Monday, October 7, 2013

Secrets of a Long Marriage

Photo Credit: S. R. Karfelt
Whoever wins this gets to be boss

·       Never leave.

·       Okay, leave, but always come back.

·       Sit beside your honey on the couch, even if he’s watching a sucky hunting show. It’s the only way you can sneak the remote off him.

·       Your spouse will be incredibly annoying at times, but so will you. Endure.

·       If you can’t endure, leave, but always come back.

·       Learn your spouse’s language. Speak it sometimes. Mine speaks engineer. Here is an example: Dear Hubby’s comment, “Crying over a book/movie/news story is illogical. It serves no purpose.” Proper response: “Actually, Mr. Spock, tears serve the purpose of releasing empathetic sorrow that human’s sometimes feel.” This works both ways, remember that part, i.e., when I shake Dear Hubby awake at 3:00 a.m. and say, “My left arm is numb. I think I’m having a stroke.” “Did you use the elliptical machine for an hour today?” “Yes.” “Did you sit hunched at your computer writing for twelve hours after?” “Yes.” “Were you just sleeping on your left arm?” “Yes.” “There is a 98.99% chance it is a pinched nerve and you won’t die of a stroke tonight. Unless you wake me again. In that case I’ll swear to the coroner that you had a stroke and fell out the bedroom window.”

·       Sneak and kiss your spouse when no one is looking. All the time. Even if your teenagers threaten to carry barf bags, do it anyway.

·       Tell each other the truth, except for agreed upon exemptions*. Our personal exemptions are:

§  The cost of hunting/writing supplies:

·       How much did that cost?
·       Negotiated answer: $50 – This is our own get out of jail free card. Our personal don’t ask don’t tell policy.

§  How many hunting/fishing trips are you taking this year?

§  How long will your family be staying?

§  Is there any ice-cream?

§  Please note: *Personal exemptions will vary in each marriage.

·       If you really want to do something, and your spouse doesn’t, negotiate to do it without them. This can/may include: Movies, vacations, hobbies, time with friends/family, etc. I don’t care what Hollywood/Pop-Culture says, you can have separate interests at times.

·       If your spouse’s hobbies are inane, like hunting and fishing for example, feign respect. If you can’t feign respect, set yourself to endure. Get good at it. Love your spouse’s happiness more than what your BFF thinks about your Dear Hubby wandering around in camo with his duck call.

·       The above can be used to defend your own penchant for wandering cemeteries to collect names off headstones.

·       Care more what your spouse thinks than what other people think. This is difficult if your spouse has loud or obnoxious hobbies or inexplicable hobbies. Once I had a boss who kindly called me into his office to insist that I open my eyes to the possibility that Dear Hubby had a girlfriend he was meeting deep in the woods during hunting season, he just didn’t understand that Dear Hubby couldn’t possibly love any woman who would stand between him and a ten point buck, or that he really could spend ten days in a forest with a bow and arrow.

·       Your guy will never, ever, get his dirty clothes that extra six inches into the hamper – nor will he get his dirty plate that extra 18” from the sink into the dishwasher. Ever. Deal. Just like you’ll never, ever, purchase store brand goods because you’re on a budget – nor will you ever EVER remember to check pockets for fishing hooks and bullets, when the job of laundry eventually falls permanently into your domain (and you’ll live with this gladly when taxes fall into his).

·       Look into your spouse’s eyes. Hold his/her hand. Throw a water balloon at him and run like helk. Listen when he talks, or pretend if it is about hunting/fishing.

·       Don’t threaten to leave – unless you’re being abused, in which case quit reading this and don’t threaten, do it – figure out, together, how to make whatever is bothering you bearable, because you just don’t want to have to do all that paperwork, and besides, you’ll have them whipped into shape any day now. 

Dear Hubby & Boss
Would you like to add any tips? What are your secrets to a long happy relationship? 

Feel free to hypothesize, I'm a fiction writer for pity's sake!


  1. This post is so sweet! My husband and I have been married for three years now and always end up driving each other insane. :)

    And run like helk? Is that like the illegitimate lovechild of a horse and an elk? ;)

  2. Yes, JS, it just might be the illegitimate lovechild of a horse and elk. They're super fast I'm sure. O.o

  3. Find a way to flirt, is what I would add.

    Forunately, both my husband and I flirt through gentle sarcasm, nothing rude or mean-spirited, but definitely not whispered sweet-nothings.

    We know when something is wrong if the other one doesn't reciprocate with a little snark.

    It's how we do romance.

    The other thing I would add is to accept as is. (You pretty much covered this.) I will never wear heels, and he will never like bacon. We take it.