Saturday, April 03, 2004

Maureen, who is underhandedly trying to take control of my blog, has "requested" that I post some tips about marriage. Listed below are my reservations about dispensing this advice:
1. Doing so would be giving Maureen the upper hand in her nasty take-over attempt.
2. I have only been married for 4/12 years, and that doesn't exactly make me an expert.
3. Not all of my readers (maybe only two?) would be interested in said advice.
4. I see too many of my flaws as a wife to think that I can offer advice.
5. Much of the advice I would give would be stuff that I learned by experience while muddling through my own weaknesses... weaknesses which not everybody has.

But, after thinking about this a little more, I had to admit that only some of the above are actually true, and others are just "dumb."

So, here it is: My marriage tips. (I left out all the "obvious" stuff)

Please note, I enjoy being funny. Some items of advice may reflect that. I will let you choose which are meant to be funny, and which are not. And, as always, comments are welcome.

* sit down as early as possible and work out a reasonable budget together. then, STICK TO IT.
* decide together how much money can be spent on any given item without first consulting your spouse. if you want something that exceeds that amount, talk it over with your spouse first
* dump the whole idea of my money/your money. It doesn't matter who earns more, and it only builds up barriers if you are keeping track.

* discuss what you each think is important to do together. (for example, is it important to you that your spouse join you for your mom's birthday dinner; is it important to you that your spouse attend your high school reunion or company picnic.) avoid hurt feelings by doing your best to accomodate your spouse's desire.
* know that (in general) the things that are important to you may not be as important to your spouse (like making friends with your new neighbors, or getting all the laundry folded as soon as it gets washed.) Decide not to let this alter your view of your spouse.
* forget about nagging. spouses will never change when nagged. they may change when prayed for, but never when nagged. (they may change their behavior at that moment... in hopes of shutting you up... but their heart, attitudes, and desires, will remain unchanged.)
* be honest about and willing to deal with whatever selfishness or stubbornnes you discover in yourself.
* write down all the stuff you love about your spouse. keep the list handy so you can add to it whenever the urge strikes. read it whenever you get frustrated and allow your spouse to have access to it so they get some feedback about what makes you happy.

* read "Preparing for Marriage" by Dennis Rainey, et al. Particularly good are the sections about dealing with expectations, and the roles and responses of each spouse
* read "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman

* if you will both be doing laundry, decide together BEFORE THE FIRST LOAD IS EVER COMPELTED, how you intend to deal with unmatched socks.
* defer all grocery shopping to the spouse who snacks less. vow never to allow the snack-loving spouse to go grocery shopping. you will spend far too much if you do.
* get rid our your television for the first year of your marriage. (this is not my advice. i stole it from some author who wrote a book about marriage that I can't even remember the name of. it is a christian book, something about intimacy, i think. please advise if you know it.) I know people who did it and said it was great for their marriage.



Blogger Luisa Perkins said...

Good list. We've been happily married for 17 years; we do most of the things you suggest.

Have you ever noticed the fake words that you have to type to get a comment posted? I am becoming fascinated with them. They seem almost Kabbalistic. jvzpkmjs.

Wed Mar 07, 01:52:00 PM  

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