10 Tips for Becoming an Amazing Husband

Dollarphotoclub_71579398
Are you tired of catching your wife looking at you like you’re an escaped monkey from the zoo that she deeply regrets letting follow her home? I was, too! And that is why, after being married for more than thirty years, I can definitely recommend to any man seeking to make of himself an ideal husband these 10 tips:

1. Embrace your wrongness. In the course of disagreeing with our wives, what many of we men fail to realize is that, invariably, inevitably, and indubitably, we are wrong. That’s just the way it is, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Men are bigger, hairier, stronger, and wronger. It’s a fact we should just get used to. God knows our wives have.

2. Stop fidgeting while your wife’s talking to you. It really is rude, and you know it. If you don’t stop doing that, then one day, when your wife starts talking to you about her day, you’re going to start distractedly fiddling with your cell phone, game controller, or the remote, and she’s going to suddenly shriek, lunge, and stab you in the forehead with a fork.

3. Remember that your tone does too matter. You know how in arguments with your wife, you keep thinking that if she would just focus on what you’re saying, instead of on how you’re saying it, then she’d see how right you are? Yeah, that’s never going to happen. She needs to know you still love her as you’re yelling at her. Women are funny like that.

4. Have actual opinions. Women like men who are clear on what they think, and why they think it. Men, though, enjoy endlessly waffling. Well, waffles are for kids. Stop it. Commit to thoughts, ideas, and decisions. Sure, you’ll be wrong about whatever it is you decide to think or do. But you’ll be attractively wrong. Wrong, but studly. It’s the American way.

5. Give her presents. Most women (being human) love to receive gifts. But men tend to be unkeen on giving gifts, since doing so takes time, money and effort. Worst of all is the idea that you have to give your wife a gift on, say Valentine’s Day—that you’re thoroughly expected to do so. Making the giving of a romantic gift compulsory automatically invalidates the very spirit of that giving: it actually makes such gifts a manipulative insult. And those right there are your two choices: Do what she wants and give her a gift, or be right. And what have we already learned about you being right?

6. Stop being so hormonally crazed. Well, at least try to stop being so hormonally crazed. Okay, try to be less hormonally crazed. Okay, forget it. Just try not to get arrested.

7. Stop complaining about your job. Men love to talk about—and especially to complain about—their jobs. Though often seemingly infinite in their patience and empathy, women do have their limits. You’ll know you’ve reached your wife’s when, as you are telling her about your day, she starts to fidget with her cell phone, game controller, or the remote.

8. Get okay with being late. Women have an internal guide that tells them which things it’s okay to be late for, and which things it’s not. Unfortunately, that guide is written in ancient Venusian. You don’t read ancient Venusian. You don’t read any Venusian. Men’s need to just sit and patiently wait is why God invented Angry Birds.

9. Never, ever, ever tell your wife how to behave in public. If you enjoy publicly directing others on how to behave, stick with children and dogs. But never admonish your wife in that way. Unless you also enjoy sudden puncture wounds in your forehead. Then go for it.

10. When your wife is trying to get ready for work don’t keep bugging her to give you some good ideas for a “10 Tips” list you’re writing. Trust me on this one.


I’m in the final stages of finishing a novel. If you’d like to be kept up on what’s happening with that, sign up for my newsletter. The only thing I’ll use your email address for is to let you know about that novel. Thanks.

"No es un tema de tolerancia sino de hacer lo correcto, nuevamente en el principio ..."

El mejor razonamiento de por qué ..."
"Finally I've found a blog that isn't trampling and condemning Inter-religious marriages.. Thank you!! I'm ..."

Christians in love with non-Christians (and ..."
"To John i just want to thank you for posting this powerful and inspiring letter ..."

A coming out letter to her ..."
"I guess i'm a "progressive" Christian in a very conservative church. I don't really expect ..."

Liberals in conservative churches: leave, or ..."
POPULAR AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    OH honey, that list is so wrong.

  • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

    Advise away!

  • Katharine Ellis Tapley

    It may only be the gendering that’s wrong. Because all the “women” stuff is so my husband, and I’m the one who does the guy stuff. Except job complaining. My job rocks.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    my ex was an utter fail at that list of John’s, as amusing as it was. Only one of the reasons I took the “50 ways I left that lover” route. Yes it can be for both genders, or in a same gender relationship, either partner.

    So my list would be.

    1. If there is any hint that you may be wrong, apologize.
    2. Touch, and not just when you feeling frisky.
    3. Engage in a little PDA, especially in front of the kids, no matter how old they are.
    4. Never forget to be silly. Play jokes on each other, write a stupid limerick about your partner’s favorite foible, put those little cute emoticons at the end of your texts to them.
    5. Chores, both your jobs.
    6. The only thing you ever need to change about your partner is….nothing really.
    7. Patience. Use it….often.
    8. Your driving skills are not better than theirs.
    9. Bitch about your job, but only if you fully intend to give equal time and attention for your partner to do the same.
    10. Be complimentary to your partner-even if you have to lie now and then.

  • Andy

    So did you slip out the back, Jack? Made a new plan, Stan?

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    song stuck in your head too?

  • Andy

    It is now

  • ChuckQueen101

    John, did you really mean “Tell your wife how to behave in public?” Please tell me you meant to say, “Don’t tell your wife how to behave in public.” Lol. I know what you are doing. You are trying to get us to have some really good marital clashes at the beginning of the year, so the rest of the year it has to get better.

  • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

    If you read the whole thing–that whole tip, I mean–I think you’ll see (or I hope you will, anyway!), how clearly what I’m really saying is what a terrible idea that is. That tip’s last sentence is … that whole point. (But maybe I’ll go change it, in case I was just being …. too subtle there.)

  • ChuckQueen101

    Okay, Should have read more attentively. Anyway glad you switched it out. Your subtlety could have gotten some of us in trouble.

  • Matt

    Huh. Does that mean if I marry a man, he gets to be wrong too? Or are we both wrong? Does our wrong cancel out, multiplying-two-negatives style? Or does it increase exponentially? Oooh, I know! We trade off!

    “Honey, it’s your turn to be wrong.”
    “No, see, I was most definitely wrong about how many strawberries are in a pound. Clearly it’s your turn to be wrong about our gas bill. Don’t worry though, I will faithfully hold it over your head when there’s no hot water.”

  • Andy

    Yes, I have often wondered who is more wrong in a guy-guy relationship.

  • rhysharper

    John Shore- don’t you forget who taught you the phrase “amazeballs!”

    :)

  • Katharine Ellis Tapley

    Can you change the title to “spouse?” Aside from the job complaining, I’m the one that does all this crap.

  • Sharla Hulsey

    That’s sort of what I was thinking when I read “The Other Side”‘s rebuttal. The rebuttal was sort of mean-spirited, I thought; but in reality we all, regardless of gender, could learn a few things from John’s list about being a good spouse, regardless of our spouse’s gender, whether or not it be the same as ours.

  • Jon

    Yes, please change it to “spouse” or even “partner”, because I would like to copy my son on this, and he doesn’t have a wife – and his partner is not female. Oh wait, does this mean he wouldn’t benefit from reading this? Is it only for hetero couples?

    Oh, and also – and sorry to drone on – could you please please please pretty please stop with the constant referral to America? (As in, “it’s the American way”) Because, and I hope you are sitting down for this, the world is a very big place that consists of much more than the United States of America. Even little old Britain (the country you single-handedly saved when you eventually joined the 2nd World War) has about 75 million people crammed onto the tiny island. Okay, Iceland has less than one million, so you can probably ignore them safely. But Europe (I think you refer to that land mass as “Yurp”) has gazillions of people. Plus, if you look Northwards, you may spot a very large landmass called Canada. And Southwards lie more people. Although I suppose most of them speak Spanish, instead of English, and so you can feel better about ignoring them.

    I know, it’s shocking that none of you are even aware of all this. That’s why I won’t even mention the Antipodes or mainland Asia etc etc etc. Because it may possibly blow your minds if you suddenly realise that the world is a very big place (oh, sorry, I already said that). Does geography get taught in your schools, may I ask? Does your TV and Radio news coverage stretch as far as Moscow (for example)?

    But, good post, and thanks for it! :)

  • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

    Wow. Condescending much?

  • Bones
  • Jon

    Wow, that is really quite scary. Having said that…I bet there are plenty of places in the UK where people wouldn’t know some answers. At least nobody said “Europe” when asked to name a country beginning with ‘U’. Although Yugoslavia was pretty good – even though it no longer exists! By the way, try asking Brits to name more than five US States. I bet we can’t. 😉

  • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

    Fwiw, my wife is a British citizen.

  • Bones

    I introduce exhibit B, Geoge W.

    But then our PM recently went to Canadia according to him. He’s pretty Bushesque.

  • Andy
  • https://duckbunny.wordpress.com/ duckbunny

    But that’s not a fair comparison, is it? The US states are not seperate entities, they don’t have distinct foreign policies. They do have different local laws, but in terms of actions that affect the rest of the world directly, the states are united.
    I can name counties in the UK, and understand regional politics, because I live here so regional politics matter to me. I wouldn’t expect Americans to know the differences between “the North”, “the North West” and “Northumbria”.

  • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

    You know, as long as people are loving their neighbors, I don’t really care how ignorant they are of world geography. That goes for anyone ignorant of that stuff. We’re all just trying to live our lives and take care of our families.

  • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

    Yeah, I’m really not a fan of the whole “Let’s make fun of uneducated people” school of entertainment. It’s such … cruel bullshit, basically. It’s so arrogant, and pretentious–and viciously classist. Its whole underlying premise is that people who ARE educated are morally superior. So, you know: let’s all laugh at the people who aren’t. Fuck that.

  • Jon

    I agree with that sentiment, John. If Leno and others are trying to make the point about how badly the education system is doing its job, that’s fine. But laughing at folk who have not received a good education is pretty sick. (In the old fashioned use of the word ‘sick’, ofc!)

  • Bones

    It’s pretty scary when they get voted in though.

  • Andy

    True. But a lot of people who become politicians are street-smart, not book-smart. Most book-smart people probably realize they’re better off making a difference in another forum, like one where they aren’t surrounded by bullshit and their attempts to make change for the better aren’t constantly stymied by partisan politics.

  • Andy

    It’s quite funny to see how ignorant or dumb people are (yes, I laughed at this), but you know they always pick the dumbest ones, right? The ones that know the correct answers aren’t entertaining, so they don’t make the edit. I’m sure he could find some equally ignorant people in his home country if he wanted to.

    And it’s not just foreigners making fun of us. Americans like Leno and Kimmel have no qualms about teasing their fellow countrymen.

  • Bones

    I know Andy. I’m sure Fox doesn’t represent all Americans. Not quite sure about giving them their own TV shows though or electing them . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBZflNUhaOQ

  • Andy

    I’m disappointed. I skimmed through that and didn’t see one shot of Robert Tilton. Although the guy shouting “God!!!!!!” while constipated was a decent consolation prize.

  • Jon

    Yep, very tongue in cheek. But I guess the Brit humour (humor) doesn’t translate too well. Don’t be offended. I enjoy your posts and look forward to reading more of them.

  • Andy

    Some of it does. Some of it doesn’t. For example, most of the things Python did were hilarious to me. Every now and then I just don’t get one, though.

    I wonder what American humor isn’t as well-received across the pond.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    I love British humor. Their gift for satire is premium stuff.

  • Jon

    Actually, I think most American humour travels pretty well to the UK. Certainly, very much better than ANY European stuff! I have happy memories of Friends, Cheers, Soap. MASH et al. And your Family Life is brilliant – maybe because Stewie sounds like a demented Brit!

    Maybe we just don’t get sent your dross – and I sincerely hope you don’t receive our dross either! The US version of The Office was not as funny (to me and most of my compatriots) as the UK original. But Ricky Gervais is best taken in small doses! In other words, I would not enjoy sitting and watching several episodes in one go.

    Some of our comedy is very obscure, even for someone who has been brought up in this culture. I am so glad you like Python – there are jewels of comedy to be found, although some of their stuff is best forgotten!

    I think a lot of British humour is best described as acerbic. But I am probably atypical of what I find funny – I think a lot of my friends have found my soh almost hurtful. And that is something I regret, because I genuinely am not a mean person (honest!). So, I do try to tone it down – but clearly have some way to travel!

  • Andy

    I’ve always operated under the assumption that Stewie is a demented Brit, and have no idea how he — or a talking dog — suddenly appeared in a garden-variety American family. I like how cartoons are allowed to break the rules of reality; it’s one of the things that makes The Simpsons one of my favorite TV shows.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    There is a British show called Qi. Its fucking brilliant. I have laughed at every single episode. My favorite Monty Python is the one about the dead parrot, and the lumberjack song. And there used to be a show on our public television shipped over to us about a middle class couple with the last name Bucket, called Keeping up Appearances. Funny stuff.
    We Americans do some great comedy, but not all in our land get some of our crasser humor. When it comes to satire, The Simpsons and Family Guy pushes the envelope on network TV and do so quite well, while South Park just rips the envelope and sets in on fire.Dont tell my husband, but I love those shows, and anything Jon Stewart and company do.
    Don’t tell my husband. He likes ESPN.

  • Jon

    Hi Allegro,
    It took me aaaages to ‘get into’ QI. Mainly because I thought it was merely a vehicle to pander to Stephen Fry’s obviously high opinion of himself. However, I have grown to like it. Mind you, I have now stepped off the whole tv watching bandwagon, because I don’t want to pay £145 a year for the licence fee. I just use the iplayer feature on the BBC website now, and can legally watch programmes as long as they are not being broadcast live.
    South Park took me for EVER to understand, but now I think it is quite possibly the funniest of the three you mention. Very dark humour, ofc. Anyway, we have gone so off topic here…

  • Bones

    The Office (US and with Steve Carell) was the best.
    Is Big Bang Theory a comedy?

  • Andy

    They would never make a song like this in the UK:

    http://youtu.be/MGQaH3-LK54

  • BarbaraR

    That made my cat leave the room.

  • BarbaraR

    If this is British humor, it’s not translating well at all to US readers.

  • Andy

    Right. Jokes about American egocentrism are much funnier coming from an American.

  • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly anakinmcfly

    “could you please please please pretty please stop with the constant referral to America? (As in, “it’s the American way”) ”

    I think you missed the sarcasm. That was kind of the entire joke.

  • Andy

    Little bit of backhanded compliment there.

    Anyway, do you read John’s work much? I don’t think I’ve seen anyone who pays more attention to sensitivity based on gender, orientation, etc. This piece was clearly humorous.

  • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

    Thanks, Andy. I really appreciate that.

  • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

    John is an American. In other words, he is speaking from his own personal experience and that is of an American husband. I wouldn’t expect a Brit to speak about their experience as an American or an Icelander. I’d expect them to speak about life from their experience as a Brit. And I wouldn’t fault them for that.

  • Bones
  • SclrHmnst
  • http://feministchristian.blogspot.com/ Luna

    So prop up gender stereotypes and call it humour so that it’s magically not part of the problem? Got it.

  • Diana

    No one has a sense of humor anymore. :-(.

  • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

    Really? Gee, I hadn’t noticed.

    (*snerketh!*)

    No, but seriously: humor-wise, a blogger is fine as long as he or she writes nothing whatsoever about sex, gender, relationships, or race. Otherwise, the field is wide-open!

    (And that’s not fair to say, of course: I’m just in a mood. This piece is doing fine—and has actually bought me less … grim chastisement from the Humor Police than I expected it to. But no question about it: things online have changed. Social media has now largely become one big Outrage Fest. Ugh.)

  • BarbaraR

    Who’s playing at the Outrage Fest?

  • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

    I think the line-up is still being formed. But Iast I heard, All Straight White Males Are Privileged Assholes was headlining.

    (Sigh. For anyone who doesn’t know me: I’m perfectly aware that straight white men ARE, indisputably, extremely privileged, simply be dint of their birth. You’d have to be a moron not to know this.)

  • vj

    This piece seems pretty much in line with a lot of your humor writing – maybe you don’t do that here as much as you used to, and more readers are now less familiar with this side of your writing so are more easily offended?

    I thought it was great 😀

  • The Other Side

    10 Tips for Becoming an Amazaballs Wife (because equality and all that)

    1. Embrace your wrongness. In the course of disagreeing with our husbands, what many of we women fail to realize is that, invariably, inevitably, and indubitably, we are wrong. That’s just the way it is, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Women are smaller, smoother, weaker, and wronger. It’s a fact we should just get used to. God knows our husbands have.

    2. Stop blathering on and on about trivial things. It really is rude, and you know it. If you don’t stop doing that, then one day, when you have something that is actually important to say, he won’t be listening.

    3. Remember that your facts do too matter. You know how in arguments with your husband, you keep thinking that if he would just focus on tone, instead of on those pesky facts, then he’d see how right you are? Yeah, that’s never going to happen. He needs to know you are still rational as you’re yelling at him. Men are funny like that.

    4. Have actual opinions. Men like women who are clear on what they think, and why they think it. Women, though, enjoy endlessly waffling. Well, waffles are for kids. Stop it. Commit to thoughts, ideas, and decisions. Sure, you’ll be wrong about whatever it is you decide to think or do. But you’ll be attractively wrong. And being wrong about the blue dress vs. the red dress? Doesn’t really matter anyways.

    5. Give him nookie. Men love to receive nookie. But women aren’t keen on giving them nookie, since doing so takes time and effort—and because the chances of giving your husband a gift he actually wants are roughly on par with throwing a rock from your front yard that lands on the moon. Worst of all is the idea that you have to give your husband nookie on, say Valentine’s Day—that you’re thoroughly expected to do so. Making the giving of a nookie compulsory automatically invalidates the very spirit of that giving: it actually makes such nookie a manipulative insult. And those right there are your two choices: Do what he wants and give him nookie, or be right. And what have we already learned about you being right?

    6. Stop being so hormonally crazed. Well, at least try to stop being so hormonally crazed. Okay, try to be less hormonally crazed. Okay, forget it. Just try not to get arrested.

    7. Stop complaining about your job, friends, and kids. Women love to talk about—and especially to complain about—their jobs. friends, and kids. Though often seemingly infinite in their patience, men do have their limits. You’ll know you’ve reached your husband’s when, as you are telling him about your day, he starts to fidget with his cell phone, game controller, or the remote. See #2.

    8. Get okay with being punctual. Men have an internal character that tells them that, if you RSVPed that you would arrive at a given time, you darn well better arrive at that time. Unfortunately, that guide is written in ancient expectations called “decency”. Women just need to plan ahead better so you can arrive when you said you would.

    9. Never, ever, ever tell your husband how to behave in public. If you enjoy publicly directing others on how to behave, stick with children and dogs. But never admonish your husband in that way. Unless you also enjoy sudden puncture wounds in your forehead. Then go for it. Because spousal abuse is funny.

    10. When your husband is trying to get ready for work don’t keep bugging him to give you some good ideas for a “10 Tips” list you’re writing. Trust me on this one.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Oh good fucking lord.

    1. no, we are not weaker, smoother, weaker wronger. We are women. In many ways we are the stronger, the rougher, the smarter…as our male counterparts have attributes that surpass ours. We are equals, both equally right and wrong.

    2. Define trivial.

    3.In arguments, facts often leave the building.

    4. Men and women are equally opinionated and give waffle irons a run for their money.

    5. what da fuk??

    6. Hormones at least make life interesting, and possible. So they fluctuate a bit, more so for some. If they are a serious problem, seek medical help. Trust me, medication can be quite beneficial for hormone out-of-whack-ness.

    7. So does complaining. It also is a means of venting our frustrations. We all do it, so be willing to listen to each other’s gripes.

    8. Being late is not a capital offense. Sometimes shit happens, like the babysitter is late, or the dog ate your daughter’s barbie outfit, or you ripped a hole in your slacks, or he forgot to put gas in the car. For those of us who get annoyed at running late, its OK, we will still get there.

    9. Publically embarrassing your partner in public is just rude…unless they are offending others, or being quite rude and obnoxious themselves.

    10. Write the list, bouncing ideas of each other shows healthy communication skills. Then do as I always do with the grocery version…leave it on the counter.

  • Andy

    “Women are smaller, smoother, weaker, and wronger. It’s a fact we should just get used to.”

    What the hell? Are you typing from a Mad Men episode?

  • The Other Side

    hahaha…it’s just taking the first item from the original article with the gender swapped and the (roughly) antonyms of the terms used. “Men are bigger, hairier, stronger, and wronger. It’s a fact we should just get used to.” If you protest the “smaller, smoother, weaker”, take it up with the original author. If you protest the “wronger” part, take it up with your own stereotypes AND the author. Last I checked, accuracy (i.e., “wrongerness”) had nothing to do with gender. And if you protest using “smoother” as an antonym for “hairier”, I’ll grant you that (though I find English lacking in this department…perhaps “less hairy” or “less hirsute”?)

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Smoother…in the winter, my legs sport a pelt.

  • The Other Side

    Fair enough…in old(er) age, my noggin doesn’t. Exceptions, rules, all that ☺

  • Andy

    I saw the many parallels in your comment. From reading it, however, I did not infer that the overall tone was meant to be sarcastic. Perhaps I was guilty of cherry-picking…if I was, I apologize.

    Specifically on the word “wronger”, though, I’m pretty sure John was referring to a popular trope — at least among Americans — that when a man and a woman argue, the man is usually wrong. It is the impetus behind countless jokes, both memetic and in media. And again, this post was clearly humorous. (Not sure if you already knew about this trope — humor varies by culture and I’m not sure if this one exists in others besides American.)

  • The Other Side

    No sweat. Given that I just copied/pasted the original 10 points into a text editor and modified them in-place, the parallels should hopefully have been like a neon sign. Lining the two up next to each other should give the parallels. I’m not sure myself whether my comment was intended as sarcastic—mostly just an observation about what people can say about men and get away with, where ire gets raised when similar things are said about women. And, though it may be a trope to mock men as “wronger”, I can’t say that I find a great deal of humor in jokes based on propagating negative gender (or racial) stereotypes.

  • Andy

    Here’s the thing about negative stereotypes (at least in America): it’s generally acceptable to bring them up, provided that (a) it’s clear that it’s meant to be for the sake of humor, and (b) usually it’s done by a member of the group being satirized. TV Tropes calls this the N-word privilege.

  • BarbaraR

    That you for this. You put it more succinctly (and politely) than I could have.

    When people in one group make jokes about other people in that group, it’s usually spot-on and funny because they unlock the why those people do the things they do. That’s why John’s piece spoke to men: he knows what they’re thinking and why they do things.

    When people from The Other do it… they don’t understand the culture they’re making fun of, and it falls flat. It comes off as bitching, mean-spirited, and angry.

  • BG1119

    Wow, that’s a lot of stereotypes…

  • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

    Point out one that’s offensive to women and I’ll happily remove it. (I don’t care about the soft jokes I make at the expense of men. I mean … because life.)

  • paula

    Lots of folks od-ing on PC around here. Lighten up people! Pull that stick out of your petunia.