First of all, before you read anything, I’d like to warn you, don’t take advice about marriage from a single person.
I am not married, I am as single as a banana, never married and not planning to get married unless someone like Vipertongue wants to marry me and please take a bold note that we are mutually not interested in matrimony. So, you see what I mean.
And over the years, I have been surrounded by people whose cohabitation and or marriage life don’t work as smooth as they planned before (nobody plans for chaos, isn’t it?). And I figured it’s happening everywhere, thus, this note might be useful for some people.
Marriage is a total bitch. It’s clearly not for everyone. But, if you are inclined to weather ‘live happily ever after’, ’till die do us apart’ or have a short memory and an abundant amount of sense of humor. Then, you might want to read further.
25. The honeymoon phase will be over eventually. Be it in six months, or after a year, or after five years, the person you fell hard for will show you their whole quality. They don’t change, they are still themselves, you just didn’t know them enough to see that part. Or, you ignored those red flags for some reasons. And don’t worry, it is common to happen when you fall in love.
Some people can prolong this honeymoon phase by showing more affection and being a perfect match for each other. Nurture the love every day together and earn more love from their partners. But, just in case this honeymoon wears off, the first move you should take is stay as long as you can and do whatever you could to keep the fire alive.
24. Preserve the privacy of yours and your partners’. I get that feeling when you see your partner goes tell-it-all in public, posting passive aggressive stuff which they can actually tell you in person and talk it out like an emotionally stable person. Be it on social media or on magazines. Well.. you can’t do anything about it, it’s their choice.The last thing you could do is doing the same thing and tell people the story from your side. Other than that, stay classy, and keep it for yourself, your closest friends and your lawyer.
Let me tell you something everybody knows, no matter how heavy the problem you have, nobody on social media gives a fuck. Nobody in public care.
It’s either they are being cynical about it.. or, laugh at your problems. Those cats’and dogs’ pictures are way more valuable than the sad story of your marriage with the beau you call perfect in the first three months of your relationship.
So, stop posting those passive-aggressive post on facebook. Especially the ones that similar to “Sebagai istri harus selalu ikhlas dan sabar..“, do you hear that sound of my eyes got stuck in the back of its sockets after I rolled it too hard? I learned my lesson, and I think it’s not a cool thing to do.
It’s marriage, it’s an adult stuff, treat problems in your marriage like an adult. Have some dignity to not reveal it in public.
23. Always forgive and forget… until it’s no longer worthy. Forgiveness sets you free. It’s not about the other party you forgave, it’s about letting go of things that hurt you. Holding onto grudge won’t make you a better person, nor makes you happy. And erasing something from your memory is not something you can really do. Especially when it’s related to something essential.
In short, when it comes to something essential and the situation requires you to forgive and forget, that is a loud reminder to forgive and leave.
22. Be a good teammate. Life can come at you hard. One of the nice things about marriage is being able to have someone else in the bunker when you’re getting shelled. When problems come at you two, focus on solution, panicking over something won’t help, let alone being fussy about the small stuff around the problem.
Remind your partner to stay focus, then give yourself a time to process the whole stuff. When you are ready with solution and talk it out, give them a sign that you are ready. ALWAYS talk about problem when you both completely composed and calm.
21. Grow and adapt. Things are changing, (most) people don’t. But if you want a rewarding relationship, please make sure you and your partner are encouraging each other to be the better version of yourselves.
Please make sure you are a different individual compare to the person who said “yes” to that marriage proposal -in a good way. Make sure you are more successful in your career, you are a happier person, and you are a better you day by day in your marriage. Because if you don’t think you need all that, they do, and that is the moment when you two are not on the same page, then, one of you will have to catch up in order to preserve the balance. Balance and structure are essentials in many fields.
20. Own your compass. Be it moral compass or mental compass, marriage is for people with a strong sense of belief. Moral compass helps you to be your own voice of reason. You know where you are heading, and you know what to expect from your partner and your marriage. Moral compass won’t let you manipulate and lie to your partner, it keeps you honest and trustworthy. While mental compass, is the quality of your relationship with yourself. It helps you to be in touch with reality and sustain a healthy mind. With a healthy mind, you can decide and process problems then find the right fix for it.
19. Travel together or travel alone. It is great if you can travel together most of the time. Since I know how it feels like when you want your significant other to see how beautiful the view that you see, or when you want to share the excitement you had when you did that dirt bike racing with your friends and wish your partner can experience the same adrenaline rush as you did.
But sometimes, he wants to go to Bora-bora and you want to do a trek to Galdhøpiggen in Norway. Well, go for it, see him / her in a week and share your stories over potato gratin and spicy meatballs you cooked together.
Life is not always about being together all the time. We gotta do what we gotta do. That’s how we grow together, and contribute to the relationship, by broadening our worldview. Thus, it can change the way we value our relationship.
18. Develop your own interests. Have passion on something, the thing that makes you feel happy when you do it, something that makes you want to excel on it.
Be it singing, cooking, do modern dance, watch movie, play video games, videography, make clothing design, writing, or whatever science related hobby. Have your own interest, the thing that makes you want to spend your time doing it -just for the sake of it, and produce a useful result, at least for your own happiness.
By having your own interest and develop it from time to time, it helps you to grow, meet and connect with new people, it keeps your mind healthy. You will always have something to share with your partner. Happy people make a healthy relationship.
Or just in case you don’t know what to learn, first, maybe you can learn to be self-sufficient. Learn to do your own laundry. Know how to cook a meal; how to navigate the grocery store; how to make an online purchase; how to turn off the water to the house; how to erect a camping tent; how to unclog a toilet. So at least, you know how to do all that.
17. Cultivate a wide, diverse circle of friends. I personally like to keep my inner circle narrow. Although, I don’t close it for new people to get into it altogether. New perspective is always refreshing. That is why meeting interesting people is one of the greatest joys of living. You will get to hear new story, new perspective, new personality to understand and new stuff to learn.
When you are in a healthy relationship, the more people you know, the more you can appreciate your partner and strengthen your relationship with them.
16. Take care of your health and your shape. Yes, your partner loves you for who you are, despite the size of your wardrobes. But, good shape is not always about the look, it’s more about how good you maintain your health. You owe it to each other to be in the best physical health possible. Exercise is also beneficial for your mental health.
Take pride in your appearance. Your marriage license doesn’t give you a free pass to always wear sweat pants and T-shirts. Those batik pants, fedora hats, 3/4 shorts, beach shirt, gym shorts… please take it off. Except you need a contraception to wear, well, go ahead. Other than that, please maintain good hygiene. Could your armpit odor make someone who stands behind you, faints? Could your breath shrivel the whole field? Take care of that, please.
15. Practice self-awareness. Be mindful of what you say and do. Before you say anything, take a deeper look at what you want to say, before you do anything, make sure the things that you want to do is not counterproductive.Take frequent looks in the mirror. Reflect on who you are and the contributions you are making to your relationship. Are you being judgmental? Unfair? Nitpicking? Verbally abusive?
14. Admit that you’re wrong (even, on occasion, when you aren’t). No excuse, no one else to blame, own up your mistake, then don’t repeat. It is easier to forgive someone who owns up their mistake and does some effort to make the situation better. This simple gesture will pay immeasurable dividends; it will help you grow and it’s just the right thing to do.
13. Surprise one another. Fill up the gas in her vehicle, buy him some bacon, buy her a bucket of white roses on the day she accomplished something at work, buy him Sagami 0.01 and put it next to his dessert plate. Give your partners a small pleasant surprise.
12. It’s the good little things, it’s the bad little things. The simplest act and almost effortless gestures like holding the door, bring the shopping bag for her, push the trolley for her at the grocery, suggesting a movie night, rubbing his back, paying attention when she talks, wipe his spoon before he uses it.. can be so much rewarding, the reward is greater than the sum of the parts.
While the little bad things does the contrary, drops of urine on the toilet seat, forgot to buy something important your partner asked you to buy, cancel the plan in last minute, forgetting the promise you made last month, spitting in public, insensitive jokes. These are death by a thousand cuts to your relationship.
11. The bathroom session is private. If you think it’s an old-fashioned to brush your teeth while I use the toilet, you’ll change your mind about that eventually. We spent the whole night sleeping next to each other, give me some space in the morning, especially when I want to say goodbye to the food I ate yesterday before I flush it. And, the only voice I want to hear in the morning is my morning music or, my favorite podcast, or the voice similar to Obama’s.. Other than that, please do it some other time.
10. Don’t make sex a taboo subject. Not right after or right before you do it. But you can do it, say, during dinner or at the grocery store when the isle is pretty much quiet. Sex is an important part of any marriage or cohabitating life. But for some reason couples don’t want to discuss it unless they are in the throes of passion.
9. It’s okay to have secrets. Be open since the beginning that you will want your secret garden secluded and untouched. It’s not that you want to hide someone else in your life, or you (still) want to do something he doesn’t like on his back. But a secret room is something everyone needs. We don’t have to know all things that are not essential about someone.
But over everything, please make sure that you don’t have a Poison Ivy in your secret garden.
8. Avoid subtext. This is a cowardly way to communicate. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t hint about it. Hints are for dummies.
7. Put it down. His cellphone, her cell phone. Period. It’s an invasive behavior. Normal people will ask their partner what they want to know and their partner will answer the question. If you don’t feel secure enough in your relationship to the level that you think you need to check his or her cellphone, you need to see a therapist.
6. Don’t over-romanticize past (or future) relationships. I know that for some couples, pre-wed pictures are the only evidence for a couple that they were once a happy couple. It is tempting to repost it on Facebook after 5 years of marriage.
And I know that for some couples, updating their relationship situation on Facebook to get the impression that they are TOTALLY happy with their relationship is cool. Of course, you do it with the hope that your union will be as perfect as you want it to be.
Let me tell you something, you weren’t that great and she isn’t that hot. Keep your feet on the ground, stop longing for someone they aren’t, stop thinking they will change eventually to be the person you wish them to be.
5. You are equals. It doesn’t matter which one of you makes the most money. It doesn’t matter which one of you has the better collection of Marvel Comics vintage edition. It doesn’t matter which one of you has the cutest ass. It doesn’t even matter which one of you can run faster or fart louder than the other. You are in this together.
4. Respect each other’s friends. You know his friend Fredy is loud mouthed. And you know her friend Cathy thinks you are not as reliable as her ex. In this case, know when to keep your mouth shut. No list would be complete without the “Do these jeans make my butt look big?” lesson.
3. Respect space and time. Have we not evolved as a species or watched enough Dr. Phil to realize our mate does not want to answer the question “How was your day?” the minute he/she walks in the door?
2. Be responsible with money. No one lives on love. You need money. If you earned it, you will almost certainly respect it. If you didn’t earn it, you must respect it even more. When it comes to money, everyone being extra sensitive and will take it very seriously. Basic manner and respect will help you to survive this subject.
1. Adapting beats abandoning. There will be moments when you want to quit, walk out, give up, fly away. You can do that. You certainy can. But you will probably be doing so without giving due consideration to the new life that awaits you.
When the problem gets too heavy on your chest, take a helicopter view. Will this worth the effort of adapting? Will it worth the wait? How will you feel about this problem 10 days from now? Will you feel better off in 10 months? 10 years? You know the answers to those questions. If you think you don’t, remove your fear.