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Volume 11, Issue 4: Husbandry

How to Exsasperate a Wife

Douglas Wilson

Not that I am an expert or anything.

A woman comes into marriage with a certain set of naive assumptions about the density of marble in her sweet babyís head. Some husbands may want their wives to develop a more realistic understanding, and that ipso pronto. If this is in fact the case, then certain trusty devices have been employed by more industrious husbands over the years, and they have worked in a very effective manner to this end.
The first and most important thing to do is take a very strong stand on male leadership. By strong stand, I mean as measured in decibels, and not by performance. The disparity between the two may draw unfavorable attention and reviews, marring the surface of domestic tranquility from time to time. When this happens, a man should demand in a loud blustering voice why it is necessary to speak in that tone of voice. It seemed disrespectful.
Another device, favored by men who do not want to come off as a more traditional male, is that of pseudosensitivity. Great concern must be expressed over the possible neglect of her vocational gifts and career opportunities. If this is played right, a woman can be maneuvered into working a full-time job, alongside the manís job, and all without her being relieved of any of her full-time responsibilities in the home. The enterprising husband can find himself with one job and two incomes, and he then has the opportunity to figure out ways to spend the money while she is spending her evenings doing the laundry.
And a woman should not be allowed to spend very much money. In a strange kind of way, she might even learn to derive great satisfaction in how long she can make her fifty bucks last. In the meantime, her husband can spend money on a good bass boat, beer, chop saw, hunting rifle, beer, videos, that extra cable service carrying ESPN, and beer. When asked about this, he might intone that it would not be good to be penny wise and pound foolish. If she still asks for money to buy some clothes or shoes for herself, he should give her the money, but act slightly disappointed in her desire to spend it on herself. He should not say anything, and if questioned about his silence, he should say, ďNo, thatís all right. Hm.Ē
A man should take special care to give his wife permission to home school. She has been asking for a couple years, and if he gives permission this will keep her quiet for a couple more. Then, when she asks for some direction, discipline, or leadership in curriculum decisions, he can gently remind her that she was the one who requested that they do this.
Fussiness over meals is also important. It is not important how the fussiness is exhibited, but it is essential that it be exhibited. One man may want to demand his food at six oí clock, straight up, another may want his food piping hot, and yet another may want to insist on an entire absence of whatever vegetable it is that annoys him.
He should make sure he talks about how various women at work, or at church, are good looking. Just as a general observation, nothing important. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to note that more and more women are keeping themselves up these days. On a related note, he should be concerned about his wifeís weight, and he should vocalize his concern from time to time, in a helpful tone of voice. Unless he tells her that she has inadvertantly put on a few pounds, she would probably never know.
He must require at all times that she is never allowed to know more than he does in any area. If by happenstance she does, then there should be an unspoken assumption in the household that she should keep quiet about it. To do otherwise would be disrepectful.
He must ensure that the television is on from the time he gets home until about ten-thirty or eleven. It will provide a comforting backdrop to the conversation and life of the family. If the television is on all the time, it provides a certain wallpaper for the mind, and fills in those awkward silences. The wife should be given every opportunity of learning what shows and sporting events are important to him.
And of course, at the end of the day, when the lights are turned down low, he should head off to bed like a simple-minded juggins, acting the part of a grinning prospector who is expecting to find a sexual El Dorado any minute now. And letís all wish him some luck.

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