Monday, September 10, 2012

Anniversary Post: Ten Rules for a Happy Marriage

So here it is, our first anniversary. I cannot believe that it has been a year. It seems longer. I know how terrible that sounds, but it does. Even his Mom thought it had been two years, already instead of one. This year crawled by compared to the last one. I guess wedding planning has a way of speeding things up. Those of you still planning will be glad to know that things will slow down.

Tom and I celebrated our first anniversary over the weekend. Things went decidedly better than our first date, which is good because I ordered crab legs. While food you have to wrestle to eat is a bad idea for a first date, it's perfectly acceptable to inadvertently fling seafood at your husband. Marriage you see, has its benefits.

But it isn't all romance and laughter. Marriage is hard, you no longer have the option of simply walking away when things get hard or boring. One of the gifts we received when we got married was this sign, we hung it in the hallway near the bedroom:

For those of you that can't read it, it says:
10 Rules for a Happy Marriage
1. Live each day like it's your first date.
2. Be blind to faults and deaf to complaints
3. When in doubt hire it out.
4. Hold hands it makes it difficult to use the credit card
5. Never go to bed angry, stay up and fight it out.
6. If rule #5 fails, see rule #7
7. Always kiss goodnight, even if you blow it toward the couch.
8. She's always right.
9. Let him have his toys.
10. Never miss a chance to say I Love You

While I do agree with some of these rules; particularly #8. I have to say that after a year of marriage, I take issue with a few of them. For instance, If we spent every day like our first date we would spend every day filling awkward silences with silly questions, blushing whenever we accidentally touched and giggling. More importantly, neither of us would ever get any action. For me the first date is the absolute worst part of a relationship. I much prefer being able to spent an hour together in silence or having conversations late into the night, and the familiarity we have with one another. Sure things aren't as exciting, but there is a feeling of safety and comfort I have with Tom and no one else. 

Rule #2 also has problems, while Tom is pretty good at being deaf to complaints, if we were blind to all of each others faults, all his socks would be crammed in the corner of the couch, and I would make us late for everything. 

In regards to #5, I  maintain that sleep is sometimes the best thing for a fight. It will do one of three things: make you realize how silly the fight was to begin with, make the solution to the problem clear, or give you the renewed energy to keep fighting.

I realized that this sign was made more for its sentiment than it's practicality, but I thought the world might need some rules that newlyweds could actually use, so I wrote some that I think will help keep your real life marriage going strong. Of course since I've only been married a year, I am probably full of crap; read them anyway, just in case. As always, I take no responsibility, but you can thank me later.

1. Take romance as it comes, even if it's just coming home to find the laundry done.
2. Learn where your spouse is ticklish. They can't stay mad if they're laughing. 
3.  His opinion might be wrong but you still have to respect it. 
4. Learn the art of compromise. If you suck at compromise, invest in a DVR. 
5. If you want it done now, start doing it yourself.  When you mess up your spouse will have to take over. This is not dishonest, it's called strategy.
6. Pick your battles. The hole in his shirt really isn't THAT bad, as long as he doesn't lift his right arm.
7. Bribery is not just for children.
8.  Put two blankets on the bed.
9. Let him have a man cave. Especially if he plays video games and watches sports. Most especially, if he does these things loudly.
10. Don't just say I love you. Mean it. Then show it. 

Tonight, Tom and I will celebrate with a yummy dinner at home followed by a slice of what we hope is still delicious and only slightly freezer burned wedding cake.


  1. happy anniversary and many more to come!! <3

  2. I like your rules!

    I agree that the first date is the worst part of a relationship. lol

  3. Happy Be-lated Anniversary! I LOVE your rules, Melissa. Much more practical than the sign. We won't hit a year for months, but as we've been raising a child/children together for 5yrs already it feels like we've been married at least twice that long. I especially like number one, but when I said as much in a Valentine's Day blog everyone called me whatever the opposite of romantic is. I think keeping the romantic gestures in context is important. <3 Congrats!