  When he’s walking out the door, hand it to him at a time when it’s convenient.

Another technique – give him a chore, and ask him when the best time is for him to do it – let him make the decision and commitment, and then you can hold him to it.

Fair Arguments

Women tend to speak in 100% terms – “You never spend time with me” or “You always hang out with your friends” or “Why do you always joke about getting a second wife?” when in reality, no one is ever “always” or “never” does anything.  But when you make a statement like that, the guy is going to be like, wait a second, I just did that for you yesterday, or, I just did that last week.  And then you get more frustrated because what you mean to say was, “You’re not taking care of this issue right now, and it’s upsetting me.”

So, returning back to KISS, if you want to spend more time with him, don’t tell him what he’s doing to you, acknowledge what he’s done, and then ask – “I know we already spent time together yesterday and I appreciate that, but I want to spend more time with you today” or “It was a really big help for me that you took out the trash for me last week, could you do it more regularly?  I’d really appreciate it.”  Acknowledge what he’s done, then suggest improvement in a positive manner.

Take the Slob Out of Him

I know that many of you marry your guy with the intent of reshaping your guy to look and dress in a manner that makes you stand out, having such a great guy as your husband.  And, I know that we hate to dress up, and would prefer to bum around in a t-shirt and jeans.

Your move – aim for his ego like so – “I really like the way this outfit looks on you.  It really cuts a better figure of you.  You should wear it more often.”

Speaking of which…

Men Have Egos – Don’t Bruise Them

Telling your guy what to do and how to do it is irritating to him.  Use the technique above to influence him in the direction of the goal you’re trying to accomplish.

And whatever you do, NEVER EVER YELL AT HIM IN PUBLIC!

Admit When You’re Wrong

If you know you’re wrong, don’t drag it out by pouting and expecting him to apologize anyway.  Apologize if you’re wrong, and move on.  He’ll appreciate it and will move on right away as well, unless you bring it up again.  Most guys don’t like to talk about issues, so the faster it’s behind you, the happier he’ll be.

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That’s the end of it (please don’t hurt me).

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