Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

10 Commandments for a Happy Marriage June 29, 2007

Filed under: marriage — rjlacko @ 6:30 pm

Wedding Bells Are Gonna Ring!

I’m very happy to announce the engagement of Joseph’s sister Jennifer to her very sweet and charming fiance, Jesse. I can tell you that, from the very beginning, it was obvious that these two were meant ot be together. They say you just “know” when that right person comes along–it was certainly true for me and Joseph–and I see that J & J enjoy that natural, deep love that good marriages are made from.

Ok, so, it’s a little early for marital advice–and they didn’t ask for any, either–but this article featured today on msn.com is SO TRUE!!
Hey, go ahead and put it aside and read it on Day 279 (or Day 7,456) of married life–but the following are words to live by… (And don’t think I’ll be last to hand out marital advice either, Jen. Let the onslaught begin!)

10 Commandments for a Happy Marriage
By Sara Bliss, author of “The Thoroughly Modern Married Girl”

1. Thou shalt not live in a bubble. Sometimes love is such a whirlwind of crazy joy that you forget that there are other people, things, and activities in the world besides the two of you. While this is understandable, you have to have outlets, otherwise you’ll drive each other bonkers. Before you met Your Guy, you were always getting together with your gaggle of female friends, hanging out with your family, putting in extra time at the office, saving the world at the local shelter, or taking a few classes to keep expanding your brain. Don’t stop. Just because you are Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So doesn’t mean you have to be attached at the hip and forget about everything else. Your marriage will be a lot more interesting if you keep on being the fascinating gal you were before he met you. You’ll also have a lot more to talk about over dinner.
2. Thou shalt respect all forms of life, not just married life. Life becomes awfully narrow when your social life revolves exclusively around other couples. One too many brunches spent talking about the real estate market will make you think you’ve died and gone to married hell. One benefit of your wedding was that you had the chance to introduce all of your previously separate social circles to one another. So once you’re wed, keep mixing things up: his friends and your friends, work friends and school friends, neighbors and family, old friends and brand-new acquaintances, singletons and smug marrieds, parents of twins and the child-free.
3. Don’t worry. You’ve still got it. When you were single,
you met cute guys everywhere — at the laundromat, on the subway, at funerals. Once you’re hitched, it’s easy to miss the buzz of universal male admiring attention. But unless you’re a movie star and you absolutely have to look lustily at other men because it’s your job, don’t go batting those eyelashes at anyone but your beloved. Don’t worry, you still have the power. You’ve just got to take it on faith instead of soliciting daily proof.
4. Honor thy mother-in-law and father-in-law. Your
in-laws may be incredible bores, gossipy and nosy, or so tacky and embarrassing you want to hide under your turtleneck when you’re out with them. Whatever type you’ve inherited, welcome them with open arms whenever you see them. No matter what you think of them, remember that they are responsible for raising your terrific husband. Even if you really believe that he only turned out normal due to some sort of divine intervention (think Marilyn on The Munsters), give them the credit. So listen to your father-in-law drone on and on about weird weather patterns and act riveted. Eat your mother-in-law’s scary meatloaf (even if you prefer things green) and don’t forget to ask for seconds. Grab another glass of wine if necessary.
5. Thou shalt not even bother trying to keep up with the Joneses. Let’s get things straight. There will always be a couple that is funnier, more attractive, sexier, wealthier, nicer, hipper, healthier, smarter, more successful, and more glamorous than you two. Got it? Even if you are the grooviest couple in the room at one party, you won’t be at the next. If you are constantly comparing yourself to other couples (some of whom you will find out later were just faking it on the road to divorce court), you will miss out on enjoying how happy you are just being yourselves.
6. Fight a clean fight. When you were dating and you got into a spat you may have found that slamming doors, crying and racing back to your apartment were effective tools in
winning an argument. He would be so lost without you that he would come running over and say he was sorry. Well, I hate to break it to you, but the tactic is not going to work now that you are married and living together. You’re a lot better off staying calm and staying put to solve a tiff. Fight a clean fight and you are guaranteed at least that he’ll listen to your point of view. Winning is up to you.
7. Be a team. While you are both successful, independent people, don’t forget to cheer each other on, support each other’s crazy dreams, and encourage each other to live your best lives. If he’s up for a promotion, become best friends with his boss at the office Christmas party. If he’s always wanted to ride in the Tour de France, buy two tickets to Paris to see it up close. Lousy day for him? Treat him and his buddies to an after-work gripe session at the corner pub. On the days where your star is shining and his isn’t, make sure to pass him the winning shot. In a mean and crazy world isn’t it nice to know you always have someone on your side?
8. Be fabulous. Be comfortable being unconventional, glamorous, or unique. You don’t have to become June Cleaver now that you’re hitched. Who cares if you guys like to have the Christmas ornaments up in June, don’t have matching silverware, or prefer Pabst Blue Ribbon to a fine vintage? Let your hair down. You’ve found someone who loves you, warts and all, so be the marvelous off-beat woman that he fell in love with and never try to be some cookie-cutter Mrs.
9. Be romantic. Sounds crazy but sometimes it’s easy to forget what got you married in the first place. Don’t stop being romantic, sexy, creative, impulsive, spontaneous, and crazy in love now that it seems easier to rent a video and order takeout. Take tango lessons, get season tickets to the ballet or hockey, go ice-skating hand-in-hand, and let him pick you up
for a date. Don’t be afraid to be unabashedly Hallmark-card cheesy and profess your love. Whatever it was that got you thinking he was the man for you, keep doing it. Most important, don’t ever forget the power of an unexpected drop-everything smooch.
10. Be thankful for your guy. There are times when married life will make you think back to your sensational single days with longing and alarm. You were Mary Tyler Moore, for God’s sake, what made you think you wanted to be Edith Bunker? When the love of your life is driving you bananas, it is time to remember how sexy/suave/smart/sensitive/studly your man was the night you first decided that
he was IT. Remember how lucky you are to have someone who puts up with all of your nonsense. If through everything, you remember to be grateful for landing the most wonderful man on the planet, your marriage will reflect that, every day.

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