Wednesday, October 6, 2010
PYHO - Marriage is not a fairytale
Shell over at Things I Can't Say hosts - Pour Your Heart Out. It is a place to just get whatever is weighing on your heart out. Please be kind to all of the posters.
So in keeping with last week’s post regarding the wedding I thought I would now offer some unsolicited marriage advice since after that great big party comes the harsh reality of “wedded bliss.” If you are going into this expecting marriage to be a fairytale I will suggest two things –
1) Get your head examined.
2) Run fast now.
Marriage is not a fairytale. It’s more of a comedic drama. Sometimes it’s action/adventure, occasionally horror and every once in a blue moon it falls under romance. I get mad at my husband an average of 3-4 times per day. And that is an improvement after 4 years together and 2.5 years of marriage. He might leave a bowl of cereal in the sink with milk in it or not get up immediately when I ask him to take the trash out. Yep – we are really tolerant in our household. Our last good argument was about the fact that he uses more gas then I do when he drives my car since he accelerates quicker/drives faster. It took us a few hours to calm down from that one. Marriage brings out the maturity in you – or the three year old depending on the day. Here are some of my nitty gritty survival tips when it comes to navigating married life –
1) Be realistic. It’s not always going to be wine and roses. Whatever annoyed you about your mate will still be there after the big day. Just because you signed a certificate it didn’t erase those things. There are going to be times where one or the other person is mean, selfish or just a jerk. This is not grounds for divorce – although it sounds good when you are standing there yelling/crying/hyperventilating and snotty. It’s time to realize you took two independent beings and are forcing them to share their lives. You will disagree. You won’t always like each other. Sometimes – you won’t even want to be in the same house as the other person. You will also take things out on each other when upset. It’s all a part of marriage. Luckily so is making up and laughing. Take it in stride and know that tomorrow is another day.
2) Money is evil. You are going to fight about it. There is never going to be enough of it. Opposites attract for a reason and this applies to financial styles in your marriage too. I am a saver and budgeter. Joey blinks and all of his money has *poof* disappeared. Yep – we have had some doozies over this. You just have to keep working at it. We tried having a joint checking account. MASSIVE FAIL. I went back to controlling the checking account and Joey just gives me cash each week to deposit. I still hate that he can’t manage money to save his life but I knew that going into this. I have tried a million techniques to reign him in but now I know – it must be genetic because nothing works. So I keep $20 in my wallet for when he needs gas (usually Wednesday or Thursday) and just say no a lot. I don’t give in and buy the big things for him anymore and somehow we work it out. Neither one of us married the other for their money so we can struggle through the lean times together.
3) Marry the right person. If you are entering into marriage with a list of things you would like to change about your partner your marriage is doomed to fail. Joey’s uncle when he was doing our premarital counseling told us point blank – if you don’t like who you see before you now – cancel the wedding. Whether the invitations are out or the hall is rented – you can’t enter marriage thinking you will end up with someone different then the person you married after you mold them. Marriage will change both of you. You are going to grow and develop as a couple. Pull from your partner’s strengths and help them with their weaknesses. That is acceptable. Don’t think though that you can marriage a country boy and turn him into a Gucci wearing city guy. You get the person you fell in love with – forever. Don’t fault that person for staying true to themselves.
4) Love is a commitment. So is marriage. When things are going well its easy to be in love and to stay married. When you are cooking Ramen noodles for the 3rd time that week and splitting the last $13 in the checking account between the two of you for gas money. It’s a little harder. Marriage says for better or for worse. You don’t get to quit your job just because you had a bad day. The same goes for marriage. Your JOB as a spouse is to believe in the other person, support them and to be there for each other. Even when the world is falling apart around you. Commitments take strength and guts – Are you up for the challenge?
What are some of your tricks and tips for a successful marriage? What do you wish someone had told you?