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Sarah Miller writes for The New Yorker, The Hairpin and other publications

I just read Katelyn Carmen’s 5 ways you are unknowingly destroying your husband and killing your marriage and I have to say it that while it was super great advice, it just didn’t work for me. (Yup—he’s still here.) Anyway—and to all the wives out there, I hope this is helpful!—here are a couple things I’m trying out to see if we can really get the ball rolling around here, if you know what I mean. (Caveat: Every woman is different. This is just what’s working for me. :) )

Quitting my job

A week ago, I was head of sales and marketing for a small technology company. But I quit so I could watch Law and Order: SVU all day. My husband came home and saw me on the couch and asked me if that was really how I was going to spend all my time. So I showed him a needlepoint I’d just done of Mariska Hargitay interrogating a suspect. “Really? That’s it?” he demanded, and I showed him a totally different one, of Mariska Hargitay getting out of a taxi, and he was not amused.

Talking a lot without thinking about what I’m saying

I used to try to be interesting, funny, and insightful when I talked to my husband. Now I tell really long stories and refer to everyone I mention as “my best friend.” I narrate my dreams, always relying heavily on the phrase: “Umm, and then, there was like, I don’t know, like, this weird thing, I can’t really describe it.” Naturally, I also narrate entire plots of Law and Order: SVU, and I have added Christopher Meloni needlepoints to my repertoire—even though I obviously have no intention of keeping those, or even giving them as gifts—so I can use them to help act stuff out. (Needlepoints make great handpuppets if you’ve got some rubber bands lying around!)

Wearing flannel nightgowns everywhere

When I was a little girl, my mother, who was always full of the wisest, kindest advice, sat me down, took my tiny hands in her big ones and said, “There’s nothing a man hates more than a flannel nightgown.” Then she winked and said, “Seriously, they really hate them.” When I greeted my husband at the door in it, he went ashen. And it was at that moment I realized how much my mom really loved me.

Doing stuff to look older faster

I sunbathe in an aluminum foil lined pen while working myself into states of great stress, consuming foods with a high content of free radicals, and drinking Bacardi 151 mixed with Coke Zero. But like I said, you have to find what works for you.

Just kind of being a big bitch a lot of the time

I do a lot of bitchy stuff but here’s just one example. The other day my husband said “Maybe for the holidays we can have Christmas with your parents and New Years with mine” and I said “Ugh.” Then he said “What’s for dinner, babe?” and I said “Circus peanuts” and he said “Are you serious?” I thought about how Katelyn Carmen said we should always be open with our husbands about how we really feel. So I dumped a bag of circus peanuts in his lap and I said “Do I seem serious?”

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