Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How To Have An "OKer" Marriage

     Have you seen any of these lists floating around Facebook and Pintrest: "25 Ways To Have A Happy Marriage" or "How to Keep Joy In Your Marriage" or "18,000,000 Tricks To Please Your Man" (That last one might have actually been a Cosmo title I saw at the cash at Walmart.) I skim through these lists, and I find them to be misogynistic, outdated, or just plain ridiculous:
"If someone has to win the argument, let it always be him."
"Have the house cleaned, and his favorite meal ready when he comes home."
"Do not burden him with your worries."
"Don't reject his advances in the bedroom"
"Occasionally slather yourself with chocolate and/or bacon grease."

I read these lists and I always think: "Is it just me, or is this not the fucking stupidest thing ever written!?" Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not above marriage advice, or even ideas on how to live our years so that they are the best; I am, however, above advice that debases the needs, thoughts, ambitions, and desires of one person in favour of another. I hate these lists because I feel like my marriage can never relate to them, I feel like they are almost always skewed to a particular sex, or religious belief, or impossible to achieve ideal.

I made my own list that I will now force my husband, with penalties of a swift death, to adhere to.

Rachel's List To {maybe} Avoid Divorce:

1. The Marriage Hierarchy
Segal/Star Wars/Lord of the Ring/007 Movies

This should be the order of importance. My husband and our relationship should always come first. My parents did this- they always sided with each other (even though they were usually dead wrong.) Sure, at the time we hated them for it, but hey, they're going on almost 40 years married...so turns out they were right. Yup, still hate admitting that...

2. Alone Time
"My husband is my best friend!"
No, he's not. He's your husband. You have an actual best friend- go hang out with her! HE has a best friend- he needs to go hang out with him...without you. Everyone needs personal time/space to enjoy and pursue interests and hobbies, to bond and relate with their friends. To deny this is selfish, immature, and stifling.

3. Go to bed angry.
Bitch please, we've had arguments that have lasted a week- you expect me to not go to bed until that's straightened out!? Nope. Go to bed. Get some sleep. Cool your jets. Wake up (hopefully) less angry/stubborn/irrational/venomous.
If need be, carry on fighting- after caffeine has been consumed...let's argue responsibly please.

4. Don't hate on their family/friends.
Yes, his Uncle's step-daughter's boyfriend is a complete douchebag...don't constantly point it out. Unless he does first...then by all means, make fun of that knob together. 

5. Praise him publicly.
Yes, yes- this one is annoying and cliché, but I actually agree with it. I try to always build Nick up, openly praising his work ethic, his ability to provide for us, his superior parenting skills, his excellent husbandtry (not even sure if that's an actual word...sounds like a class you take in high school, right after carpentry...) It would be hard for Nick to believe that I love and respect him if I did otherwise. 

6. Split the household work in a way that makes sense to your family.
I'm a stay-at-home mom so it makes sense that I do most of the household chores; however, that's not chiseled in stone, and I'm also not the maid. Don't be that jackass guy who leaves his underwear on the floor in front of the goddamn hamper. Don't be a slob. Women, don't be a martyr, or worse, a Facebook domestic victim constantly whining about how you're the only one who cleans. Unless you're bitching about the empty toilet paper roll...seriously, I will hunt you down like the lazy swine you are if pull that stunt with me >:/

7. Keep things spicy- learn a new trick in the bedroom.
Pretty self-explanatory. 
Not good at learning tricks? Amazon had great...er..."tricks" books.

8. Sex
Yes please! Intimacy and physical touch is pretty damn important in a marriage. It shouldn't be used as a bartering chip, or withheld as blackmail.

9. Stop pointing fingers
This isn't Yahtzee; stop keeping score. The need to constantly, without fail, point out who was wrong, how often they were wrong, and the severity of how god damn wrong they were is not only unbecoming, it's exhausting and syphons all positivity from a relationship. 

10. Don't be an Asshole
(A) When fighting, don't call names, swear, or bring up things that have already been forgiven/solved.

(B) If you realize that one of you are acting like an Asshole, you should be able to call an Asshole Timeout. It can go something like this:
"Wait, wait. Asshole Time Out. One of us is being a douche. Let's take some deep breaths, sit quiet for a minute and start over."  No offence should be taken during an Asshole Timeout.

Those are my basics to *possibly* not get divorced. 
I'd love to hear any additions you'd like added.

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