Rant: Training a Husband

So, I have the day off today, for which I am every so grateful. It was pretty much worth the hours upon hours of work for the Full-Scale Exercise my team did last week if it resulted in a couple days off without using PTO. And I fully intend to use today to write for the first time in over two weeks. Which you can read a little bit more about at Once Upon a Story.

Once thing I didn’t mention in that post is that I am hoping – that is, I think I might ask – that some of my friends might do some of those writing exercises with me. I’m not sure I’ll be successful – but I feel like I will do it more frequently if other people are doing it with me. I don’t know – we’ll see.

Okay – so here is a pet peeve for you. How do you feel when someone says to you, referring to your significant other, “You’ve trained him well.” Or, if you are a guy, if someone tells your girl she’s trained you well? Personally, I find it incredibly insulting to both me and my husband. It is such a favorite term these days though! Gahh, it makes me so angry. Here comes the rant, so leave now if you don’t want to listen to a rant.

Okay, so, back story – I posted the following on facebook yesterday, because I thought it was super funny coming from a guy:

Daniel: Let’s watch Pride & Prejudice.
Me: Okay – want to try the black and white version that is hysterically inaccurate?
Daniel: I’m going to be a Jane Austen snob and say NO.

Whereupon someone promptly responded with the comment “You’ve trained him so well.” I know that she didn’t mean anything by it, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep my tongue in check if I tried, so I didn’t respond. But why does this get me so angry, you ask?

In my opinion, saying you’ve trained your husband well implies both that you weren’t satisfied with him when you married him and that he is a dog who isn’t allowed to have his likes and dislikes. Yes, that is what comes to mind when someone says that to me. And all I want to do is reply with something along the lines of:

Actually, I understand that my husband may dislike things I like or like things I don’t. We are both entitled to our opinions, and I try to refrain from forcing him into things he doesn’t like. If he chooses to do something for or watch something with me that he may not be fond of, it is because he loves me and not because I am “training” him. And I would do the same for him. When I married him, I married him as he was, knowing that he would remain that way and in no way expecting him to change. There is no faster way to end up in an unhappy marriage than to marry someone expecting to change him. I love him as he is. I may express certain preferences, and he may adjust according to those, but he does so because he loves me, not because I am “training” him the way you train a dog. I also try to make adjustments based on his expectations – because I love him, not because he is “training” me. To say I am training him is insulting me by insinuating I didn’t know who I was marrying and insulting him by saying he isn’t good enough for me as is.

Okay – I feel better getting that out. But next time you are tempted to tell someone they are training their significant other well, just take a breath and remember – he is a person, not a dog or a child.


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