The way I like to kick off the night before my wedding anniversary, a time of fond memories, knowing looks, and hopes for the future, is to have my husband catch me in a ear-piercing pissing match* with our 3yo daughter at bedtime in her room. It sets the mood, every time.
*I was totally in the right and she was totally in the wrong. Just, like, in case you wanted to know.
So it’s my wedding anniversary.
Because I am married and thus can no longer stay out late at night having fun, I have plenty of time for more important things. Like making lists. And giving unmarried people unsolicited advice.
For my wedding anniversary I decided to give a gift to those of you who really want to know how to know if you found the right person to marry.
The best way I can think of how to do that is to tell you a few things about myself. First, I am quite happily married. Have been so for a while, despite many obstacles. Second and third are how Hubby & I came about getting married and why we continue to be so.
How to Know You’re Ready To Get Married
Hubby and I knew pretty much upon the first time we spoke that we were a done deal, despite the fact that it was the least sexy scene ever. We were introduced at a meeting with everyone else that worked for our company (we had yet to meet) and were in the midst of being forced to talk to coworkers we normally kept at arm’s length for a multitude of reasons**. And despite the fact that, as everyone knows, you should never date a co-worker.
** Reasons such as stinky smoker’s halitosis, inability to recognize that dressing like Bruce Willis once did when Moonlighting was popular is no longer advisable, and being of the skeevy persuasion. And in one case, all three.
But we did not let that instant acknowledgement of meeting one’s Soul Mate hurry us along to wedding plans*** . No need for that! We both took marriage very seriously, and figured the only way to make absolute sure that we would have a successful one was to torture each other by throwing every skeleton in our respective closets at each other.
*** And ignored the whole don’t-date-your-co-worker thing, too. We’re Rule Breakers. That’s how we roll.
We drilled each other incessantly from Day one with questions about babies and marital duties and What Ifs, introduced each other to as many crazy family members as possible, exposed the ugliest sides of ourselves, trying to out-do each other with “You THINK you want to marry me, but you haven’t seen THIS yet. Huh? Howdoyalikeme NOW, bitch?!”
This torture went on for about 3 years, until I thought I chased him away after living together for 18 months or so (I could not imagine having to live with me….blech). Then he proposed, after which we clasped hands and laughed at the concept of our very, very different families being merged into one****.
**** We are still laughing about this. Really, it’s that amusing.
Rather than put Love Blinders on, we continued spending our engagement reminding each other of things like:
“Have you seen me bite my toenails yet?”
“Do you know I never ever shut up?”
“I refuse to put half-drunk teacups in the sink. Or in the kitchen, even.”
“I never get around to folding laundry, so don’t ever expect a life with unwrinkled clothes.”
“I download Pussycat Dolls music on iTunes”
“I make loads of noise chugging my 6 bottles of water every day”
And so on.
Once we realized that we simply could not repel each other with our own personal atrocities, we knew that our love knew no bounds. We found each other, despite our many many (ahem-many) flaws, lovely and amazing and beautiful and we couldn’t pinpoint a single reason as to not get married for life and make babies together.
In short, if you love each other enough that you don’t mind how terribly annoying you each are, chances are you are a good match for marriage.
Why I Stay Married
Once you go through all the trouble of listing your every flaw to each other, you have a blissful period of Engagement, Wedding, Honeymoon, and the Newlywed Phase. Everyone gets sick in your presence from all the lovey-dovey touching and the wonderment in your eyes at each stolen glance.
Then you celebrate your first wedding anniversary, have kids, and have no trouble at all getting back to reminding each other of how annoying you both are. So you better have done your legwork before the wedding to make sure you’re ready for the long haul of dealing with your spouse’s faults on a daily basis until you die.
Hubby and I have a lot under our belts in this relationship of ours. Too much to list. Having a best friend by your side through everything Life can throw at you (and trust me, that Life dude really likes throwing things!) is very important. I will never make light of that. But there are other reasons I stay married. Like:
- Annoying him today is JUST as fun as it was a decade ago.
- He’s willing to do stuff with the kids that make me cringe.
- He’s getting better-looking as he gets older. So in about 20 years when I essentially look like a bearded troll with mumps and a limp, people will see my gorgeous Silver Fox of a husband and think “damn, she must be a spectacular human being to land a guy like THAT.” He’ll give me street cred.
- Though he’s neither a reader nor a writer he is 100% supportive of my endeavors in finishing my book and one day becoming a writer by trade.
- After living with him for about 9 years, I’m finally (just about) used to all of his annoying and/or gross habits. I am so not up to kicking him to the curb only to end the first quarter of this century getting used to someone else’s equally annoying and/or gross habits.
- He can actually tolerate me (I’m aware that I am no walk in the park to be married to…I know, shocking, but still. It’s The Truth, Ruth).
These are all very important, for we have a good 50 or so years left up in each others’ grills.
That last sentence was the last piece of advice I’m giving you Singletons. For if you thought “Holy Moly, fifty years!” and felt the weight of five decades pressing upon your freedom, you may not be ready yet to tie that knot with the person whose annoyances you’re trying to get used to right now.
Because even with knowing all his uglies for over a decade, I still think to myself “Gosh, I only get fifty more years with him?” when I look to our future. And I know he feels the same.
Now that’s love.