‘Married, buried’ screams Kurt Cobain in the song ‘All Apologies’. It was the opening dance at our wedding. And I had to insist quite a bit to get it there. And I’m still convinced it’s true. I’m married, buried.
But sometimes you feel you have been burried, but you have been planted.
Or it’s bitter medicine, but you need it.
By the way, my wife reads EVERY SINGLE blog post on this site immediately, she knows exactly how I feel about our marriage.
I do not like to take these things too seriously. I also do not wear a wedding ring. I tried, but I kept losing it, and my wife said that subconsciously I don’t like to be married, so that’s why I kept losing it. Maybe. Maybe it’s just oversized.
Maybe I take it so seriously that I have to ridicule it and constantly need to say nasty things about it (= my wife’s theory)
I’m from a village where we have the odd mentality to viciously attack the people we love the most. If you’re not being ridiculed, you’re not being loved. Seriously, we’re like that where I grew up. Though this mentality is being replaced by the same phony mentality of only saying nice things to each other’s face and stabbing acid soaked daggers in the other’s back.
A psychologist wrote a long list with marital advice after losing his wife of sixteen years (this means that they were married for 16 years, not that she was 16 years old).
I suppose the advice was written in a guilt-ridden state.
It’s beautiful, in a corny way.
It’s also very demanding and almost impossible to live up to.
Only masochists would still want to get married after reading the list.
Of course, there are plenty of masochists to go around, so am guessing it won’t stop anyone.
Although everything on the list is entirely true, I think it has an icky aftertaste of someone trying to be too perfect after fucking up.
Here’s some alternative marital advice.
1. The surest way to kill the spark between you is to desperately try keeping it alive. If you want to keep a small flame alive you need to be very gentle about it.
2. Don’t have the cultural reflex to immediately break up if one or both of you ‘cheat’
3. Don’t use the word ‘cheating’ for extramarital copulation and/or affairs. You cheat at monopoly or during poker. Marriage is not a game. Vocabulary influences us immensely.
4. Sure, tell each other everything, but make sure you can handle the truth, because it’s always brutal, if it doesn’t hurt from time to time it’s probably not the truth
5. Make the marriage about something bigger than just the two of you, you need some common, kinda spiritual goal
6. Give 5 compliments for every critical remark, but don’t give more than 13 compliments for every critical remark, you’ll lose credibility
7. Fuck like you’re aiming to cause some serious internal bleeding
8. Never actually cause any real internal bleeding
9. You do marry his or her entire family as well. Better make sure the in laws are decent folks and easy to get along with
10. As they say in the movie ‘four weddings and a funeral’, most people get married when they run out of things to say to each other. Planning and organizing the wedding gives them a whole new topic for the next couple of months. The fancier the wedding party, the shorter the marriage
11. Know each other’s traumas, but don’t try to be each other’s therapist, because you simple can’t be the therapist of someone you sleep with
12. Yell, scream, scratch, throw some things at each other, but never humiliate the other
13. Share all sexual fantasies, especially the ‘sick’ ones, as long as all parties involved consent to everything that happens, embrace all the dirt
14. If you fall in love with someone else, talk about it, talk about it every single day for as long as it takes to put it behind you and give some meaning to it
15. Don’t stay together for the kids
16. Get your own rituals and language
You will never know what my wife and I are referring to when we talk about the alphabet. It’s very specific.
17. Always have the other’s growth in mind
18. Don’t bail the first moment you’re not feeling it anymore
19. The other is not your property
20. Don’t keep your income separate, what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine
21. Have sex even when not particularly in the mood (and this works both ways, because it’s a silly cliché to think it’s always the woman who’s not in the mood)
22. You do need the same values, somehow, even if you express those values entirely differently. I abhor christianity, but both my wife and previous girlfriend consider me to be more christian than a christian (which I am not!!)
23. The seven year itch is real. Prepare for it
24. Even if you don’t feel the act of getting married changes anything, it does, because people treat you very differently than before and you risk getting mired into something that’s burdened with tons of collectively held expectations
25. Orgams. Lots of them. Ideally I would say the happy wife comes at least four times more often than the content husband. (If you noticed something about the use of happy and content here, you are very empathically and linguistically gifted)
26. Marriage was invented to keep the social order safe and healthy, not to make individuals happy. Realize full well that marriage is not a natural state. Monogamy is there because otherwise a small percentage of alpha males would get all the women while the womenless others would unite to overthrow this social order and impose monogamy on everyone, so that every guy, no matter how beta, gets the chance to get laid.
27. Don’t take it too seriously, it’s only a commitment to stay in each other’s lives for a maximum of about 90 years. O, and you will spend more awake time with your colleagues than with your significant other
28. You are not meant to be, but you can be bent on being together
29. Do not accept any prescribed rules such as this list from anyone. Make your own rules
30. It’s rarely mentioned, but the things that have the biggest potential to destroy you are: money, lousy sex, in laws, addictions and getting on each other’s nerves with little day to day annoyances. The biggest fight we’ve had was not about the typical bullshit, but about me not wanting to take off my shoes when entering the house. I was raised in a wear your shoes at all times kinda household, my wife, being Slovak, NEVER wears shoes inside the house.
31. It really helps if you have the same sense of humor, sort of.
32. It will never be paradise
33. PHYSICAL ATTRACTION TRUMPS EVERYTHING, at least initially, it’s not a very popular or a politically correct message, but I’m more and more convinced that strong physical attraction is what makes people motivated to deal with all the hassle. We are a superficial species, I know I am. If my wife would look less good, I wouldn’t be with her. Of course, I stay with her because she’s even more beautiful on the inside than on the outside.
34. If the woman makes more money than the guy, the chances that she will have sex with an other guy rise exponentially (am not inventing this)
35. Women, if they had the cultural freedom to do so, would get impregnated by a total stud and would hook up with a sucker to raise the stud’s offspring.
We are humanity. It’s the friction between our good and evil motives that powers us forward.