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PERFECT HUSBAND [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2011-7-12 22:26:13 |Display all floors
I am the best husband in the world.

If my wife were to read this, she'd fall to the floor, convulsed in laughter, and then gasp something about my "dazzling lack of self-knowledge." But no matter. I wear her ignorance of my excellence as a badge of honor. The best performers inhabit their roles—you never catch them acting.

I wasn't always a paragon. In my early years, I was a journeyman at best. In '88, I treated a precious marital secret as though it were the score of a Bulls game. And back in '96, there was a New Year's Eve kiss with our neighbor that probably should have been more perfunctory, less probing. But over the past decade, inch by inch, I've mastered the gig, and for the past few years, I've been locked in. I can see the seams on every chance to love, honor, and cherish.

I don't know how I got so good at this. As a kid, I had a front-row seat on my father's version of husband, which, at least according to my mother, was a star turn. And as a grown man, I've watched my father-in-law dazzle his sidekick of 53 years. But I have no formal credentials, and the only marriage counseling I ever got, from the rabbi the day before my wedding, amounted to, "A Catholic and a Jew? Don't bother. Cancel the wedding and save on the divorce." My only qualification? I've been a husband for a long time—24 years according to the state of Pennsylvania, over 30 by common-law count—and, fortunately for you, I've made many, many mistakes from which you are about to learn.

Will you ever be as great a husband as I am? Not likely. By now, I'm the gold standard. But you can do better, my brother. (And that's true for you unmarried guys, too: If you're with her, you can learn to be with her better.) I've condensed my wisdom into some guiding thoughts and tricks of the togetherness trade. Think of them as batting tips from Barry Bonds. Stash them in a part of your brain that guides your behavior, and two good things will happen: She'll get the partner she deserves, and you'll get the satisfaction and, oh yeah, the sex of which you dream.
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Post time 2011-7-12 23:38:25 |Display all floors

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Originally posted by aziz at 2011-7-12 22:26
I am the best husband in the world.

If my wife were to read this, she'd fall to the floor, convulsed in laughter, and then gasp something about my "dazzling lack of self ...
in Zhong Guo

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Post time 2011-7-12 23:50:26 |Display all floors

Work the Reunion

You come through the door tired, maybe distracted about something at work. You riffle through the mail, ask her a routine how-was-your-day question, and give her a pro forma kiss. But let's face it, you don't really focus on her, do you? She gets only a sliver of your attention. Not good enough.

Don't panic. I'm not about to suggest in-the-moment mindfulness. Men can't be "in" every moment. The secret is to "husband" your limited supply of attention, save it for deployment at pivotal times. Think like John McEnroe, who would occasionally tank a forsaken fourth set, saving his strength for the pivotal fifth. Your key moments are the reunions. Take a few seconds and resolve to be fully tuned-in during each come-together moment. You can do it. Trust me, if I can, you can.

Here's the plain truth: For all the habituation of marriage, all the erosions that come with familiarity, a link between a man and a woman is also instantly renewable in a momentary locked-on gaze. For just a beat, maybe two, claim her with your eyeballs. Look at her in a way that says, "I'm glad to be home, back in our powerful secret." This kind of subtle but daily maintenance keeps the engine thrumming.
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Post time 2011-7-12 23:55:25 |Display all floors

Laugh at Her

Among the most affirming things one person can do for another is to laugh at the other's attempts at humor. Lots of husbands, over time, forget this salute. What's that you say? Your wife isn't funny? So what? Neither is your dolt of a boss, but you laugh at his lame attempts. Why? Because you're trying to prove you respect him. Bingo!

One of the biggest dangers mature marriages face is that Homer and Marge stop trying to demonstrate their respect for each other. Laughter is tonic for a woman's woes. Keep it on display
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Post time 2011-7-13 00:12:50 |Display all floors

Make the Lion's Roar

Describing his important role during World War II, Winston Churchill once remarked that though he was no lion, it had fallen to him to make the lion's roar. Every now and then, husbands have to get fierce, defiant on behalf of their team.

It won't happen often, but when you are in a confrontational situation, where reason and soft words have failed—a dispute with a teacher, a vendor, a bill collector, your neighbor, your mother—be prepared to bark in unambiguous defense of your family. Don't shrink from this obligation. Your wife's regard for you will shrink if you do
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Post time 2011-7-13 00:51:12 |Display all floors

Be a Little Lamblike, Too

Yes, this contradicts the carnivorous idea above, but a husband is versatile: He can hammer the tee ball and feather the wedge. Softness and kindness and tenderness and all those traits that ain't much use in the marketplace are pure gold when it comes to being a husband.

A good husband relies on his wife, values her counsel, trusts her to love him even though he's not in command. We're most human when we're wounded or lost. Fred Rogers once said that the best gift you can give somebody is to gracefully receive his or her help. That enriches everybody, giver and getter alike. Now and then, wrap your arms around your wife and whisper that you're a mite confused. Let her help you find your way.
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Post time 2011-7-13 00:52:27 |Display all floors

Keep Reality in Mind

She needs closeness to feel sexual; you need sex to feel close. This is the fundamental impenetrable puzzle of love. I have no idea what to do about this. But great husbands have this reality in mind at all times.
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