I cannot believe that my husband and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in a few months. It seems like just yesterday I walked down the aisle in a beautiful beaded gown and flip flops. And yet, it seems like decades ago that we were joined together by God and a band of white gold. It’s really surreal stuff.
During these fleeting, yet dragging, years, I’ve discovered that there are some unspoken rules of marriage. Want to hear them? Sure you do.
1. Just nod and agree.
You may think that’s the stupidest idea you’ve ever heard, but whatevs. Just nod your pretty little head and hope it works out for him.
2. Never say, “I told you so.”
It didn’t work out, did it? Well, don’t say a word. Because love.
3. Know when to shut your trap.
You may be a very vocal wife, but know when to keep your lips zipped. Example: While your man is assembling your children’s play set in 102 degree heat, he’ll probably misplace some nuts, bolts and his sanity. As the expletives flow from his lips like water, now is not the time to ridicule his ridiculous work method or his lack of using the instructions. Just take him some sweet tea and stay in the shade.
4. Keep your opinions about his family to yourself.
If you must recite the Serenity prayer every time you pull into the in-laws driveway, only do it in your head. Never speak it in front of him … while sobbing and clutching a Rosary.
5. Don’t threaten divorce every time something minor happens.
He set his glass on the table without a coaster, but there’s no need to draft an itemized list of what you want in the divorce (although you’d let him keep the table with the drink ring). You’re not going anywhere. He’s not going anywhere. Take the lawyer off speed-dial.
6. Don’t share intimate stuff with strangers.
Maybe a 30-second commercial lasted longer than last night’s sex. Maybe he got so drunk he peed in the aquarium. Maybe he lost his job because of some trumped-up public nudity charges. There’s no need to put it on Facebook or tell all of your friends. Respect your man and know when to keep private things, well, private.
7. No cheating (DUH).
You don’t want him petting the Hooter’s waitress. He doesn’t want you petting anything. You know better. Just don’t do it.
8. Never stop celebrating together.
Who cares if you’ve spent the last two decades of holidays with the same man? Celebrate them big each time, as if it were the first Christmas, first Valentine’s Day, first birthday. As soon as you stop celebrating together, sparks start to fizzle. Buy him some new Ray-Bans, even though you know he’ll lose them within a month. Okay, a week.
9. Know the correct answer.
He should know how to answer, “Am I fat?”, and “Is she prettier?” and “Is my lasagna edible?” And you should know how to answer, “Do you mind if I watch football?” Who cares if you really don’t want to watch football? That man ate your lasagna last night. Cut him some slack.
10. Follow the golden rule.
It’s quite simple really. Treat him the way you want to be treated, and if he’s a good one, he’ll reciprocate the love and respect. But no matter how often you hold in your farts, he’s never going to hold in his. That’s life. That’s marriage. Accept it.
11. Remember: honeymoons don’t last forever.
They just don’t. Marriage takes a lot of hard work once the butterflies die and the excitement dwindles. Love isn’t a feeling. It’s an action. And by action, I don’t mean act all crazy and run away with the UPS guy because your husband skid marked his undies. I guarantee the UPS man has a few marks of his own. It’s a grass isn’t always greener type thing, you know?
Enjoy your marriage. Enjoy each other. Enjoy these unspoken rules.
You know they’re true.