I'm in the mood to give some lessons (or rather ramble, take your pick)
2009's Lessons for Married Men (with or without children)
At home in general:
The den is not your "mancave". If you want a "mancave", get a job paying 6 digits a year so you can buy a house where you can have said "cave" away from the distractions of your family. Better yet, don't have a family.....because if they see you, they want you to do something aside from playing on the computer or xBox.
A Wii is not a paperweight. It's a great piece of technology that can actually strengthen your back, help you lose weight and even allow you some great interactions with previously mentioned family members.
Even though bugs are living creatures and need a place to live.............your wife does not want Anthony the Ant and his five million relatives joining you on a daily basis. Pick up after yourself and if your wife buys bug spray.............USE IT. She'll appreciate you took the step to be her hero.......especially if the night before she had to kill the cockroach YOU found in the bathroom.
You live in your home, right? So, that means you contribute to the mess? Perhaps you should consider contributing on a regular basis to the clean up of that mess. When your wife spends 1-2 hours cleaning the kitchen only to have it completely destroyed the next time she walks out there, it kind of upsets her. Oh, and once a month deep cleaning doesn't count when it's (A) once a month or (B) the first time in 5 years of marriage you've ever done something like that.
When you're "rewarded" for doing something great for your wife, say cleaning 5 of 6 rooms in your home to the point of your wife is completely speechless........do it again. It makes for a much better marriage.
That reminds me of my favorite marital quote:
A happy marriage is like keeping a clean house, if you work at it a little each day, you never have any big messes to clean up.
In the Kitchen:
Dishwasher is NOT code for "garbage disposal" If you put a dish in the dishwasher with macaroni or egg salad caked on it.......chances are very high that said macaroni or egg white pieces will either (A) still be caked on or (B) sitting at the bottom of the drain. Meaning two things.
1. Someone (preferably other than your 8-month pregnant wife) has to get down and get that crap out of the drain
2. All those nice clean dishes really aren't because, well, they were just swished around what was supposed to be clean rinse water, but was really pasta/egg filled rinse water.
Just because the dishwasher is done, does not mean everything actually came clean, sometimes you have to CHECK the stuff that comes out. For example, please do not put food-crusted forks back in the drawer only to have them returned to your wife by your 3 yo saying "yucky".
You should also check the valves for sippy cups. If *YOU* are the one that put them the dishwasher, chances are that they were 2-3 day old cups and there was milk curdled inside. So, the valves might still have milk in the because you didn't rinse them out first. This will really piss of your wife because out of the 10 sippy cups you have, 9 are already loaded into the dishwasher and the 10th has a gross valve. Meaning, she's pissed off because she has to wash it out and your 3yo is ticked because he has to wait for "chobby".
That beer that's been in the fridge for well over a year now? Throw it out or drink it. Takes up too much space and when you have kids, you need all the space you can get. You need even more space for fresh fruits and veggies if you live in a warm climate and bugs are a problem. Add in a pregnant wife with gestational diabetes and well, she needs that space for her sugar-free/sugarless meals and snacks. Two veggie crisper drawers full of beer isn't a wise use of your fridge space.
If you use the griddle, clean up after yourself. Being a fantastic grill cook does not get you out of the responsibility of cleaning up the grill. And certainly, getting grease all over the backspash of the stove isn't really nice either. It's not fun to clean it up, but it sucks even more to have to clean the stove top before anyone else can cook.
All clean dishes have a home. And while you might not know the exact home of each dish, it's better to ask for help than for your wife to find dishes stacked like a nearly-completed Jenga game that's going to topple with one wrong move. Those dishes your wife painted? They're special to her....KNOCK IT OFF and ask for help in locating their proper home.
Dirty dishes belong first in the sink to be rinsed off, then in the dishwasher. They do NOT belong on your child's small table, on the couch, on the computer desk, or on the chair/grill you have sitting on the front porch.
Doing laundry is more than just putting things into the washer and dryer, then piling them onto the bed. Laundry entails folding and putting away. Granted, your wife might leave a pile of clean clothes for a week, but that doesn't mean it doesn't eventually get done (like with the following week's laundry).
Asking your wife for clean boxers is a HUGE no-no. Especially when she specifically asked you to take care of your pile of clothes three days ago. The same pile that contains all the t-shirts you've asked for in the past few days and your clean boxers.
Your wife might make her own laundry soap. Generally this is an easy way to save money. But she might also do it because you and previously mentioned 3yo have sensitive skin and it works out much better if she knows that it's dye/fragrance free than to play a grocery store guessing game.
Just because your now 8 month pregnant wife wants to ride in a ECV doesn't mean she wants to spend all night in the grocery store. Especially if you're talking a middle-of-the-week, on payday, after she gets out of work trip to the store. She still wants to get in, get her stuff and get out. (hmmmm, sounds like a Jeff Dunham character I know, though I'm certain Walter doesn't put it quite so nicely.)
Going to the store to pick up a few things does not mean spending $60+ on junk. It means actually getting the 10 items you went in for and not much else.
Want to make the grocery store REALLY easy for your wife? Stay home! Oh, and keep any little ones home with you. This might be the only time in a week's time that your wife gets "quiet" time to herself. After all, it seems everyone wants to follow her into the bathroom these days.
Okay, so I've given you a few lessons involving children already, but there are a few more. First, if your 3yo decides that even though he's supposed to have been asleep for nearly two hours and he pounds on his door wanting out.......and your wife is tired because she's had a long week at work............get off your video game and take care of the child. NICELY and without being asked. Chances are your wife with neither ask you to do this, nor tell you it upsets her that you didn't volunteer.
Children need time. Your wife will take time before bed to give a bath, read a book, snuggle into a movie and then after the child is in bed after 9:00 (sometimes later), she'll clean the house til whenever and MAYBE take some time for herself before she crashes into bed between midnight and 1:00 a.m.
Last lesson. Very simple: appreciate your wife and show it. See the above "chidren need time" lesson? Maybe while she's in the bathtub getting splashed and water's heading all over the bathroom floor, you could clean up the kitchen or pick up the living room or finish cleaning off the table from dinner. Sitting on the computer is not a wise choice.