This past week was our 23rd anniversary. After all these years I’m happy to report that I’ve learned a few hard earned lessons, though it’s obvious I’m still riding with training wheels.
This is what I’ve learned.
Don’t ever want your spouse to be “just like you.” What a f**king disaster that would be. In my case, I know I would be physically dead twice and possibly more. That’s because I can deny certain things and think they will go away … usually health related. She doesn’t do that and that’s “a good thing.”
Shit happens and it happens on a two-way street. She’s not always wrong. Always telling her that she’s wrong, therefore, is bad idea. I know that now. So, do I tell her that she’s wrong? Yes I do, but not before, during, or after a discussion. I also don’t say it aloud.
The two most important words in your relationship had better be, “Sure, hon.” Forget about the phrase, “Not in this lifetime.” Also “86” the phrase, “That’s a good idea. I’ll give it some thought.”
Sitting with her watching TV without talking for three hours is not what she calls “relating.” It doesn’t matter how good you feel sitting there quietly thinking puerile thoughts. Unless you’re facing each other, making eye contact, talking, and keeping your hands to yourself for a while, it doesn’t count as relating.
Learning to chomp on a bit of “crow” now and then is probably a good thing. Never, however, “crow about the fact that you’re eating crow.” Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Getting points is important. Even though you may insist you’re not in “a game,” accumulating points occurs and you may as well have some stored up. You get points by noticing things and then – here’s the secret – saying something intelligent about what you noticed. “Yeh, uhhu” and other similar grunts are not considered intelligent communication. Oh, by the way, your points are rarely redeemable but when they are, you cash in Big Time!
Laugh a lot … but never at your spouse. Be funny, but don’t be a clown. Be brave, but not stupid. Try to be handy … especially with knowing when to call in a real “Handy Man.” A man’s got to know his limits … ask Clint Eastwood.
And the most important thing I’ve learned is that you cannot tell her enough times how much you love her, how important she is to you, and how glad you are that you’re partners.