Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Manual to Marriage Happiness...Sort Of

Wouldn’t it be great if at your wedding you received the manual to happiness?  A How-To book with a handy dandy index of all the troubles you may face.  You just flip to the appropriate page and follow steps 1-5 and viola!  Problem solved.
If only it were that easy.  We forget that there are two people in the marriage that are TWO DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS.  Each has their own personalities, their own ideas.  There will be clashes of will and arguments.  What makes and breaks the relationship is how you deal with a crisis. 
On April 20, 2011, I will have been married for 11 years.  I know it sounds like a lifetime, but it really is not that long.  We have overcome a lot in those short years and I think I have it down to a science as to why our marriage has prevailed when others have not: I am always right and my husband acquiesces to my every will. 
Ha, if that were only true!  In reality, it comes down to a handful of rules that I think we all know but sometimes choose to forget: 
1.    Be respectful.  It is easy to lose your cool when the person you love has hurt you, but calling them a jackass is not going to fix anything.  Remember, this is the person you chose to spend your life with.
2.    Communicate.  Contrary to what you may think, no one can read minds.  If something is bothering you, say so. 
3.    Share. Whether it’s your cookies or your feelings, it is about thinking of others and not just yourself. 
4.    Admit if you are wrong, if you can.  If you are wrong, come clean.  I admit, I have trouble with this one, but it is always nice to hear I’m sorry.  Set your ego aside and apologize.
5.    Never take your spouse for granted.  You are not promised tomorrow so always live like it is your last day.  Appreciate what you have and do not desire what is not yours.  
I know there are other good suggestions out there on how to keep your “spark” alive, but really, marriage comes down to common sense.  Don’t be a selfish jerk.  Accept differences.  Don’t hate.  Make love, not war.
Then again, you can just go the easy route and bend to her will.  Happy wife, happy life!