Riddles of Marriage: “Only if I Say it”

only if i say itThere are rare moments in a married man’s life when his wife turns to him for advice. The man, baffled by this sudden appreciation of his existence, presents the wife with what he believes to be the most optimal decision, only to have his wisdom mocked at, and his suggestion ridiculed. However, moments later, the wife has an epiphany of the exact same solution and goes ahead with the decision to solve the issue. The husband is left in a state of confusion, not realizing that he has been a victim of only-if-i-say-it syndrome.

In this very common syndrome, wives, when they solicit advice for any problem are only looking for an answer that they can copy-paste as their own. Only then, will she feel the true satisfaction of solving the issue at hand. Besides, listening to husband’s advice is like agreeing with him, and this puts the wife under some sort of moral debt that she fears of being reminded some time in the future.

The mind of the husband, on the other hand, is not complicated enough to comprehend this plot along with all its causes, effects, ifs and buts. He simply hears his wife asking a question and, being a good husband, he answers with a possible solution. Upon rejection of one suggestion, the husband starts to analyze other possible answers. Meanwhile, the wife is trying to rephrase what she just heard and present it as the final decision. Clearly, men are lost when it comes to what women want, think, require and expect.

Riddles of Marriage: “Selective Perception”

selective perceptionWhile handing today’s paper to my wife I said; ‘there were four bomb blasts today, 80 people were killed and 30 were injured. A plane crashed in the mountains and all 150 passengers onboard have died. Three children drowned in the river, tremors of earthquake were felt in our city, and our government is about to enter yet another period of martial law.’ What is the first thing she says while glancing at the paper? ‘Oh Look!, Mothercare has a sale today!’ Welcome to another episode of selective perception.

It is no secret that we see what we choose to see. How many times has it happened that an item keeps lying around uselessly in front of your eyes for eons but as soon as you need it, it magically disappears? And how many times has it happened that you drive your wife all the way across the city to her favorite shop that just happens to be closed today for no obvious reason. (Hint: It happens, and its your fault because, why the heck are they closed today?) And how many times did you proclaim your love for your wife but if you unconsciously sneezed towards the direction of a girl, who happens to be passing on the other side of the street (in complete Abaya), that you are questioned regarding your loyalty & love?

I was a victim of selective perception (& generalized criticism) in the pre-marriage days as well. Back then; it was my father who always happened to enter my room when I was playing video games after hours and hours of studies. He always used to say the same thing; ‘Playing huh!? How will you handle the real life when it hits you in the head?’ Well father, I guess those scolding sessions provided me with the juice to run this marathon of post-marital-selective-perception-syndrome-crisis.