5 Things I Hear As A Married Man

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Demonstrating on this 4th of July that individuality and marriage can (and should) go together.

I’m wondering if I’m the only married guy who hears this kind of stuff from people:

What if your wife finds out about this?

Don’t worry. She already knows about it. In fact, she’s the one who introduced me to it. Think I’m lying? Just ask her. (But I have to warn you. She swears a lot, even in front of the kids. It’s a habit. She learned how to speak English from listening to Slovenian jazz players, most of whom learned their English from their teacher, this drummer from Detroit.)

Have your fun now because your wifes coming home soon!

Have my fun now? Sorry, but I don’t want to have sex with anybody on this city bus. I certainly don’t want to shag the bus itself. Perhaps someone does, but I’m not that advanced a pervert.

You should know, for the next few hours I’ll be hanging around with two California girls and a gay guy, and we’re going to be smoking fruity tobacco from a hookah.

Just so you’d know, I’m on my way back from the Architectural Society where I picked up a variety of phallic props for the Satyr play (invite only, private event, sorry) I’ll be staging once my wife returns. It’s going to be in my back yard, between the peach and cherry tree.

Yes, I have a peach and cherry tree. Planted them myself. In midsummer, I just go out and pick the lovely, warm spheres. Especially the peach tree yields amazing fruits.

Dont you need to call your wife? 

Thanks for your concern. I know I’ve been out all afternoon and haven’t flashed my phone in a few hours. Gimme a sec. I’ll just dial her here.

Ring ring

Hi, baby? Yeah, I know you’ve got rehearsal until ten. Sorry for calling! But these people are really worried, so I just wanted to let you know I’m hanging out with them. I haven’t seen them since a trip to LA in 1995. Just stumbled on them, out of the blue, and right here in Chicago. Yeah *giggle* *snort* amazing!

One of them used to be a Huntington Beach lifeguard. Just like in Baywatch, exactly the same. But she got a chemistry degree and designs perfume now. Wish you could smell her. You know how Macy’s smells when you go inside? That’s how she smells right now, like alcohol mixed with flowers and grapefruit zest.

The second one sells shoes. Haven’t seen her since a camping trip to Big Bear, California. She looked like Aphrodite then (if Aphrodite wore jeans and a Pepperdine sweatshirt). She really hasn’t changed all that much. I’m currently out in public with her, talking and laughing.

Then there’s this guy: we all knew he was gay when we were teens. He came out a while ago. Announced it on Facebook.

Anyway, we’re going to leave this tea house and go up to a hookah bar. You should know, for the next few hours I’ll be hanging around with two California girls and a gay guy, and we’re going to be smoking fruity tobacco from a hookah—

No, I’ll be home at the usual time. Yeah…of course, I’ll remember to bring kebabs. When have I forgotten to bring your damn kebabs?

Your wife lets you do that?

Here’s the situation. After I’m done with my Satyr play, I’m going to start packing for my trip. This summer, I’m going to attend a seminar in Lithuania, and will stop over in Amsterdam for a few days to visit some friends. I’m going alone while my wife takes the kids to see family in Kiev.

My wife wishes she could join me, and I wish she and I could go together. We want a two-week vacation, but it probably won’t work out until our kids are old enough to go to summer camp. We both love Vilnius and the Netherlands, and we have very good friends in both cities. Our honeymoon was in Amsterdam, so we have fond memories, some of them rather wild.

If you’re worried about the hookers and the grass and the smart shops, yeah: yowza! But prostitutes and grass and hallucinogenic drugs are available virtually anywhere, even in your posh upper-middle class American suburb (where every fourth resident has an Adult Friend Finder account). I’ve spoken to prostitutes in Warsaw hotel bars and in rest areas along I-57. I’ve observed drug culture in every country I’ve ever visited. As a community college instructor, I can tell you that teens from your top-rated high school have access to everything from grass and salvia to ecstasy and meth.

My point? If I wanted to hire prostitutes and trip balls, I would not need a plane ticket to the Netherlands. And if I wanted to hide behavior from my wife, I would not tell her I’m going to Amsterdam where I’ll be staying with a friend. Prepare for the shock: my friend, Monika, is a single woman. She’s naturally blonde, and she has an amazing collection of hot boots. She also has several roommates, all of them young women with careers (and romantic interests that do not include me). I’m sure Monika has activities lined up for us, perhaps dinner in some cool place or a visit to an artist’s house. Maybe a party on a houseboat. Something like that.

If you were my husband, Id kill you for even thinking of this stuff.

Please don’t be angry. I’ve done you no harm. Besides, we’re not married.

Actually…why are you imagining that? It’s kinda weird.

 

Photo by Andrew Turner

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About Gint Aras

Gint Aras has two decades of experience teaching, over ten of them in a Chicago-area community college. He writes a weekly column, True Community, about young men and education. His writing has appeared in St. Petersburg Review (forthcoming, 2014), Antique Children, Criminal Class Review, Curbside Splendor, Dialogo, Šiaurės Atėnai and other publications. He's a photographer and the author of the cult novel, Finding the Moon in Sugar. Check out his website, Liquid Ink. Follow Gint on Twitter @Gint_Aras and "like" him on Facebook.

Comments

  1. Will Best says:

    I have heard quite a few of them myself. Here is why I hate every one of them

    “what if your wife finds out?”

    well if she doesn’t that probably means there is some level of dysfunction in our relationship. To ask is to imply I don’t have a functioning relationship with my wife

    “have fun now because your wife’s coming home soon!”

    This implies both that my wife is unfun, and that I chose poorly when selecting her.

    “Don’t you need to call your wife?”

    This implies that my wife has me on some sort of short leash, a lack of healthy communication between us, and that I suffer from a general state of incompetence in not knowing when I need to “check in”

    “Your wife lets you do that?”

    This implies that I am the property of my wife. It further implies that I am not aware of my marriage vows and our understanding what is and isn’t acceptable behavior

    “If you were my husband, I’d kill you for even thinking of this stuff.”

    I am not married to you, and there is a good reason for that. Though more often its being said by an overly flirtatious woman and I feel that shows an amazing level of disrespect for my wife and our relationship.

  2. Just goes to show you how common a wife can be controlling to the point of abusive if it’s so common to hear this stuff. My dad was “allowed” to go fishing more than once a week and mum’s friends were shocked that she would “allow” him to do that….I thought to myself if that is a common experience with marriage/dating than I am glad to be single, but I do hope to find a partner that isn’t so controlling or demanding.

    Can any wives do an article on what they commonly hear?

    • Will Best says:

      The only men I know that are “allowed” to do things aren’t in good marriages. Every man in a good relationship has a set of responsibilities, and if he meets those can do whatever he wants so long as it doesn’t seriously threaten his ability to meet his responsibilities in the future.

      • Melissa says:

        Both this article and your response Will have given me hope that there are both men and women who value their husband/wives/partners. That for some (hopefully one more for me) people see marriage as a great partnership not the weirdly unbalanced affair it is presented as . So thanks, both of you.

    • “Like I Am” by Blackberry Smoke is a great song…a conversation everyone (male or female) should have before getting married:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M0GnPdK124

  3. Lindile says:

    Hahaha …this is a great article … Cackled away as I read it….

    As an unattached, previously hitched woman I hear some versions of the above…started with…”No wonder your husband kicked you out…because you are…
    1. Too loud … You laugh too loud, you want to be the centre of attention.
    2. You travel too much … Wives should sit at home and do school runs and mind the kids.
    3. You are too independent ….
    The list could go on forever … And then judgements are even longer … I don’t care … Got my get out of jail free card and will not give it up in a hurry.

    Your article gives me hope that one day I will find someone as far out as me who can accept the whole concept of individuality within marriage …..

  4. I know I commented on twitter already Gint, but I couldn’t be happier with you focusing on this topic. i often get asked by my friends AND my family if my relationship is stable since my husband and I have

    a)lived apart at various points in our relationship (I’m Canadian and he’s American)
    b)We have made various trips solo or with our own separate friends, or even
    c)I go out frequently without him because he works shiftwork and to be honest, he’s not that great in big crowds.
    It just reinforces for me the BS people are fed from childhood about what constitutes a healthy relationship. I’ve seen most people in my life resort to becoming “one” with their partner…to the point where it seems the other can’t take a bathroom break wihout being followed in. What makes me a good wife is that I’m a strong individual with a massive sense of self and I don’t need my husband to survive. I just am taking him along for the ride :-)

    • Gint Aras says:

      What stuns me is that these kinds of things are often communicated by married people. As I’ve argued in several articles, our entire culture needs a reality check. We need greater introspection and wisdom. We also have to examine our assumption about what it means to love someone. It does not mean that you have to be infantile.

  5. Hank Vandenburgh says:

    Great article!

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