How to Win at Marriage

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Not every man earns tiger-skin boxing gloves. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Not every man earns tiger-skin boxing gloves. (Photo: Thinkstock)

biosize Steve Wetherell
Steve Wetherell, sometimes known as Steve Stevenson for tax purposes,...
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by Steve Stevenson

Marriage. The only institution that makes you more crazy, am I right, fellas? Ha! Of course I’m not– being right is the first thing you give up when you get married. The second thing you give up is your appreciation for jokes coined by tuxedo-wearing yucks from bygone eras, so lets knock that nonsense on the head and move on.

We’re used to seeing marriage in Hollywood movies as the end game, the achievement that unlocks the Happy Ending medal. The reality is that after you get married you find out that you’ve unlocked a whole new game. A better, more challenging game, where the conditions of victory are not always apparent, and often the rules are only grasped after you have already lost. In short, your game just got real, and the stakes are your future.

So then, how to win at marriage? Deceit and cunning, or course! Did you think we were going to say honesty and trust? Hah! Go comb your moustache, Dr. Phil. The rest of you, get ready to trick your wife into thinking you’re the best husband ever!

Exploit Her Fears

There’s nothing sexier than a bit of heroism, but unfortunately being a hero is not something you can just walk into. That’s why in order to maintain the illusion that you are a strong, dependable husband and not, for example, an idiot, you must carefully craft situations that paint you in a heroic light. You do this, of course, by deliberately exploiting your wife’s fears.

"Ha! Good one, Dave, we really fooled her... Dave?"

“Ha! Good one, Dave, we really fooled her… Dave?”

It helps if your wife has a fear of spiders, then you can just waltz in with a glass and a piece of paper and be the Bruce Campbell of the living room for the rest of the evening. But what if your wife isn’t afraid of spiders? Or even mice? Or birds? What if she’s only afraid of bears? Having a friend in a bear costume interrupt a walk in the country may seem a little extreme, but after you’ve seen off the blighter with your umbrella, your wife will be left in no doubt about your shining heroism. (Man Cave Daily would like to strongly recommend against fighting an actual real bear. Not unless you have a really big umbrella.)

Maintain Your Romantic Image

After a few weeks of cohabiting you will quickly become aware that there is an elephant in the room, and that elephant is made of farts. When is it appropriate to fart in front of your loved one? Always? Only when it’s funny (always)? The correct answer is never. You must never let her know that you fart. Your butt’s impression of a dying whale may be comedy gold, but the smell of your recycled breakfast burrito will totally and irreparably erode your wife’s romantic image of you.

"Oh, Stinky. What kind of cat even eats a kebab and three pints of Guinness, you bad, bad cat?"

“Oh, Stinky. What kind of cat even eats a kebab and three pints of Guinness, you bad, bad cat?”

The solution isn’t as simple as you’d think. You can’t just stop farting, because scientists agree that you will most likely explode. You can’t just leave the room, because if you fart anywhere near as often as we do, this means that you will probably never see your wife again. As a handy solution we recommend buying a cat. Call the cat “Stinky” and when the inevitable happens, just look at the cat, shrug, and say “I guess that’s why we call him Stinky! You know, ’cause he farts all the time. What? It was the cat.

Now you and your wife can let one rip with total impunity while your cat slowly chokes on ass fumes. Nobody said marriage would be without sacrifice.

Communicate

"Come on baby, don't make me repeat, how sorry I am about the toilet seat, oh yeeeah!"

“Come on baby, don’t make me repeat, how sorry I am about the toilet seat, oh yeeeah!”

No road is without its turns and bumps, its ups and downs, its fair share of deceased badgers. A marriage without arguments is like a pizza without cholesterol, which is to say desirable but extremely unlikely. The important thing is that you express your views with respect, honesty and maturity. Or, failing that, entirely through song.

Think about it–generations of Disney movies have taught us that even the most tedious exposition can be fun when rendered with a jaunty tune, so why not liven up your shrill, domestic saga about toilet seat positions with a bit of singing? At the very least you’ll keep your neighbors entertained, and at most you’ll charm your lady love with your soothing baritone (pro tip: make sure you’re not awful at singing as this will just annoy her further.)

Listening is also a big part of communication, as you’ve probably realised. So if you ever notice that your wife’s words are slowly warbling into the trumpet-speak of Charlie Brown’s teacher, give yourself a quick slap. Talk may be cheap, but attention is easily paid, and a sure way to impress your wife is by being able to repeat back what she told you literally five seconds ago.

Split the chores

"Wouldn't it be awesome if we switched clothes? Just as a joke, of course?"

“Wouldn’t it be awesome if we switched clothes? Just as a joke, of course?”

You’re a modern guy, and you don’t expect a woman to be shackled to the kitchen sink unless she’s got some kind of kinky plumbing fetish. So the chores get split fifty-fifty. No arguments. But why not liven up the domestic maintenance routine with a sexy French maid costume? She’ll be super impressed that you managed to find a French maid costume to fit your broad, hairy shoulders, and possibly just disturbed enough to to ask you to never vacuum again. Either way; result!

Share Your Hobbies

Like a lot of people, you probably have hobbies that you like to keep to yourself. Whether you’re out on the golf course, tooling away in the garage, or taking to the streets as a masked avenger of dwindling innocence in a city turned to rot, it’s nice to have some alone time. However, occasionally bringing your wife into your personal world will not only strengthen your relationship, but can also be a richly rewarding experience for you. Particularly when you’ve been cornered by Dr. Improbable and his bowler-hatted henchmen down at the abandoned dock and you need somebody to lay down some suppressing fire while you whip out your Flail of Justice. Or, you know, if you like doing puzzles and you need someone to help you find the corner pieces. Either one is fine.

This is why you're not allowed at Youth League Soccer Games anymore, Matt.

This is exactly why you’re not allowed at Youth League Soccer Games, Matt.

Conclusion

Look, man, you’ve settled down with this woman for a reason, and, even if you were damn fool enough to follow the advice in this article, the very fact that you care so much about how she sees you is very encouraging. Just keep hold of that basic respect, selflessness and appreciation and you should do just fine. But remember this- you will see each other at your lowest, you will see each other at your worst, and when the dust settles and she’s still holding your hand, then, my friend, you have won at marriage. You both have.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go and pick a fight with some henchmen. Honey, get the Justice Rifle!


One way or another, this wedding is going to rock

If she lets you flash devil horns on the altar, she’s a keeper.

Steve Stevenson celebrated his first anniversary this year, and is frankly as surprised as you are. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.

"Vote Mike Haggar! He'll suplex the crap out of crime!"

“Vote Mike Haggar! He’ll suplex the crap out of crime!”

For more inadvisably applied marital advice from Steve, check out how to Get Married Like a Man! And nine months later, you’ll get good use out of The Video Game Guide To Fatherhood.

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