Wives will appreciate this one!
Okay, you’re sitting in the family room watching your favorite team playing ball while slurping down a brewski. You’re kicked back relaxing, slouched down on the sofa with your feet rested on the coffee table. The stresses of your job are a thousand miles away, the kids are all busy with whatever keeps them occupied and you’re happy to be having a little “me time”. About the time you begin thinking life just doesn’t get any better than this, your beautiful partner walks into the room. Your wife (secretly known to you as “the warden”) is staring holes in you. You do your best to pretend you don’t notice the daggers being thrown at you from her eyes… then she crosses her arms and you realize you’d better acknowledge her before your peaceful existence and life as you know it cease to exist. You look at her, flash your most heartwarming boyish smile and ask, “What’s up, honey?” She replies, “Your feet. On the coffee table. Get ‘em off!”
Your peaceful, care-free day is shattered now. How should you react? What should you say? What should you do?
Well, I suppose that depends on how badly you want to get back to your game and beer, and how much you’re able to enjoy them when you do. You could tell her to shut up and mind her own business, that you’re relaxing. Spousal homicides have been committed for less provoking actions than this, so that’s probably not such a good idea.
You could tell her that your paychecks paid for that coffee table and you’re the one who makes the mortgage payments every month. Hmm. She’d probably accept that answer… as she reaches for the phone book to look up a divorce lawyer. Yeah. Right. That’s probably not such a good idea either.
You could do the most mature thing you can think of, which would be to stick your fingers in your ears, and with an annoyingly loud volume begin saying, “La-la-la-la-la-la…” until she storms out of the room. The kids overhear this and one of them reaches for the phone to call 911, because everybody knows what’s coming next. (If this response came to your mind, you really need to put on your big-boy pants!)
The proper (and safest) response would be to remove your feet from the coffee table… quickly… while sheepishly saying two magical words: “Yes, dear.” Ah, yes, those two little words have been the secret behind many a happy and life-long marriage (and a better physical defense than any gun) since Eve handed Adam an apple.
But what’s the point to all this? After all, every married man in the world already knows this. (Those who don’t know this will be fondly remembered by their wives… from prison, doing life without parole.) So why in the world would I bother with this little exercise in futile and irrelevant marriage counseling? Well, because we need to have a little talk about marriage, family, men being men and women being women.
No Political Correctness
As you know from past installments, I’m not exactly what you’d call politically correct. Perhaps that’s an understatement, but I guess at this point you realize I’m probably going to make a lot of people angry. Sorry. I’m just following the Boss’ example and telling it like it is.
The first and most important thing I want to tell you is this: In every Catholic home, the wife is the heart and soul of it, and the husband must place her on the honored pedestal she deserves. After God, his highest priority in life must be his wife. If she isn’t his highest priority, it’s time for some real self-examination. When she became Mrs. Whoever, your wife heard you vow before Almighty God: “I, ___, take you, ___, for my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.” As she listened to you take those vows, she never once thought worse, poorer or sickness. She only thought better, richer and healthy. You were bigger than life to her on your wedding day, and she was expecting you to perfectly fill those vows; vows that she has every right to expect to be fulfilled. But have you?
Prior to World War II, the divorce rate was about 1.5%. After World War II it jumped to 5%. Once no-fault divorce was legalized in the 1960s, we saw divorce rates soar to 50%—a rate that has never gone down, and that is shared in equal numbers by Catholics as well as non-Catholics. Who’s at fault for this? Well, there’s plenty of blame to be shared all around by both men and women. The pre-war statistics were from adultery and abandonment (mostly men). Believe it or not, the post-war statistics to the ‘60s statistics show that our government was mostly to blame—at least in the beginning. The 50% rate began as a man thing, but today it’s just as much the fault of women as men. All of this because we have placed God and His holy will and commands on the shelf to collect dust!
Over the course of this series, we’re going to examine the causes of the increase in divorce rates. We’re also going to look at how we Catholics can reverse this devastating reality in our marriages, and examine the way God intended marriage to be lived. As already stated, men can assume the greatest part of the blame for the sad state of Catholic marriage and family today, but don’t worry because you women won’t be getting off lightly either.
Since I’ve run out of room for this first installment in The Husbands’ Survival Guide, I’ll end it here by saying that none of you will like much of what I have to share in this series, but I’ll tell you that everything I share with you is provable and that you’ll have a much happier and productive marriage that is pleasing to God if you’ll take these things to heart… and act on them.
In the meantime, visit the JoeSixpackAnswers.com website to learn more. Be sure to sign up for the free email course I offer, along with the opportunity to register for free informative (and exciting) webinars that will help you to better know and understand our holy and ancient faith. Oh, and please visit the Every Catholic Guy Store on Etsy.com to help support this apostolate.