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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Orange County

Emily Simpson Is Fed up with Her Husband Shane Simpson's Jokes — Here's What She Can Do

"There's up and there's downs. That's what marriage is all about," The Real Housewives of Orange County's Emily Simpson said. 

By Marianne Garvey
Emily Simpson Is Tired of Being the Butt of Her Husband's Jokes

Emily Simpson and Shane Simpson have been airing out their issues on this season of The Real Housewives of Orange County.

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Shane's been away studying, while Emily's been home taking care of the kids. Since he's been back, the tension seems to be pretty high. (Watch for yourself in the clip above.)

Vicki Gunvalson even addressed the couple's marriage problems on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, saying she understands it's hard to put your marriage on TV.

"I just kind of feel like the pressure, having marriage problems with cameras on, everything gets exaggerated," Vicki said.

Emily herself told The Daily Dish that of course their marriage of 10 years isn't perfect.

"There's up and there's downs. That's what marriage is all about," she said. "At the end of the day, we're committed, and we'll make it work."

The latest issue with the two is Shane's jokes aimed at Emily. He told her that her new dancing shoes "look like the shoes from the Wicked Witch of the West" and then asked her if she was laying on the couch because she was exhausted from getting them on. 

She admitted the two are "not good at communicating."

So, how can they make it better?

"Although your partner may think their humor is being taken all in fun, it often is a mask for a silent frustration or complaint," says national etiquette expert Diane Gottsman.

She says there are a few things you can do to solve the problem.

"If you find yourself being the object of your partner's joke, there are several different options ranging from talking to them privately and asking to please keep you out of their humor, to rebutting the joke in public after numerous attempts to make him or her stop," she says. 

Gottsman says you can say something as simple as, “I’m sure you don’t really mean that” or, “X, it’s not OK with me that you continue to make me the focus of your mean-spirited jokes.”

"Ultimately you want to take care of this in the privacy of your own environment so you don’t bring others into the conversation or embarrass each other in public," she adds. "A strong relationship means communicating and respecting each other‘s requests and boundaries. As they say in the marriage vows, 'Speak now or forever hold your peace.' Set your boundaries firmly but politely."

One woman sought advice on Yahoo because she was always the butt of her husband's jokes — especially in front of pretty women. 

One commenter offered this wisdom:

"You are not being oversensitive, it is just mean. He knows it's mean and is trying to hide behind 'it was just a joke.' Someone who really loves you will be concerned about your feelings and not treat you mean. There is a mean streak inside him, or he is angry at you about something and this is how it manifests: he needs to examine that and own his emotions. It is very passive-aggressive behavior. If he has issues with you he should bring them up to you in a mature way and discuss them in private."

Another wrote: "I have this argument with my boyfriend a lot, because while men think it's funny to poke fun at us, they have to remember ... We are not their 'buddies' or 'one of the guys.' It hurts our feelings when the love of our life either makes fun of us. Sometimes, I can handle the jokes and make fun of him too, but other times I wish he didn't. Just be honest with him and tell him that it bothers you and if he gets defensive then he's being immature and not caring how you feel."

VeryWell says be careful about how much you make jokes at your spouse's expense. Teasing is fine, but there is a line. 

"Some psychologists believe that teasing is an important tool in building healthy relationships. The more satisfied a couple is with their marriage, the more playful they can become," says the report. "However, since teasing is ambiguous, the desired effect can backfire. Additionally, people respond differently to teasing. Teasing that hurts others on purpose can be called 'taunting.' Taunting can become bullying when it is done repeatedly."

Ultimately, VeryWell says, "Don't attack or be malicious especially when it comes to your spouse's capabilities, appearance, weight, or what you perceive to be a physical flaw. It isn't funny to those who hear what you've said, and it isn't funny to your spouse."

Lastly, don't OD on jokes. "Yes, every relationship needs some fun and laughter. However, you can give too many gag gifts, make too many so-called witty remarks, tell a few too many funny stories, and engage in too much horseplay. Keep it balanced with some down to earth, real, serious conversations with your spouse."

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