I follow this girl on Instagram–I’m not even sure how I found her–but she’s young, maybe 25, and she’s been married a few years. I don’t know what she does as a day job, but she is always promoting this website she runs and writes for that promotes marriage and making it to your fiftieth wedding anniversary.
Which, I think, is a noble goal.
But mostly she just annoys me. I find myself rolling my eyes whenever she shares her marriage advice and encouragement.
You’ve been married a few years? CONGRATULATIONS. Tell me all your advice for making it to two years. Just what is your secret?
I can’t take anything she says serious, even if it is legit, because she hasn’t done anything worth sharing yet. She’s technically still in the honeymoon period. She might even be able to get her marriage annulled in certain states and then be able to claim she’s never been married before. (This could be incorrect, I’m way too lazy to look it up but I’m leaving it because I sometimes need to make up lies to prove my point. #Integrity)
I don’t want advice from her. Marriage, two years in, isn’t that hard. You know who I want to hear from? People who have kids and bills and full-time jobs and job disappointments and money worries and no time for sex and also, people who know how to still love someone who can’t shut a closet door to save his life.
That’s what I want to read.
At our two-year anniversary, we were mostly concerned with where we’d be going out to eat for dinner, which couch to buy for our empty living room, and if we could stay up all night watching House reruns and still function at our jobs the next day. (Answer: yes.)
I didn’t have any advice to give because it was easy.
Today is our ten-year anniversary and things are less easy. We are less patient with each other. We have more responsibilities and more places to be. We have more money but more needs to spend it on.
Am I qualified to give marriage advice yet? I don’t feel like I am. I think you should be good at something to give advice on it. Maybe at two years I would have felt blindly confident in my marriage skills and been full of helpful hints and encouragement. But now I’m a little more realistic and a lot less romantic (which is extreme because I was very un-romantic to begin with).
But if I was out shopping today and happened to run into you in the basket aisle (I currently need more baskets so this is a realistic scenario), here’s what I’d tell you about marriage:
Nothing brings out your most ugly flaws faster than marriage.
Seeing someone love you in spite of the ugly you just showed them will make you feel like your heart might explode.
You never know how much you can hate someone for an ill-timed fart until he does it on a stuffy airplane and you think you’re going to die from the smell or the annoyance, probably both at the same time.
Being a servant mostly involves dishes, laundry, trash, dirty floors, bathing kids, grocery shopping, paying bills, and scrubbing toilets.
Keeping your mouth shut can be the most loving decision you make all day. (No comment on how this is going.)
Love is nice but if you can’t forgive, you’re missing the point.
Don’t ever try to back up a camper with your spouse. Ever. Just stay in hotels forever.
Say “thank you” and “I love you” a lot. And mean it, try not to be sarcastic about it.
Sacrificing your pride to make your wife laugh is the best gift. Even if you make her promise not to tell anyone about it because you know she has a big mouth and no filter.
Timeouts are good for kids and spouses. Needing some time apart is okay.
Make sure you record your wedding ceremony and force your spouse to watch it multiple times on your anniversary every year.
Last piece: If someone is too full of advice for your relationship, ignore them. Unless it’s Jesus, listen to him.
I think the best thing about being young and dumb is you do crazy things like get married and buy houses and decide you’re responsible enough to have babies. There’s some kind of scary, blind ignorance in thinking you know how to do things.
Then you get to spend the rest of your lives realizing you know very little.
Chris Graham: thanks for being young and dumb with me. That was fun. I think our best years are still ahead of us though and I can’t wait to see where we go. I’m sure it will involve lots of eye rolling, sour candy, and mountains of maps. Love you, Crispy.