The Wifeguard

My husband Thom thinks he’s a regular handyman. He loves to “fix” things like re-wire lamps, unclog dishwasher parts, and make trash drawers slide like they’re supposed to. I affectionately call him “Mr. FixIt” because most things he “fixes” with the best of intentions, end up slightly better in some ways, but still essentially broken.

His real passion, however, is yard work on our land where he gets thrills from chopping down trees, hauling brush, seeding and mowing lawns, and generally riding around in his tractor, happy as a clam. What all this “work” requires, however, given the loud equipment he uses, is a pair of industrial “earmuffs,” supposedly to protect his hearing. But I’m convinced the muffs are for an entirely different thing – to block out my constant requests that he do this or that. I have therefore affectionately, (but I think, aptly), named the muffs “THE WIFEGUARD.”

As a couples therapist and relationship coach, I think my husband has devised a unique marital tool – a perfect way to ignore me without ever having to say anything hurtful or rude. When I shout requests at him, he either doesn’t hear me at all, and just keeps doing his thing, or he smiles at me quizzically, shakes his head,  makes a motion that he can’t hear me, and cheerfully keeps going. Occasionally, when I wave my arms and make faces, looking really adamant about being heard, he takes off “the Wifeguard” momentarily and shouts, “What???”

How can I be mad, married to such an industrious, clever guy?

Ah, marriage………

Susan Lager

PS.  For access to a somewhat more traditional marital tool, you can get a copy of my newly published book, “I’m Talking! Are You Listening?”Fix Communication Problems With Your Partner In No Time Flat!  You can buy it on Amazon at:

http://amzn.to/Qprh8v 


About Susan Lager

ABOUT ME Susan Lager, LICSW, BCD I grew up in New Rochelle, a suburb of NYC, lived in Manhattan for ten years during college and graduate school, and escaped the madness for the wilds of Maine to be with Thom, the sweet man I'm still married to after 34 years. (We have an awesome 29 year old son named Alec who will run the free world someday). I knew I'd survive the relocation from New York when I discovered the scenic, historic little city of Portsmouth, on the coast of New Hampshire, with its winding streets, great restaurants, and music everywhere. I was especially thrilled to attend the Portsmouth Psychotherapy Institute, an offshoot of the B.I.P., where I did post-graduate training, and then went into private practice creating The Couples Center PLLC, doing psychotherapy, with individuals, couples and groups. In 2010 I opened a division of the practice called COUPLESPEAK™, providing live and online coaching, training programs, workshops, and written materials for people in different kinds of partnerships. I'm still passionate about the work, which is NEVER boring! My clients are courageous pioneers, and they've taught me lots I'll pass on......
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