By KATE HUNTER AND ALISSA WARREN
So did this show up in your Facebook feed over the past couple of weeks?
The photo is of Gerald Rogers and his new wife, on their wedding day. The photo accompanied a heartfelt post – written by Gerald – called ‘A divorced man’s twenty things to do differently.’
Gerald’s marriage has broken up after 16 years and his list has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media. You can read it in full here.
Call us cynical old crones but we got the feeling that Gerald must have listened to Bruno Mars ‘When I was your man,’ a few too many times. So we have added our own commentary on some of his most poignant advice.
1. IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO CHANGE OR FIX HER… If she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
Heads up. SHE. WILL. CHANGE.
At some point, your lady love will become a cluster of hormonal hell and living the remainder of your life with her will be as satisfying as licking your fingers after eating an Iced Vovo. Sounds delicious but in the end its just a couple of bits of coconut.
Period. Pre-baby. Baby. Post-baby. Menopause. Hold on tight buddy.
2. Allow your woman to JUST BE. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok.
Hold. Hold again. And… release. Thank you, lover.
Now I just want to huff at my puffy eyes, have a Milo and go to bed.
So, um, sure, feel free to let me know you “aren’t going anywhere” but you should probably know – I am. Most likely for a wine with my girlfriends or, better still, to file myself away as a Missing Person on Lizard Island.
3. GIVE HER SPACE. The woman is so good at giving and giving … If you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing.
New songs… After two minutes in the car (alone) – I know who Robin Thicke is. My emu dancing (head only) at the wheel has allowed me a dip into the black hole of pop culture.
For a minute and thirteen seconds, the black hole is a shade of grey. Sure. But don’t think for a second that I have forgotten the old songs. And I still miss Sam Wiggle.
4. Commit to being an EPIC LOVER.
Please don’t. I don’t want to have sex with a legendary hero of gigantic proportions all the time. I don’t want to see a Jay Z/Coldplay collaboration every night. Sometimes I have a better time watching a band sing covers at the pub. You know?
5. BE SILLY… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.
But don’t be a dick.
Be selective about what you laugh about. If she’s not laughing at the bottle of canola oil she just spilled on the floor, chances are it’s not funny and laughing about it won’t ‘make it easier’ to clean up.
Get the mop and swing it, buddy.
6. BE WILLING TO TAKE HER SEXUALLY, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul.
Most men are bang up for ‘taking her sexually’. That’s rarely a problem. As for being carried away by your masculine strength… I’d suggest being carried away in a taxi to the airport for a weekend with her girlfriends might be a better option.
And here’s a pro tip: Sort it so she can go without having to write a 3,000 word dossier on childcare arrangements.
And don’t get your mother to move in either.
7. BE VULNERABLE… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.
Actually, yes, you do have to have it all together, most of the time. You are an adult.
Your wife should not have to remind you of your mother’s birthday and deal with the fallout if you buy her a crap present.
You should know where the Vegemite is kept and it’s your job to replace the batteries in the FOXTEL remote. As for your mistakes, acknowledge them by all means, but then sort them out.
If you eat the last slice of bread while watching the Ashes at midnight, pop out in the morning and buy another loaf.
8. BE FULLY TRANSPARENT. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share.
Your wife may love you, and certainly she promised to do so through sickness and health, but there ARE things about you she doesn’t want to know. If you have a bout of gastro, for example, it’s enough to say you’re unwell. You do not have to share the details. If you wouldn’t tell a new girlfriend about how bad things were in the bathroom last night, don’t tell your wife.
9. NEVER STOP GROWING TOGETHER. The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool.
‘Babe, I think we have malaria,’ is rarely a good way to begin a discussion on the state of one’s marriage. Mainly because women deal with illness ALL THE TIME. If it’s not something 10ml of Nurofen can fix, she won’t want to know.
Please do married blokes everywhere a favour and share this post on your Facebook feed. Otherwise we risk a world of wannabe epic lovers. Oh dear…
Kate is the writer of all sorts of things. There’s the Mosquito Advertising series of novels for kids nine to thirteenish, lots of ads, and regular posts on Mamamia about everything from disliking fish to telling her kids they can’t do gymnastics AND netball. Kate lives in Brisbane with her husband, three kids and a dog she’s famously lukewarm about. You can follow her ramblings on twitter @katelhunter.
Alissa Warren began her career at Radio 2UE and has worked as a reporter for ‘A Current Affair’ and Sydney’s Nine News. Recently, Alissa has written for various publications including News Ltd and Fairfax and appears as a regular panelist on various news programs. You can follow her on Twitter here.