Relationship Advice From Mr Angry

I have been asked previously why I've never had angry rants about any of my exes or women in general. Obviously things have happened in previous relationship that have made me angry (that's where the "ex" part comes in) but it isn't something I wanted to focus on in this blog, for a number of reasons.

First, I don't want to sound all whiny and embittered, a common pitfall for either gender when railing against insane exes (and I'm sure we all agree: all our exes are insane, otherwise they would still be worshipping us). Second, although I do this blog anonymously it isn't impossible that one of my exes would find out and recognise themselves. This would be bad for two reasons: one, I have no wish to restart old fights, two, some of my exes are dangerous psychotics and I don't want to re-motivate them to hunt me down.

A brief note to any exes who read this and work out who I am: you are clearly not the psychotic one, she's not smart enough to track me down on the net, no matter how much she tries.

So rather than saying what makes me angry about relationships, I offer the following pieces of advice, divided along gender lines where appropriate:

Rule #1 for males: It probably is your fault, so just accept it. Jokes aside, the range of male behaviour that would not even be noticed by the majority of other males can actually be quite affronting. Remember: just because you don't think it's offensive doesn't mean it really isn't offensive.

Rule #2 for males: It is almost impossible to over-communicate. Throughout history, the vast majority of relationship issues have spiraled out of control because a male didn't say something he assumed was understood.

Rule #1 for females: Internalising emotions doesn't mean you have no emotions. Men have a tendency to internalise, it rarely helps a man in life if he's overly expressive. Just because he doesn't talk about his feelings doesn't mean he doesn't have feelings.

Rule #2 for females: Decide what you like/want in a man and go for that type of man. Don't for the love of the baby Jeebus pick a man and then try to change him. Rough, tough macho men are unlikely to develop a sensitive, emotional side. Quiet, introspective men are unlikely to change into rugged outdoorsmen. Make everyone's life easier and DON'T TRY TO CHANGE MEN! Pick the right type in the first place.

One thing women should never say to men: in the rare circumstance where a man perceives that you are upset about something and he asks "what's the matter?" Don't say "Nothing's the matter." Don't do it. Never. No matter how angry you are. Say "I'm too angry at you to talk to you now" or "I'm too upset right now" or a simple "I don't feel like talking right now, we can talk later." But don't say "nothing". This is pointless and counterproductive for two reasons:

One: the man knows you are upset and gets pissed off when you brush him off like that. He thinks to himself: "Last damn time I ask her how she's feeling." And you'll wonder why you don't "connect" any more.

Two: the man thinks you're telling the truth and wanders off thinking everything is A-OK. Men are notoriously lacking in emotional sensitivity. If you luck into a scenario where he senses that you are upset, grab the opportunity with both hands. If he's the type who believes you when you say "nothing" he'll never notice your feelings again. If he does sense anything he'll assume he's wrong because you told him he was wrong last time. And it isn't really fair to be upset at him when his only flaw was to believe what you told him.

One thing men should never say to women: "When is the baby due?" Seriously. Never say this. No matter how sure you are she's pregnant. Because once you say this to a woman who turns out not to be pregnant, there's no recovering. You are forever condemned to the "ignorant male" category.

I realise I'm only talking about heterosexual relationships here. This isn't because I'm making any judgement on the value of gay relationships – I'm merely sticking to my areas of expertise. What the hell do I know about being gay?

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Relationship Advice From Mr Angry

  1. Mom

    “all our exes are insane, otherwise they would still be worshipping us.”

    Now isn’t this the truth? I have a string of those crazy sob’s. :-D

    The only time we can successfully change another person is when they are in diapers.

    If I am asked to give relationship advise I always throw this in….”but what the hell do I know, I can’t stay married.” :-D

  2. Jeezus – did the Mom thing again. ^

  3. Pus

    Hmmm…so shall I paste this on my dressing table mirror as a reminder? :P

  4. Sandra: The justification for giving advice despite one’s own imperfections is “I’m being objective – you’re not being judged in comparison to my own perfect life”

    Pus: And say them to yourself three times every morning :)

  5. Hell Boy

    hhhmmm im gonna remember those advices! pretty wise! :)

  6. I was very interested in your comment about being asked what is wrong and answering that nothing is wrong, when it’s obvious something is. Thank you. For me, part of that has come from thinking if I said something it would get worse and part of it is from learning to act that way. You’re right, I can certainly say that I can’t talk about it at the moment but I will when I can…thus admitting the obvious and leaving room for resolution. I can hear myself saying nothing’s wrong and I’m embarrassed at how pouty and addtention getting it sounds. OK. I’m done with that.

  7. I’m glad to see Mr Angry is not Mr Bitter About Women.

    Nice site.

  8. Anger is a positive as far as I’m concerned :) Bitterness is definitely a negative. I’m glad you can tell the difference.

  9. Yeah I’m a big fan of anger myself.

  10. Apples

    Apples and oranges, thanks the difference between men and women…it’s true- our culture has set it up so that men and women has a difficult time relating to eachother and it’s not for lack of interest or trying ~ it’s just that we are socially ‘cultured’ differently…it takes two to tango! THankx

  11. This is actually a fun topic to explore.

  12. This is actually a fun topic to explore.

  13. Paul Spencer

    I am divorced and have a 13 y.o. daughter who lives with her mother. When I was married, I felt that my mother-in-law disliked all men. Now, my ex and daughter sem to have the same disposition. This seems unhealthy to me. This is complimented by the women’s liberation movement and I am wondering how to tell if my thoughts can be justified and how I can help my daughter. Can you advise me?

  14. OK, a heavy question… allow me a moment to compose myself for a moment so I can be serious.

    Here’s the first thing you DON’T do: You don’t say anything bad about women or the women’s movement in general or anything bad about your ex or ex-mother-in-law specifically. This is only going to work with a softly-softly approach.

    You daughter deserves the opportunity to have a decent relationship with her father. Maybe start gently – don’t make any conversation revolve around why “man-hating” is wrong. Just try to explain why your daughter is important to you and you’d like the opportunity to be a positive part of her life.

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