The Tipping List
Tips from the Marital Trenches
The real deal on what you’re in for
It’s funny … when I was getting married more than 10 years ago, I had an ambushing of weary advice thrust upon me. My grandmother told my future husband, “It is never too late to back out of the wedding, as long as papers haven’t been signed.” Others warned me of the “times to come.” I, of course, like every other newly engaged, blissfully happy young 20-something, knew better. I would never be a statistic. John and I would weather the hard times in ease and with an intellect that would steer us clear of the “cliffs.”
After only a year of marriage, I soon began to seek the advice that had been so unwelcome at first. Generic warnings seem to create a general frenzy, but what about the facts? I would have preferred a specific list of topics, neatly outlined and backed up with reliable resources. Of course, I’m not sure that is entirely possible, but here is the very tip of that list I wish I had received.
You and your spouse will not have sparks flying forever. Soon the honeymoon will cease, and you will be faced with a gender that is not your own. That difference will cause you much strife in the following areas:
A. How to spend the money. He wants a boat; you want a couch.
1. Advice: Allow him to buy the boat, but gently remind him that as he spent lavishly, you can therefore acquire not only the couch but also the entire living-room set.
B. Where to vacation. You would like to go somewhere sunny and have someone catering to your every whim, while he would like a week in the outback, with no showers and no hair-dryers.
1. Advice: Send him off packing with his buddies for the first four days of the weeklong vacation and attend a spa with your girlfriends. As the old adage says, “When away, the heart grows fonder.” During the latter portion of the vacation, meet up in a central location.
C. He will develop chronic neck pain that will prevent him from performing his minimal household duties. This will be due to his quick and uncontrollable urge to whip his head around every time a female comes within eyeing distance.
1. Advice: Call him on a few neck jerks. Make him feel tiny and small at heart. Then go splurge at the local mall. Be sure he won’t say a word. This will only work in the beginning; he will soon catch on to your scheme. Therefore you will need to devise a backup plan.
The most important bit of information I can pass along is this: Marriage is a business merger. Sometimes the deals will be sweet and everyone will reap the rewards. Other times the market will crash and you will have to hang on for life, keeping your head above water till the tide brings you back to shore. But I hear that if you sail together you will never find a better life preserver.