Today marks close to two decades of marriage for Jon and I—18
years and counting. Not to be confused with 18 Kids and Counting.
I would love to say it’s all been peachy, but that would be a
lie and a disservice to any single folks who are looking forward to marriage. Marriage is hard. It’s really hard. That’s not to say there aren't a lot of easy or fun parts, but it is work.
commemorate this hard-earned event I will share 18 things I have learned about marriage—one
for each year. These are not listed in the order I learned them, or are even
indicative of how well I have learned or implemented them. Let’s be honest—these
are things I hope I have already, am currently, may one day or am semi-willing
to learn about marriage:
1. If it crows, it’s not always a rooster. (This is just a general guideline for all aspects of life.)
2. No matter how many times you see them, your spouse’s
feet can still gross you out.
3. Just because you can have children doesn't mean
you should. (I am not speaking to my own
marriage and children. This is just
something I have observed about other people’s marriages. Who
said this list
had to be all about my wedded bliss?)
4. The apple might not fall far from the tree, but it
is often picked up by a Labrador retriever, chewed to
pieces and strewn around
the yard until it no longer resembles an apple or the tree from whence it
is not necessarily a bad thing.)
5. Once and a while it’s okay to admit you were
wrong—even if you are 99.9 percent sure you aren't
6. Don’t carry a grudge. Even if you lift with your
knees, it will injure your back and your relationship.
7. It’s okay to say nothing. In fact, you can find
out a lot more about a situation by closing your mouth
and using your other
senses- even the sixth one.
8. Always be on your spouse’s side. You've got to
have each other’s backs.
9. Make sacrifices for your relationship and
family. It can often feel like these are enormous burdens,
but it usually turns
out okay in the end.
10. Don’t let
other’s beliefs about relationships, marriage, family or children dictate how
you live your
life together. Only you can know what works for you.
11. Being married doesn't mean being dull. Have fun
and don’t be afraid to do things without your
spouse. Being together 24/7 is
not good for anyone. (Even conjoined twins.)
12. Keep ‘em in the loop. Your spouse should be the
first to know important information—not your
mom, dad, sister, brother,
co-worker, dentist or barista.
Be goofy. Don’t let life get too mundane and
Don’t feed each other in restaurants. Come to
think of it, don’t feed each other anywhere. It’s just
weird and nobody wants
to see that. (Unless they have some weird fetish and, if that’s the case,
should at least pay you.)
Do something to celebrate your milestones. You
don’t have to throw a big party or spend a lot of
money, but if you make it a
habit you are less prone to forgetting the date later when you get old
and Ginkgo Biloba is no longer effective for memory retention.
Think before you speak. Counting to ten isn't
always effective. You might need ten minutes or ten
days, but take what you
need to avoid saying something you’ll regret.
Learn when to say no and when to bow out. If it
makes your spouse happy, is semi-reasonable
and won’t cause harm let it go. If it
will contribute to the downfall of society (or just your house
because it attracts mice, termites and other pests) say no.
18. It's just a movie, and you won't remember it 18 years from now anyway.