While some people have had zero or one marriages, I have been married twice. Basically, this makes me an expert on marriage because I’ve had more than most of you. I understand that I’m no Zsa Zsa Gabor (9) or Jerry Lee Lewis (6), but I feel like at that point, you’re not an expert on marriage as much as you are a pro at divorce or mental torture.
Through my combined 18 years of being married, here are 8 simple pro-tips on how to make a marriage work:
1. Be careful about when you laugh. Laugh together when you both are listening to a professional comedian who has crafted a perfectly g rated joke that doesn’t involve how they feel about men/women/wives/husbands/kids/pets/lack of sex – puns are a safe bet. Do not laugh when your spouse is in tears and telling you a story about accidentally sitting in a urine soaked chair on the train.
2. Give each other compliments honestly; not because you’re trying to make up for being a jerk the day before. If you are complimenting your spouse because you were a jerk the day before, then please add gifts.
3. Stay in your room. Each of you should have a “safe place” of your own. When you’re tired of hearing your spouse clicking a pen as he edits something he’s writing, instead of stabbing him through the neck with it, go to your room.
4. Never ask what the other wants for dinner. I know you’re asking because you want to be considerate, forget that. Just state what you want for dinner and avoid the “I don’t know, you pick; no not that” fight.
5. Look at other people who you consider hot and capture a mental picture in your mind and make sure to carry that same image into the bedroom. You’re getting older, the sex isn’t going to get any better, and the bondage equipment is just too hard to set up. Your imagination is the best sex toy you’ll ever possess, so hold on tight.
6. Hold hands in public so that the people around you still believe that you’re in love. This wave of positive energy swirling around you is great reinforcement that you have something that they don’t. By feeling slightly superior than everyone else, you’ll be motivated to continue the marriage.
7. Don’t have sex with your spouse’s sibling or parental unit. You may think I don’t have to say that, but I do.
8. Have kids – that always saves a marriage, right?