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Column - Husbands: If your wife has changed you, you're not alone

To all the husbands out there - you are not alone. It's OK to admit that your wife has changed you.

I've been married to my wonderful husband for seven years. He's a "man's man" - hunter, angler, weight lifter, pickup truck driving, macho-to-the-core kind of guy.

However, even he couldn't elude the inevitable side effect of marriage - he's been "changed."

You all know what I'm referring to, right? Over the years, his lovely wife has worn him down and "changed" him into a rule-following, "yes, dear" kind of guy. He lives life very differently than those long-gone days of bachelor freedom.

(By the way, this column was his idea - I think it's his way of reaching out to other men hoping this topic will spark some sort of guy therapy session accompanied by beer.)

No, he's not "whipped," nor does he do everything his wife asks him to.

In my mind, he's just changed for the better.

In his mind, his bachelor habits have vaporized and there are some things that are out of his control - for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, 'til death do us part. Poor guy.

There's the standard list of husband-changing goals that all wives strive for: take out the garbage, put the dishes in the dishwasher, empty your pockets before throwing clothes in the laundry, stop hogging the covers and - the holy grail of change - put the toilet seat down. Check, check and check - my hubby has achieved nearly every one.

And then there's the "other list" of changes my husband has been subjected to:

1. His hunting dog wears a doggie coat. Our dog, Cash, is a huge 97-pound animal that was bred to hunt like a machine - we're talking championship bloodlines and big money. My husband was so proud of him and had big plans for his dog. Well, now Cash thinks he's my lap dog. I'll admit I had a lot to do with the undoing of his fancy hunting dog. Mainly it was the coat. I bought a 2XL doggie coat for Cash and I think he loves it. I wrap him up like a doggie burrito and outside we go. It's a camouflage coat - does that count? My husband has given up and accepted the coat, but he threatened to move out if I buy a doggie hat and booties.

2. The "mansket." Like most families, our kitchen table is the landing zone for everything - mail, groceries, work stuff, random bolts, business cards and other doo-dads. My husband's "side" of the table was getting out of hand - junk everywhere. So, I put out a nice basket and suggested that he corral all of his stuff in the basket. He now refers to it as his man-basket - the mansket. Poor guy's been cordoned off into a pretty little breadbasket.

3. The shower curtain theory. I believe it was in my lovely wife voice that I suggested my husband close the shower curtain after he's done in the shower. He said, "Oh great, another rule." He then went on to justify why he left the shower curtain open - in his mind the humid air escapes faster when the shower curtain is open. Seriously. I gave him a loving "wife look" and informed him that hot air rises and the air really doesn't care if the shower curtain is open. This was a real conversation - we're not too proud of that moment. So, yet again, my husband has been forced to change and he closes the shower curtain after he's done. In protest, he waits to close the curtain until he feels all the humid air has exited the shower.

So, husbands of the world, think of it this way, there's strategic logic behind going with it and accepting change. Like my mom says: A changed man equals harmony, and harmony gets you out of the house faster to go hunting, fishing, weightlifting and all that man stuff.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

(320) 763-3133