|Look at those two skinny kids. And that time stamp is way off because I graduated in 2001.|
So these are the things that I've learned over the years that have helped maintain a relationship/marriage that BOTH of us enjoy. At least I think he enjoys it.
1) Don't be a raging, nagging bitch all time.
I've definitely gone through phases where I just didn't have anything good to say. I still go through those phases, only these days I don't go all bipolar and start throwing things. It's also important to pick your battles. Like, lately it's really been irking me that Brad takes his belt off and puts it on the kitchen counter of all places. I mean of all places to put your damn belt, why the fu#@ on the kitchen counter that I just cleared?! But I don't pick that battle. A) It's way too easy to just move the belt myself and B) if you bitch about everything, then the really big issues won't get the attention that they deserve. Brad will call me out these days, "Are you gonna be a bitch about everything all day today?" Some women may think that's really offensive, but if it's true it's true. And if it's not true, well then I'll bitch about that. Plus, after going to work all day and being blamed for everything (at least that's how it works in retail) the last thing anyone want's is to come home and be blamed for everything.
2) When was the last time he got shitfaced with the guys?
Sometimes Brad becomes a bitch. That's when I know he needs a night out. Or he needs to get laid. Either way, his estrogen levels need to come down and the testosterone needs to go up. Maybe they aren't with the kids all day (or they are) but they're dealing with assholes at work all day and really, which one is worse? Ladies, don't even try to say that having a girls night doesn't involve bitching about your husband. Your husband deserves a night to bitch about you. Be prepared to be the one to nurse his hangover the next day and try not to be a nag about it.
3) Fix yourself up a little.
Oh, does that upset you? Tough shit. Remember these are things you don't like hearing. In the dating phase you go out of your way to look cute and impress your guy. Why does this no longer matter once you're married? It's a traditional way of thinking to get dressed up for something important like church, or Red Lobster. Show him he's important by trying to look nice once in a while. This also helps you. After our daughter, who was our first child, was born I went into a major downward spiral in terms of appearance. None of my clothes fit and bathing wasn't even a high priority. I was also a little depressed and extremely lazy. Just putting on real clothes, even if you're not going anywhere, can spruce up your day and make you feel more accomplished. This was probably a bigger issue for me because I stay at home and there really is no need to dress up... ever.
4) Get freaky.
I'm terrible at this. Really, really terrible at this. I don't even have advice for this except grab a bottle of wine, a 12 pack of beer, a bunch of margaritas and don't share any of it. I don't know why I'm so paranoid about being a dirty tramp with the person I'm MARRIED to! If you have advice for this, feel free to share. I'm a loser prude. But anyway, when he gets laid, the dishes get done and not by me. Quid pro quo.
5) Don't say awful things.
This point might go back to point #1 but saying something awful in a fit of rage can do lots of damage on it's own. Don't use phrases like "You always" or "You never" or accuse them of basically not being a good husband, or worse, father. If you'r going to make accusations like that, then you better be 100% perfect at everything you do every day. Brad gets a little peeved at me because I generally go silent when we're in the middle of a heated argument. It's only because all the thoughts rolling through my hot head are really bad ones that would only make the situation worse. Better for me to just sit and be quiet until I have a better grasp on reality.
6) Stop bringing up that whore he dated before you.
Who gives a shit? Really? Do you think he never dated anyone until your magic vagina shown it's miraculous light? In the early years, during our on again off again phase we dated other people (maybe even cheated on each other with other people) and when we finally got back together for good there were lots of snide comments about who the other was with. It got so bad that we actually made a verbal agreement to never bring that stuff up again. A great way to cause lifelong resentment is constantly digging up old bones at every opportunity.
7) Your friends HATE being forced to bear witness to your ridiculous petty fight.
I am proud to say that we haven't done this in a very long time. Once upon a time we would have full on screaming matches in front of our friends. The only thing that might make that sad fact acceptable is that we were hammered and so was everyone else. Now days it's my biggest pet peeve among couples. Watching friends have a stupid bitchfest at the dinner table makes me want to start punching both of them. Of course Brad and I still piss each other off when in public, but we are damn good at putting on a "you'll pay for that comment later" smile and hashing it out when we get home. We're also really good at recognizing each others "WTF did you just say?!" eyes.
Do you have anything to add? Put it in the comments!