I’ll be the first to admit I’m not conventional. I’ve always been a ‘dance to the beat of your own drum’ kind of gal. When it comes to the rules of life I look at them more as, guidelines to be taken under advisement, but not necessarily to be followed.
I’m an optimist to my very core. I like to joke that my fantasy life is full of a lot of bunnies and unicorns. So it’s surprising that I married …a pessimist whose motto in life is, “The worst will probably happen, but I’ll survive it.” I don’t know, maybe the fact he says the, “I’ll survive it part” means he isn’t a true pessimistic. He’s more a man that has seen the harder side of life and isn’t scared it can take him down. It’s a trait I greatly admire, and one that is pretty darn good to have standing next to you, backing you up, when the ‘shit hits the storm’ in this chaotic ride we call life.
He calls himself a cynic. Who was it? Mark Twain who said, “A cynic is just a romantic scorned.” But that description doesn’t do my husband justice. He’s a romantic, but not in a predictable way. Not a man of roses and sweeping gestures, instead he’s someone who’ll bring you a quart of Ben and Jerri’s and a Cosmo when you’re having a bad day. The kind of husband who’ll always do the laundry and clean the house without being asked, when you’re too tired. Over these 22 years of marriage I’ve found that little, thoughtful, things done often, have far greater value then the occasionally grand gesture.
I never considered 22 years of marriage as a huge milestone. As a kid I looked to my parents and thought that two people liking, appreciating and loving each other as they walk through life, was the norm. But as I’ve grown older I know now how hard it is to come by – a good marriage.
People often ask me what’s the secret? Like there is some kind of formula or road map that can be followed to happiness. I think it has a lot to do with luck and timing. But also I believe when it comes to finding the one you love you must follow your heart, but not totally forget your head.
So here is my list of things to look for in that “someone” that you want to spend “eternity” with:
Find someone who is kind.
Someone who’s crazy about you.
Someone who totally likes you- all the good parts and bad.
Someone who won’t try to change you.
Someone who doesn’t judge, but instead supports.
You need someone you can talk to about everything and nothing.
And once you find that person, and connect with them, I do think there are some things that have to be done:
You must learn to fight in a way that won’t destroy both of you.
You must communicate, with each other, all the time, but especially when unhappy.
You must not forget the civilities. When you get up get a glass of water, always ask your partner if they want one, and never, ever, forget to say please and thank you.
I know it doesn’t sound like much, but you would be surprised what a difference the small things make to a marriage. You water your plants and give them sunshine to keep them alive. Your relationships, both in marriage and life, deserve the same consideration and care. So there you have it, my two cents, or more like a dollar fifty, worth of advice on marriage.