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How to Be the Perfect Wife in 3 Easy Steps

Your Beloved Empress for Life shares her secrets to a happy marriage.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

August 2, 2014 - 7:00 am
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I always said I would never get married.

Conveniently, no one ever proposed to me, either.

Then when I hit middle age, a bunch of my female friends and acquaintances tied the knot.

One (I’m sorry but… extremely unlikely) wedding in particular shoved my ego over an emotional cliff.

“SHE’s married and I’m not!” I heard myself wail in Arnie’s general direction.

He and I had been together for years and purchased a condo (and a beloved cat) together. Arnie didn’t see much point in getting married, but went along anyhow. After all, it meant a week-long trip to Las Vegas.

I definitely got the better part of this deal.

Arnie is smart, funny, hard working, honest to a fault, and only watches sports on TV every four years.

Whereas I can’t cook, still don’t quiet understand the concept of “dusting,” am a temperamental artiste, and look like the love child of Frodo and Hillary Clinton.

So why (besides inertia, and fear of a heated cat custody battle) is Arnie still around?

(At least, until he reads this.)

Top Rated Comments   
That Commodus' excellent advice (I only disagree with point 3, which would better be expressed as "don't talk down to him" -- if a wife disagrees with her husband respectfully, there's no problem, it's only when her attitude is "you idiot" that there's a problem) produces this kind of response is sad. Feminism has made women believe that all five of these points are demeaning, insulting, etc., when in fact ALL a woman has to do to have a DELIRIOUSLY happy husband (and if she doesn't want him to be happy, why did she marry him?) is to follow that advice.

1) Keep him fed.
2) Keep the house looking reasonably nice.
3) Keep a pleasant attitude.
4) Keep yourself attractive-looking.
5) Keep him sexually satisfied.

If she does this, she's going to get a husband who will want to do ANYTHING for her, and who will praise her to the skies to anyone who'll listen. And the thing is, NONE of those things are particularly hard to do, nor are they demeaning in the least. It's only women who've allowed modern feminism to poison their minds who think any of those things are "beneath" them -- and who, therefore, will have trouble sustaining a happy marriage.

Modern feminism is the marriage killer.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here we enter into the TMI zone. As my catholic faith deepened, it became clear to me to see sexuality as a gift. It is rude to say no to the gift, so I said Yes.
The effect was startling. Knowing he would always be loved and accepted strengthened my dh in ways I did not intend, and could not have imagined. It was one of the best, most life affirming decisions I have ever made and the effects are still felt today, by both of us.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I don’t understand why a woman would marry a man she didn’t want to have sex with."

That would be pretty tough to understand, but perhaps more comprehensible is a transformation of her priorities, post-wedding. It happens. It's not to be celebrated, but it happens. It's not even uncommon.

C. S. Lewis commented, in “The Screwtape Letters,” on the difference between romantic involvement and “the serious business of learning to live together.” Even in this day and age, when so many couples establish a common home well before they marry – and yes, it’s quite true that some *never* formally tie the knot, and maybe we all know why – they’re often dumbfounded by the difference between being sweeties and being spouses. It really does do a number on your perspectives and priorities.

Sometimes expectations change more radically than anything else – and in ways neither spouse anticipated. Sometimes one expects the other to wrap himself around her exclusively, while the other expects the one to go on as if they were singles with independent lives, except for sharing the same breakfast table and bed. Sometimes money is the critical subject, and pre-wedding discussions that were relatively lighthearted turn as serious as pancreatic cancer. And sometimes its the in-laws that agitate the soup, whether about grandchildren, some degree of disapproval for their children’s choices, or what-have-you.

Probably the most ironic thing about it is that even if you’ve been through it before, the changes will invariably blindside you. Holding on to the premarital state of romantic adoration and valuation demands a lot of maturity...and sometimes a degree of self-abnegation that few of us can marshal at will. That sex should be involved, and heavily, is entirely consistent with the rest of the phenomenon, even though it might be the most trying aspect of all.

Henny Youngman once said, about his beloved lifelong spouse, that the secret to maintaining their love of one another was getting out to dinner once a week: “She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.” I’m not entirely sure he was kidding.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (28)
All Comments   (28)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
then something funny happened: a woman who doesn't know to say yes or not in a honest way is here offering hers views on life...
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
The "Hot Crazy Matrix" is great.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I don’t understand why a woman would marry a man she didn’t want to have sex with."
And some TMI could be coming up.
I married a woman I did want to have sex with. She and I weighed around the same and are the same height.
She had our child and gained rather a lot of weight. It went down slightly after the birth but only a little.
By the time our second child was born, sweetheart was about twice the weight she'd been when we married. I exaggerate not at all. That weight is all still there. I've gained roughly 15% of my pre-married weight over the last 18 years, roughly -- I was the same weight when I left the Air Force that I was when we married. I made a brief effort early on to "help her lose weight" and I realized I would make us both miserable -- but she would not be any lighter for it. So I put that down as her responsibility.
Our son is nearly 22. So I married a woman I wanted to have sex with, and I lost a big part of that more than 20 years ago.
We are still very married and we've never given up on sex but it became a mixed thing for me. A lot of things can reduce sexual desire; it's partly that sweetheart's body is not the shape I'd prefer and, in truth, it's partly a feeling that she let that happen even though she knew I'd lose something by it.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I sympathize. I married a "beefy" guy who is now obese. It compromises sex (sorry TMI) partly because some positions just aren't possible. Some days I feel really angry- like when I see him having a snickers with a coke. But there isn't a damn thing I can do. I'm afraid that before too long I will be married to the guy who can't fit in the airplane seat. Don't we have an obligation to our spouses to take care of ourselves, as well as each other?
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Don't we have an obligation to our spouses to take care of ourselves, as well as each other?"

I would think so. The fact that his obesity is a problem for you AWA him, it's something that should be worked out between the two of you. He is probably a food addict, the worst kind of addiction IMO because we all have to eat to survive. Have you considered counseling?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I made a promise to Most Holy God, till death and all that, that door is closed so it's in my best interests to make this as pleasant as possible. Of course it helps if you actually fear God because short of that your left to the luck of the draw and the vicissitudes of life. Now there is the definition of long odds.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Like but -- "..respect God..." would seem better to me than to fear God. The Hebrew word, so I've read many times, is equally valid as "respect" or "revere" as it would as "fear."
I don't want my kids to fear me. I don't think God wants me to fear Him.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hilariously, no soon had I posted this column -- which Arnie knows nothing about -- then I found out he'd posted this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKWmFWRVLlU

I probably should have mentioned that we frequently communicate via email even when we are in adjoining rooms.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I probably should have mentioned that we frequently communicate via email even when we are in adjoining rooms.

That's just wrong, on many levels.

My wife and I do that. ;-)

I'm contemplating setting up an IM server in the house so that we can use that among the family, without it being out on the 'Net.

11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I love your articles, both here and at Takis.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, it's more like 5:

1. Cook
2. Clean
3. Don't talk back.
4. Don't get fat. (This needs repeating 10000000x over).
5. Have sex whenever he wants it.

That was simple.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your comment reminds me of how it went in my day: "The ideal women is deaf, dumb, and blind, and happens to own a liquor store."
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't forget- the top of her head should be flat. :)
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gee Commodus,
you must have the broads lined up around the block for a chance to catch you.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
That Commodus' excellent advice (I only disagree with point 3, which would better be expressed as "don't talk down to him" -- if a wife disagrees with her husband respectfully, there's no problem, it's only when her attitude is "you idiot" that there's a problem) produces this kind of response is sad. Feminism has made women believe that all five of these points are demeaning, insulting, etc., when in fact ALL a woman has to do to have a DELIRIOUSLY happy husband (and if she doesn't want him to be happy, why did she marry him?) is to follow that advice.

1) Keep him fed.
2) Keep the house looking reasonably nice.
3) Keep a pleasant attitude.
4) Keep yourself attractive-looking.
5) Keep him sexually satisfied.

If she does this, she's going to get a husband who will want to do ANYTHING for her, and who will praise her to the skies to anyone who'll listen. And the thing is, NONE of those things are particularly hard to do, nor are they demeaning in the least. It's only women who've allowed modern feminism to poison their minds who think any of those things are "beneath" them -- and who, therefore, will have trouble sustaining a happy marriage.

Modern feminism is the marriage killer.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
This comment should have a thousand "likes".

11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just right. Dennis Prager, I think, remarked that marriage is a relatively simple proposition (I didn't say *easy*, I said *simple*). She wants a man who loves her; he wants a woman who respects him.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
But that's part of the problem- a lot of men settle for something less than respect. And frankly a lot of men don't deserve respect anymore. I know a lot of adult men who are happy to play video games for 4 hours a day and have no idea how to fix a leaky faucet (luckily my dh is not one of them!)

and I think "don't get fat" applies to husbands, too.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Uh, Erik? I hate to be picky, but "whack" is not spelled, "catch".

11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here we enter into the TMI zone. As my catholic faith deepened, it became clear to me to see sexuality as a gift. It is rude to say no to the gift, so I said Yes.
The effect was startling. Knowing he would always be loved and accepted strengthened my dh in ways I did not intend, and could not have imagined. It was one of the best, most life affirming decisions I have ever made and the effects are still felt today, by both of us.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Just say Yes" ....About 1,000 yeses to that!

My wife and I have been married 25 years, raised three kids, a business. I love her. We have a pretty good marriage except for one thing- I have lovers. Well, it started on the honeymoon. She started saying, "no." I was shocked, hurt angry. Once a month was fine with her, unless she was mad at something, and then it was once every three months. I held out for ten years, and then found a beautiful, younger woman who WANTED to have sex with me. She even paid for the hotel rooms. After a torrid affair of a year, I decided to cut it off, confess, and try to do right. Bad move. I mean she TRIED a little bit to say "yes" after that, but it just wasn't in her. Now don't get me wrong- I am attentive, caring, funny, good looking, 33 waist. I am even a good lover. My wife says that. But she still doesn't say "yes." So, after two years, I found an even younger woman (25 years younger) who would say "yes" but she says "YES!" And this has been going on 6 years now. Moral: Why marry some one and then always say "no"? I don't get it after 25 years. With our kids, grandkids, work, extended family, and how 25 years together, we are actually happily married. I make her breakfast. We take Vacations. Laugh together heartily. At night I make her tea and home made bread. I rub her feet for 30 minutes. We watch a Romcom or something. Kiss each other and go to sleep. And every morning I call my lover and tell her that I cannot wait to be in her arms. She cannot wait to be in mine. But I will not divorce. Don't want to. It has never even crossed my mind. What to make of this? Why not just say "yes"? It's less complicated.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
So you have your cake & eat it too. How nice. :rolleyes: Your "lover" is no lover; she's your FB & nothing more. You should at least be open with your wife about your dalliance & why you pursue it. Your wife is saying "no" for reasons you probably don't know or understand; too bad you two don't get counseling.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
When my wife left me in 1987, I was very sad. But over the years, I have learned that she did me a favor. Now I only have a boss at work. My daughter recently said to me, "It's the 21st Century. I can't believe that there are countries that still ban gay marriage." I told her, "Yes, it is the 21st century. I can't believe that anyone wants to get married anymore."
Happily divorced since 1987! No dating either! The hell with that stupid game!
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sex and marriage surely vary as much as personalities, but even more so, since it combines two of those personalities for an extended time. However, if we stop being politically correct and dabble in reality, it is easy to accept that women learn to manipulate men as well as children learn to manipulate their parents. all too often sex is used as a reward for positive behavior: withholding sex, becomes a method of punishment. Sex becomes a weapon. Men who refuse to be manipulated or trained become pariahs in society and in a marriage. They can either withdraw or seek pleasure from women who are willing to convert frustration into pleasure. Of course men are seen as evil, when they resist training, and the poor husband trainer is consoled by friends, family, and the courts. If women wonder why men are reluctant to tie the knot, perhaps it is because they spoke to men who were untrainable.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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