You know, I’ve been married to my husband for 18 years. We dated for four and a half years before we were married, and I have to say, the relationship is still pretty damned good. We’ve both put on a few years, and a few pounds, but he still thinks I’m awesome, I still think he’s awesome, so it’s all good. Here are some things I’ve learned over the lifetime of our marriage that I feel might have something to do with its success.
1) You can’t not have a yours, mine, and ours in a marriage. Either go in to it thinking that everything is going to be shared, or you might as well just get a roommate. Now this doesn’t mean that he can’t do his own thing, or I can’t do mine, it just means that when we do our own thing we are still keeping the other person in mind.
2) Don’t bring up past fights. Ever. It won’t get you any leverage on the new argument, and if your only defense is something that happened in the past, well, then it’s not much of an argument to begin with. Any ways, we all fuck up, people. And when you get past it as a couple, there is nothing worse then revisiting old wounds.
3) If you are pissed at the world (job sucks, someone cut you off at the market, your child is being childish, etc.) don’t take it out on your spouse. It’s so easy to snap at your husband (or wife or significant other) because you think they’ll love you even when you act like an ass. Well, let me tell you, that only goes so far. The whole marriage ceremony may say “love until death do you part” but it lies a lot. People fall out of love every day. Don’t be one of them. Be kind to your partner. If you’re having a shitty day, tell your partner about it, rather than biting off their head because something stupid, like not replacing the toilet paper roll.
4) Be happy with your partner for who they are or get the hell out. You can’t change other people with your love. The only person who you can change or control is yourself. The sooner you figure that out the easier you’ll sleep at night (it’s also a bit of a relief as well, because once you figure that out, then you also figure out that the choices other people make are not your responsibility. Look at all that sideline guilt just flying out the window). It amazes me how much time and effort people put into trying to create the perfect partner, the same partner they thought was perfect before they married them.
5) There is no such thing as “Happily Ever After.” That’s a fairy tale folks. Stories told to children to keep them from getting nightmares. Surely as an adult, you know better. But there is good news. “Happy For Now” exists and is running rampant through a large selection of the population. Couple who work the whole HFA are the only ones who even have a smidgen of a chance for HEA. Because these are the couples who realize that a relationship is work. It doesn’t get easier when the wedding rings go on. No way, no how. So, everyday I wake up and think am I happy in my marriage, and if the answer is yes, then Woot! status quo. If the answer is no, then I work extra hard that day to make it work.
6) Don’t have children to save a failing relationship. Okay, so this one was never a problem for us. We were married for nearly five years when we decided to get pregnant with our son. But let me tell you, children, while they bring loads of joy to your life, also bring loads of headaches. They can be a strain on a good relationship, and will only make a bad relationship worse.
7) You are not the boss of your partner. Don’t ever believe for one moment that you can tell your partner what to do and they are not going to resent the hell out of you for it.
8) Keep the sex good. If the sex wasn’t good to begin with, well…I’m not sure what to say to that. I’m not an expert in bad sex. LOL. But if it started good, keep it good. Be honest with your partner about what you want in bed and let your partner be honest with you. No one is born the perfect lover, and each person has different wants and desires. Be open to new experiences and have lots of orgasms.
9) Jealousy is a festering wound for a relationship. Here’s a few things I know. If you or you partner are going to cheat, you are going to cheat, and no amount of jealousy is going to change that. (I lived it with my parents. It wasn’t pretty). Jealousy is a total waste of an emotion. If you can’t or are unwilling to trust your partner, you might as well contact the divorce attorney now.
10) Be supportive of your partners hopes and dreams. Nothing squashes a relationship like being told that your hopes and dreams are stupid and not worthwhile. Now, I’m not saying you should go into the poor house trying to live the fantasy, but help your partner find solutions for his/ her goals rather than always bringing up why it’s such a bad idea.
I never mentioned romance. Well, that’s because I think romance is best suited for books. It’s highly overrated and takes more energy than its worth. Things to do instead of wasting time on romance – tell your partner you love them every day; when you are in the mood to have sex, have sex, even if you’re only in the mood because of something you’ve watched on TV, read in a book, or because the new pair of jeans your partner is wearing makes his/ her ass look hot; do something nice for your partner, like make the coffee in the morning or give them a back rub, something along those lines. The way you live with your partner should say much more about the way you feel than a box of chocolates (though I’d never turn down chocolate) or some roses (although they are lovely on occasion as well).
Ten reasons my husband rocks my world:
1) There is always a pot of coffee waiting for me when I wake up in the afternoons.
2) No matter what I want to do, he says “Okay.” He never tells me “no.”
3) He spends time with our son. (You may not think it’s a big deal, but I grew up with an absent father — it’s a big deal).
4) He thinks I’m sexy 24-7 and is always in the mood.
5) He doesn’t penalize me if I’m not in the mood.
6) He doesn’t judge me. About anything.
7) He is the man. Manly, without being overbearing. I don’t think I could be with a submissive guy. I would run all over him.
8) If I want anything and he can provide it for me, he does. (It’s how I got my home office, peeps. LOL)
9) He is intelligent, which makes for great conversations and debates.
10) He loves me more than just about anything.
Well, now that I’ve espoused unwanted advice, and gushed about my husband, I think I’m going to crawl into bed next to him and thank him properly for 18 wonderful years of marriage. I think we both deserve it. Oh, I’ve probably left a few important things out, but you get the picture.
(Oh! and I’ve decided to do a contest drawing as well. Everyone who comments on the blog here will be entered. I will announce the winner on Wednesday. The prize – an $18 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. Good luck!)