In the original Ghostbusters, (the one with Bill Murray in 1984), (boy am I showing my age here), there’s a funny scene at the end of the movie. The Ghostbusters are on top of a skyscraper talking to a creepy demon lady, (just hang with me here). She, wanting to know if the Ghostbusters are worthy to speak with her, asks Ray, (played by Dan Akroyd), “Are YOU a GOD?” Ray, unfamiliar with speaking to creepy demon ladys, says, “Well, no.” At which point the demon lady blasts them with her lightning fingers. Then Winston, another one of the Ghostbusters, says, “Ray, when someone asks if you are a god, you say YES!”
Ghostbusters Life Lesson: If a demon lady asks if you are a god, the answer is always YES!
Husband Life Lesson: If your wife asks you certain questions, the answer is always an emphatic YES! or NO!
Wife: “Will you take me to Italy some day?”
At this point you have two options. (1) Talk about setting up a budget, how going to Italy is super expensive, and maybe when we’re 60 or if we win the lottery then I’ll do my best, but you never know because we have to save for the kids college fund and boy wouldn’t it be nice to pay off the house, ad infinitum.
Option #2, say YES!
Look, your wife knows there are costs associated with cross country, cross ocean travel. She’s smarter than you and she understands the likelihood of you going to Italy is low. However, she just wants to know you are willing to dream with her a little and care about her enough that ONE DAY, if possible, you would take her to the place of her dreams.
Wife: “I’ve had a horrible day and I just feel like crying. Will you please sit and talk with me?”
Husband answer #1: “Well darlin, I’m sorry you had a rough day, but the game is on and it’s a really great match up tonight, (the husband didn’t remember the rest of his comments as his wife hit him with a frying pan).”
Husband answer #2: “YES.”
Here are a few more definite yesses.
Wife: “Do I look good in this dress? Do you still find me attractive after all these years? Did you enjoy dinner tonight? Do you mind if my parents stop by? Will you buy me a nice pair of earrings someday?” Yes, yes, yes.
Am I advocating lying to your wife? Of course not. I’m just telling you to tell her yes on certain occasions where telling her “no” would result in you sleeping on the couch. There’s a HUGE difference.
On the other hand, there are certain times where you definitely and most assuredly should and always say “NO.” For example:
Wife: “Have I put on weight?”
Option #1: “Well you certainly could stand to lose a few pounds. Cheryl Johnson down the street is in one of those Cross-Workout classes and boy does she look good. Maybe you should call Cheryl and”…(at this point your wife will blow off your face with a bazooka).
Option #2: “No, honey. You look great.”
Look, your wife analyzes her own figure more than you possibly could. She compares herself to every attractive actress, model, and athletic woman she sees. She’s not asking you to tell her whether she’s gained weight. She’s asking whether you still love and treasure her, even though she’s not as trim as Cheryl Johnson.
Wife: “Do you love your mother more than me? Is your sister’s lasagna better than mine? Do you wish you’d married someone else? Does this dress make my butt look big? Are you attracted to Cheryl Johnson?”
No, no, no, no, no.
Am I advocating lying to your wife? No. I’m telling you to not be a moron. Most of the time your wife knows the answer to the question she is asking. She just wants to make sure YOU know the answer. Better yet, she is looking for love, security, and affirmation in a world which tells her she is fat, unsexy, uncool, and boring. Be the rock and safe haven for your wife. No matter how good Cheryl Johnson may or may not look.
In Ghostbusters the answer is always “Yes, I am a God. No, you don’t cross the streams, and if your refrigerator starts saying, ‘ZOUL’, then you should leave immediately and DON’T GO BACK!”
As a husband certain answers are always “YES!” unless the answer is always “NO!” As a husband it’s your job to learn when those answers apply. It’s no easy task, but then again neither was taking on the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man.