There’s no secret.
People might try to tell you there are secrets to a happy marriage, but they are lying to you.
The things we do for a happy marriage aren’t secrets.
Why would they be secrets? You don’t have to join a club and know a secret handshake and sacrifice a justice of the peace or anything.
I think it boils down to finding another human you enjoy being with, accepting their flaws, admitting your flaws, and finding boundaries which accommodate those flaws. And try to have as much fun as you can.
Randy and I have not found the the perfect rhythm that allows us to dance through life fight-free or anything, but we don’t fight often. Also, I just now had to call into Randy’s office to ask him how to spell rhythm. I never ever ever get that one right. I even had to look at how I spelled rhythm the first time before spelling it the second time.
But I digress.
One thing Randy and I have rarely fought over who will perform household chores.
Not going to lie, I am very pleased about that. I have to expend a lot of emotional energy feeding and caring for my anxiety and depression. I couldn’t handle being pissed off over dishes all the goddamn time. I would say we haven’t argued over household chores more than a dozen times in all our years together. Now, arguing over how to do household chores is probably higher in number. Although arguing might be too strong a word. But there have been some good solid bickers over chore completion technique.
Randy enjoys re-loading a dishwasher I just loaded. It makes no difference how annoying I find the re-load. I mean, I just fucking loaded the fucking dishes and they would get just as clean, but no. He finds it necessary to load them a specific way. He also has rules about the order you unload groceries from the cart to the grocery belt thingy.
He is also a stickler for things always being in the same place.
Before you go all batshit on me, yes, I understand life is easier when you can find shit and the key to finding shit is to keep it in the same place. But c’mon, there can be a little wiggle room, right?
Apparently, not at my house.
So, I am unloading the dishwasher and the cabinet which houses plastic bowls was full, so I turned and put a plastic bowl on a shelf under the coffee maker.
Me: This goes here now.
Randy: No. No it does not.
Me: I’m cleaning the kitchen, you are cleaning the cat boxes. Go away.
Then, Randy re-arranged the cabinet where the plastic bowl usually goes and moved it from where I put it.
Randy: Where’s the cheese grater?
Me: Where it belongs.
Me: In the silverware drawer.
I have no idea why I call our utensil drawer the silverware drawer. If I had silverware, it would have been pawned years ago.
Randy: No. No, that is not where it goes.
Randy: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been trying really hard to make sure everything has a place. When you need something, I always know where it is.
I didn’t want to call him on his bullshit, but I can promise you, no one who lives in this house knows where everything is. We aren’t “knows where everything is” kind of people. I live in fear of those moments when we find out we need a copy of our birth certificates. Do you know how many times I have ordered new copies? Literally every time we’ve ever needed a copy. I have no idea what happens to them. I suspect there are socks where ever the lost birth certificates are.
Me: Should I congratulate you on being able to find some things recently? I mean, I’ve been doing that job for 23 years now with no recognition at all, but congratulations, I guess.
I took a casserole dish that I know goes in the pantry in the living room, but I wasn’t ready to make that long trip, so I put it on the kitchen table.
Me: That goes there now.
Randy: No it doesn’t.
I wish he was this dedicated when it comes to socks. I get to wear a pair of socks once, maybe twice, before they are no longer a pair of socks. I nearly always wear mismatched socks. I guess one way to fix that would be to take over the laundry chore.
I’ll probably stick with the mismatched socks.
So, there is my secret for a happy marriage.
Find a human you enjoy being with. Have fun. Make up after you fight. Take responsibility when you are being a dick. Bickering is easier to recover from than fighting. Any time you can inject humor into an argument, take the shot. At least 30% of the time, it ends the argument. Totally worth the effort.
Photo courtesy of Melissa Wilt