My wife and I are celebrating our second anniversary today, so that pretty much makes us marriage experts. It’s amazing how quickly the time has passed, even though sometimes it feels like we’ve been married 20 years. Married people always say, “It’s not easy. You really have to work at it,” but that advice is very vague. Therefore, my wife and I teamed up to make a list of the top ten things I learned during our first two years of marriage.
10. If I don’t change the toilet paper roll, then no one will.
You know this post is going to be good if the first subject refers to the bathroom. Supposedly, my wife grew up in a house where a magical fairy would come by in the middle of the night to replace all of the empty toilet paper rolls. Changing the toilet paper roll is not a task to which she is accustomed, but she does get an “Exceptional” rating for being able to get the toilet paper out of the cabinet and placing it on the counter.
9. My wife tries to practice her counseling skills on me.
Courtney recently received her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and I sometimes feel like a case study. Early on, she would ask me questions about my feelings, and I would be oblivious to the fact that I was “unpacking” my emotions. It took me the better part of two years to figure out that the counseling process begins when my wife asks, “How does that make you feel?”
8. I am the family compass.
Nine times out of nine, if left unattended, my wife will go the wrong direction. Some of the most difficult discussions that we have had occurred on the phone while my wife was lost. The conversations usually go like this: “I’m lost.” “Where are you?” “I have no idea.” “Well…”
7. I had more sleeping space in my twin bed during college.
I always assumed that when I graduated to a queen-sized bed that I would have more sleeping space. Marriage showed me the truth. On a typical night, I have to fit my husky, 6-foot frame into a space smaller than a bookshelf. My wife has plenty of room, though.
6. My wife is passive aggressive.
While this issue was addressed during pre-marital counseling, I’m still not an expert in my wife’s passive aggressive techniques. I’m getting better at figuring it out, but sometimes I drop the ball. For a simple example, when my wife says, “Do you want Baja Burrito for dinner tonight?” it means, “I don’t care what you want, you better take me to Baja Burrito tonight.” Here’s another one: “I heard Target has some really cute stuff out now,” which means “I’m going to Target, and I’m going to buy something.”
5. We have to take a trip every three months.
This one is actually pretty fun. Every three months my wife and I get restless and we need a vacation, so we take a quick weekend trip to Atlanta, Pensacola, St. Louis, or Santa Claus, Indiana. It’s great; I highly recommend it.
4. You can’t simply live on love.
…Especially when you have a single income that is 100% commission-based. Love is great, but it won’t pay the bills. It only means that you will always be together…even if it’s at the homeless shelter or under a bridge. It hasn’t been that bad, though, but money has definitely been the reason for a lot of stressful moments over the past two years. But that’s life.
3. You don’t need a TV.
My wife and I went through the first year and a half of our marriage without a TV. It was amazing. During that time, I probably read 35 books, I exercised regularly, and I went to bed at a reasonable hour. My mom gave us a TV for Christmas last year, and our marriage hasn’t been the same since. Instead of watching The Office on hulu.com on my laptop, we can actually watch it on a real TV. We still don’t have cable, though – just the basics: NBC, ABC, CBS, Telemundo, and 4 home-shopping channels.
2. Weekends are two days for a reason.
Last winter a pretty crazy snowstorm came through Nashville, and when I say “crazy” I mean we got about four inches of snow. It may not seem like much, but it shut down the city, and we weren’t able to work on Thursday and Friday. That meant my wife and I were stuck together for an extra 48 hours before the weekend. If you do the math, we spent 96 total hours together that weekend, and tensions got pretty high. After a heated discussion Sunday afternoon (the 89th hour), I declared, “This is why weekends are only two days!” My wife quickly replied, “This is why old people hate each other!” Oh, it was great.
1. I’m awesome, and my wife is lucky to have me.
Just kidding – I’m lucky to have my wife. As you can tell from the nine previous subjects, we have had our ups and downs, but we still love each other. We’ve made it this far, so I guess this means we can stop trying and just set the cruise control for the rest of our marriage.