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Spousal We

The "Spousal We" and 6 Other Ways to Leave Your Lover

- by Jonathan Lockwood Huie

You really want to end your relationship, but you don't have the courage to say so directly. What to do? Here is a tongue-in-cheek list of ways to force your partner to make the break first.

1. Use the "Spousal We": "We need to remember to take out the garbage." "Didn't we make a fool of ourself at the party last night." Deft use of the "spousal we" can be like the final twist on a death jab. The other items on this list are like sharp knives, but the "spousal we" really finishes the job with a flourish.

2. Use guilt: Be clear that "guilt" is a verb. It is a weapon that can be used very effectively on your partner. Make sure that they always know how "wrong" they are, and how "unfair" their every action is. Their very existence is wrong and unfair.

3. Use sarcasm: Sarcasm works so well it's almost unfair - sort of like a cluster bomb. "Well, I see we are still watching TV." Triple whammy - guilt, sarcasm, and the spousal we. Great work.

4. Make an endless "honey do" list: It is important to emphasize how "fair" you are being. List everything you contribute to the relationship - pad the list as much as you can. Then just ask your other to do "one little thing." Make sure that it's not a one time task that can be accomplished and forgotten. No - the "one little thing" must be something that needs to be done frequently, so you can nag just as frequently. "We need to remember to..." should become your favorite phrase. Next week - or tomorrow - add another "one little thing" to the list. Never ever let anything be finished and taken off the list.

5. Act jealous: When you take on acting jealous, it is important to become very angry. This isn't teasing or flirting, this is irrational anger. Make sure that you express your anger randomly. Just pick some very ordinary person in some very ordinary situation as the catalyst, and then let your rage fly at your other. Say you just came out of a restaurant, and you are driving home. "Weren't we just something in there. I saw how you looked at that waitress/waiter. You practically had them undressed with your eyes. I was SO embarrassed. You should be SO ashamed. ..." You get the idea. REALLY lay it out. Your partner is just despicable. Make sure they get the message.

6. Have concealed expectations: If this sounds like concealed weapons, you got the idea, because expectations are powerful weapons in the relationship battle. It's important never to let your other know how they "should" behave until after the fact. Then you can say "we should have known that I only like pink roses." "How could we not come home early on a day I'm feeling depressed?" "It's my birthday, and we get me socks?"

7. Go shopping: This one is a double barreled shotgun. You get to aggravate your partner into leaving, and you get some stuff to take with you. You could just run up the credit card yourself, but you can punish your partner even better by "guilting" them into doing the buying - and than you can criticize them for spending too much - without offering to take back what they bought you, of course.

Congratulations. You will be living alone in no time.


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