Hitched 2.0: You Can Have Your Fiancé Properly Trained With Groom Academy

So, this is new: Ten hotels across the UK are now offering a new program called “Groom Academy,” designed to train guys to become the best husbands they can be. This isn’t about listening, or working together in a relationship, or respecting each other’s opinions. No, this “exclusive” academy focuses on the important aspects of a marriage: bed-making, ironing, cooking, and cocktail-mixing.

The one-day training session begins with a 30-minute housekeeping consultation with the hotel’s executive housekeeper. No only will the groom-to-be learn the expert’s “top tips for a spotless house based on years of professional experience,” but they’ll also be put to the test with some hands-on bed-making practice. And this isn’t just learning to pull the comforter taut over the sheets—by the time they graduate from the academy, guys will know how to achieve perfect, crisp corners, too! That’s followed by ironing, cooking, and cocktail-making lessons to round out a rigorous day of training. There’s also an add-on option for a personal fitness training session because, what’s a husband without pecs?

And though some of those skills may become rusty after years of marriage, brides can rest easy knowing there’s one aspect of the academy that extends beyond that single educational day: The hotel will send anniversary reminder texts to those near-perfect husbands for years to come (no word on how many years this goes on—till they get an obituary or divorce notice?). Per the Worcester Whitehouse Hotel’s General Manager, Rachel Mitchell, “…our reminder text service will even help dispel any potential arguments between forgetful fellas and their better halves.”

Um, what? I’m confused, because I thought we were past the point of delegating specific gender roles in a relationship—no matter what those roles are. I don’t consider myself to be very domestic; in fact, I hate cooking and think I’m pretty terrible at it. So, yeah, I value my fiancé being able to put together a decent dinner. But it’s in no way a “requirement” for our marriage, or an indicator of how good a husband he will be. Isn’t it more important for us to view each other as equals, to respect each other, to make each other laugh, to talk through differences and arguments effectively, than for him to be able to employ proper dish-washing techniques?

In the spirit of full transparency, I’ll admit I’m lucky to not have the stereotypical Neanderthal sharing a bed with me. Andy cooks, he cleans, he does laundry, and he irons his clothes far more often than I iron mine. (Seriously, I despise ironing. Give me a steamer or give me wrinkles.). So, yes, perhaps the fact that I don’t have to share a home with a “gross boy” changes my perspective a bit. But even if that wasn’t the case, I think I can safely say I’d never dream of sending him to any sort of domestic training camp to get him in line.

Andy and I have been together for nearly five years, so we’ve had plenty of time to grow and evolve as a couple. I know some engaged couples have been together longer, and some much shorter, but from what I understand, most people get engaged because they’re happy together. As is. So, theoretically, neither party should suddenly need training to become a “good” partner once vows are exchanged. And if there are things that bother me in the relationship—and vice versa—it’s up to me to confront him about them, and figure out a way to resolve it together. Sending him to some random third party to learn how to act in our relationship isn’t going to do shit—and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Listen: No relationship is perfect, mine included. But if I ever suggest sending my fiancé to an “academy” to learn fairly basic life skills because I think it’s the key to that whole “happy wife, happy life” thing … intervene, please.

Am I alone here? Is anyone itching to get into this program?

Hitched, our weekly column about getting married, is back! This time around, we’ll be walking down the aisle (well, in spirit) with writer Emma Sarran, who will be sharing her thoughts on long engagements, the institution of matrimony and that godforsaken wedding industrial complex every Thursday. Follow her on Twitter!