You married him

by Ginger on January 19, 2011

in Marriage

I know this is not a new complaint, but I just have to get it off my chest.

Ladies, if all you do on your blog and Twitter and Facebook (and real life) is bitch about how stupid your husband is, how incompetent he is, how thoughtless he is,  how unsupportive he is, how misogonystic he is, how bad with the kids he is?

I don’t feel one IOTA of sympathy for you.

Because here’s the thing. You married him. So, except in very rare cases, I figure one of two things.

1. You knew he was an ass before you married him, and you married him anyway. Maybe you were desperate to get married. Maybe you thought you could change him. Maybe you were pretending he wasn’t as bad as you thought. But you still married him.

2. You’re doing it as an act. Because along with the “bad mommy” & “drunk mommy” acts, the “long suffering wife of an ass/buffoon” act seems kind of popular on these here interwebs.

Either way, I’m just not sympathetic.

And frankly, I wish you’d stop it.

Edited to add: To clarify, I’m NOT talking about the occasional post/tweet/status update to vent. We’ve all been there. I’m also not talking about if you’re dealing with actual problems in your marriage and are blogging about them as you work through them.

Brooke January 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I have to say that I kind of disagree with you. People change over time. Parenting in particular seems to have a negative effect on couples as they negotiate through their very new roles. How could someone have known before getting married that said person wasn’t going to change a diaper… EVER… or would be more interested in WoW than their child walking (I’m just throwing out random examples).

I don’t like the overly public way that people complain about their spouse, and I would hope that they were looking for ways of coping, though sometimes venting is that outlet. But I don’t think it’s nearly as simple as, “Well, you married him.”

Ginger January 19, 2011 at 9:23 pm

I agree, people change. And the early years of parenting in particular can be…stressful and cause the ground to shift under your feet. So I get that, I do. And I get the occasional complaint about that. What else is Twitter & FB & blogging for than a good old fashioned vent? Hell, my husband is no saint.

But what I’m talking about are the people who have, literally, 4 out of 5 tweets about their asshole husband. The ones who post on FB nothing but shitty stories about their husbands. Because to your point–if it’s really that bad, if you’re really unhappy and he really has changed so much? You need to do more than just bitch online about it.

Megan January 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I haven’t actually experienced this online, but I would sure as hell be annoyed, too!

I know I’m lucky enough to not have these kinds of problems with my husband, so maybe I don’t know how I would react, but I agree that if it is THAT bad, you need to be a bit more proactive than bitching online.

I was with Chris for five years before we got married and had seen him around lots of kids. I knew he would change diapers. I knew he’d be an amazing father. But, I also knew he would be too lenient, and that I would have to force him to discipline. I was right. But, I don’t ever bitch about it (well, maybe to my mom.) Instead, we work on it together. We fight about it, but we work it out.

I know that’s a tiny problem, but I think it illustrates your point that we should try to know these things going in, and if we get surprised by something, or if things change, do something about it!

Elija January 19, 2011 at 11:34 pm

People do cahnge, not all at once but most of the time its little by little. If it’s not for the best it’s for the worst! I must admit, when I seen and then read this blog I kinda turned red. Cuz lately the hubby and I are off the map! (Trust issue). So here I am complain, bitch and mope around untill the idea that hey I should write a blog about the hubby. I only did it cuz I have no one to talk to and also I thought it would kinda make me feel better to let out all the steam. About posting to Facebook or Tweet bout hubby, that I don’t do. I just don’t want people kowing our business. Blogging bout him and hiding our identity made my nerves to calm down. So in behalf of other BITCHY hubby wife bloggers, FB and Tweets posters I’m sorry if it annoys you but will continue to do it.

Ginger January 20, 2011 at 12:13 am

I totally get the venting thing! Writing a blog post or two, or a few tweets–hey we’ve all been there. And I am the last person who would complain about using your blog for therapy, since I do it all the time.
My beef isn’t with that, it’s with the people who quite honestly do nothing BUT complain about their spouse. If every single thing being tweeted(and honestly, Twitter is the worst offender) or written is about how horrible your husband is, my default is annoyance.
Occasional instances–I feel sympathy, offer my ear, commiserate. Nonstop is different.

Lisa January 20, 2011 at 2:15 am

I think it’s more #2. Most women I know that truly married a loser don’t admit it or talk about it, they try to act like it’s normal. But I think there’s a way some women feel they’re supposed to act, like men can’t do anything on their own, what would they do without us, it’s like having another baby, etc. Like some long-suffering sisterhood of the wives or something, and I see it a lot in real life, southern women love them some ‘men are idiots that can’t function without us’ stories.

It bothers me for the same reason those “girls rule, boys drool” t-shirts do – when did it become cool to rag on the boys? Seriously, the way teach girls about independence, “equality,” and self esteem is by putting down boys?

And bad/drunk mommy act, can we go there? Because I don’t really get that either, unless it’s just to oppose the super crunchy Wonder Mom mommyblogger type. That I can kinda see because the ‘I’m going to write a thesis on perfect attachment parenting in every post (like I have a phd in it coughcough)’ thing is annoying too. But when did ‘I have to be drunk to be around my kid’ become the alternative?

Ginger January 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I think it is more #2, in general. Interesting point about the regional bit (now that I think about it, I do think a lot of the primary offenders I see are southern. Hmm.).
And this: “Seriously, the way teach girls about independence, “equality,” and self esteem is by putting down boys?” YES! Thank you! I also feel, especially now that I’m a mom of a boy, why do we keep perpetuating this stereotype of men who can’t do anything right? I don’t want my son to grow up thinking that’s what women expect of him–and he’s lucky that he has an amazing role model in his dad, but if the culture tells him that it’s normal and ok to not be a partner & participant? That bugs me.

And yeah, the bad/drunk mommy thing–that’s been around as long as mommyblog has been a word (and longer), but it’s pretty annoying. Along with the “my kids are so annoying I’d rather do anything than hang out with them” thing–I mean, really? Again, every once in a while, I get that, but if that’s your THING? It gets old (and a little disturbing).

Lisa January 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm

(I don’t know why my URL never shows up if I comment from my phone. Weird).

In my experience, southern culture (especially in rural areas) does not promote relationship equality. Men are expected to be the head of household and women are expected to be submissive and defer to her husband for all decisions. I think this is where a lot of the “men are dummies that can’t do anything” stuff comes from, on a couple different levels. Maybe a little bitterness, maybe a little female bonding, maybe a little feeling in control.

The scenario I’m thinking (hell, that I’ve *seen*)… Woman marries man and is repeatedly told she needs to be a submissive wife. She starts getting a little bitter that she can’t make any decisions in their relationship, so she controls what she can — the way things go around the house — and she wants him to offer to help, but do things her way. He makes all the decisions, at least he can do the laundry her way, can’t he? He tries to help and he doesn’t do it her way, so it’s wrong, and she tells him the right way, and then the next time she’s out of stain spray, she’s using different detergent, and she’s switched from liquid fabric softener, so he’s done it wrong again. She gets huffy about how he can’t do anything right, because that’s all she can get huffy about, she surely can’t tell him he’s in the wrong about something like finances. Then she gets together with her friends and they bond over stories of their husbands and their inability to do anything right, because they can’t discuss how their husbands made the executive decision to spend $40k on a new truck.

And then next thing you know, small talk with co-workers (or complete strangers) is a man-bashing session because women assume you have that in common. And that’s what my problem is, just the man-bashing, not honest marital problems. Everyone has issues and times where they’re getting on one another nerves, and everyone needs to vent about it. But constant man-bashing for sport isn’t cool.

Ginger January 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm

This sums up my post better than anything else I said:
“And that’s what my problem is, just the man-bashing, not honest marital problems. Everyone has issues and times where they’re getting on one another nerves, and everyone needs to vent about it. But constant man-bashing for sport isn’t cool.”

Exactly. Exactly what I (so inelequently) tried to get to.

bekah January 20, 2011 at 4:28 am

Totally agree. Matt and I argue and we both do stupid stuff that angers/annoys each other, but still, he is my husband, the same guy that he was when he was 19 and I met him and laughed at his cute little sunburnt nose. Sure, he cant remember which drawer the forks go in, but I rarely remember to put the bag in the garbage can before throwing a diaper in there. Until I master becoming the perfect wife, I can hardly expect him not to make a mistake.

++-

bekah January 20, 2011 at 4:29 am

Um…Im not trying to speak in code there. the ++- thing was Jack banging on the keyboard with a marker.

Ginger January 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Jack just had to get in his two words that boys aren’t all useless 🙂

tasha January 20, 2011 at 6:13 am

LOL you are hilarious i’m so glad i stumbled across your site, because although the stuff you said made sense, i too agree that posting it on fb, myspace, or any of the above is just a waste of time! Either you love it or you hate it, which are you going to do! Great post

Jenn January 20, 2011 at 7:55 am

I agree. When Bart and I got married, I knew he would be a great father, but I didn’t know that it would never cross his mind to offer to change a diaper or give the baby a bath. But constantly complaining to others doesn’t fix that, asking him to change a diaper or give the baby a bath is what fixes that.

The Sweetest January 20, 2011 at 9:21 am

Whoooo-weeee! You crack that whip, missy!

eventheniceone January 20, 2011 at 9:22 am

Are you talking about ME????

Just kidding…I read this and immediately did a mental inventory…am I being annoyingly condescending towards my H on my twitter? LOL….

I agree that it’s sort of annoying to see repeated complaints. But I also agree with your commenter about how people can change. Drastically. Especially if you’ve been shackled to them for 15 years….oh wait…here I go down that alley again 😉

Thanks for the reminder!

OurLittleAshley January 20, 2011 at 9:22 am

I am super open and share a LOT about my life and myself, but I just love and RESPECT my husband too much to complain publicly about him. I just think how hurt I’d be if he tweeted or blogged about how I was being selfish/inadequate/a terrible wife…

That’s not to say that he, or our relationship, is perfect. But I’ll save those complaints for him, or a private conversation.

It’s just not healthy to not communicate!

shasta January 20, 2011 at 9:24 am

AGREED! Everyone’s got their problems, but as tempting as it is to join in with the husband-ragging, my husband doesn’t deserve that. I’d be PISSED if Husband bitched constantly and/or publicly about me and, except in rare instances, that’s what makes me hold my tongue.

Alexis January 20, 2011 at 9:44 am

Love it! I am no saint, Chris is far from perfect and we occasionally vent (on the blog, on FB, to friends/family etc), but yeah when people spend too much of their time focused on how lack-luster their partners are…it gets old. This applies in real-life too, it one thing to meet up for coffee and vent during some safe girl-time, but it is another to make the focus of everything about how long-suffering you are because of you partner. I think a lot of it is theory #2. There seems to be this thrill of martyrdom that permeates the web (especially in the woman/mommy blogging genre) and most of it may be hyperbole just to play the game. (OMG do military wives love this game, it is not enough that we are doing it for the country, but everyone must understand all the sacrifices….look at me and all my sacrifices…LOOK AT ME!) Personally I know I often need to think before I speak because “yeah, DH does this and it is just so hilarious to me” can soon turn into a laundry list of all the ways that your spouse annoys the hell out of you. I see how people get there, but also, I think we all need to learn when to call a halt, or when to realize it is a real problem and not just a blogging fodder problem.

Cherie Beyond January 20, 2011 at 10:05 am

I don’t get these women either, especially when they hold their husbands up to a standard that they themselves are clearly not meeting. I do think it’s a common schtick these days: the Goofus Male. It’s almost as annoying as the equally common My Husband Is a Dreamy Dreamboat schtick.

pomomama January 20, 2011 at 10:22 am

i don’t buy the “you married him” angle either. congrats to everyone whose life partner grows and develops and works on issues alongside them, every step of the way – you most definitely have a winner there. but for everyone else who is struggling with a co-habitee who hasn’t matured alongside, adapted to changed life circumstances, met responsibilities adequately, filled his share of ‘working on relationship problems’ – my sympathies; it hurts and it sucks and it takes every ounce of energy to keep going. you just keep on going anywhichway makes sense, ignore the smug marrieds (with apologies to Bridget Jones) and continue trying to find the positive in life (it is out there, eventually)

Ginger January 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

I do understand that people change. I’m the child of divorce (and there were several more in my family as I grew up), I know the reality–I’ve seen a million different ways that marriages grow and shift and evolve (and dissolve). In that sense, in that very big picture sense, you’re right, the “you married him” thing isn’t exactly apt.
But what I’m talking about, the phenomenon I’m seeing, 99% of the time is not from women who have been married for years, who have struggled to make things work. These aren’t major life developments. These are things that seriously SERIOUSLY cannot be a shock. I’m talking about the women who just bitch. Constantly. They talk about every little flaw their husband has, airing all their pettiest complaints all over Twitter. And I just can’t believe that it’s a surprise that the man you married is into video games. Or prefers to spend his Saturday morning sleeping. Or doesn’t know how to do the laundry because his mother always did it for him. Or disappears for hours when there’s a football game on. I just don’t believe that that’s a big surprise. That’s where my “you married him” logic comes from.

pomomama January 20, 2011 at 11:00 am

i think in the light of your reply, you really need to change the rather smug “you married him” byline for your post then.

you’re not helping a majority of women who are having problems in their relationships and keep silent about them. you’re telling them that a safe place to vent about their feelings is no longer available. you’re showing them they should go back to keeping quiet.

yes, there will always be internet users who bitch, moan, rant continuously about this life circumstance or that – they can do it about anything, a sports team, a celebrity, a vendetta against a local business, politics and so on. if it’s that boring don’t read and don’t waste your sympathy if they’re not acting on their issues in a constructive manner. they probably aren’t the kind who will take any notice of your “having no sympathy” post anyway. for the professional FB “rant rant rant whinge whinge whinge” status updaters why not just tell them they are repetitive, dull and boring?

clara January 20, 2011 at 10:52 am

I don’t see this on twitter or fb, mself, but I also have self-selected for people who don’t irritate the crap out of me 😉 HOWEVER in person? At preschool? Talking to the other mothers about how much their husbands suck? Annoying. Yesterday I had the following conversation.

Me: (complaining about how long it took my son to get dressed that morning) ..I wish I could just hire someone to get the kids out of the house in the morning
Other mom: OH I know. And the dads are SO USELESS.
Me: Well, mine is helpful but he’s already out the door at 7 am…
Other other mom: Even if he was there, he’d still be useless
Me: No, he’s not useless. The kids are incredibly unmotivated to leave the house…
Other mom: My husband, if I ask him to get the kids ready for bed, he FORGETS to brush their teeth. Like, they’re SIX and FOUR! You have to remind them!
Other other mom: Oh my husband doesn’t even know how to brush their teeth
Me: (silent because actually I am the one who sucks at oral hygiene in our house)

I’ve seen this a lot. And I understand the compulsion (post kids, especially) to blame your partner for all the things you don’t like about your life. After all, he is the other adult and it ain’t kosher to blame the kids. But my experience has also been that so many women, when it comes to sharing household responsibilities, tend to do it THEIR WAY because it’s the RIGHT WAY and what partner wants to say, no, no, I’ll do the dishes if he knows that she’s going to do them over again because he did them wrong? Nobody.

ANyway. I agree with you. The end. Going to brush the kids’ teeth now.

Rachel January 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I know what you are talking about. I encounter people that seem to race to the Internet to broadcast their drama, but then wonder why people think their lives suck. If you only bitch then I’ll think your life is a bitch….

Ginger January 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I think in life there will always be those people that over-vent to feel better about their life or situation. I also think you and I are hyper-sensitive to it because 1) we don’t like it and 2) we’re maybe more aware about what we put online because we do have a career and that kind of stuff could harm us or reflect poorly on us in the professional sense. At least I’m very conscious of that. When I have a need to vent for the most part I do it in person. 🙂

I once dated a guy who was uber-depressing. All he did was complain and try to bring you down with him. It was a great lesson to me in how depressing that is to be around, and I swore I would never do to someone what he did to me.

Ginger January 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm

You know, your point about the career thing may be a big part of it for me, but not just because of my career (though that’s a part of it).

A lot of it for me also is–I follow a lot of these people on Twitter/FB for my work accounts. One of the brands I work on focuses partly on mommybloggers, and I see it in that work stream. So while I can avoid it in my personal stream, I can’t avoid it completely. AND I have to try and look at these women in a professional light. So it ends up rubbing me wrong in more ways than one.

Jen January 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I don’t mind bitching so long as an equal number of happy tweets/status updates etc are posted. Venting is one thing and people do change at very different rates, I agree with you there. But if all you do is bitch (about anything, not just partners) I get tired of the stream. Then it’s up to me to delete the stream from my own.

kate January 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm

oooo-weeee! You riled people up and got the feathers flying. I am neither here nor there. Non-stop negativity is toxic. Venting is productive.

Looks like you handed out one big bitch-slap! 🙂

sarah January 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I haven’t read all the responses, so I might be repeating here, but I part of this I agree w/ & part of it, I don’t. I am annoyed w/ people who create their own “brand” by constantly being negative or complaining or being a certain “type” (like the ones you mentioned) to the extent that they don’t seem like complete people anymore. That just ends up boring me and I eventually either unfollow, unfriend or stop reading their blogs.

However, I don’t agree w/ you that someone who is struggling w/ their partner “should have known better.” There’s a huge difference between creating drama to get attention versus venting b/c your partner has genuinely upset you or hurt you.

Ginger January 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I completely agree–there’s a huge difference. And I’m only talking about the people who you mention in the first part of your comment–not the second. For the person doing the second–I’ve got nothing but an open ear and a willing shoulder.

I’ll take the hit for not having written my complaint clearly enough the first time around (that’s what I get for blogging a hot button issue at 10pm), but my issue is not at all with venting or dealing with serious hurt or upset. My complaint is ONLY with those people who have made their entire shtick complaining about every little thing their partner does. As I said to someone else further up stream:
“I’m talking about the women who just bitch. Constantly. They talk about every little flaw their husband has, airing all their pettiest complaints all over Twitter. And I just can’t believe that it’s a surprise that the man you married is into video games. Or prefers to spend his Saturday morning sleeping. Or doesn’t know how to do the laundry because his mother always did it for him. Or disappears for hours when there’s a football game on. I just don’t believe that that’s a big surprise. That’s where my “you married him” logic comes from.”

jake January 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Couldn’t agree more. Thank you for voicing something I have felt for years. To me this is one of the foremost problems with today’s society along with our national debt and the misuse of apostrophes. The problem lies in the fact that people fail to know their partner well enough before they get married – whether marrying too soon due to a pregnancy or a misinterpretation of what you think love is or an unreal grasp of the magnitude of marriage. Many people fail to ensure that they truly know their partner before committing to a lifetime of companionship. While people do change, sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better – it is your job when you commit to someone to do your very best to know that person, their tendencies, their habits, their weaknesses, as well as their strengths. Bam!

-sacredbee’s man

Kathleen (amoment2think) January 21, 2011 at 7:07 am

I have to say, I think there is a lot of man bashing in our society. And I am sure I have been guilty of it at one time or an other. I think sometimes women feel they ‘bond’ over poking fun at the husbands… not to mention the media stereotype of the clueless father…

One of the things that has annoyed me occasionally is when people assume my husband isn’t an equal partner in parenting and around the house. I have written posts expressing my challenges of feeling overwhelmed by working full time and raising a toddler and trying to keep the house together. I got quite a few responses that were “Why don’t you get your husband to chip in”, to which my response was “He already does. A lot. He doesn’t even just ‘chip it’, he is right up to his elbows as much as I am.” That assumption that my husband is useless bothers me.

Again, obviously venting is something we all need to do sometimes. But I also think if we want men to be equal partners we have to stop putting them down and making fun at their expense.

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