Wendi and I have been married for nineteen years. If we were an agency or consultancy of some sort, we could claim 38 years of marriage experience between us. Sounds impressive put that way. “Put our 38 years of marital experience to work for you!”
(Note to self: look into monetization of marriage.)
From my vast stores of lessons learned, I offer the following relationship advice.
1. Money matters when you don’t have any
Living check to check creates stress that can spark arguments when your desires conflict with those of your partner. A purely hypothetical example that totally happened: I wanted $100 worth of comics each week, and Wendi wanted to eat. With limited income, something had to give.
Fortunately, we can afford food again.
2. Unite against a common enemy
It’s human nature to unite against whoever is winning. Adding a willful and uncontrollable being to the family can give the two of you something to oppose together. A cat or a particularly spastic dog is the ideal marital companion, providing an unceasing stream of objectionable behavior that you have to find some way to jointly foil and suppress.
Do not attempt to use children for this purpose. They’re cunning enough to turn the tables on you, and if treated with hostility they may grow up and write essays about what a jerk you are.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Does your honey have a turn of phrase that drives you crazy? Does your baby have an inexplicable fondness for a certain singer whose voice drags nails on the chalkboard of your mind? Let it go. If you can’t handle those things, you’ll never survive issues like unemployment and Japanese schoolgirl figurines.
4. Your face is less important than your relationship
You’ve done something stupid. You were wrong. You made a mistake. Your instinct is to save face in front of your partner so they’ll see you as the perfect being you think they think you are.
Well, you’re not perfect. Everybody already knows it, especially the ones who live with you. Admitting to errors builds trust both ways and brings you closer together.
Of course if your mistake involves getting closer to another partner, I would humbly suggest your face is beyond the power of plastic surgery to repair.
Wendi has learned to accept seeing a zombie movie every now and again. She even enjoys them on occasion. This is the ultimate secret of our marriage. It’s sympathetic magic; just as zombies are hard to kill, so is our marriage.
Just ignore the shambling, rotting horror stuff. The analogy sort of falls to pieces there. So to speak.
The actual importance of this lesson is that it’s clearly so personal that it’s utterly useless as general advice. This is the internet. It’s not much like a series of tubes, but it’s a lot like millions of people sharing their thoughts without anything like facts or research. If you’re seriously expecting to find useful advice on the net about a topic with any degree of subjectivity, you’re going to be quickly surrounded by zombies.