A book that was popular several years back seemed to think that many of the problems that can arise between a husband and wife, were caused by men and women coming from different planets. In fact the very title of the book stated it clearly, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus. I admit that I didn’t actually read the book (because I don’t like to read things), but the title of the book pretty much said it all.
Due to the books popularity, I assume that many people just accept this theory. Again, I didn’t read it, and I am not aware of it being made into a movie yet, but blaming our marriage problems on different alien ancestry seems a bit absurd to me. I would think the author would at least wait until science had indeed proven that we were planted here by an alien race before making such claims. But even if science had proven this, it seems highly unlikely that two separate alien species from two separate planets would have decided to deposit beings on the same planet, and that the two beings would end up getting married.
So, feeling troubled by the book’s conclusions, I decided to spend a great deal of time thinking and researching on the topic of marriage. Well, actually I did more thinking than research because I don’t like reading things. But my conclusions to all this thinking and researching is what I consider to be the root cause of nearly all marital problems.
“WHAT IS IT?” you ask, “TELL ME!” you say.
The answer is really quite simple. I’m surprised that no one has figured it out before . . .
The problem with most marriages is that women have more feelings than men.
This answer came to me after years of consideration . . . well, that and my wife constantly asking me how I “feel” about different things.
For the longest time, I really wasn’t picking up on the whole feelings thing. If a child was in trouble at school or got a bad report card, the inevitable question would be asked, “How do you feel about this?”
For a lack of a better answer, or even understanding the question, I would say something like, “hungry,” or “itchy.” But answers like these never seemed to satisfy her thirst for discussing how I feel. For me, trouble at school, or a bad report card meant grounded for a year . . . end of story . . . now let’s see what’s on TV.
It was as if she was expecting that in every little situation that occurred, I should be experiencing feelings of the same magnitude as watching a troublesome episode of Star Trek, or finding out that we were out of ketchup or something. I began to think that maybe I ought to be feeling more. Or maybe I do, but I just didn’t recognize what feelings felt like.
Now that I had identified that this preoccupation with feelings and emotions, and my lack of having an adequate amount, were a large part of what’s wrong with our marriage, I began to take steps to resolve the problem.
The natural solution was to simply tell my wife not to be so emotional over things, but this didn’t seem to work out as well as I had hoped. More often than not, it resulted in her getting even more emotional. At one point, after telling her she was over-reacting to my accidentally setting her hair on fire with my home-made, gasoline powered hornet annihilator she even threw a jar of green olives at me, leaving me with quite a goose egg on the forehead. This left me with the conclusion that the only other option was to roll with it, and try to come up with better answers for the question of how I feel about things.
My first attempt at this new approach was after a rather long and loud argument about my keeping a container of live leeches (for fishing) hidden in the lettuce drawer of the refrigerator after she had previously asked me not to. As the argument dragged on, she told me that she thought that my keeping them hidden in the fridge was deceitful and disrespectful of her wishes . . . and then she asked, “How does that make you feel?”
Trying to appease her thirst for emotion, I answered as honestly as I could by saying, “Regretful”.
Her eyebrows rose a little as if I was on the right track, but the her silence made me think that I still needed to squeeze a little more honesty and emotion out of my brain. So I added, “I’m regretful that I didn’t hide them behind my gallon sized jar of hot sauce where you would have been less likely to find them.”
Instantly her eyebrows crashed down into a frown and she gnashed her teeth, leading me to conclude that her current state of feeling was “murderous”. Luckily for me, the Styrofoam container of leeches was much less painful than a jar of olives when hurled against my forehead.
I realized that my best attempts at expressing my feelings were falling a bit short, so as a further effort to restore harmony to our marriage, I began to look up words in the dictionary to describe how different situations made me feel.
Our auto insurance premium going up made me feel . . . . . . agonized.
My daughter giving us attitude over cleaning her room made me feel . . . begrudged and rancid.
Hurting my wife’s feelings made me feel . . . precarious, nauseated, and fractured.
After a little practice with some flash cards I had made, I began to give some of my new words as answers to the inevitable interrogation over how I was feeling. Some of the odd looks that my wife shot me after these answers, told me that they may not always be what she was looking for, but she seemed to give me credit for the effort. Our marriage has gotten a bit smoother since my expressing my feeling words.
I think I’m on the right path, but I still get stumped by the whole emotions thing sometimes. The other day my wife stated that, “I just feel like bursting out in tears and I don’t know why!”
To which I replied, “Should I call an ambulance?” . . . . . . . . this was not the correct response.