Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The non-negotiable marriage

It’s near the end of my typical up-top train ride into the city yesterday morning, when suddenly, there’s this from below:

“SOME things in MARRIAGE are just NOT negotiable!”

Looking down, I see a way-too-angry-for-the-morning woman glaring back and forth between what, from my vantage point, I could only assume were two of her shocked into silence cohorts across the aisle.

“NOT NEGOTIABLE I told him,” she says in her outdoor voice. “Taking CARE of my SELF is NOT NEGOTIABLE.”

This was followed by another of her patented I-DARE-YOU-TO-DISAGREE-WITH-ME stares towards her understandably quiet comrades.
“She’ll be divorced in less than five years,” I thought, exiting the train.

Because everything in marriage is negotiable. Everything.

If you want it to last, that is.
Taking care of herself?

Sadly, it’s a total guess what she meant by that.

How do we wives take care of ourselves? Exercise. Manicures. Massages. Quiet time in a bubbly tub with a good book. The occasional weepy movie/pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Right?

And how could any of these things possibly be a Major Issue in a marriage?
“Hedy, that woman was right. Some things are not negotiable in a marriage.”

Oh yeah? Like what?

C’mon, bring it.
Okay, never mind. Lemme guess.

The Number One All-Time Non-Negotiable in Marriage: Screwing Around.

If your spouse is screwing around on a regular basis, he/she has already left.

So what’s to negotiate?
IM Conversation #1:

H: True or false: Some things in marriage are not negotiable.

David (married): True.

H: Really? Like what?

David: Clean up this blood.

H: Let's subtract the idea that I've married a serial killer or other criminal type. I think once you're married EVERYTHING has to be negotiable if you want to stay that way. You don't stay married by being a demanding bitch from hell.

David: True.
But Hedy! What if my spouse screwed around once and felt really really really bad about it and said it would never happen again?

Totally negotiable.
IM Conversation #2:

H: True or false: Some things in marriage are not negotiable.

JimmyC (single): True.

H: Really? Like what?

JimmyC: What if my wife wanted to stick a dildo in my ass?? NEVER!!!

H: Well let’s hope she would know that about you ahead of time and marry you anyway. ☺
WHOA! So you’re saying Jim gets a free pass if he screws around once?

Not really. Karma will certainly handle the majority of his punishment should he choose to stray.

That said, am I gonna throw away 10 years of marriage because Jim got drunk and fooled around with Pamela Anderson and then was even more foolish enough to tell me about it?

Of course not.
IM Conversation #3:

Hedy: True or false: Some things in marriage are not negotiable.

Mr. O. (divorced): True!

Hedy: Really? Like what?

Mr. O.: Violence, spouse abuse.

Hedy: Let's assume you know your spouse as well as you possibly could.

Mr. O.: Shall we also assume that sunbeams shoot out of our asses?

Hedy: I say, in a relatively healthy marriage, all things are negotiable.

Mr. O.: That statement is only true for the person who wants to stay married the most.
So there you have it.

If you want to stay married, you gotta negotiate.

And I say the big heavy non-negotiable stuff needs to be worked out in advance of getting married.

For example, when Jim and I got married, we agreed to discuss any Major Purchases ($400 or more) beforehand. We figured it out in advance so there was no need to make it negotiable or non-negotiable. It’s just one of our rules.

This woman’s husband, bless his sorry soul, probably knew she was high maintenance and that ‘caring for herself’ was a big thing for her, whatever the fuck that means.

He’s giving her a hard time about it – it could only be because she’s spending too much time or money on said care. Right?

If he’s giving her a hard time about spending too much time, it’s because he wants her to spend more time with him. This is not a bad thing in a marriage.

If he’s giving her a hard time about spending too much money, well, this is what husbands do. Unless he’s out of work and then she should be willing to sacrifice a bit of her ‘care’ items until things are back on track financially.

So what’s non-negotiable in your relationship?
I am listening to: The Weepies – All That I Want
I am reading: Neil at the Sun-Times
And I am: Negotiable


the dilf said...

Here's the deal Hedy...
You women hold all the cards. It's completely unfair. It's flat out called "The Power of the P*ssy." When we try to negotiate and you don't like it, We don't get laid! That's all it ever comes down to. Seriously ladies! How many times has your husband tried to negotiate something that you weren't happy with, and you CUT HIM OFF? You do it all the time. Admit it. And what's really pathetic, is that the men always cave. I know I do. It's like heroin to us. I HAVE TO HAVE IT or I go insane! Now my wife doesnt work, plays tennis, goes shopping, works out and loves life...and this is all due to me wanting some ass! How sad is that?

phatdoggy said...

Jim, in case you read this...
Call me. I've got Pamela Anderson's phone number. Get drunk, give her a call, and for God's sake!!!... remember to triple wrap it.

Good luck keeping images of Tommy and Kid Rock out of your head.

Hedy said...

I disagree. P*ssy, as you so delicately put it, is readily available - any time, anywhere. Especially if you're a man of some means (and it sure seems like you are). If I'm your wife and I'm not putting out on a semi-regular basis, I'd be seriously concerned about you getting it elsewhere. As for your wife's free time, tell me: when a child is spoiled do you blame the child, or the parent? Hmmm? Suck it up, DILF and stop whining about your fabulous life.

molly gras said...

Hedy -
I have to agree with you: Anything worth having has to be accommodated with flexibility and the ability to negotiate. It's kinda hard to be kind and compassionate to a selfish and uncaring prick -- therefore the spouse-picking motto I'm trying to impress upon my daughter is "Pricks: avoid'em like the plaque" (or like Republicans, whichever one you think is worse)

Posolxstvo said...

I have been struggling with this one all day. Mostly because I have never considered what me and Mrs. P do "negotiation." The give-a-little, get-a-little we do would me more aptly called "compromise."

But the difference between compromise and negotiation is all in the connotation, I now realize. When I think compromise, I think of everyone getting a fair deal -- I win, you win.

Negotiation is what I do with car dealers, vendors, etc. And you can bet I am trying to squeeze them for every last little bit of benefit to me. In other words -- I win, I don't give a shit what happens to you.

Another word I might apply is flexibility. My parents split when I was 8. At the time, I was told it was because my dad wouldn't give up his girlfriend. When I was older, I learned that was a symptom. The cause was my father was evolving, changing, and my mother didn't want him to. Which made him flee. Which caused him to find his girlfriend. Who has been my step-mother now for over 25 years now. If my mother had been more flexible, the whole scenario may have been different. Dunno. Maybe not.

Hedy said...

Well put, people. It's all about flexibility. There's negotiation and then there's compromise. And Phatdoggy: If you seriously have Pam Anderson's number, give it to me too. That way she can hook me up with Kid Rock. . .I'm seeing a marital negotiation on the horizon here. :)