The Married Girl on Being a Newlywed
The Married Girl recently learned of some “Adventures” fans that are getting married and decided to come off of sabbatical to offer her support (and guidance) even if they didn’t ask for it
So here it is The Married Girl’s Top Ten list of things to remember in order to have a successful long-term marriage.
1. Compromise – It’s not all about you. I recently heard someone say that they don’t like to compromise because then they lose control of the relationship. Wow, that is quite the statement. They basically just said (without saying it) that they don’t trust their partner to make a good decision, to not screw up, and to not screw them over. This is a big red flag to me that screams of trust issues. If you have these issues, then it’s going to be tough to be married for long, unless you marry a doormat. In order for a relationship to be healthy and to last, you need to have give and take. If it’s all one way then someone in that relationship is getting the shaft, and the other person is giving the shaft to the person that they say they love.
2. Patience – They are not you. There will be times in a relationship where the other person is going to get on your nerves. They won’t take out the trash quick enough or they always be 10 min late, or they’ll leave damp towels on the bed, whatever it is – it IS going to happen. Just try to remember that they are not you and therefore they are not going to do everything they way you want. This doesn’t mean that you should never say anything about their faults, just pick your battles; not everything is a big deal. If you don’t pick your battles, they just may end up picking someone else.
3. Be Silly – Never be afraid to be silly! Whether it’s belting out a cheesy love song in the car or skipping into the gym while holding hands, being a bit silly can keep thing light and fun. If you feel like squeezing their tushy, then do it. If you want to give them a great big hug at the grocery store even if everyone’s staring at you, do it. You will never regret having a little fun or showing that you care.
4. Take an Interest – It takes two to tango. If you are willing to try golf or cooking because your boss is into it, then why wouldn’t you extend the same courtesy to your spouse? I’m not saying you have to become a pro at your beloved’s hobby, just try it. Doing this not only shows your appreciation for them but allows for one of two things to happen; you either discover an activity that you both enjoy doing together, or you discover that their hobby makes for excellent “alone time” for you both.
5. Don’t be Dismissive – Yeah, OK, whatever. Ending a conversation and more particularly an argument with words like “whatever” and “never mind” and “you just don’t get it” does nothing but leave you both pissed off and confused. Let’s face it, you have basically just said, “You’re not smart/sensitive/empathic enough to understand what I think”. This shows your spouse that you care enough about your opinion to get upset and to argue about it but not enough about your relationship to try to make the other person understand your side. This clearly doesn’t apply to the small stuff, but then you already know by now not to fight about the small stuff.
6. Don’t Whine or Beg – particularly for sex! You can’t behave like a child and expect the other person to treat you respectfully or want to have sex with you. No one wants to marry a five year old so leave the temper tantrums in your past where they belong. And on another note, if your partner does end up having to or getting turned on by this kind of behavior then you need to have some serious discussions and think a lot before having children!
7. Don’t go on the “Attack” – be nice! Yes, arguments and disagreements are going to happen, but going for the jugular just for the sake of winning doesn’t help either of you. The last thing you need to do is breed resentment between you and your spouse. This doesn’t mean that you don’t stand up for your rights and opinions, just do so in an at least somewhat respectful manner. Saying you don’t feel comfortable staying at their parent’s house is quite different then saying that their mother is a bitch or a whore who has always hated you. Remember, once it’s said you can’t take it back, no matter how much you regret.
8. Be a Woobie – They are your favorite person, so act like it! This is probably my favorite tip. A “woobie” is the security blanket or stuffed animal from your childhood. Remember how you wanted to take it everywhere with you? Remember how upset you got when it was damaged and you cried until your Mom repaired it? Well, your spouse is your new woobie and you should be theirs. It’s not about codependence it’s about care, concern, and comfort. They are your best friend, your rock, and your lover so treat them that way.
9. Be You – Be who you are not who you think they want you to be, and give them the freedom and respect to do the same. In a true partnership (which your marriage should be) you would want them to be who they are. You don’t want to wake up 10 years down the road only to realize that your loved one has been living a lie. So they’ve been pretending to want a house in the suburbs, two kids, and a mini-van when all the while they have been secretly building resentment towards you because they feel like their freedom has been stolen from them and now they are done with it. No one wants to find themselves in this situation, so please let them be themselves, for both of your sakes.
10. Talk – Especially about sex and money! These are the top 2 reasons people get divorced. There is no room for secrets in a marriage and money and sex are the two main areas that people are uncomfortable talking about. You need to be honest about these, in a big way! You should pay the bills together and keep on top of your debt, savings, investments etc. When it comes to sex, you need to make sure that it is working for both of you. Did you know that it is estimated that about 40% of all women have never climaxed but men get there 99% of the time. Fellas, it’s not that women do like or value sex, it just that many of them live in a constant state of dissatisfaction so why bother? Make a rule that you don’t climax (or spend a lot of $$$$) without the other!
Best of luck!
Bonus: My husband wanted me to add this one, which is one that we agreed to very early on. Pinky swear not to physically harm each other. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 1998 and 2002 of the almost 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 49% of these were crimes against spouses and it has been estimated that 60% of all murders are committed by intimate partners. If you want to separate, then break-up; just whatever you do don’t harm the other person.