Exactly What's He Thinking When During 7 Pivotal Moments of Your Relationship
You're actually a good driver, but your strong sense of right and wrong makes for agitating car talk. You ask, "Can I give him the finger?" I say, "No! Just move to the next lane! You're driving so close they're going to stop short and then you'll hit them, and NO! It's not worth it!" When we finally arrive at our destination, I'm exhausted. There is only one solution to this problem: I drive home. — OREN MILLER, BLOGGERFATHER.COM
...he knows he wants to marry you.
"Shawn, I can see you marrying this girl." My friend Piers shakes his head wryly as I tell him the California girl I met online is coming to visit me. "If I do, you'll be my best man," I reply. Ha ha, we're thinking. When you're 18, weddings happen to other people.
Days later, I'm waiting for you to walk through the arrivals door at the Toronto airport, anxiously trying to reconstruct what you look like based on the photos you've sent. I'm doubtful and nervous until you appear. I see your eyes, and you see my eyes. I see your smile, and you see mine. There you are, I think to myself. I would recognize you anywhere. We kiss in Terminal 1 for the first time, barely more than strangers, and I know: This is perfect.... Piers needs a tux. — SHAWN BURNS, BACKPACKINGDAD.COM
...you're on the delivery table.
I'm no lightweight. I watched four seasons of ER. But when I see our son Boone escape your body accompanied by a flood of unknown fluids, my brain unleashes a string of exclamations from sources as diverse as Scarface and Scooby-Doo. (Yes, I start with the F-bomb and end with "Zoinks!") By the time his twin, Wyatt, emerges, my mind is filled with white noise. I blindly take photos as the doctor juggles their strangely dripping forms.
While I've gained two wonderful sons, I've lost some things too — specifically, my appetite. I'll never be able to look at veal the same way. I wouldn't have been anywhere but at your side as you performed that miraculous act, but I'm finally done with hospital dramas. — DAVID VIENNA, THEDADDYCOMPLEX.COM
...your parents visit for the weekend.
"Hi, Mom and Dad," I smile through clenched teeth as the in-laws drag their bags to the door. They've just arrived for their biannual inspection, er, visit. Standing in the doorway of my own house, I'm on my best behavior. Then the compliments start. "Oh, look at you! Have you lost weight? You look so much better!" says Mom.
"And how is that job of yours? It's a shame you still haven't been promoted," Dad chimes in.
I know I can't hide, but I seek solace in the garage, where there's plenty to keep me busy until... would I like help cleaning my garage? Well, sure, Dad. Kind of you to offer.
I can tell you also feel the stress. The moment your parents step through the doorway, you morph from the calm, caring, and intelligent woman I married into a living caricature of that black-and-white theater mask representing comedy and tragedy. Every interaction alternates between you smiling sweetly at them and you turning to shoot me your time-perfected stink eye, as if it's my fault they're in our house.
When the visit finally draws to a close and their car backs down the driveway, your father stops and rolls down his window. He reaches out his hand and pulls me in close. With a glint in his eye that telegraphs Yeah, I've got in-laws too, he mutters, "Hang in there, sport. We'll be back in six months." Oh, I can't wait. — TROY PATTEE, DADVENTUROUS.COM
It's because I smell, isn't it? I believe you were the one who suggested vegetarian taco night! Anyway, I wish you would just be honest and say that instead of talking about how tired you are. I know, I should have hinted to you earlier that Ireally want to have sex tonight, but somehow I felt like bringing it up in front of the kids during dinner would be in poor taste. After they went to sleep, you wanted to stream an episode of Family Ties on Netflix, and I figured that since you complain about me being all over you and never giving you a moment to rest, I'd let you enjoy the Keaton family in peace. But now that the episode is over, you're ready to sleep. I'm tired too. Oh hey! You know what would be a great way to ensure a good night's rest? Having sex before we go to bed! Seriously, all that's going to happen if we don't is that I'll toss and turn for the next three hours, which will keep you up, and then once I finally drift off, I'll sleep-grope you. Then you'll get grumpy and wake me up, so we'll both be awake half the night and get up tomorrow in rotten moods and we'll repeat this exact scenario another day. You know I'm right. And only you can break the cycle. — AARON TRAISTER, REDBOOKMAG.COM/WHYSGUY
...you leave him alone with the kid for the weekend.
Do you remember the movie Home Alone? When you tell me I'm solo parenting for the weekend, I'm Kevin McCallister: both hands on my cheeks, mouth open in a silent scream. But once that passes, I know we'll be fine. The little one and I might drink milk out of the carton and lip-synch Bob Seger songs while sliding across the dining room floor in our socks and button-downs, but it's nothing you haven't seen before. We'll be fine.
Fast-forward to hour 47 of this 48-hour gig. The house is a disaster. FEMA is responding, celebrities are setting up telethons. Clothes litter the floor. Dishes fill the sink. A fine, semi-permanent layer of snot encrusts the upper lip of our child. It's a mess like you've never seen, and you will never see it, because when you call from the car after your flight has landed, Mr. Mom becomes Mr. Clean. Propelled by the shame of letting you down and battling mild indigestion from literal pangs of guilt, I vacuum with one hand, dust with another, and entertain our toddler with my foot. I shoo the goats and chickens out back and throw junk into the basement. The door opens and you see your loving husband and angelic daughter waiting with open arms. It looks like the cover of a Hallmark card celebrating exhaustion.
"Wow," you say. "I thought it would be messier." Well, you thought wrong. — IAN, DISTRACTEDDADDY.COM
...when he sees you're Facebook friends with your college ex
I don't pay much attention to your Facebook profile, because I'm confident that your digital friends will have no impact on the life we've built together. After all we've been through — the house we constructed with our blood, sweat, and rapidly diminishing equity; our miscarriage; and then the two beautiful children who have given us a new definition of being in love. I know this Facebook friendship isn't a threat to us.
Admittedly, this might be a little naive. The social web has allowed us to reconnect with people who could rekindle dormant feelings. Still, I'm not jealous that you're friends with your ex. There's a reason your relationship didn't work, and from what you've told me about him, he probably still lives with his parents.
That said, if he "pokes" you, it's on. — PJ MULLEN, REALMENDRIVEMINIVANS.COM
love: friendship, dating, sex & marriage
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