The Marriage Manual

There should be a marriage manual.

When a man asks a woman to marry him, the woman gets a wedding shower. The man gets a bachelor party.

Women are practical. They give the bride-to-be kitchen towels, a Crockpot, frying pan, bedding, dishes, cookware, an iron, and silverware.

The groom’s buddies give him a hangover.

What they should give the guy is an instruction booklet.

The marriage instruction booklet should be written by really old men who have been married at least 50 years.

If you are a guy, what they never tell you about marriage before you take the leap is that knowing how to communicate with your wife gives you a decided advantage over other men who do not.

Most newlyweds experience miscommunication within 12 minutes of saying, “I do.”

Her: “Well, if you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you.”

Him: (Hangs head and wishes he had an instruction booklet)

There are certain pieces of information regarding how women communicate, which would be very helpful to a young, newly-married fella.

One of the most important is that most women don’t come right and tell you some things. They expect you to pay attention and notice them yourself.

Hair is a big one.

Many women are willing to spend more money on a hairdo than most guys would spend on a Holley 780 double-pumper carburetor for their classic car. And that’s saying a lot.

Woe is me to the husband who walks through the door at the end of the day and doesn’t catch that his wife got her hair done.

However, this same expectation of noticing things without being told can be a trick. A wife will get a new dress and expect you to notice. She will then wait three years to wear it again to see if you remember.

Him: “Hey, I love the new dress.”

Her: “It’s three years old.”

Him: (Grits teeth)

The marriage instruction booklet should also have a chapter on proper gift giving.

A Zebco 33 rod and reel, a bowling ball, or a Remington 1100 gas-operated, semi-automatic shotgun might seem like a great anniversary gift for your wife, but trust me, they are not. This was a lesson I learned at a young age. I won’t say who the man was who tried this, but my dad can tell you.

Another chapter the marriage instruction booklet should contain is a detailed section on nodding.

When a woman begins to tell you about another woman’s love life, just nod. It sounds easy, but putting nodding into play as a practical application can be difficult. Men have a tendency to make comments during these types of conversations, but that is a bad idea.


Her: “So, she said that he wasn’t sure if he was ready to commit right now. They’ve been dating for a year now, and can you believe that he gave her a rod and reel for her birthday?”

Him: “Was it a Zebco 33?”


“So, she said that he wasn’t sure if he was ready to commit right now. They’ve been dating for a year now, and can you believe that he gave her a rod and reel for her birthday?”

Him: (nods)

The marriage instruction booklet should close with a chapter on when to notice that she wants something. Many women will drop subtle hints about an item that has caught her eye and she would like to have.

But again, a man has to notice the message that is being sent.


Her: “While I was playing bridge at Nelda’s, I noticed that she has a beautiful new throw rug that she found at Bed Bath and Beyond.”

Him: “Is that next to the place that sells Zebco 33’s?”


Just nod.

And go buy her the rug.

©2016 John Moore
To read more of John’s musings, visit

Photo: alloutdoor dot com

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