During a recent visit to the library, my eye was caught (and nearly ripped out) by the following title: Divorce for Dummies. Is there nothing sacred that these clowns won’t write about?
It turned out to be a fascinating read. Of course I didn’t borrow it, because the last thing Long Suffering Wife needs to find in my library bag is a book with that particular title. It might get her hopes up. So I spent an enlightened hour flipping through the pages, before putting it back on the shelf. Noting that there are several other Dummies books of a similar vein, I thought I’d jump onto this overcrowded bandwagon with a book of my own, entitled “Alienating Your Wife for Morons”. It’s chock full of handy little hints like the following:
Live in the Past: Regale your partner with tales of how happy you were before you met. Compare her to old girlfriends.
Live in each others’ pockets: That’s right, don’t allow your partner any time alone. Bang on the toilet door while they are in there and shout questions at them. If the kids have a problem, send them to your partner while they are showering, and make sure they leave the door open allowing all the hot air to escape.
Avoid Conflict: Steer clear of slanging matches by striding from the house to the shed at the first sign of trouble. Stay there until all the lights go out inside.
Win Every Argument: If you can’t avoid a spat because your partner has hidden the shed keys, then fella’s heed the following advice: Never, ever back down. To do so is a sign of weakness, and before you know it, you’ll be wearing a pretty little apron and scrubbing the floors with the tattered remains of your masculinity. In the rare event that you’re proved wrong beyond doubt, try and spin it round to make it your partners’ fault. You win by default when they give up in disgust.
Less Talk, More TV: People who aren’t talking too each other, can’t argue. Trying to work out your problems by talking about them is like tossing sticks of dynamite onto a campfire. Sure, it might be fun to see what happens, but it’s going to end in tears; trust me on this.
Whinge: Find time in your busy TV watching schedule to complain bitterly about all the things your partner does and doesn’t do. Point out that Nicole Kidman can make movies, do promotional tours, keep several houses round the world spotlessly maintained, raise a small tribe of kids, and help Keith stay off the sauce, yet still manages to look glamorous when the photographer from No Idea pops in unexpectedly.
Avoid ‘The Talk’ at all costs: You’re driving along the highway enjoying the scenery, thinking about nothing in particular when your partner startles you out of your reverie with the following comment, “I’ve been thinking about our relationship…” Men, at this point you must open the car door and leap out. Don’t try slowing down; you’ll only be wasting valuable escape time.
Hijack Public Forums: Weddings, parties, funerals, practically anywhere large numbers of people have gathered to socialise, are prime places to belittle your partner as they will be far too embarrassed to argue back. Make the most of it. Ignore their hushed protests, and loudly make cutting remarks about their shortcomings. See how many people you can get to laugh along with you. For those of you desperate to get out of your marriages, this tip might just be the edge you’re looking for. Use it wisely.
So there you have it, I hope this has been a help to some of you; write and let me know how you got along. Just as a side note, while I was surfing the net gathering the vital material needed for this article, Long Suffering Wife poked her head over my shoulder and asked, “What are you doing?” I told her that I was working on some marriage guidance stuff for my column. Twenty minutes later, when she had finally stopped laughing, she pointed out that perhaps I’d be better off spending my time playing with the children, or helping with the dishes, rather than wasting my time surfing through divorce forums.
Honestly, the things she comes out with at times…