Real Relationship Advice
I’ll be honest. I don’t really consider what I put into my marriage as work. Are we happy? YES! Do we feel that marriage is akin to working in a coal mine? NO! After 24 years, I can’t say we are on auto-pilot in this relationship, but it has become easy; a way of being if you will. Here are the things we have done in the last 24 years that has made our lives wayyyyyyyyyyy easier now:
1. We always say please and thank you.
Regardless of what we are doing, one of us will always thank the other. Whether it was for a cup of coffee, a decent meal or even good sex, we say thank you all the time. The great part of doing this is that our children, by osmosis, are extremely polite!
2. We have spent entire nights talking.
Yeah, we are those kind of people. In the past, if we were angry we didn’t go to sleep angry. What we found was that then we would be pissed and tired and that didn’t work. So now, we don’t get angry! No, that isn’t it. We just don’t do anything that would anger the other. If I know that saying certain things will make Paul angry, I don’t say them. If something in that subject matter needs to be discussed, I am careful to acknowledge that the subject is a HOT BUTTON. Simply put, we don’t take any pleasure out of watching either of us upset. We don’t upset the other because it serves no one. That is laziness and cruelty.
3. We have gone to therapy.
Not marriage therapy but individual therapy. The reason why couples go to therapy together is because they have allowed their issues to seep into the relationship and hurt the bond of the couple. If you deal with your stuff and they deal with their stuff, the marriage will remain untainted by our respective stuff. For example: Jealousy is a horrible thing and an individual issue that needs to be addressed. If a jealous man marries a woman with trust issues or feelings of constant failure, then together they have created a marriage issue. She feels she is never enough and does not trust him to trust her and he feels that she is hiding something because why would she feel she is failing him unless she is unfaithful. This is the true definition of a clusterfuck of issues.
4. We maintain our priorities.
Our priorities are easy: Be happy. Will it serve this priority if I get angry with my husband because we can’t afford something? Will it serve this priority if he gets angry with me because I forgot to send in a crucial email? Shit happens. Mistakes are made.
5. We Never COMPETE.
Yes, we have family game night and it feels great to stomp my husband and kids at Trouble but I do not compete with him for anything else. We are a team. We are one when it comes to competing with the world. He is my right hand and I am his. We do not one-up the other just like we do not keep score. When one of wins, we both do.
See how easy that is! It’s like when they say a recipe is ‘no-fuss’ and you are fussing. The truth is that to do any of this you have to forget what you think you know about relationships and trust us. Come on, look at those faces. You can trust us.