October 19th is our wedding anniversary (yay us!). I have been hesitant to actually publish this post for about 36 hours. I wonder if this marriage advice is too crude, real, or honest. I have many ideas on what it takes to make a marriage work. I do not, by any means, know everything about marriage, but I hate clicking on Pinterest links with marriage advice which are either written by people who have been married for two years or offer vague horse shit advice. At this point in my life (2015) I have been with my husband for more than half of my life. Married 13 years, and living together for 15. I want to offer, shall we say, honest marriage advice to other women or soon to be married women on how to be a better wife.
1. Suck dick. DON’T STOP READING! Just hear me out. Intimacy is a gigantic part of marriage. It’s not the most important thing by any means, but it’s so important to stay lovers and not just roommates. I have read so many marriage posts and a great majority of them leave the intimate advice to the end. And even then they dance around S-E-X. Gasp! I’m not sure who exactly said this but “When your sex life is good, it only accounts for about 10 percent of your marriage. When it’s bad, it’s 90 percent. Do what it takes to make it good.”
2. Let the man sleep. Or do your best to anyway. This is for all the wives of second and third shifters. A simple disagreement with a man on first shift is dramatically different from one working third shift. For example, say he tries to be a nice guy and spends 10 bucks to get your car washed. Instead of saying thank you, you get a little upset about wasting 10 bucks on what is essential water. A normal man who has normal sleeping hours can handle this fight without too much drama. To a guy who isn’t getting much sleep and his thinking is clouded, this can be a huge blowout. This may be hard to understand, but trust me, wives of third shifters understand.
3. Eliminate the words “Nothing is wrong” from your vocabulary. You both know that is a lie. Don’t be a child. Tell the man why you are pissed off, you want to be left alone, want attention, whatever it is, just say it.
4. Remember it’s about quality time over quantity. We have spent a lot of time apart in our marriage, he was a long haul truck driver for about 2 years and had several second or third shift jobs for about 5 years. Today, couples work multiple shifts, multiple jobs, and may not have much time at home. Make the best of that time. When Fofo was a newborn, Jason drove an overnight route, we spoke on the phone every night for probably an hour. We spent more time communicating than most couples probably would if they were together at night. The point is, make it work. Make the most of your time together.
5. Make the man dinner or stay out of his way. I’m not getting all submissive on you, just hear me out. It’s about as close to the 1950’s as you can get in this house, in spite of the yoga pants and the lack of cigarettes. I’m a housewife. My job is to take care of the house. But let’s get real for a second. We homeschool, I blog, my husband works 10-14 hour days which leaves me with a lot of responsibilities. Which means my kids sometimes get cereal for supper. If I don’t have a warm supper for my husband, I let him know. This way he knows when he gets home, he needs to make something for himself. Our situation is unique in that only one spouse works. It gets more complicated with two working. If you both work, make a meal plan. That way both of you know what to expect for dinner. You do not need to have an argument out of hunger. It’s the worst thing ever.
6. Kids totally change the game. You are balancing who to take care of first. I do not love my husband more than my kids but I know I need to take care of that relationship in order to be a good mother. Plus, I am going to be stuck with that butthead once they move out 😉
7. STFU and listen. This goes both ways, whoever is being difficult that day. And by listen, I mean really listen. One piece of relationship advice I have always taken to heart is “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” Do not make your need to be right more important than being happy. Because believe it or not ladies, sometimes we will be wrong. GASP!!!
8. Marriage is a choice. Forget about love, forget about soul mates, forget about weddings. Getting married is a choice. Of course you love your spouse, but with a 50% divorce rate you can not say love is enough to stay married. You made a choice. A grown up choice which means you suck it up and deal with things as they come. Accept your spouse is not perfect. Accept things will not always be sunshine and roses. Accept that sometimes you will not like each other. But you did make a choice. A choice, a vow, a covenant, whatever you want to call it, you agreed to be together forever. Some may say, “oh but he changed, he cheated, he works too much, etc” Then make another choice, push through or end it. One great thing about America is you don’t have to choose to be miserable. Never feel you are above therapy or getting help. Even the best relationships need the help of an impartial third-party. You made a choice. Make the best of it.
Thanks for reading 🙂