By Michael Griswold
Inside most of us is the yearning desire to find that one person with whom we can spend the rest of our lives. We long to grow old with someone, to sit in our rocking chairs on the porch when we are frail and gray, yelling at all the neighborhood kids to stay the hell off of our lawn. Yes, this is the dream. But, it doesn’t always come easily. Even once you’ve found the person who you will vow to stay with in sickness and in health, things aren’t always smooth sailing. This is the marriage relationship advice they always forget to tell you about.
This isn’t to say that marriage is bad — it can be bad, it can be good, or it can be teetering somewhere in the middle. In lots of ways, marriage is applicable to those annoyingly inspirational sayings you always find on t-shirts: it’s what you make of it. Still, going into a marriage and expecting nothing but bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens is unrealistic. Sometimes the warm woolen mittens have holes and you secretly want to grab the bright copper kettle and bash your spouse over the head. In other words, marriage has its ups and down.
But, being prepared for this is marriage relationship advice that will benefit you. So, as you saunter down the aisle into Mr. and Mrs. land, remember:
1. Marriage is hard: Marriage is hard. It basically requires you to live sixty or seventy years with one person, accepting their faults and hoping they accept yours. There are times you’ll be mad at each other and times where you may even look at your wedding day like you look at the day you tried to drink a gallon of milk in under one hour: you’ll regret it. But, there will also be times of fun, excitement, and utter happiness. So, if you remember one piece of marriage relationship advice, remember this: no one ever said marriage would be easy. They only said it would be worth it.
2. Marriage takes sacrifice: Saying that marriage takes sacrifice isn’t exactly “stop the presses, breaking news”; most people are aware of this. But, what they might not be aware of is that both parties should sacrifice as equally as possible. Sacrificing in marriage isn’t the problem — most things in life take sacrifice. But, when one partner sacrifices as often as a pitcher bunting with a runner on first and the other partner sacrifices almost never, you run into problems. This isn’t to say there needs to be a tally (one sacrifice for me, one for you), but it should be as fair as possible. Good marriage relationship advice is to be cognizant of who is sacrificing more (or making the bigger sacrifices) and put forth an effort to even things out.
3. Marriage changes things, but that’s okay: If you’ve dated your partner for years, lived with them since a Republican was in office, and settled into your routine (work, dinner, “Dancing with the Stars”), it’s hard to believe that marriage will change things that much. Yet, it’s not so much marriage. Making it legal via a piece of paper and three hundred of your best friends doesn’t automatically lead to drastic alterations. Rather, it’s time that changes things. While your spouse may have been totally into sex in their mid-twenties, they might not be as much fifteen years later. While your partner may have always wanted to go out and do things, they may become content to sit at home and chill. While the both of you may have once talked each other’s ears off, you may now notice more silence fills the room. Time marches, and typically that march is towards change. But, it’s important to remember that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Change can be good, exciting, — or if your spouse decides they no longer hold the cast of “Jersey Shore” as their personal heroes — even something you embrace with open arms and sighs of relief.