Happy Marriage Advice

You are getting married tomorrow!! Holy *$%#!!

Yesterday you were just a little thing, sitting on your big cousin’s lap… my tweed-gaucho-pant-lap. Let’s not even discuss the neon Aztec print sweater and banana clipped spiral perm. And now you’re all grown up, soon to be a bride.

It breaks my heart that I’m not going to be there, Kels. But you know how thrilled we are for you and we’ll wing our way there one day. So put a shrimp on the barbie and have a few roos and crocs on standby for our arrival.

I’m over the moon that both you and your sis have found such amazing partners—I couldn’t have handpicked better for you—kind, funny, outdoorsy, super handsome—these guys are the full package. And it goes without saying how lucky they are to have found you.

While we may not be there in person to watch you walk down the aisle, we’re cheering you on with so much joy and excitement as you venture down this life path—such a sweet path paved with so much love.

And with that, here are a few words about this life contract called marriage—from my experience anyway.

1. Grandma Fraser always said, “Never go to be angry.” I tend to disagree slightly. If you can lay a disagreement to rest before you rest, then do it. But sometimes it’s better to put it on hold until the light of day. But never go to bed without saying, “I love you—let’s talk about this tomorrow” even if you’re super pissed.

2. There will be days you’ll want to wring Adam’s neck. But take a breath, count to ten, picture his face adoring you from the end of the wedding aisle—whatever you need to do to remind yourself that he’s not the enemy and that this will pass.

3. Fireworks are awesome, but once they fizzle you’re left with a dull foggy haze. Fireworks are hot and fast and explosive. They’re exciting for sure. But warm and slow and quiet isn’t all bad.

4. Compromise. It’s a skill that takes practise.

5. If you’re wrong, admit it (even if you believe deep down that you’re kinda sorta mostly technically correct).

6. Listen. Even if he’s talking about something boring like work or sports. He wants to share the day-to-day with you. Ask questions and maybe you’ll learn something new about him or the boring thing. If you’re busy say, “I really want to hear about this. Let me just send this email/out away these dishes/watch the end of this Downton episode/whatever and I’m all yours.”

7. You don’t have to have the last word, or always be right. Now, this is a “do as I say, not as I do” point right here. I suck at this. I have a compulsive need to get in the last word and I hate being wrong. After fifteen years of marriage, I still struggle with this.

8. Encourage him to go out with his friends. And do the same (with your friends I mean, going out with HIS friends might not be the best idea…especially if there are tequila shots involved). Don’t be a basic ball-and-chain. Bonus: when he goes out, you get the remote all to yourself. Hello trashy reality t.v.

9. As well as doing things apart, find the things you both equally enjoy (cycling, video games, stamp collecting, cooking, whatever) and do them together.

10. Tell him specifically what you want/need/mean. He’s not a mind reader.

11. Passive aggressive jabs may feel good for a fleeting instant, but they
only end up hurting you both. I fully admit to being a passive nagger and I often drop hints or make “helpful suggestions.” It’s a struggle. *See last point.

12. Surprise him with little things for no reason.

13. Laugh hard together whenever possible.

14. Don’t pretend to care about what he likes. Instead, ask him to teach you about it or to explain why he loves it instead of “fake listening.” *see point number 6.

15. Guilt trips suck. Take a trip to the beach instead.

16. If you’re having trouble, talk to each other. If that doesn’t work, talk to a professional. Like my friend Alex wrote, “Ain’t no shame in the marriage counselling game.”

17. Just because he doesn’t do it your way, it doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way. It might be. It probably is. But give him the benefit of the doubt before throwing down the hammer.

18. Warn him about PMS. He needs to know what he’s up against. And when he forgets, remind him. Maybe put a warning dot on the calendar.

19. Don’t lie. If there’s one person you don’t need to hide the truth from (even if it’s ugly or embarrassing) it’s him.

20. If you have kids, don’t shut him out. You’re a team. It’s the best way.

21. Tickle his back without him even asking. *see point 12 I used to be good at this, but more often than not these days I have my phone in my hand so no-can-do.

22. Text him that silly joke, invite him to join a girls’ games night, share a secret with him. He may be a dude, but husbands also make awesome BFFs on a Friday night.

23. When you’re mad at him, and it WILL happen, try not to yell or say that mean thing you really want to say. And if you do, apologize once you’ve cooled down.

24. Speak your own spousal language. When you have a family, you’ll teach your kids this language. Our language is comprised of inside jokes, made-up words that make sense within context, a family “whistle” that we use to locate each other at the grocery store, songs with questionable tunes and ridiculous lyrics. Whatever. It stupid stuff like this that bonds. Like we always say, we’re a perfect pair because nobody else could deal with us.

25. After a year together, a decade, 100 years… take a minute to step outside your marriage and look in at it from the outside. Remember the happy times, the sweet moments, the passion, the love and the unique bond you have. Breathe it in. He’s a part of you now. You’re a part of him.

Happy wedding Kelsey and Adam! Sending hugs and kisses and all the best wishes from here to there.


P.S. Saw this on Pinterest. You should totally do it. 🙂

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