October 31, 2009

Secrets to Marital Success

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “I wish my husband and I had a relationship like you and Adam.” Or, “You guys are so happy you make me sick.” Even at weddings I’ve had the couple say, “I hope we are as happy as you guys!”

Seriously?! Every time we hear this Adam and I chuckle to ourselves. It’s not that we aren’t happy, because most of the time we truly are, but we do have the same problems other couples have. We fight and get on each other’s nerves just like every other couple in the world. I think we’ve been lucky because we figured out a few things that make living harmoniously a whole lot easier.

First, my mom told me a long time ago to never mention the word divorce. Once you say, “Maybe we should get a divorce.” the other person will forever think that is what you want even if it isn’t. Adam and I took this advice and have never mentioned the “D” word, even at our angriest moment when we’re saying some really nasty things.

The next thing, we try really hard to put the other person first. When you do, your spouse feels so loved they want to do something special for you in return, and guess what?! Everyone is happy. I say we “try” because we don’t always do this. There are times when we are both feeling selfish which results in fighting and being critical of each other’s character, making the other person become more self focused. It can be vicious cycle, but one of us can usually break it quickly by doing some unexpected act of kindness that snaps us both out of our funk.

Now you are probably thinking, yeah I already knew all this. Well, there is something else. This one thing has solved most of our problems, and our secret is……Paper, Rock, Scissors.

That’s right. We have used this child’s game for as long as I can remember. We use it for all those little things that no one wants to do. I’ve heard a lot of couples’s problems and most of them result from one person carrying the load of performing all the unwanted tasks. When this happens it makes that person resent the other, resulting in all the selfishness I talked about earlier. This is where Paper, Rock, Scissors comes in handy.

A poopy diaper needs changed? Paper, Rock, Scissors. Someone needs to run to the store for one measly item in the rain? Paper, Rock, Scissors. A kid needs reprimanded and put in time out? Paper, Rock, Scissors. See how it works? It’s great because if you lose you have no one to blame but yourself. You should have thrown better!

Lesson 28: Paper, Rock, Scissors to solve marital issues = some sort of weirdo marriage
I know it sounds crazy, but if you are feeling like you are doing everything in your marriage, give it a try. You may find that even if you lose, those mundane tasks don’t seem quite as heavy.

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