The cute title to Peter Scott’s new book, There’s a Spouse In My House: A Humorous Journey Through the First Years of Marriage, continues to wink-wink and elbow-jab at the stereotypical male-female differences throughout the book. Fortunately, that’s probably exactly what a newly cohabitating couple needs; women know they’re completely crazy when they rant about how the plates are arranged in the dishwasher, men are fully aware that towels belong on a rack or in a laundry bin—not the floor. Yet like on an endless loop, we repeat these actions for years, even decades.
Scott understands this, which is why his book works. Once he’s established the problem, he offers somewhat useful solutions—but really doesn’t expect major change.
One chapter, entitled “Wouldn’t Sleeping in the Guest Room Help Your Cough Go Way?,” lays out a familiar scenario: the passing back and forth of a cold. (We refer to this as "flumerang" here.) Says Scott: “If the husband regresses to a little boy when he’s sick, then the wife has a shockingly different reaction when she’s ill…the wife blames the husband for the illness. The husband got frustrated when he was sick because he couldn’t decide who to blame. The wife has no such problem. It’s her husband’s fault. He gave her this cold…even if the husband hasn’t been sick.”
I’ll be honest: I have been this wife. On several occasions.