Things I’ve Learned About Marriage, the Hard Way

<p>BY LEIGH DRAKE</p><p>What has, at times, seemed like a lifetime has actually only been a couple years of marriage for my husband and me. Along with the ups and downs have come a few valuable lessons on how to make a marriage work, even when you don’t feel like putting the effort in. Here are some of the things I learned that do and don’t work in a marriage:</p><p><strong>Do…</strong></p><ol><li>Move things when your spouse is not looking. Then when he asks, “Where did you put my keys?” for ONCE you will have actually moved his keys.</li><li>Throw your spouse’s phone across the room (well maybe onto the sofa). When you can’t remember his eye color, it may be time to look up from your handheld device. Eye contact is very sexy.</li><li>Eat the last of the ice cream. Save him the calories.</li><li>Drive his car really badly. He’ll stop asking you to take over on long trips (of course, you might have to put up with some gasping, bar grabbing and cursing in the meantime).</li><li>Butt dial him on occasion. He’ll remember to think of you, and you can always blame it on a subconscious need to connect.</li><li>Go to bed angry. Face it – otherwise, you’re never going to get any sleep.</li><li>Be nice to your in-laws. They spawned him, and nobody likes it when you talk bad about his or her mama.</li><li>Join a gym, and guilt each other into going. Growing old together is one thing, growing wider together is another.</li><li>Adopt a dog. Then, there’s always someone to blame for that awful smell, the dirt tracked in and <em>(<u>insert other unexplainable occurrences here</u></em>).</li><li>Say “I love you” over and over. It’s cheaper than flowers and faster than sex. Think of it as a free and quick investment in your marriage.</li><li>Give him a coupon for alone time. Then feel free to make thinly veiled suggestions about when he should cash it in.</li><li>Hug aggressively. Everyone needs to be hugged, whether he or she likes it or not.</li></ol><p><strong>Do not…</strong></p><ol><li>Jump out of the closet and scare your spouse. <em>(One day you’re going to get ninja kicked in the groin by pure reflex, honey.) </em></li><li>Talk to your spouse in a baby voice or any voice resembling the one you use for the dog.</li><li>Pretend like dinner is made by your fairy godmother who spends each day planning and executing a gluten-free, low-fat smorgasbord for your evening enjoyment.</li><li>Talk about your spouse’s mama (see above).</li><li>Expect the last bit of ice cream to still be in the fridge when you get home from a long day. The dishes however, you can count on still being in the sink.</li><li>Ask if this conversation was prompted by “PMS” or refer in any way to a mysterious but scary “cycle.”</li><li>Stick your nose up at one of the six dishes she actually knows how to make. See #3 (after all, you did used to count beer as your servings of grains each day).</li><li>Throw things at your spouse who has repeatedly proven she will not catch said projectiles, yes, even after you yell, “catch.”</li><li>Comment on celebrities’ looks, unless you are willing to pay for a new wardrobe, a trainer, a makeup artist and a hair stylist to prep her each day.</li><li>Unbeknownst to your spouse, switch out the normally caffeinated coffee for decaf and then make comments like, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you today…”</li><li>Try to count six hours of football as “quality time” just because we’re in the same room.</li><li>Ever forget how lucky we are to have found each other.</li></ol>