Yo. I am by no means an expert on marriage. I’ve only had the one, after all (though I do think we’re getting along fairly well), so I’m drawing on a rather small statistical sampling here. I suppose that means the following disclaimer is in order.
I am not an experienced counselor, except to my own children in matters of wardrobe and middle school drama. I don’t have all the answers, unless you’re asking how to heat soup or make a really good grilled cheese sandwich. My coping methods may not be appropriate to your lifestyle seeing as I’ve been known to recommend beer and nachos for therapeutic comfort. Sometimes even Double Stuff Oreos™ when the going gets tough, despite the fact that I have no earthly idea what sort of concoction binds together to make that delicious creamy filling.
Now on with the show!
Remember that you did actually choose to live a life with this person.
[Unless you’re in an arranged marriage, in which case please reach out to your community for more knowledgeable counseling. Or were married off as a child bride, in which case I cannot begin to tell you how distraught I am over your lost innocence and beg you to please, please, please go to the authorities. Now.]
But, as for the rest of you…you made the decision to marry/cohabitate/enter into a permanent commitment with this partner. Sure, you may have been in the throes of mad mad love when you did it, but you committed just the same. When you’re fighting over who forgot to throw out the old coffee grounds or how one simply forgets to pay the cable bill, remember you chose This Person over all others. Trust there was a reason. Then get some Oreos.
Please note: This applies to the everyday, nitty gritty clashes of life. If you’ve got big problems, you need bigger answers.
You’re not supposed to be the same.
You’re married, not cloned. You aren’t two people with identical interests, tastes, hobbies, and desires. You’re not supposed to be twins because a) that would be weird, and b) where’s the fun? What makes us different makes life interesting, so find a friend who wants to go hiking or ask a coworker if they’ve ever wanted to ski. Leave your significant to love their knitting/reading/binge watching/sky diving. Enjoying different things doesn’t mean your relationship is falling apart, it just means everyone’s having more fun in their free time.
They’re socks. Get over it and move on.
Sure, you could spend twenty minutes ranting about the inanity of leaving dirty, crumpled up socks on end tables and chairs. You can break a sweat and spike your blood pressure over twenty inches of material covered in dog hair. Or you can walk the other way and enjoy your coffee.
Think before taking the last doughnut, brownie, or soda.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t take that last doughnut, brownie, or soda sitting around. I’m just saying you should measure how much you actually want said item versus how much sh*t you might get for taking it. ‘Nuff said.
Touch. Every single day.
No, I’m not saying you should suck face in front of your kids. Not if you’d like to avoid exorbitant counseling fees, that is. Hug, kiss each other goodbye, hold hands, scratch your sweetie’s back. It’s the little things.