Friday, November 19, 2010

What to Do When She's "Mean" to You: Horseplay and "Picking" in Relationships and Marriage

Men frequently write to me complaining that their wives pick at them, needle them, push them to do things they don’t want to do, etc. How are you supposed to handle this? The answer might surprise you…

I get a lot of letters like the following, and I’ve addressed the issue in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," but the frequency of these letters is scary. There are too many men who don’t recognize what this issue really is and how to deal with it, and families are literally coming apart at the seams because of this simple misunderstanding. Meet Jeff:

Hello David,

I need help. I haven’t yet read your book but I’ve been reading your newsletters for awhile and I think you can tell me this. My wife has picked up a bad habit of picking on me, making fun of me, being a smart-ass in front of our friends, etc. It’s really abrasive and embarrassing, and getting worse by the day. The more I ask her to stop, the more she does it, like she’s trying to push me into a fight. How can I stop it?

Thanks,
Jeff

Well Jeff, you slacking cheapskate, if you’d read my book you’d know! ;-) Just kidding! LOL! Seriously, she’s not trying to start a fight at all. She’s trying to get you to stand up to her and play with her! You’re boring her to tears, and she’s trying to bring you out of your shell.

Women like challenge, and they like a man to act like he “has a pair.” She’s challenging you to a verbal “joust” to have some fun. What she’s expecting from you is that you pick back at her, not in a mean, hurtful, insulting way, but in that fun, naughty, pranksterish way as you probably cut up with your friends, at least at first, escalating it to get into chasing, tickling, playful pinching or spanking – you know, that kid stuff that you used to do when you drove her wild!

What’s happening now is that she’s trying harder and harder to provoke you into showing that you have reproductive glands and a sense of humor, which is, in effect, punishment for not doing so all along. If you don’t do it, you’ll find her losing interest in you pretty soon, so you’d better be finding your sense of humor, fast.

And we are talking about humor here, no matter how pissy you might think she’s being. If she makes a smart crack about your big feet, make a smart crack about something that obviously IS NOT a problem; i.e., only make a remark about her big butt if she DOES NOT have a big butt and doesn’t obsess about having one. Find something to exaggerate to crack wise about so that it’s obvious that you’re playing, else you may strike a nerve and end up starting a fight while trying to play.

I cannot overstress how you need to exercise a little sensitivity here. If she stubs her toe and is limping around but not seriously injured or embarrassed about the accident, then calling her “gimpy” is fair game, but if she is crippled, or if there was something embarrassing about the injury, like she was in a public place, stubbed her toe and ended up dumping a cup of coffee on a white blouse in front of her boss because of it, “gimpy” is off limits, at least until you see that she’s over the embarrassment, which will usually be if and when you see her smile or laugh a bit when talking about it with a girlfriend.

The idea is to be obviously fun with your picking to give her a giggle and demonstrate that you are a playful guy, not some wuss who can’t take a joke and is afraid to dish one out for her or a jerk who is retaliating and being a mean bully instead of going along with the joke. If you’re still not sure how to pull this off, the women on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, would be happy to help you figure it out. There are times when a woman’s perspective is invaluable, you know?

Women don’t really want that much from us, Gents. It’s just that what they want is virtually left untaught these days; they’re politically incorrect for wanting it, and we’re politically incorrect for giving it to them. However, I am teaching it, after learning it from some gurus before me and adapting and expanding that by working with several hundred married women and their husbands, and I’ll teach you if you want to learn. Screw political correctness. It wasn’t in my wedding vows; was it in yours?

So how about it? Are you ready to learn what may turn out to be the most valuable lessons of your life? Remember all those jokes you cracked about nobody ever being able to understand women, or know what they want, or what they’re saying, or how to pass all those damnable tests and traps they’re always laying for us? I could give you the old “be the first kid on your block to own it” spiel, but it doesn’t really matter if you’re first. What matters is that you’re successful, as quickly as you can get there.

The quickest path to lasting success in your relationship is to go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and then just reading it and putting it to work. You’ll not find too many opportunities where you can have so much fun being so successful, if you find any at all like this one, so get busy.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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