It is called, Validation. Use it, become it. You will thank me. It does two things, gets you off the hook and it calms us women down right quick. You don't actually have to be listening fully or thinking at all for this to work! I know, it's awesome.
Practice the following sentences.
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, Babe. That totally sucks!"
This is all you have to say. It's OK to say it a few times. In fact, sprinkle liberally. This works for nearly everything. Nearly. Some examples are, when your wife complains about the poor treatment she received from her mom, the girl at the Gap, neighbors, the kids, mechanics. Or if she loses items up to and including car keys, the dog, her favorite lip stick, her sanity, the car in the mall parking lot. (But NOT her figure. Anything to do with her body image will be addressed later.)
"I completely understand ______."
"Why you'd feel that way."
"Why you think that."
"Why you did that."
"Why you said that."
Infinity. You must close with, "You are not crazy."
Again, little effort is required. If you do happen to accidentally hear any small piece of usable information, maximize on that. If she mentions her crazy sister, say, "I completely understand why you said that to your sister, 'cause she's so crazy!"
"I can see why you have that point of view." Or "I understand how you could see it that way."
You do not have to believe this to say it. You may have a totally different opinion. I repeat, you may have a different opinion. Not relevent! Not that we don't care about your point of view. We care. But not until after we have been...what? That's right, validated. Women do this thing called, VENTING. And when we do it we call you, usually exasperated, the way we used to call our high school girl friends. And we do this because since we've gotten married we no longer have girl-friends.
Now for the Crown Jewel on the Holy Grail of relationship harmony. I'm aware I'm mixing metaphors. It is Sexual Validation. Woman attach their body image directly to their sexual identity. And it's all Mr Heffner's fault. If you ever get stuck in the body validation trap you do not have to chew your arm off for fear of losing your life. Validate.
She says something like, "Since I had the baby I just feel so loose and flabby." "I really, really need to get to the Gym." or even a straightforward "I'm sooo FAT!"
Repeat something very close to the following. "If this is you getting fat then I am READY for your jelly. Get the kids in the car, we are going for Ice Cream." Optional: Palm her butt cheek and kiss her on the neck. DO NOT pat her butt and make her fat jiggle. DO NOT slap her on the butt, that feels degrading. Cup it gently, and lean in and kiss her on the neck or cheek. Or that spot behind our ears, we like that. And seriously take us out for Ice Cream. When we know we are hot we feel better. If we feel better we want to feel even better and we want to work out and be happy. If we are sent into a spiral of depression we get fatter and fatter. You telling us that our gaining five pounds is not the worst thing in the world takes all of the energy out of it. "Does my butt look fat in these pants?" You say, "I'm sorry, were you speaking? I was just lost in the total juiciness of your back side." This is a good time to spank her on the ass. See the difference? Well she will. Trust me.
Next week we will talk about validating but using your actions instead of words. Like watching TV or playing games on the computer instead of coming to bed with your wife where the possibility of getting a lil somethin' is at about 85%. Versus in the living-room holding your clicker or the kitchen with your Mac. Where its nil.
Good luck. Happy validating. I know you can do it. (See it works.)