She claims to be storing things, when I find she’s just making things less accessible by hiding them in boxes that go into other boxes that go into other boxes. Am not much of a fan of her matrushka storing system.

She gets blood shot eyes when she sees me eat a piece of bread without a plate under it…

When I wash my hair and I want to out with my hair wet, she almost tackles me and ties me to a chair, because she’s sure I’m going to catch a cold.

She’s got excellent radar for when I’m trying to eat unhealthy food. As soon as I open a bag of chips in the kitchen she appears out of nowhere and like a nimble rugby player tries to wrest it from me.

She talks.

When she stops working, she calls me, when she’s walking home from work she’s on the phone calling me and she walks in talking to me, if she’s not calling me, she’s texting me, if she’s not texting me, she’s emailing me,  when I’m sleeping during the day, she comes and sit on the bed and talks. She talks about anything, even about dogs she’s met on the way over from work. I know all of her colleagues and all of the kids under her care, I know what she’s reading on the bus, I know when she has her period and how it feels, because she’s given me the best possible description of what goes through her once a month, I know what wearing high heels feels like (it’s no party…), how men stare at her, the silly, cowardish things men do to strike up a conversation with her, and what it feels like to walk through an alley in the dark as a woman. I know what she finds in romantic comedy after romantic comedy and I have seen more romantic comedies than most straight guys I know. I’ve even come to appreciate some of them, though their predictable story-lines still bug the hell out of me.

The only time she’s not talking is when she’s pissed off because of something I did or didn’t do.

It’s true, behind any angry woman stands a man who has no clue what he’s done wrong.

To be honest, I usually know what I did wrong in her eyes, because it usually involves other women. Other triggers are: being inconsiderate, making a fool of her in front of others, forgetting about rituals that are important to her, treating others with disrespect, arrogant behavior…

Living with a woman is a never ending course on how to be a better person.

She ALWAYS tells me what she needs. I’m not sure where this myth comes from that women want you to guess what they want. It’s pretty fucking obvious what women want.

During a discussion you can’t use sarcasm. If you use sarcasm she thinks you are making fun of her and not the topic or the arguments used.

She is ALWAYS in the mood for sex and ready to go.

If you’re living with a woman who is not in the mood for sex, you’re doing it wrong.

She always wants to be hugged.

You CANNOT leave the house without hugging or kissing her. Yes, even if that means waking her up. ALWAYS wake her up to tell her you love her, kiss her, hug her. DO NOT LEAVE without this.

She wants to know EVERYTHING about me, from my favorite toy as a child to my favorite porn star (Katrin Tequila (Russian)  if she’d get rid of her tatoos…or Rachel Evans (Czech) – by the way, I’m firmly against watching porn, but that doesn’t mean I can’t tell you which porn stars have the biggest effect on me, hint: they always have slavic roots). 

Although I keep suspecting that it must bore her to hear me drone on about such topics as a moral economy, the American Civil War, the Vietnam War, any kind of war, she is always ready to listen.

The only thing she really can’t stand is when I refuse to talk. When I’m a particularly sad mood, when I’m dissatisfied with myself, she hunts me down like a predatory animal hunts down a scared, wounded deer. I would have to run outside to escape her. She is hell bent on knowing what’s going on in me and never grows tired of dissecting me psychologically. She recognizes her own limits in this, and that’s why she’s always supported me being in therapy, especially after I started having clients of my own.

By now she has a closer relationship to my own family than I do, especially my mother.

Our biggest ‘fights’ are about me not taking off my shoes in the house. Science backs her in this, because you bring all sorts of bad bugs into the house if you do not take off your shoes. Unfortunately for her I was raised in a household where slippers were considered to be footwear for the fatally despartanized western male…

Our clothes are always clean and neatly stored away. I don’t know where she finds the time, I think she is doing these crucial tasks while I’m having pointless discussions on Facebook… While I’m soaking up Wikipedia articles – a habit that has zero commercial value and is utterly pointless, unless there’s a way to make money with entering quizzes… – she is sorting our clothes. In fact, she is hanging clothes to dry while I’m writing this… I can expect to be raided by Femen now, right?

In the morning, when she’s still sleeping, she looks like Scarlett Johanson. No, I’m not exagerating. She really does. During the day she looks like a more slender version of Sandra Bullock. She likes it when I’m go and lie on top of her to wake her up. She also likes it when I go out and get her ‘something sweet’ for breakfast. Shopping, doing the dishes, cooking, carrying heavy things, taking out the trash 30 percent of the time, and giving her my very modest paycheck at the end of each month are my only contributions to the functioning of this household. I feel guilty about this some of the time, but most of the time I do not, she seems to think I compensate by analyzing the people she has to deal with on a daily basis, usually being available to listen to her, being open to hugging (unless I’m really dissapointed in myself) and offering a slightly wilder alternative to the old three minute run through most guys seem to be offering… It also helps that we laugh a lot.

I can confirm that living with a woman must be adding some years to my life.

Just like I’m guessing that living with a man is detracting some years of her life… The stress I cause her must be severe. When I do not answer one of her smsses within one hour, she gets very worried, with scenarios running through her head, going from me passed out under the kitchen table, me getting intimate with some other lady, to me being dead. In crescendo order…

She gets very happy when she see me develop myself, and is always encouraging me. She most definitely believes more in me than I do myself. Luckily, I do the same for her and always supportive of her endeavours. She’s pushed me into therapy and has from the start pushed me to become a therapist myself, and I have always pushed her to draw and paint and work with people, I also slip books into her hands. Currently her gut feeling is telling her I should pick up Thai boxing, something I would normally never even consider…

When I used to come home drunk from some date she would force me to take a preventive painkiller so I would be in a half decent state to go to work the next day, and she would only tell me much later how she had been physically sick all night while I was gone.

She loves the fact that I’ve quit drinking alcohol, and in this alcohol dominated culture, she’s the first to stick up for me whenever I find myself under social pressure to drink alcohol. This defensive, entrenched, anal-retentive culture finds it impossible to have intimate conversations without pouring alcohol on them.

It would be unfair to come to any other conclusion than that she gives infinitely more to our relationship than I do, and at times that scares the hell out of me. It gives me nauseating cramps to be loved more than I think I deserve, to see someone else love me more than I love myself.

There must be a pay-off for her, because she is not some crazy masochist with a self-destructive martyr complex. She may have an inkling of that, but it’s not fully developed and over the years she has come to really stand up for herself. So what’s the pay off for her?

I’m not sure, but I never see her laugh harder than when I’m in a goofy mood, I seem to spice up her social life, I push her out of her comfort zone, she’s tasted the deviancy she craved, and I bring along a factor of unpredictabitlity that she finds exciting. In a way I’m something of a charming jerk in this relationship, but literature is full of examples of this being exactly what a woman is looking for, this oppositonal divide in a man, the charming jerk. If I would worship her and never piss her off, she would look elsewhere to get her kicks, she would not be satisfied. The women I’ve wanted to sacrifice myself for, the women that had me under their thumb, have always lost interest in me entirely, right from the start. Women don’t want the men that make them the ultimate foundation for their existence, that’s just a basic rule of attraction between man and woman. She explains it herself here. 

Personally, I’m never more attracted to her than when she shows herself capable of leaving me.

‘Don’t you love her madly when she’s walking out the door’, goes a song by the Doors.

It’s a paradoxical human trait: we only love the things and the people that have the potential to destroy us.