What should a married man do?

Comedian Atul Khatri dispenses some tips to the man whose wife doesn’t approve of his friends

Before I start this article, here’s a disclaimer—in no way should you let my views deter you from getting married or making new friends, or getting married to your friend or making friends with the one you marry. Phew! Now that that is out of that way…

First, let me quickly list down the types of marriages in India—‘arranged’ marriage, ‘love’ marriage and then there’s the ‘new’ arranged-love marriage, where you are forced to tell your friends that you had a love marriage, because you don’t want them to know what a loser you are since your mommy had to find you a bride.

This article is written from a husband’s perspective… well, because I am a husband! So let me tell you that there is no man in the world who does not get along with his wife’s woman friends. In fact, he would love [and pray] to see his wife and her best friend in the shower together… but then let’s not go there. A husband will also not have any problem with his wife’s male friends—as long as they are gay or have wives hotter than his own.

Weeding out the friends

Now let’s get down to the point—in an arranged marriage, the newly wedded wife has to get used to the new house, the in-laws, the domestic help, the dog, the commode and not to forget the husband—strictly in that order. So you see, she has enough issues at hand. That is why, in the beginning she finds relief in your friends who try everything to make her feel at home. At this stage she finds her first post-marriage friends from your friend circle. Life is good. But then the honeymoon gets over—doesn’t it always? After she settles down, and has slowly gotten rid of all her
obstacles [including your parents and the dog], and after she has replaced the commode, she begins her witch hunt. And her first targets are your female friends. Here’s how wives launch a subtle [and sometimes not so subtle] attack…

Wife: Why did you have to share your soup one-by-two with Pooja at the restaurant and not with me?

You: Because honey, you are a vegetarian and I wanted to eat sweet corn chicken, and so did she.

Wife: So, for one day you can’t have vegetarian soup with me?

Even when she is in a ‘likeable’ mood, one message from your friends and she begins her witch hunt.

Wife: Why does Neha ‘like’ all your FB status updates? She doesn’t have any work, kya?

You: I don’t know. You ask her!

Wife: Why don’t you ask her, through your next status update!

With your male friends her strategy is even more destructive.

You: Honey, I am going for dinner with my all my college friends.

Wife: You never ever ask me to come for dinner. Why can’t I come along?

You: But it’s only us men. What will you do?

And here’s where wives shift the game and take to another level. They start looking like a giant version of themselves as they command you: “You need to stop these dinners. Do you realise how much weight you have put on? You look so disgusting without your clothes!”

As you can see, you’re cornered—there simply is no escaping your wife!

In love marriages too, the situation is not very different. However, in this case you probably had the same group of friends, so the process of eliminating your friends is a bit slower. After all, your wife knew them from before you were married, and so has some empathy for them. Thank God for small mercies. But don’t get too complacent. The witch hunt is coming, and the process is the same—she ticks them off slowly and steadily, till none are left.

Should you kill your friendships?

But then what should a man do? Should he kill all his friendships, which he has developed over the years just because his wife doesn’t like his friends? Here are two ways that can help you in retaining your friendships after marriage [Try them at your own risk!]

Lie to her [apologise if caught]:  Mahatma Gandhi said “Truth is God”, but then I guess Kasturba had no issues with his friends. I realise you may have to speak over a 1000 lies to cover a single lie, but trust me it is worth it if you don’t want to look like a wimp in front of your friends.

If your wife ever finds out that you’ve been lying to her, bring out your Brahmastra, your one fail-proof weapon—your puppy-faced look. Simply saying “sorry” never works, not with your wife [if you are married long enough, you know what I mean!] You have to look like you truly mean it: make that puppy face with big eyes, looking like you are about cry—this never fails. Of course, there are thousands of other ways to apologise to your wife but then that would be an encyclopaedia in itself.

Use technology: Today, thanks to technology, you can communicate securely with your friends without your wife ever finding out. As a matter of precaution, I’d suggest that you don’t use the smart phone you got as your dowry or even as a birthday gift from your wife. To outsmart her, buy a new smart phone with an operating system that is totally different from your hers. She should not know how to use your phone—not even how to charge it! Learning IP masking techniques also helps.

Sometimes being smart is simple; for instance, you should store female friends’ contacts under names like ‘Vodafone’, ‘mechanic’, ‘repairman’. But make sure that you don’t end up calling the mechanic asking for Pooja…!

Needless to say, never let your wife get a whiff of what you are doing, otherwise she will lose her mind—and you will lose more than just your friends.

This was first published in the October 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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Atul Khatri
Atul Khatri is a Mumbai based businessman who got up late in life and decided to do English Standup comedy so that he could tick it off his own personal bucket list.  An Indian Computer Engineer and a British Mgmt. scholar who always orders soup one by two even when he is eating alone. He recently won 'CEOs got Talent' trophy competing against 11 other CEOs

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