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Discussion Starter #1
My friend was a bachelor til 43 years old and now recently married and having a hard time adjusting.

He is being nagged for putting the dish in the sink wrong, eating Ramen noodles, exercising in the morning.

Excuse the language a bit. . .I edited out to make it rated PG. This is kind of a guy to guy tone over a beer advice and the title of the email was My Marital Mistakes.

I am saying this not to prostrate myself but really offer a spirit of help.

One of the mistakes I made in marriage, and I realize this is a huge leap and it makes it sound like I am blaming myself, but I am really not, is women, when they enter marriage, almost feel like that's the last stage of growing up. Unlike men, most women, deep down, want to grow up. Maybe it's because in a way, they do age faster from a reproductive standpoint. Right around XXXXXX age, they're "cooked" so to speak. . .not much left reproductively so they want someone to care for them and be security as they age. How can they have that in a child, they often think.

They want to feel like they have someone coming along with them in the aging process.

But we kind of know it's natural for men to still act like the dorm boy. In a way, it's kind of what the show 2.5 Men was about. . .two men who hadn't really grown up in their own way. You and me.

So specifically. . .like I said. . .women want to sit down and have breakfast together in the morning over coffee. It means they've grown up and have a grown up with them. Or like our friends, XXX and XXXXXX, they have a martini every night together. It means they're grown up. Or have a real dinner together, not a cup of Ramen noodles like you still live in a dorm. It confirms they are grown up. They appear to need that confirmation externally.

Now. . .let me say this. . .I am with you on the exercise thing. 100 f'in percent. I would not let her f around with you on that one. No getting around it. . .marriage is ****ing fattening and for some odd reason, women silently want you to get sedentary as they age themselves. Is it a "misery loves company thing?" I am not sure honestly, and to be sure, I think XXXX and XXXXX both supported the exercise thing with me but both of them at times have not understood how important fitness is for a guy. Deep down, we are warriors still. Hunters. Women don't get that XXXX. And they should get that XXXX, you know?

So, lay the f'in law down on that one is what I say.

If she wants to ride a hard XXXX and have a sex life, she needs a fit man in her life.

Okay, enough said I guess. Your mileage may vary with my advice.


Thoughts?
 

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Personally, I would steer clear of offering any significant advice. You can allow him to vent and you can even commiserate, but there are too many things that can go south offering advice. You could point him to TAM, even to threads that are similar to his situation, let him take it from there. The advice on TAM is anonymous and he will get a range of opinions.

If you offer advice, he will be back with "ok, that didn't work" or "so I did what you suggested, and she did xyz, what next". I understand the urge to help, but anything more than 2 people involved in a marriage is too much.
 

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I agree...be the one to be there for him to vent to, for him to talk about his problems...but please do not offer advice on his marital problems. I know you two are buddies, but remember that every story has two sides.
 

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...Unlike men, most women, deep down, want to grow up. ...But we kind of know it's natural for men to still act like the dorm boy. ...Deep down, we are warriors still. Hunters. ...So, lay the f'in law down on that one is what I say.

...Thoughts?
I think, frankly, its a load of loaded BS. I'd avoid your attempt to tell him be a man. You are simply begging to make things worse when your advice fails, or backfires.

This sort of simulated psycho analysis (framed around the reality of a tv sitcom, and your determination that women just want to be grown ups) - all gussied up as wisdom - simply drives me nuts - so no. Sorry, Im not trying be an abrasive jerk. (Maybe failing there)

Let it be. Be a sounding board - but your friend should figure this out.


we need to excersize because we are warriors. :rolleyes:
 

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Honestly, I have no problem the "spirit" behind the e-mail

(as a woman, I wholeheartedly admit that we are kinda RIDICULOUS)


I just disagree with your conclusions...if anything I think the origins of nagging probably start with women just "playing house" like they would've in pre-school"

They (unconsciously) start nagging "the boy" to put up his dishes because that's just a part of "playing" the wife-role

Now obviously, as time goes on, it gets more complicated "the dishes" start to represent EVERY SINGLE thing the poor husband has ever done wrong...a pile of resentments

And then of course some of it's a "if he loves me he'll do this because he knows I want him too"

(of course, becoming a woman's little drummer boy is the perfect way to march yourself into a sexless marriage, because she (inexplicably) loses all sexual desire for you every time you take her orders)

Did I mention we were ridiculous?


Bottom line: You're actually giving us too much "credit". I really don't think anybody wants to grow up.

(Or ever really believes they're as old as they are)

And in truth, very few people ever really do
 

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I think your advice is probably too specific, but that's not to say that it's wrong in principle. It's really important not to lose your sense of self in a relationship (marriage or otherwise) and that's effectively what you're saying. There may be trivial stuff such as sitting down at a table to eat breakfast together or whatever but there are certain things, and I'd definitely include exercise in that list, that form a core part of who someone is. That's not to say there can't be some negotiation - maybe your friend could work out in the evening instead for example - but they should be non-negotiable in the more general case and you're right to tell him so. Assuming his partner loves him and isn't crazy (big assumptions I know!) then she should understand what's important vs. what's trivial and support him in that. It works both ways of course, so this isn't about being selfish.
 

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I really don't think anybody wants to grow up.

(Or ever really believes they're as old as they are)

And in truth, very few people ever really do
Couldn't agree more! Having come out of a horrible dead marriage recently, I'm currently trying to live that Bob Dylan lyric:

Ah, but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now
 

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I think as other said what he wants is just someone to share frustrations with. Just let him vent and so on but dont give any advice that you are not sure will be beneficial.
 

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I never nagged my husband about dishes, housekeeping, or exercise. I'm very femme and I definitely identify as a woman. I most certainly do NOT want to grow up and grow old in complacency. I do like meals together, but mainly because I think that, if you're sharing your life together, you should be companions and make life enjoyable for each other. That doesn't come from a desire to be "grown up", either.

I can tell you that a lot of your generalizations about women are really quite wrong. It sounds like you're trying to get on his good side, be a pal, and be chummy, bonding over your shared gender by way of its superiority over women and hoping to help him deal with the changes, but...it isn't helpful. That simply reinforces the idea that women are all old nags and married life is about servitude. This is simply not the way it has to be.

I like that you're being a buddy to your friend and helping him adjust. It might be better for you to get him some useful books, though.

Kudos on telling him to maintain his boundaries about the exercising. Kudos on highlighting that his woman wants different things from him in life. Kudos on caring about the guy. But...leave off the generalizations because you're doing more harm than good there. You're getting too invested in how he handles his life and that won't be good for you, either. You know?

Did he ask you for your advice or are you just trying to be supportive? I like that you're being a good friend, but, just be careful about how you present things. Part of adjusting to married life is learning how to talk to your spouse about your problems. maybe you can encourage them to talk to each other more about their difficulties?

You seem to care about your buddy and so I don't want to put a damper on your mood, but I think you might want to reconsider how your POV about women is going to come across.
 

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I am curious what you base these two statements on--that marriage is the last stage of growing up for women, and that women want to create sedentary husbands? I ask because I cannot think of any women I know, friends or family, who embody these ideas.
 

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I'm wondering why his wife can't just embrace his noodle fetish.
Did she not know he liked noodles before they got married? Surely he would not have kept that from her as it is pretty significant. :rolleyes:

The guy needs to learn to clean up after himself or she needs to learn that he will but not on her schedule.( ? ) Who cleaned for him before they got married?

Stick with the gym/working out. IMO that's a sh*t test unless he's working out at home sweating on the living room floor and he would do well to clarify her "exact" issue with the exercise routine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey, sorry to drop a topic and not reply.

Um, I am not sure what the objections were. . .can't say too many were succinct.

Um, let's see. . .we are very good friends and um, when guys talk it's to try to solve problems.

That is, if he says to me, "Do I look fat in these jeans?", it's not to just listen and say, "I hear you, buddy. I love bon-bons too."

If you are a guy, a good friend, you reply with, "Yes, you do. Are you eating too many carbs?" (you problem solve).

The idea of just "commiserating", well, Trenton, et al., that's inherently feminine.

Of course I would offer my opinion without asking. Why would he care to share his marital woes with me if he wasn't soliciting? It's not like I asked nor would I ask something feminine like:

"How's everything with you and XXX? You getting along?"

What is this silliness happening at the Man Forum here? Next thing you know it will be bubble baths and a glass of wine (white nonetheless!).

:)

(I'm fine Trenton. . .how's things with you?)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
And all of you are crazy if you don't think "things" change when you get married.

I don't need a counselor to confirm or deny THAT.

(sorry, that wasn't you. . .I am getting a subliminal message to talk to an online counselor :) )

The Ramen Noodle Fetish, while it may be innocuous to all of us, is symbolic of SOMETHING.

Bad nutrition of bachelor years, not sharing meals, activities and habits that CHANGE when you get married. Something. Either that or she's just a terrible nag or thinks nagging is part of marriage or something and I am giving her the benefit of the doubt here.

I can tell what it's not about:

It's not about Ramen Noodles.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rosemary's Granddaughter:

To answer your question - I am full of generalizations, which generally speaking about my generalizations, are generally pretty good. Generally, Trenton agrees with me deep down, but just can't bring herself publicly to admit it. ;)

For instance - generally speaking - Scannerguard on men, women and friendships.

Every women I have ever known - mom, grandmother, office manager, sister, women I have dated - friendships eventually expire by the time they reach their senior years. I mean, good, good friendships. . .gone.

Every man I have ever known - father, grandfather, myself, have 1 or 2 buddies that "travel through life together" with them. Not many more than that (unless you are a politician).

I don't know why this is but I think this is true and a topic as worthy as any other for psychological research.

In fact, I find it generally fascinating as women have the general reps for actually being better "relationship developers and maintainers" but at the end, I see high school buddies, war buddies, etc. there for each other and conversely a couple of ol' biddies mad at each other because they forgot to invite them or didn't invite them when they all went out the casino, A League of Their Own, excepted.

So. . .this friend. . .to paint a picture - kinda like a war buddy. It would take more than anything or a misspeak to end our friendship.

We all know marriage is like war (of the roses). I am only telling him what he needs to do to survive and get out alive. :D
 
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