posted by Matt W on September 26th, 2012

Many years ago the famous book Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus came out. I must have recently pissed off my wife, because I remember saying to someone that the people of Venus must have really long, spiteful memories. When it comes to marriage, there is a sort of Statute of Limitations put on most negative situations, and it definitely seems skewed against men.

My wife bought a car the other day from CarMax. We had mostly looked for me but when my wife finally got fed up with my indecision, she just bought one for herself instead. Kudos to her for stepping up to the plate and I am perfectly fine with her choice. In my defense, I have a hard time finding a car that meets my standards: a large enough driver’s seat; good mileage; I also like diesels. There aren’t that many of them. Any way my wife made the decision and we signed the papers.

The story should end there, with no Statue on how long before my wife could bring up my indecision on buying a car. But that would be too easy.

After a day of driving the new car, she wanted to take it back. The driver’s seat wasn’t as comfortable as she had hoped, the mileage was less than she expected, and the car was too big. As CarMax has a 5 day return policy, she tortuously second-guessed her decision for a three days. While the words “It’s not that easy of a choice now is it dear?” sat on my lips for those three days, the words that actually came out were, “If you’re truly uncomfortable, let’s just take it back.” As I definitely got the better end of the marriage deal, I have learned to keep my mouth shut in situations such as this. In the end, my wife kept the car. (Now in her defense, she had been under the weather during those days, so every decision probably seemed more monumental than it needed to be.)

If we had returned the car, how long would I have had to wait before bringing up the CarMax debacle of 2012? A week, a month, a decade? Well, as I am prone to smart ass comments, I made myself a mental chart many years ago to keep myself out of trouble in situations such as this. Here’s a few from my list for those new to a relationship.

Situations involving your mother-in-law: Never.

Sisters-in-law: Never. They also share this sacred protection.

Brothers-in-law: You have to play it by ear.

Fathers-in-law: Guys don’t talk bad about fathers, its Man Code.

Situations involving a past girlfriend: Again never, why risk it?

Spouse’s speeding tickets: One year (Never, ever, ever bring up your own speeding tickets to a spouse. Did I say tickets, as in more than one? Oops, I hope you’re not reading, dear.)

Spouse’s major purchase gone badly: 5 years. So it would have been August of 2017 that I would have been OK to drop the CarMax bomb. “You realize you mocked me mercilessly for months for not pulling the trigger on a car with a slightly too small seat and bad gas mileage.”

Bad Parenting: Never, Mom’s always win that debate and it opens the door for every last one of your parenting mistakes to be brought back out of the closet.

Comments about each other’s appearance: I wouldn’t know as my wife is perfect.

Anyway, you get the picture. In a marriage, the statute of limitations in most situations is one-sided and so long that you might as well just forget anything ever happened. Which is why I say the marital Statute of Limitations acronym, SOL is especially appropriate for men.


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