Husband and I just celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. It feels more like three years, but that’s another blog post.
I started this blog out of
desperation need, when I discovered so few resources on getting married for the first time later in life (read: over age 40). Most of the advice I found on relationships were geared toward
- women seeking a man
- people seeking their second spouse
- people trying to get the spark back after 20 years of marriage, kids and a mountain of poopy diapers and bills
In other words, not me. Now after six years of marriage, I realize there actually is quite a lot more “they” don’t tell you about this kind of relationship. Below are six things I’ve learned that I have yet to see explored deeply (or I’m not looking hard enough).
1. It takes a few years to feel married. I mean you spend a year planning for a few-hour event called The Wedding. Then, after you say the vows before the priest, rabbi or justice of the peace or whoever, you are supposedly, magically meant to feel different? It’s kind of like turning 21. It happens, you drink a lot, and then you wake up feeling kind of the same.
It took me at least four years to truly feel married. The “feeling” of being married comes in a few forms: there is an automatic checking-in thing that happens, I don’t worry about looking attractive to other men, and I am concerned about Husband all the time. It’s like everything I do or think considers this other person. It took about four years to really get there.
2. To have a good marriage you have to spend time together. This may mean endless nights of sitting on the couch with him, as he watches the news, surfs on his laptop and talks on the phone all at once. I figured it didn’t matter if I was there or not. But, when I wasn’t there a lot, Husband got cranky. Somehow just being there is important. (Note: If you want to still go to dance class every night of the week, jet off to NYC friends whenever, and not worry about what time you’ll get home after work, take a lover not a husband.) Husbands require physical presence. So, marry one you like to spend a lot of time with.
3. Being nice to each other is important. It’s easy to get really lazy here. Don’t. If you are more polite to the Fed Ex man that you are to your spouse, see number two above.
4. Make sure you’re having enough sex. Do not let this slip. (Right now all the single men and ladies are saying to their computer screen, What? Are you kidding me? That will never be a problem for me.) Uh, right. You will be shocked –shocked, I tell you — at how easy it is to just tell him or yourself tomorrow night, honey, I’m too tired right now. Sex is the difference between rooming with a friend and being married. Make it happen.
5. Have an inside joke. This can be anything that is just between you and him (or her). It should be personal and unexplainable to others. (Note: Do not try to explain it to others. It ceases to be powerful. Plus, they won’t get it.) Keep it sacred. Keep it between you both.
6. It’s okay to not feel like you’ll die if you don’t get to see him/her. In other words, it’s okay to want to be apart or lose that pining feeling. But, when you do, you should still like him (or her). If you don’t, you’re sunk. Likability is key to longlasting. Lust is very short term. Love is like waves – comes and goes throughout the day. Okay, that was really bad writing at the end. But, you get my drift, er wave.