TL/DR: Some vagina-worshiping, newly divorced man gives us his list of 20 pieces of marriage advice he wishes he'd received.
Tips? I should say super-Herculean tasks. Not only is almost everything on this list next to impossible, it's incredibly one-sided, as if men are single-handedly responsible for a relationship that involves another person. As an Objectivist, I'm sympathetic to a lot of gendered roles in male-female romantic relationships, but give me a fucking break. A husband's entire existence does not, should not, and in fact cannot revolve around his wife's ovaries. If these tips are gender-specific, as he implies, what the hell does the woman have to do to make the relationship equal? She certainly wouldn't have a gag reflex, I can tell you that.
#1 might be my favorite, "Never stop courting." Never, ever, EVER, guys. Seriously, if you slip up for even ONE second and forget to completely drown her in affection, and take her out to dinner, and buy her stupid shit, and do all the million other fucking exhausting things you have to do when first dating someone, well then you fucking deserve to have your ass divorced, you lazy good-for-nothing jerk! How dare you think being in a long-term relationship with someone meant chilling the fuck out and just living life together.
Except according to numbers 4 and 5, that's exactly what your wife IS entitled to. Does she have bad qualities? Too bad, you don't get to ask her to change them. Does she acquire new ones? Too bad, you have to keep loving her anyway. In fact, you aren't even allowed to notice these things (#4), because we all know lying to yourself is the basis of all healthy relationships.
Also you can never get angry with her. NEVER. Not allowed (#7). It's not her fault you have "triggers." What the hell did this woman put him through that he now talks about his own emotions in the terminology usually reserved for unstable psychopaths? Um, can I at least get angry with her? Because she sounds like a bitch.
I'm still more angry at the author, though, because he's a goddamn Uncle Tom. Reading this tripe, I can't help wonder if this guy is trying to pull a Sleepless in Seattle. You know, advertising to all the ladies out there just how great of a partner he is. And it's a double-edge sword- he'll have a lot more women to choose from if they all accept his standards as the minimum requirements for husbandship. Seriously, dudes: opt out.
Speaking of which, some of my male acquaintances are making a big deal about not being able to see the misandry dripping from every word of this article. What the fuck, guys? It's like you don't even want the rights I'm fighting for you to have. Anyway, let me try to address this is a more organized (dare I say professional) way for those of you who are too swept up in the romance of it all to see clearly.
1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
Despite my earlier picking on #1, I can see how it wouldn't look to be that bad of a start to someone coming from a different perspective. The idea of a couple still "dating" after fifty years of marriage is cute, I guess. But the admonishments in all caps are insulting, especially considering that this is supposed to be a list of "advice I wish I would have had" prior to getting married. I'm sorry, no one ever told you not to take your wife for granted? Did you grow up on an Amish plantation or in the real world with the rest of us, the world in which there are more divorcees and single moms than married women? I remember Kermit the Frog getting this advice on The Muppet Show. I'm pretty sure you got this piece of advice at least once week since the time you could crawl. Maybe you should have used bigger text as well as all-caps so the dumb men reading this could maybe get the message this time.
2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
And does she owe you the same thing? I mean, you do "own her heart" after all, according to #1. Yet isn't ownership typically something that one can take for granted? I think you mean something more like the at-will employee of her heart, not so much the owner. Also no one ever told you that getting married means not falling for other chicks? Huh, ok.
3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
Just another friendly ALL CAPS reminder that you're at best renting her heart on a month-to-month lease. Contract may be unilaterally terminated without warning at any time.
4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.
How do you even make it to the point of proposing if you only focus on what bugs you? And what the hell is this goal of his? If you can't see anything but love, your brain is broken. Stay grounded. Love what's really there. Don't become blinded by the bad or the good. Sheesh.
5. It’s not your job to change or fix her… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
This starts out promising, because it's true, you shouldn't see it as your job to fix your partner. This is exactly what happens with people who date addicts. It's important to understand that the only person who can fix your partner is your partner. Except, oh wait, that's not what he's getting at at all. I don't even know what to say about this except that it's really, really dangerous. The #1 chart-topping single for men abused by women is "She didn't used to be this way." Enough misguided men stick by their abusive wives in honor of "the woman she used to be" without society now pressuring them to love the horrible metamorphosed version, too.
6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.
What the fuck? There's just no possible way for your wife to make you sad? "Hey, honey, you didn't guard my heart fiercely enough or whatever so I fucked your dad. Are you gonna cry about it? God, will you ever take accountability for your own emotions?" Ugh, go die in a fire. Marriage is a fucking partnership with mutual accountability for finding happiness together. Both parties have to pull their goddamn weight.
7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.
WHAT?! I didn't think I could get more FRUSTRATED and ANGRY with this post. I've never seen so many unwarranted assumptions about another person's psychology in my life. So the only reason husbands get mad at their wives is because they have unresolved issues from their childhood? And instead of asking their wives to stop being dumb cunts with the credit card, they're supposed to say "Thank you, ma'am, may I have another?" because the debt you're drowning in is actually allowing you to heel your wounds in the most painful way possible?!
I can't. I just can't. If the wrongness of this article doesn't smack you in the face all on it's own, there's nothing I can possibly do to salvage your reading comprehension.
P.S. Under item 10: "Make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen." NO. No, no, no. Even an actual queen shouldn't feel like a queen every day. You know what makes a person feel like a queen? Having subjects. A HUSBAND IS NOT A SUBJECT. Stop it.