I read this really stupid article about marriage on the Huffington Post earlier today. The headline said “The 5 rules of marriage.”
Since I was procrastinating work, at the time this seemed like a great article to read. Besides, I’ve been married for… (let’s see, Nov., Dec., Jan.) … 8 months now, and maybe I have been following some of the rules, and maybe I haven’t.
Needless to say, I clicked the link to this insipid story and the rules were total bullshit rules like, “Marriage never ends” and “Marriage is all about metrics.” Huh?
It was all mumbo jumbo with no specifics or details or any actual useful information. Bloggers really piss me off, unless they are blogging about silly hats or pompous band names.
So I’m like, I have a blog. Pretty sure I have just as much insight on marriage as any other blogger blogging about marriage.
Here they are. Nick’s rules to marriage:
1) Keep secrets. I don’t tell my wife everything, and she doesn’t want to know everything. She doesn’t read my Twitter account, and I don’t want her to. But the point is this – as a married couple, we trust each other enough that we trust each other’s secrets. If you demand to know everything, then your spouse is going to start keeping the bad kind of secrets.
2) Share the load and empathize. Know when to pick up the slack. Everybody has bad days. Some days, work really sucks. Some days your kids really suck. On those days, it is nice to have somebody who understands your mood and knows when to wash the dishes and put away laundry and let you relax in front of the TV. If bad days occur simultaneously, know when to say fuck it and order pizza. It must be reciprocal. When couples only exacerbate each other’s foul moods, the wedge gets driven deeper.
3) Have a big fight every now and then. Growing up, my brother and I were best friends (and we still are). But there is nobody I have ever tried to hit so hard, or with so much unadulterated rage, than my brother (who just laughed at me and egged me on. That’s what big brothers do). There was never a reason for those fights except to release pent up energy and let tension erupt. We were always able to move on as if nothing had happened. Now grown up, and living 1000s of miles from my brother, my wife – my best friend – is the one who lets me blow up once in a while. She also eggs me on.
(As a caveat – when I say every now and then, I mean like every 4-5 months, not every night)
(Also, I’m not talking fisticuffs. Just a verbal sparring.)
4) Know what makes your spouse happy. My wife loves shoes, and I stand out of the way. We cannot walk by a shoe store without going in so Lisa can try on 2 or 3 pairs. At first, I fought it. But now, I realize trying on shoes brings her peace and joy. So I find the closest chair and dick around on my iPhone until she has had her fill. In return, Lisa not only puts up with, but even encourages my quirky hobbies. She shipped my frisbees to Japan once I discovered there was a disc golf course in Tokyo. That is the kind of thing that will make a marriage last.
5) DON’T CHEAT
So there you have it. My 5 rules to marriage.