10 Things for Brides to remember
This is not advice on how to be a great wife, or how to have a perfect marriage or what you can do better and so on. It's just a list of things to remember so that as you grow in this relationship with this other person, you'll choose your battles and avoid heartache. So here's my list of things to remember. It's served me well.
1. There's no wrong way to fold towels. Maybe you're picky about how it's done and you used to refold what he folded?? STOP that, because if you don't either he will be offended that his way isn't good enough, or will decide he doesn't need to do the effort because you will. It's better to go through life with towels folded but don't fit they way YOU want in the cabinet than to be raising children with someone who doesn't even know where the towels go or how they magically appear by the shower because it's been so long since they actually folded one.
2. The dishes will get clean that way too- so what if he puts them in some weird goofy way and they knock around in the dishwasher, enjoy that he loaded it. If a dish breaks- he will eventually figure it out and maybe even start loading the way you load. (or even better...ask how you do it). If you always secretly redo them when you add to it, he'll likely be offended and stop doing it or if you're so good at secretly fixing them when he's not paying attention then he won't learn NOT to do it that way. If you make an issue of it and correct him, it's perceived as nagging because until he sees a dish break there's not a reason to do it differently (and if a dish doesn't break- again...they got clean so it doesn't matter).
3. It's just as easy to LOOK before you sit down as it is for him to put the seat down. If you really feel obligated to complain about this activity, get a dog or cat so that you both have to close the whole lid regularly to prevent the family pet doesn't use it for a water dish.
4. Your mother-in-law isn't watching to see if you peeled those potatoes perfectly, she's happy your helping. Don't get me wrong, there are probably some horrible mother-in-laws out there but don't assume she's judging the way you do things unless you hear it come from her mouth. It turns out that sometimes it is just as awkward for her as it is for you and what seems like disapproval is simply her not knowing what to say yet.
5. The silent treatment doesn't work. If you're angry and you're walking around sulking about something, chances are pretty good that he doesn't notice, then you'll get more angry and worked up and he will finally notice when it's really too late to just get the apology or simple solution you wanted. You've wasted a lot of energy letting the frustration build while he had no idea that he was making it worse. Not fair to either of you!
6. Letting It sit to see how long before he does it will just make YOU have more work. Face it, if it is the trash or the dishes or a dirty pair of socks on the floor, if you are intentionally leaving it for him to do and waiting until he finally gets it done- you're fighting a losing battle, because one of two things have occured. Either he doesn't notice it needs to be done or he has noticed that you've not done it or not complained so you must be accepting of his "in no hurry" attitude regarding that task. If it bothers you that much, do it on day one.
7. You have an identity too-this one is more about you than him. Even the most educated and most successful of women have sometimes fallen into the trap of losing themselves. Getting married did mean becoming one with another person, having a couple identity, but it didn't mean that your individuality disappeared and chances are, he didn't ask you to give that up.
8. People generally mean well - now that you're married you're gonna get LOTS of unsolicitied advice (you know...kinda like a 10 things to remember list). Even when it's horrible advice, people generally are trying to help you benefit from their decisions, mistakes, successess. Don't take it as anything more than that, no one is suggesting that you lack something.
9. Children or no children...this needs to be a decision the two of you make and no one else. It seems like the minute you get married people start asking about when that child is coming. If you're both ready, that's great. If your plans are to wait several years, don't let pressures of extended family influence that. If you're one of those people that deep down just doesn't want children- that doesn't make you horrible. What makes you a bad parent is becoming one when you didn't want to and resenting that child. In the end, nature is going to do what nature is going to do, either your plans will work out or nature will make you change your plans, but the key is...don't change your plans because of someone other than the two of you decided so.
10. It's not always perfect and that's OK Face it, you're not perfect, he's not perfect and you didn't suddenly become perfect just because you're together. If you work together to understand and respect one another you may go an entire lifetime without a fight. If you have a fight in the first year it doesn't mean you have less of a marriage, it means both still have work to do. It's presumable that you married this person because you loved them, they loved you, you are invested in them and they in you and you both at that time were willing to work out the small details of how to fold towels, which highway to take, why the seat was up or whatever it was. It's ok to disagree, just keep it in perspective. Towels- not so important that it's worth a fight your marriage and your world is much bigger than a proper way to fold a towel.
(driving however....well....I have no comments or suggestions for that-if it's an issue, save up your money and FLY on vacations.)
on a final note: I am by no means qualified to teach, educate or otherwise guide you in marriage, other than having a very happy and successful marriage by more years that I want to share because it reveals my age. (I like to believe my photo makes me look 30 ish).
However, if you are in OKLAHOMA, and you are looking for some great marriage workshops- have I got a site for you. Go check out http://www.foreverforreal.com/ and sign up for a free marriage strengthening workshop! These people have some fantastic programs!!