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Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

This Tuesday last, my wife and I celebrated our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary. While we definitely hit some bumps along the way, we’re both very glad that we married and that we stayed together.

Not everyone is a fan of marriage. Back when I still went out a-courting, the anti-marriage refrain was usually “It’s just a piece of paper!”, with second place awarded to those who derided marriage as a patriarchal institution designed to keep women subservient and disempowered. The latter opinion may have been true at one time, but I would argue that marriage today actually provides women with more power, rather than less. As for it being “just a piece of paper,” well, that’s never been true, and in fact, the piece of paper is the least important thing about a marriage. (more…)

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30 Jul 83In 1983, carrying a cellular phone was like walking around with a stick blender in your hand (except heavier), and cassette-playing Walkmans were de rigeur.

In 1983, we argued VHS versus Betamax (I lost that one), saw the birth of the internet, and wondered what Microsoft WIndows would look like.

In 1983, M*A*S*H was ending but “The A-Team” was starting up, Debra Winger died in “Terms of Endearment,” and George Lucas disappointed the world with Ewoks.

Also, in 1983, on July 30, I said “I do, I shall, I will,” for the first and only time, standing before a company of friends and family beneath a canopy of redwoods in a hometown park. (more…)

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Today, marks my 29th wedding anniversary. During that time, I’ve learned a little. I don’t pretend to know the dynamics of same-sex couples or have any advice for women in a marriage. I’m a guy, I’m hetero-, I’m in a marriage; this is all I know. So, gentlemen, if you are interested, pull up a chair.

First and foremost: Commit to it. If you aren’t 100% committed to it, don’t even bother. There’s nothing better in this stressful world than knowing that your partner has your six, but if you’re unable to do that for her, if you’re still looking out for something better or worse, something on the side, you’re not ready. Naturally, the same goes for her, but right now I’m talking to you.

Next: learn to listen. Women are complicated. We males, we’re the red-shirts of human society; we’re the guys that go down with Kirk and Spock to the planet and never come back. We’re designed simply, our needs are simple, our thoughts are simple and straightforward. We see a problem, we solve a problem. Women are not simple. Women think things through. Women use words to think things through; lots of words. Here’s where it gets tricky. Sometimes a woman will tell you about a problem. She’s talking about it, thinking it through, maybe venting a little. You want to help, you want to solve the problem, but you can come up with solution after solution and she’ll shoot them down as fast as you can suggest them, because she doesn’t want you to fix it. She just wants to talk about it. This is foreign to the male brain, but it works for them.

When she does give you a problem to solve, finish what you start. Don’t put up new cabinets and leave the doors off, don’t redo the bathroom and not repaint. And this goes for big things, too, like cars and jobs and schools and kids. Follow-through is the best guarantee of success, and if you need a list to make sure you don’t forget something, write a list. Just get the job done and get it done on time.

Last one for today: be ready to apologize. This is a big one, because a little apology can go a long way. Sure, you may have justifications and rationalizations for why you’re an hour late (I lost track of the time. You said you weren’t hungry.) and you can get all big and scary and defensive (Why didn’t you remind me? Why didn’t you start without me?) but none of that matters because the moment you get steamed, you’ve lost. Just suck it up and say you’re sorry, and do it soon. Storm off and pout for twenty minutes if you must, but then suck it up, get back in there, and apologize. If you’re not man enough to do that, you’ve got bigger problems.

It boils down to this: grow the hell up, guys. Quit being that spoiled little brat or that randy teenager or that chest-thumping yahoo. Quit spending so much time being male and start being a man. Trust, transparency, and a little tenderness will help you avoid hard times.

k

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