There’s a phenomenon amongst the DSO readers and Fraternity members that I personally can’t relate to. I understand it somewhat… but it’s still foreign to me. It’s the concept of oversharing with your spouse. It may be because I was an only kid… a latchkey only kid, to be more precise… but I value my independence. Anything that tiptoes towards dependence on another doesn’t sit well with me. Since I was a little kid, I learned to cook, clean, fold laundry, change a tire, hang drywall, etc. My parents, whether consciously or not, instilled in me a feeling of “You better learn how to take care of yourself and not depend on others”.
That solitary mindset has bled into other areas of my life, especially when in a romantic relationship. When I talk about the importance of “scarcity”, a.k.a independence in “The Dead Bedroom Fix”, that comes from very personal experience. It’s not unusual for me to engross myself in something, keep quiet, not involve others… and I often forget about the possible anxiety or hurt feelings that may result in others. I’m also not one to go to my wife with all of my accomplishments, let alone my everyday life worries. Frankly, there’s not much to be gained from it, and I don’t need her input or an “atta boy” to stifle my anxiety.
That’s what we’re talking about when we hear stories of men oversharing with their wives: Anxiety. He either needs her approval to win points with mommy (not good), or he needs to get some feelings of insecurity out to make sure he’s not going to hurt her feelings or piss her off in some way (also not good).
Most people, especially women in relationships, “Don’t want to see how the sausage is made”. How you ever heard that statement before? It means people don’t want to see all the gross stuff that happens behind the scenes. They don’t want to see the struggle. They don’t want to see the work. They don’t want to see what goes into making the sausage that is on their plate (the killing of the pig, the slaughtering, the grinding, the putting into casings… it’s all gross). They just want to enjoy the final result. They would prefer to think that the sausage just magically appeared and tastes delicious without knowing the HOW or WHY. That sentiment applies to a lot of life.
A few years back, my wife and I sat at the “Chefs Table” for a couple of different restaurants. This was a relatively new trend back then. You can get a table that was right up next to or maybe even right in the restaurant’s kitchen. You could watch the chef and his crew make your meal right in front of you. How cool!
Well… it wasn’t so cool. First, it was awkward to sit and stare at a bunch of grown men sweating and cooking while we sipped our wine. It felt like I was at a zoo and they were the monkeys. Second, seeing your fancy meal being prepared took away A LOT of the mystique. Seeing a souse chef look at your ticket, grunt, reach under the counter to a fridge, pull out a squeeze bottle of sauce, squirt it on my salmon (complete with appropriate bottle farting noise), and then shove that plate down to the next guy to put rice on it… well, it just made the whole experience a hell of a lot less appetizing.
I was left saying to myself, “Yeah… I coulda done that and saved $50”.
I much prefer being out in the dark dining room, being doted over my a server, watching the people around me, waiting for that exciting moment as the server comes out with the tray full of our food that we haven’t seen until that very moment. After we’re full, the server offers us coffee and dessert. We don’t see some dude in the kitchen reach into a fridge and cut off a slice of cheesecake they purchased from their vendor… and then watch him grab a stained squeeze bottle and squirt some off-the-shelf raspberry sauce all over it. No… we just see the awesome chilled plate come out to the table with a couple of spoons and a very happy server saying, “This is my favorite thing on the menu. Enjoy!”
It’s all about the presentation. Same damn result… but one leads to feelings of, “Ew… I’m paying for this?!”… and the other makes you feel like a king for the day and puts a smile on your face.
I think way too many of you are sharing juuuuust a little too much. You want your wife to listen to your self-help audiobooks, your podcasts, read an article… and it’s too much. It’s especially too much when those books and articles revolve around sex in marriage or improving marriage in general. “Putting in work” is admirable, but your constant reaching out to the wife can quickly go from “partnership” to “seeking validation and comfort”. To me, the safe bet is to work in silence.
There’s another saying that I love: Under-promise and over-deliver.
Tell your client that you will have it done by Friday, but deliver on Wednesday. You knew Wednesday was going to happen, but you kept that to yourself… and gave yourself an extra couple of days just in case. Result? Ecstatic customer.
Give your customer a job quote of $10,000, but in the end, hand them a bill for $8,500. What you don’t tell the client is that you actually came up with a final budget of $7,000… but added a little extra padding on top to cover yourself in case things went weird on the project. Which do you think sounds better: “I’m hoping I can do this for $7,000… but just in case, I’m going to quote you $10,000… and it will probably end up being somewhere in the middle. Hopefully. Maybe. You’ll just have to wait and see.” or… “The job will cost $10,000. Take it or leave it. Okay, the job is done now. Surprise… I just saved you $1,500. Merry Christmas.” Same damn result. Completely different tone. One results in a customer who is not quite sure about you… the other is a customer who will probably call you back for more jobs.
In my book, “The Dead Bedroom Fix”, I talk about how everyone loves a “Natural”… but the irony is that nobody is a “Natural”. We all learn. Some of us just have a way about us that makes everything seem “easy”. That guy who just seems to have all the luck with women may have some natural-born gifts about him (like his physical appearance), but what you don’t see is that he has been rejected and hurt by women A LOT. So much so that he actually grew tougher and stronger and that, in turn, makes him a more attractive guy. He’s not fumbling and stumbling when meeting a super pretty girl at the club. He’s been there before. He knows she could tell him to get lost. Not a big deal.
Picture the pretty girl getting hit on by the handsome confident guy. She immediately sizes him up and says, in a matter of milliseconds, “This guy is worth my time”. She twirls her hair, smiles, and it’s game on. They talk for 30 minutes and she has quickly gone into, “This guy might be boyfriend material”. Now, take that same situation, but have Mr. Handsome take out a laptop and say, “Okay, let me show you a video compilation of all the times I have fucked up in life. Let me show you the times I went to the gym. Look, here’s a montage of women rejecting me.” The woman would take her drink and slowly back away.
I think this is precisely what many of you are doing. You’re hoping for empathy, but instead, you’re getting the customer who is grossed about when they see how the sausage is made. It might be an interesting and rewarding process for you, but not for the person who is starving and just needs something to eat. They’ll just opt for the salad instead.
I’ve heard many disgruntled men say, “Women don’t want to hang around for the struggle. They just wait for winners at the finish line”…. or something to that effect. This is true for society in general. People LOVE winners. People LOVE success. They often dream about attaining it themselves. That is until they see the sacrifice and work that goes into that level of hyper-success. They see how the sausage was made. Then suddenly they don’t feel so bad about their normal 9–5 job… but they sure won’t turn down hanging out with their rich buddy on his private jet or stop him from paying for those courtside seats.