Letter From Milo: Words To Live By

November 17th, 2020

Every few years the lovely Mrs. Milo becomes dissatisfied with the state of our marriage. And, of course, it’s all my fault.

I don’t pay enough attention to her. I’m uncommunicative. I drink and smoke too much. My hygiene is not what it should be. My gambling debts are mounting up. My friends are beastly. I’m inconsiderate to her friends. I snore. I say and do stupid things. I fart at inappropriate times. I’m a hopeless loser whose Lazyboy in hell has been reserved for years.

Okay, so I’m not perfect. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a couple of minor faults. I mean, who gets through this life without developing a couple of character flaws? Even the great ones have chinks in their armor. Winston Churchill was a drunkard. Barack Obama smokes. Michael Jordan is a degenerate gambler. Bill Clinton is a liar. JFK was a womanizer. Louis Armstrong was a pothead. Catherine the Great was overly fond of horseflesh. The list goes on and on.

When I point out these facts to my wife she just laughs at me.

“While you’re at it, why don’t you compare yourself to Jesus and Mother Teresa.”

“Sweetheart, you’re missing the point.”

“There’s no point, you’re just trying to bullshit me.”

“Angel, be reasonable. All I’m saying…”

“I know exactly what you’re saying and I’m not falling for it.”

“Honey…”

“Don’t honey me. We have serious problems in our marriage and we need to do something about them.”

For the next few days after this conversation there is a distinct chill in our household air. Silences, cold shoulders, slamming doors, angry muttering, ugly looks, sleeping on the couch — my lovely wife throws her entire arsenal at me. And that’s just the beginning. I know what’s coming. I’m a scarred and battered veteran of the marital wars. She’s getting ready to drop the big one on me.

“Milo, I made an appointment with a marriage counselor.”

“Shit, not again.”

“If you love me you’ll cooperate.”

“Can I love you and not cooperate?”

“That’s not an option.”

“Shit.”

In nearly three decades of marriage we’ve been to three different marriage counselors. The one thing they all had in common was that they were expensive, charging an hourly rate that would make Bill Gates consider rewriting his business plan.

Our first counselor was a very attractive woman who we quit seeing when she began going through an ugly divorce, leaving her husband for a much wealthier man. We gave up on the second counselor when my wife got the impression that she was too sympathetic toward me. The third counselor lasted the longest. She was a young, heavily tattooed woman who seemed to have a good grasp of the marital condition. I sensed she understood that marriage is an unnatural state, a con game foisted on humanity by a pitiless, vengeful God. We had to stop seeing her when she and her musician boyfriend moved to California.

ann-landersMilo, the anti-Ann Landers….

It recently occurred to me that there are plenty of other poor souls being dragged off to marriage counselors by unappreciative wives. It also occurred to me that I owe it to my fellow married men to help them out in their times of trouble and woe. Therefore, I have compiled a few tips, suggestions, and defensive stratagems that will help them survive even the most savage counseling session.

1. Agree with everything your wife says. If she tells the marriage counselor that she caught you cooking and eating one of the neighbors, just say, “I can see how that would upset you, dear, and I’ll try to do better in the future.”

2. Never admit to affairs, gambling debts, drug habits, or that minor indiscretion with Sarah the Slut at last year’s New Year’s Eve party.

3. In the rare case that you actually like your marriage counselor, immediately begin complaining about her. The more you complain, the more your wife will think the counselor is doing a fine job.

4. Try to moderate your bad habits for a couple weeks at the onset of counseling. Bring your wife flowers and chocolate. If you can stand it, try to watch Oprah and the Lifetime Channel together, at least twice a week.

5. Avoid lesbian marriage counselors at all costs. They won’t succumb to your manly charm, are notoriously hard-headed and nearly impossible to bribe.

I’m not saying that these five tips will turn your counseling into a walk in the park. That’s impossible. Marriage counseling, by its very nature, is a brutal, take-no-prisoners assault on your manhood. It’s designed to break you down and reshape you into the wimpy, neutered wuss that your wife has always wanted for a husband. What I am saying is that by following these rules, you might, just might, come out of counseling with your manhood and dignity intact.

Ignore them at your own peril.

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