This is a re-post for one of my Sri Lankan teammates that will soon leave the hallowed halls of bachelorhood. I feel honor bound to school him in the vagaries of husbandly survival.
He won't learn anything from this, of course.
I didn't when I was in his shoes.
I had to learn my lessons.
Many. Painful. Lessons.
Oh well ... Let's move on, shall we, to the recycled content...
Rhino's Guide to Relationship Nirvana
Originally posted Thu, 31 Aug 2006
If you've been reading this nascent indulgence of ego you know that I'm married to the archetype of hippie liberal douche bleeding hearts. And after reading about some of our interactions your next thought was probably, "How the hell does he keep her?” Well, for the first time anywhere I am going to share the secret ... The Rhino three step plan to ensure relationship nirvana.
Without further fanfare here it is:
2. Re-acknowledge & Empathize.
How to put this into action, you wonder? Well, it's all in the phraseology. I generally rely on a couple of stock, 'go-to' sets of phrases with the number one set being:
1. "Really?" (the acknowledgement)
2. "Wow. How do you feel about that?" (re-acknowledgement & expressing empathy)
3. "How can I help?" (act)
This simple formula will keep the female significant other as happy as a clam and save the man from the dreaded "We don't communicate" conversation
Now, let's see the process in action:
HLDW*, "I can't believe what Sally did today."
Rhino, Really? (internal monologue is, "I wonder if I'll have time to play Halo Online tonight ... I'd really like to look at that door that's squeaking ... and maybe sit on the porch and have a cigar with my beer ... uh oh, looks like she's ready to go on").
HLDW, "Yeah. She really invaded my emotional boundaries and I'm feeling as if she was acting inappropriately."
Rhino, "Wow. How do you feel about that?" (internal monologue is, "Hmmmm... pizza. No. Hmmmm... hot sausage hoagie. No. Hmmmmm... Cheese Steak Hoagie ... Yeah. Nice. And some onion rings ... that'd be good. Oh, wait, better not ... I'll get grease all over the X-Box controller ... ooooo I'm almost to level 10 in match play, maybe I'll break through to 11 tonight ... uh oh ... sounds like she's winding down ... I'd better do my squinty eyed contemplative look and nod my head as if I'm thinking.
HLDW, "It's really confusing because she's a good friend. I'm not sure."
Rhino, "How can I help?" (internal monologue is, "I bet she's going to say that she's not problem solving so I'm off the hook and won't actually have to do anything ... I wonder if she cut that fung toe thing off yet ... I'd really like to get some tonight but that skeeves me out ... uh oh ... looks like it's the wrap-up.)
HLDW, "Oh, I'm not really problem solving I just need to talk so there's not much you can do. I just appreciate you listening to me and that's what I really needed."
Rhino, OK Darlin' ... whatever you need.
Now, of course, you really have to adjust your tone and facial expressions to the situation - nodding is also good ... but don't be a freakin' bobble head doll. Also, try to vary your phraseology so that she doesn't notice the formula ... don't get me wrong ... she is going to be so thrilled that you are actually 'listening' to her that she would pretty much forgive/ignore most everything. An alternate phraseology example would be: Wow! What do you think about that? Is there anything I can do?
Warning ... don't get too Oprahish on her or she will begin to suspect something is up. Every now and again revert back to your normal behavior and just tell her that she's being illogical and explain how to fix it so she stops wasting your valuable time.
This stuff is easy once you break the code ... and it is a statistic that men that follow my plan get 250% more oral sex than those that don't.
Once again, that is why I'm the Rhino and you are not.Once again, that is why I'm the Rhino and you are not.
*Hippie Liberal Douche Wife