After being with my partner Brad for six years, we get a lot of questions from friends about when we are going to tie the knot. And, as you can imagine, this always leads us to discussions about being married.
Recently, I ran across an article titled, "10 Things that Drive Men Completely Insane about Being Married.” And even though we are not married, it was funny how all of these come up in our relationship as well.
Here are my top five:
1. “Why does my wife feel the need to tell me every single detail about her friends' lives?” – Charles, 39, married five years.
I tell my female friends that most men are on a “need-to-know” basis. They may wonder, “What does this have to do with me?” Stories about your friends may be better conversation for your mother, sister or other female friend. Stick to the points when talking to a male partner. Men are not being rude on purpose; it is a lot about how we are wired. If you really want him to pay attention, preface the story with a reason why you are telling him.
Brier Jirka is a sex therapist with the Methodist Physicians Clinic Women's Center. She blogs every other Tuesday.Read more from Brier.
2. “We're not a package. Sometimes I don't know where my wife is for the afternoon, but when I tell my buddies this they look at me like I'm nuts.” – Nick, 40, married 10 years.
This is where we talk about communication and balance. Being alone is a great way to grow, but you can have too much time apart as well. You are both individuals. I talk to couples about this balance and have them compromise on what is best for their relationship or marriage.
3. “Date night. Don't get me wrong… I love them, but the phrase seems so forced.” – Brian, 31, married three years.
This is a big one for me since I suggest this to almost all my couples. “Date night” is a term that can be taken differently by different people. If the term “date night” sends the opposite message to you, change it. Nothing needs to feel forced. Change the date night norm as well. Instead of the regular dinner and movie, hit up a local concert or sporting event.
4. “I hate when my wife puts photos of me on Facebook without asking. They're never bad and she always writes something nice, but it's sort of embarrassing for the guys to know I play princess with my daughters.” – John, 42, married 15 years.
The world of social media has taken over relationships. People wait for someone to change their “relationship” status if they are getting a divorce or meeting someone new. There's still a need for privacy between couples. We need to respect our partner's boundaries and talk to each other about what is ok. That picture may be nice for the family to have, but isn't necessarily appropriate for the Internet.
5. “I feel like before we got married, weekends were for lounging around, meeting up with friends, having sex. We still do these things but more and more, weekends are times to do errands. It just doesn't feel as romantic as it did back when were dating.” – Steve, 31, married one year.
This is the transition from young adult to married/committed. You have full-time jobs and kids so weekends are the time you have to get it done. Again, while you are now adults, you can determine what goes on those to-do lists. Talk about what really needs to get done and what you can add to have a little fun, too. Shake up the “normal, boring” weekend errands.
To all the husbands who read this and think, “Yep, I have said that,” and the wives who agree… you as a couple have the power to change your relationship. Find ways to make it crazy good, instead of going insane.