August 10, 2015 is the six-year anniversary of when Sam Friended me on Facebook, which began our courtship which resulted in marriage. As a single girl for forty-two years, I got very used to my own rules. Now, with a few years of cohabitation/marriage under my belt, I’ve learned a few things:
It’s fun to do nice things for another person. Sam beams at me when I bring home food or do the dishes. I did the same just last week when he got me tickets to see Jane Lynch (my girl crush) at Joe’s Pub. Marriage can be a harmonious exchange of good tidings. Who knew???
Just because you’re together, doesn’t mean you have to spend every second together. When he wants to go out with his friends, I’m like, go for it, dude (as I turn on Housewives the second I hear his footsteps retreating).
Respect territory. The kitchen is his, the couch is mine. The yoga mat used to be mine, now it’s is. He cooks dinner, I bring home snacks and toiletries. I get the covers.
Bitchy behavior = he’s getting sick. And when he gets sick, I navigate between bringing him chicken soup and leaving him alone. He will yell at me no matter what.
In a New York apartment, he will see me in hot rollers. I once read that Gwen Stefani always makes sure she’s in full makeup, even around her husband*. I tried this and lasted one day.
Kindness wins over complaining. When I want to scream at Sam, I think, Is there a point to this? Usually, there isn’t. Sometimes, he deserves it, though.
Like all the books and rom-coms say: Trust is key. I leave my diary and phone out all the time. I don’t care if he reads them (the boredom would be punishing), but trust he won’t.
Ignore couple rituals. We don’t have a “date night” since we already spend a ridiculous amount of time together. Our Valentine’s Days are laughable. Romantic vacations are severely lacking in frequency and we don’t explode into tears over our love. We just are.
You can co-exist if you have different political leanings. Happening right now as the 2016 presidential campaign heats up. We discuss points of view without ridiculing the other’s beliefs. He’s wrong, of course.
Cleanliness is optional. Apart, we are clean-freaks; together, we are total slobs. We only clean in earnest if someone is coming over.
Being with the love of my life doesn’t solve all my problems, but it adds richness and joy to my life every day. I get to witness this other person’s life in an intimate way. What a privilege!
Happy Facebook Friendship, Sam! You’ve taught me so much and I’m excited for the next forty years.
*They’re divorcing but hey, it was a long-ish marriage.