How My Husband Really Feels About Being The Subject Of A Marriage Column
Whenever people hear that I write a marriage column, I usually get a slew of questions: “Doesn’t it freak you out to be so public about your marriage?” “Do you write about real things that happen in your relationship?” and, of course, “How does your husband feel about that?”
Nope, yes, and fine...I guess?
I’ve never had a problem with being candid about my life, and my marriage is a big part of that. But while I’m a walking AMA, my husband, Chris, doesn’t really talk about our marriage to anyone (or so he claims).
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Obviously I asked him before I started writing about us the first time. But while I used to run topics by him when I started the column, I kind of got lazy and, uh, stopped doing that.
The result: I write about whatever the hell I want, and Chris hasn’t said anything about it.
Does he know what I’ve written? Does he care? Is he secretly pissed off and plotting to slip mayo in my morning latte?
These are just a few of the things I’d like to know, so…
Me: How do you feel about having details of your marriage shared publicly?
Chris: At first, I wasn’t crazy about the idea. As a whole, I’m a private person. But as I read them, I realized they weren’t something that really affected me in any way.
Me: Do you read all of the columns?
Me: Well…I used to run every idea by you, and now I don’t. Do you care that I write about some things you don't know about in advance?
Chris: Why—what have you written?
[I guess that’s a no!]
Me: Do you have a column that's your favorite?
Chris: I really liked the one about what it’s like to be married to a chef. It showed the reality of being married to a chef versus what the public thinks it’s like, which is over-glamorized. In reality, it’s a very hard career, and chefs are hard people to be married to. There needs to be more written about that.
Me: Has there ever been anything published that made you feel uncomfortable?
Chris: Uh, yes. The one where you wrote about how you once thought about divorcing me. I hated that one. I didn’t realize you were unhappy at the time until I read the column. It’s also hard to re-live moments when things weren’t so great between us.
Me: What about things that we’ve done for the column?
Chris: I felt weird about going to a marriage therapist because I didn’t think we really needed her services. [Editor's note: That was kind of the idea behind the story—to see what a "checkup" with a therapist that wasn't related to a specific issue would be like.] I also felt like she rocked the boat with things that didn’t need to be rocked. The therapy session was kind of a waste of time, and I felt like she tried to get us to fight about issues we were already aware of—and we did.
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Me: What grievances would you air about me if you had the opportunity to write a column?
Chris: [Without hesitating] You’re a very strong-willed person, and sometimes I think you fail to see the other side of the argument because you’ve already had it made up in your mind that that’s the way it should be.
Me: Apparently you’ve thought about this before.
Chris: Oh, yeah.
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Me: What do you think is one of the most common misperceptions about husbands?
Chris: That we’re not sensitive enough. Or that we cheat. That’s a small fraction of husbands. Most husbands are loyal.
Me: What do you think people should take away from the stories about our marriage?
Chris: What not to do [laughs]. I mean, marriage is a roller coaster ride. There are going to be issues, and it’s going to get hard, but it doesn’t mean you give up. You just work on making things stronger and building a better bond.
Me: Wow, you sound like an expert!
Chris: Oh, I am.
Me: Anything else you want to add while you have the chance?
Chris: You’re an awesome wife, and our marriage is better now than it’s ever been…despite your writing all about it.
Still, I’m going to keep inspecting my coffee…just in case.