11 Ways To Stay Married
You've planned the hen party. You've sent out the wedding invitations. What about the whole marriage thing?
Fart in Front of Each Other
Let's get this biggie out in the open straight off! The couple who fart together, stay together! Joking aside, I reckon it genuinely does help if you can do this kind of stuff in front of your husband and not feel like the most disgusting human being in the world. You can't be in total control of absolutely everything 24/7. He's your husband, come on! And take it from someone who's been there: if you can't fart in front of him, he's going to get one hell of a shock if you're planning to have kids and want him to be there for the birth!
Spend Quality Time Together
Date night is lifesaver. Whether or not you have kids. We're all busy. Work. Making sure you keep up with your friends. Nights out and subsequent hangovers that can wipe out an entire day. Going to the gym. Running the house. Calling parents. It all adds up. Sure you live in the same house but that's not spending quality time together. It doesn't have to be grand or amazing. Weekend breaks and holidays are great but they're not things you do every day. Quality time just means taking time out to have fun together. See a movie. Go to a gig. Play a game. Spend the afternoon in bed. Whatever does it for the two of you.
Talk About Stuff You Want to Try in Bed, Even if You Think They'll Think it's Weird
Intimacy is the capacity to be rather weird with someone - and finding that that's ok with them." Alain de Botton
Want to keep having sex with the same person for the rest of your life? Then it's probably a good idea to talk to them about new stuff you might want to try in bed. If you're marrying the guy you've been with for a while, chances are you know what he likes in bed, and vice versa. If you're both cool with the way things are that's fine. But getting in a rut in the bedroom can be bad news.
Do Stuff On Your Own
"Absences are a good influence in love and keep it bright and delicate." Robert Louis Stevenson.
Just because you're married doesn't mean you mould into one being. The expression 'joined at the hip' is usually accompanied by a roll of the eyes. Doing stuff on your own is every bit as important as doing it together. 'Me' time means just that. You're bound to enjoy stuff that makes your partner go 'meh' and shrug. Do stuff by yourselves and you'll have fresh experiences and different things to talk about with each other.
Be Honest if He Does Stuff that Irritates You
There are habits you can live with and habits you can't. If it's driving your nuts, don't leave it until it gets so annoying it makes you scream. There is a constructive way to deal with pet peeves that are becoming a problem. Maybe it's leaving the toilet seat up or putting dirty washing next to the laundry basket rather than in it. Perhaps it's nothing to do with day-to-day household stuff. Whatever it is, just say it. In a nice, lighthearted kind of way. Something along the lines of: "I love you but the whole teabag on the side of the sink thing? Yeah, that's gotta go!" might just work and you might even end up sharing a laugh over it.
Forgive and Actually Mean It
Not easy this one. I think Marlene Dietrich had it right: "Once a woman has forgiven her man she does not reheat his sins for breakfast." When you say the f-word, that needs to be the end of it. No one likes having the things they've done wrong dragged up for days, months and even years on end.
Don't Let Things Fester
I suck at talking. Sharing emotions? Must we? Really? Really? But I've had to learn because it's one of the ways to stay married. I'm not talking about bickering, everyone does that, you can't agree on everything. We've let the sun go down on an argument plenty of times but the important stuff is always laid bare.
Make an Effort to be Interested in the Things He Loves
My husband loves Nintendo. Mario World in particular. I really don't. He's a total geek about loads of things I'm not really interested in. That's just fine because it gives me pleasure to watch him get animated and excited about those things. And you know what? It really does work both ways. I'm interested in stuff that doesn't exactly fire his enthusiasm. I love Formula 1 but he's not particularly bothered. He listens. Actually listens. And maintains eye contact. He might be thinking about playing Mario World for all I know, but at least he's making the effort.
Put Your Phones Down
"U ltimately, the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation." Oscar Wilde.
Think about how much time you spend scrolling, uploading and commenting in one day. Most of us automatically reach for our phones whenever we have a spare minute or two. Even when we don't. If you catch yourselves sitting opposite each other in a restaurant scrolling away instead of talking, it's probably time to put the phones away. Or even switch them off!
Remember when you first started going out and you literally couldn't keep your hands off each other? That first heady rush of lust kind of settles down after a while but flirting is a good way to keep the spark nice and healthy. And it doesn't cost a thing. It makes the other person feel good about themselves and once you start volleying little flirts back and forth like a tennis ball, it's brilliant fun!
Do What Makes You Both Happy
"Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." Marcel Proust
It might sound a bit trite but one of the simplest ways to stay married is to do what makes you happy. If you're not happy you don't have a hope in hell of making anyone else happy. And I think that when you get right down to it, that's what it's all about; both of you making each other's lives easier and happier in all sorts of ways. I think that's probably one of the best ways to stay married for longer than it takes for the ink to dry on the register.