What I have learned from my husband in 10 years
Or how to not kill someone who pays most of the bills.
This spring marks 10 years of couple hood for my husband and I. Eight and half married, and one and a half *gasp* in sin. We have faced many challenges together, some with grace and humour, and others only by sheer luck and determination. But we are still together and I still look forward to falling into bed together each and every night. If by some strange alignment of the stars you are here looking for how to have a happy and strong marriage, here is some advice that I can offer you:
Be happy on your own. If you can not even remotely fathom that you might spend your adult life as an unattached person, chances are your relationships aren’t going to work. If you are not enough alone, you will not be enough with someone else either.
If you think they will change, they won’t. If anything, IT GETS WORSE. Think about it, people are on their best behavior when you are dating, they want to keep you around. They get up and go downstairs and fart in the couch cushions so you don’t know and then all of a sudden you realize that you are married to the man with the most gas ever. *ahem* Sorry about that… The moral of the story is, if you can’t live with them the way they are, then marriage ain’t going to fix it.
Set boundaries early on. This is my new mantra. Know what you want and what you don’t. Be aware of what things you are willing to compromise on, and what things are nonnegotiable. Unexpected things crop up all the time that make you question your value system and re-evaluate what is important. Things like where you are going to spend Christmas, how to spend a tax refund, and an expected diagnosis of one of your children. Having some boundaries early on gives you a frame-work to rely on when things get hard.
Remember why you fell in love with them. In a moment of exasperation, I threw my hands in the air and asked “what did I see you?” To which he responded “my boyish exuberance”. And dammit if he wasn’t right!
So, in summation, what it boils down to is this; know and accept yourself, accept the other person, have fun and remember what drew you to them in the first place , and brace for impact. Ask me again in another 10 years and my answers might be different. But for the time being, these will do.
Happy Valentine’s Day