How To Stay Married For Thirty Years

I thought it would be helpful to you dear reader(s) to learn how to stay married a really long time.  I’m highly qualified to give advice in this area because I’ve been married a really long time.

First of all, choosing your partner well is essential.  I selected a large Norwegian Eagle Scout.

Husband material.

Lots of things are strong about this choice.  He has good survival skills, so if you’re ever lost in the wilderness he can start a fire.  Also, if you just need stuff done, like pitching a tent or changing a tire, he’s really good at that kind of thing. He can diagnose weird noises in the car.  He knows how to work all the TV clickers.  He can lift heavy items in the garage and open jars.  Loyalty is a big deal for an Eagle Scout, which is a good thing when you’re married.  His heritage is helpful, because he can handle bleak landscapes and long winters. He’s built to thrive under harsh conditions; trust me, these attributes come in handy for a long marriage.  Another good quality is his ability to understand the 80/20 rule:  I get to talk 80% of the time and he gets to talk 20% of the time.  He seems to be really OK with that arrangement.  He also understands that all anniversaries and Valentine’s Days are gifting opportunities for him to me.  Any gift to me is for my use only and should not have any practical value whatsoever.  This rule had to be established after our first Christmas when he gave me an electric toothbrush and a dust buster.

This is what I'm talking about. Screw the toaster oven!

Oh ya, just a couple more things that are important.  You get one shot at certain comments such as  “So, what exactly did you do today?” in a snarky tone.  Also, he’s learned through trial and error how to artfully answer questions like  “What do you think of my perm?”, “Does this make me look fat?”, “Do you think I’ve gained weight?”, “How does this make my butt look?”, “Do you like my mother?” and “Are you listening to me?”.

Here’s the breakdown of what you should do if you decide to marry somebody.

Year 1.

Away we go!

You must get married, otherwise you won’t make it to Year 2.  No living together!  You must have the pressure of having to return all the wedding gifts to keep you together in that first year.  Also, move once.

Years 2-5.

Buy a fixer upper house.  Stay super busy spending all your spare time remodeling that house and putting in an entire yard while working nights, full-time.  Shared projects, sleep deprivation and lots of debt are the glue to a long term marriage. Move twice.  Also, get a puppy.

Years 5-15.

Have 4 kids and move 3 times.  That alone will give you lots to talk about.  Spend most of your spare time at soccer games, cello concerts and school events like the geography bee.  You’ll have many opportunities for that quality time all couples need.

O.K, so we're sort of like the Duggars, but not really. It just feels like we have this many kids, even though we don't. I guess this is the ultimate in married with children. Such overachievers, it's disgusting...

Years 15-25.

Make sure your husband takes a job where he commutes Monday through Friday and you only see him on the weekends.  It’s like a dog-year marriage.  You may have been married to him for 25 years, but you’ve really only spent 16 total years of time together.  It keeps it all a bit fresher.

Years 25-29.

You’re really too tired at this point to do anything but just stay together.  Neither one of you is on that 50 is the new 40 track.  You have so much baggage that you even own the cosmetic case.  Therefore, your appeal to someone new isn’t too high.  Why would you consider changing anything now?  He barbeques and takes out the garbage; you grocery shop and pay the bills; it’s all so efficient and seamless.  Oh, almost forgot, you still have a 13 year old at home.  One more thing; move again.

Year 29-30

Unless one of you has a complete mid-life crisis and buys a red Corvette, I think you’ll make it safely to year # 30.  Fingers crossed…

Happy 30th Anniversary Honey! You're the best!

So, dear reader(s), there you have it.  I hope you’ve found this helpful.  If you do decide to take on a 30 year marriage yourself, good luck!  It’s wonderful, for real.

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2 responses to “How To Stay Married For Thirty Years”

  1. Jim Clapperton says :

    Priceless advice! And you’ve reminded me it’s probably time to move, we’re way behind on that score.

  2. Grandma says :

    It’s amazing Jeff looks the same from his photo as a Eagle Scout. We are so proud of you Catherine.

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