Monday, March 28, 2011

Some Unsolicited Advice

The BBW has noticed that more than a few folks out there are getting hitched this year.  Mazel!  Since I am not going to be able to attend all of your fancy shindigs (sorry Will and Kate, I just can't make it to London on such short notice), I thought that I would still send a gift in the form of some advice.

Now I know that you brides-to-be are sick of us well-meaning old married ladies trying to tell you about how the toilet seat will never be down and how that pile of dirty socks in the middle of your bedroom will not wash itself.  Well, tough!  I know you think your marriage will be different because your guy is considerate and would never blah, blah blah...and this is where I need to shake you out of your chiffon and butter cream frosting delusions.

Change is inevitable, but he will not be the one doing the changing.  Your relationship will change and more than likely, you will change.  But HE WILL NEVER CHANGE!  All of those annoying habits that he has will only intensify and in proportion, your annoyance with him over those bad habits will be the direct cause of the changes you will undergo.  But to make you happy, he will compromise.  He will not wash the dishes the way you like, but he will buy paper plates.  He may not put the toilet seat all the way down and he will not wash his own dirty socks, but at some point he will buy a new car.  So you see, it will all even out.

Make nice with his Mom because you will need her as your ally.  If your parents love him (which they probably do if he did a good job of sucking up to them), then count them as lost in terms of siding with you in any disagreement.  But if you and his Mom have bonded, then she will back you up even when you are wrong.  Remember, she cleaned his poop, so she really knows how to get to him.

Marriage is the real deal.  Even if you lived together before getting hitched, you were just playing house.  Once you have pledged to share your lives that means everything--your bed, your money, your towel, and even your toiletries (which he will use on the regular and try to pretend otherwise).  Right now that all may seem cute, but there is nothing cute about going to take a shower and discovering that your honey has used your monogramed hand towels to wipe his a$$ or worse, he used most of the last few ounces of that expensive body wash/bath gel you were saving for just the right occasion and you discover this while running late trying to get ready for said occacion and you find yourself trying to squeeze the last few drops out of a damn near empty container.

The toughest year of your marriage is year one and then every other year that follows.  Something major will test you every single year.  In my marriage, our year one drama was buying a house.  Year five was various health issues on both sides.  Year ten has been caring for elderly parents.  There is always something.

He will lie.  All. The. Time.  He will tell you that you are the most beautiful woman in the room even though Halle Berry just walked in.  He will exclaim that you cook as well as his mother.  He will say that he was just about to fix that sink/mow the lawn/take out the trash/put all of his crap away when you asked.  He will get lost or not be able to read the map and will assure you that no, you did not just miss the exit.  He will tell you that he ate a salad at lunch.  He will forget an important date and you will receive some wonderful unexpected gift that was selected by a very savvy saleswoman.  He will not enjoy watching chick films instead of the game.  He will cosign on most of your little lies (when he is paying attention), especially the ones you tell yourself.

(I need to break here to make a quick statement to my friends who are in same sex couples...same issues regardless of the pronoun used.)

Your spouse is your BFF. As much as we still love our ride or die friends, it will be all about the spouse from now on. The trade off is that from the moment you take those vows, the same is true for you.  A spouse tolerates your shortcomings.  A spouse will carry some of your baggage.  A spouse will forgive you for (most) things great and small.  A spouse will coach from the sidelines.  A spouse will tell you something for your own good, even if it is not what you want to hear.  A spouse will move heaven and earth to be with you.  A spouse will give you the world if that is what you want, and then give it all away if that is what you need.

So enjoy your big day and may it bring you all of the happiness that you hoped.  And then after the cake and guests are gone, the adventure begins!

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