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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.