So, coming up is the two year anniversary of my marriage to Megan. We played DDR, there were homemade robots on the steampunk cake, and crayons for everyone.
It was a good time.
Since then, it’s been a whole new realm of life. After years of having a room to myself, looking out for only myself, and only having myself to worry about.
Suddenly there’s another person. Those past two years, then, have become largely me trying to figure out how to live with another person 24/7 and Megan forgiving me the whole way through.
Here’s what I’ve learned about marriage in those two years:
1. This is a relationship of equals. We don’t really get a lot of training or education on how to establish and maintain a relationship of equals, but that’s been the one thing I’ve heard consistently as I’m going in to this relationship. There’s a lot of one person being the one ‘in charge’ and probably even more in the ‘don’t rock the boat’ category, but I’ve discovered that marriages succeed when there’s no “you should/need” or “may I please” and we learn how to say “I’d appreciate it if, and could you please.”
2. Try new stuff, even if you’ve already tried it. Megan doesn’t like Doctor Who. She knew this coming in and told me so. But, when I asked she still let me show her why I love Doctor Who. We ended up watching Blink and Vincent and the Doctor. She could appreciate the Doctor visiting Vincent Van Gogh, but being introduced to the Weeping Angels was not as… positive an experience.
Also, she showed me a lot about her love, Myst. She knows some of the most popular fans in the Myst-verse (D’niverse, Megan corrected me), and her pinterest board on the subject is followed by the game designers over at Cyan. I still gave it a shot. I can throw out the names of characters and I know the concept of the game. I even randomly sing songs about it.
Usually to the tune of Disney songs.
Megan and I have never had an argument. You’re thinking that I’m lying or that we have some seething annoyances that we simply haven’t brought up, but it’s true. No arguments, whatsoever. Not even emotional debates. No yelling, no screaming matches, no words that we had to take back.
We did this with a very simple rule: we say what we mean. Even down to the point where we ignore facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. That just clears so much up. If I say something, then Megan takes that at face value. Those words being ejected from my mouth are exactly the words I meant to have come out. It also means that there are a lot of questions we just don’t ask… unless we really want the answer.
For instance, I have never gotten the “does this dress make me look fat?” dilemma.
4. “Falling out of love” is a myth.
People fall out of love because they let go of the people they love. They stop doing those things that both display and recognize the display of love in others. No favors, random things of kindness, nothing special. We already have the world against us, why compound that by letting the one we love most get out of our reach?
This is where there’s the most advice out there. Coincidently, a lot of it’s from people who admit that their marriage didn’t work out. None of their advice was new to me, though, because I had learned it all from my parents, who are still happily married (and on their only marriage). Why did it suddenly become more striking coming from a man or woman who’s been divorced, rather than someone who’s still actively maintaining a happy marriage?
I leave you with a moment between me and Megan that reminded me that marriage can be the best institution ever established ever, ever, ever, and ever.
Me, reading a friends Facebook post: “I just started reading the Hunger Games series.” Ooh, she even has a picture of her reading Catching Fire.
Megan: Well, she’s in for a surprise in book three (Mockingjay).
Me (not exactly wanting to give spoilers:
Yes, in our two years of marriage we have become fluent in Meme, with emphasis on the dialect of Tumblr.
Marriage is awesome.