These tickled me. I like to laugh at how I've been fooled and fooled myself in the past and take comfort from the fact that its not 'just me'

The Lamentations of Matheolus (excerpts) -- by Mathieu of Boulogne, (1295 A.D.)


While married men necessarily know very little about women, Matheolus struggles through his bitterness to reveal more than enough of the truth about women, at the same time as serving as a warning to us all . . .

[The following short extracts are from Le Fèvre's translation (c. 1371-2) of a subtle poem, the Liber lamentationum Matheoluli, written around 1295 by Mathieu of Boulogne (via a recent translation from Le Fèvre's by Karen Pratt, in Woman Defamed and Woman Defended: An Anthology of Medieval Texts, Oxford University Press, 1992)]

Dominating Clock
This female clock is really driving me mad, for her quarrelsome din doesn't stop for a moment. The tongue of a quarrelsome woman never tires of chiming in. She even drowns out the sound of the church bell. A nagging wife couldn't care less whether her words are wise or foolish, provided that the sound of her own voice can be heard. She simply pursues her own ends; there's not a grain of sense in what she says; in fact she finds it impossible to have a decent thought. She doesn't want her husband to be the boss and finds fault with everything he does. Rightly or wrongly, the husband has no choice: he has to put up with the situation and keep his mouth shut if he wants to remain in one piece. No man, however self disciplined or clear-sighted he may be, can protect himself adequately against this. A husband has to like what the wife likes, and disapprove of what she hates and criticize what she criticizes so that her opinions appear to be right. So anyone who wishes to immolate himself on the altar of marriage will have a lot to put up with. Fifteen times, both day and night, he will suffer without respite and he will be sorely tormented. Indeed, I believe that this torture is worse than the torments of hell, with its chains, fire, and iron.



The Winning Sophistry of Wives


In addition to using arguments and disputes, a woman can lead her man to false conclusions by means of five different types of sophism. It's only right that I should give you some examples of their deception. Their linguistic sophistry is easily demonstrated.
Guy found his wife in her bedroom underneath Simon, who was bonking her on the edge of the bed. Once the act was over, Guy got angry, scolded and reproached his wife, saying, "Get out, wicked woman, may God destroy you, body and soul, for your wickedness is now only too clear." But the woman was very quick to contradict her husband, replying, "Are you trying to kill me? Tell me what's the matter?". And the martyr to marriage said to her, "I want a divorce." "Alas," she said "why do you dare to speak such evil words to me? My father was once deluded into thinking that what you are now accusing me of had happened to him, for he imagined that he had seen my mother behaving in a wifely manner underneath another man, but his eyesight was defective. I know that my mother died as a result of such an incident, and my other female ancestors in just the same way. Dear husband, tell me how you arrived at such a crazy idea. Where has this melancholy come from? Dear friend, do you wish to be the death of me? Do you want me to live, or to die needlessly having done no wrong? You would be a wicked man indeed. Tell me what you want me to do." The poor wretch wept as he embraced her and said to her, "Sweet sister, I want you to live, for if you were ever to depart prematurely from this life as your mother did, your death would be too bitter a blow to me." She replied. "Then you must acknowledge publicly that I was never guilty of such a crime or, I promise you, I shall die. Now go quickly and say that it was a lie and that you dreamt it, for it was in this way that my female ancestors met their untimely ends." Against this argument the husband could find no defence, and without further ado, retracted his accusations under oath in the presence of their female neighbours, gossips, and cousins and swore that he had lied and had wrongly accused her. Thus his wife was exculpated, while he allowing himself to be contradicted in this way, suffered public humiliation.





Bedroom Politics


Whenever there is a secret, woman from here to the island of Crete insists on discovering it. She seizes her husband, drags him off and takes him to bed, pretending that she wants to make love; then she kisses and embraces her husband and deceiving him with her words says, "I don't know what a man has to fear, for in the words of God, a man leaves his father and mother for his wife, they become one, hopefully one flesh, it really is possible. For God has united and joined them with one indivisible bond, tying them tightly so that they will stay together. Therefore every man should do whatever pleases his wife."

Then she strokes his head and resumes the kissing and lies down under him and, arching her back and spine, offers to him her carnal vessel, saying "I'm ready to do your will and shall prove this to you whenever you wish. I beg you to be mine, for we are one and in my case as God says, whether you like it or not, you are mine however reluctantly, and to my mind, rightly so." And as they draw together and she recognizes in his excitement that he is getting ready to copulate, she presses her breast against his, despite the silk of the bedclothes and blankets, saying to him; "Here you are, I'm giving you all I have, offering up to you my heart, body and all my limbs, but please do not forget that you are my husband and lord. Now tell me what I ask of you, you can tell me confidently, for indeed God will know if I am lying. I'd prefer to suffer a terrible and sudden death than to reveal your secrets to others. Oh wretch that I am. I would never do it. You know how I am, you've put me to the test many a time, fair friend, wise husband, now tell me why I am not party to this information. Everything you know I ought to know too. No other person will ever get to hear of it."
Then she kisses and embraces him again, caressing and soothing him. With blandishments and flattery she presses herself right up against him saying, "How foolish and wretched I am since you scorn and ignore my words. Alas, I am truly dishonoured by my misguided love for you. If my neighbours knew of this, I would right1y be criticized, if the situation between us were common knowledge. I love you more than I love myself, I am far superior to other women, yet you deny me knowledge of your secrets - and I tell you all I know, never omitting anything. Other women cover themselves better, for they do not reveal their secrets, they are wise to do this. Yet I am foolish and generous, since I behave in this way towards you. And love alone makes me do this." What more effective and touching proof is there than the gift of one's heart and one's mouth? If the man tries to draw closer, she forbids him to touch her, pulls away, turns her back on him and weeps as if sad and upset. She pretends to be very distressed. Then there's double trouble. She is silent for a while, then sighs and in a grumbling tone says, after a few moments' silence, "Alas, how I am deceived. I can't help but lament; whatever this man wants, I want it too. God knows his every wish would be mine, yet he would do nothing for me. I know that what he keeps hidden from me he discloses to all other women. He who says that man is deceived by woman is misguided and wrong. In this respect too I have been misled. I love you yet you don't love me at all. You aren't mine yet I am yours. And because I love you I'm telling you that you would please me greatly if you were to tell me what I ask. for I would then reveal to you all that I know, and I wouldn't lie on pain of death. Alas, I am your chambermaid. I'd rather be far away and be lying dead in a pit. The matter would have to be very important indeed for me to be able to hide it from you, yet you do not wish to reveal anything to me. I serve you as my lord, as a very important and superior person, yet you turn a deaf ear to my words Our love is hardly mutual."
The man is dismayed and ponders awhile but can find no defence against this attack; he does not notice the malice in her words and replies, "What's the matter, my love? Please turn round. I have never been so upset as I am now over your complaint. I love you truly and there is nothing else so dear to me." She then turns to face her husband, offering him her mouth and breast. He is completely taken in by her lecture. In response to a barrage of request and supplications, he reveals everything to her, thus committing great folly, for from then on, she is the lady and mistress, while he lives the wretched life of a serf. Perrette wants me to tell her everything, concentrating all her efforts on making me angry. If I don't resist, believe me, I shall be treated just as you have heard.

http://www.theabsolute.net/misogyny/matheol.html