Before getting married, I was overrun with pieces of advice. Almost all of it was good, albeit it standard, Emily Post-style counsel.
One year into marriage, many of the suggestions have served us well: We realize that occasional silence doesn’t signal a major problem. We are happy when we’re apart and happy when we’re together. We respect, love and trust each other.
I’m so convinced of the merit of these tips that I written about them before. But, there are also less-mentioned tips that help a marriage run smoothly.
Respect space in the morning
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess I’m not the only person who is particular about her morning routine. That is the one time of day that I really like for things to go as planned. I need to wake up on time, get my breakfast, have a cup of coffee and watch the news. Then I’m good to go!
If that routine gets messed up with, say, too much conversation, I can get grumpy. Dan’s similarly self-contained in the morning, so we work well.
Until the day comes that he has to tell me, “Get a move on it. You are two hours late for work,” it’s best just to let each other be in the morning.
Don’t be a passenger’s seat driver*
When I asked Dan what tips he thought I should mention in this post, this was his first idea. I think he’s trying to tell me something, because I am an unforgiving passenger’s seat driver.
What can I say? Habits are hard to break, especially when Dan requests that I serve as the copilot. Anytime someone puts me “in charge,” I am going to take full advantage!
But, I’m working on it, because every time I make an obvious suggestion or an accusatory statement, I can just see Dan cringe. (“Didn’t you mean to turn back there? Where are you going?!”) The boy knows his way around town. I don’t need to tell him about every single turn.
*If you make your partner sit in the backseat, you’ve got bigger problems.
Clean up your own invasive hairs
This is a little bit of an inside joke between Dan and me. But, with a guy who deals with facial hair and a girl who has long, dark hair, we both leave a fair share of a trace in the bathroom.
When we first started living together, I got on Dan once about cleaning up all the little “invasive hairs” when he finished trimming his mountain-man beard. He said he would — as long as I also cleaned up my hair.
Fair enough. Now we happily clean up after ourselves.
What are your non-essential tips for a happy marriage?