You see, while we’ve been married for only a short time, we’ve been together for a good long while, a relationship that ensued on the date of our child’s conception. So really we’ve netted about eight years, which neither of us believes makes us anything approaching experts. Inexplicably, though, people will still ask for our advice.
I try not to be too insulted by the fact that usually the advice seekers are not the couples themselves but concerned loved ones who are shocked to find that their 19 year old son knocked up his 19 year old girlfriend, and could we please give them some advice about how to slow the barreling pace of the Failtrain?
No. I can’t. I don’t know why it worked for us. It really shouldn’t have, according to every frightening statistic trotted out in abstinence-only education. We had no money. We had no health insurance. We didn’t even really know each other. We were in college. We fought a lot. We resented each other.
Being unmarried parents had its awesome points. For instance, you can work on witty comebacks. For every biddy in the grocery store who stared at my naked ring finger and my swelling abdomen and commented, “You’re not married?” I was able to obliviously twirl a lock of hair around my finger and say, “No, but the father is!” When we did decide to get married, our daughter got to be our flower girl. Since my dad is a horrifyingly crazy Alex Jones devotee that I can’t imagine hanging out with ever, my husband and daughter did the whole schmaltzy father daughter dance instead. It was adorkable.
I’m the wrong person to ask for advice, mostly because I can’t take anything seriously. Still, if you must have it, I’ve compiled my top five list of fool proof* ways to make a marriage work.
Never Go To Bed Angry
This oft-repeated piece of marital advice is oft-repeated for a reason: it’s spot on. When you think about it, when are you most likely to make rational decisions? Midnight, right? The more tired you get, the less likely you are to say something irrevocably nasty and cutting. It just makes sense to hash things out in angry whispers at 2 am. I would up the ante, though, and advise you to never go to bed WRONG. You’re not, so make sure your spouse knows it and acknowledges that fact to your liking before you give them their pillow back.
Find Hobbies In Common
Well done, now you’re stuck with each other forever. To make the time fly faster before your respective inevitable demises, you should find a couple of things to do together. If absence makes the heart grow fonder, imagine how fond you’ll be of each other when you’re up each other’s butts all day long. My husband and I have a favorite hobby. We call it Two-Headed-Judgmental-Monster. At parties, we wrap our arms around one another before moving around the room and judging people.
“Hey Sharon, great shrimp dip! I was contemplating a colon cleanse anyway.”
“Nice to see you, Harold. I love your shirt, does it come in men’s sizes?”
This has the added benefit of making sure no one else wants to hang out with us. More time together with only each other for company for the rest of our mortal lives. Yay.
Emulate a Role Model
I admire my in-laws’ marriage, so I’ve made it my job to emulate my mother in-law, Linda. I’ve adopted her mannerisms and even her haircut. I even purchased the same model car and try to shop the same clothing stores. If my husband starts to make noises about this creeping him out, I just distract him by licking my thumb and wiping some schmutz off of his cheek.
Spice Up the Bedroom
You’ve probably heard all about how married people don’t have sex. What you don’t hear is how to solve the problem. My solution is to spice up the bedroom. Literally. Go purchase some of that lube that guarantees to “tingle and delight” just know that what they are really guaranteeing is to “set your genitals on fire.” I don’t know what this will do for you as far as improving your sex life, but I know that after four minutes with lava lube on their junk, your spouse will stop asking you to get it on.
Don’t Fight About Money
Financial woes remain popular bicker fuel. Its right up there at the top of the list of things you’ll inevitably fight about in the wee hours of the morning. This one’s easy. Just remove money from the equation. You can’t fight about something you don’t have, right? You can get this ball rolling by just never checking your bank account balance. Swipe your card and pray. And if your spouse wants to have a serious conversation about money, act bewildered. What money? I’ve found that the best way to handle these arguments is to just pretend like they aren’t happening. Pick your battles, right? So derail with an argument about whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher instead.
That’s all I’ve got. Follow this easy five-step plan and you’ll never have to worry about marital issues again. Probably because you won’t be married for long.
*Definitely not fool-proof in even the loosest sense of the word. Seriously, please never take any advice I give you.
(Image: getty images)