My husband and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary recently. Want to know what we did to celebrate? We stayed home with a child suffering from strep throat. If that doesn’t sum up marriage and parenting, I don’t know what does. We made the best of it though, and he remembered to bring home flowers when he ran to the store for Tylenol.
The secret to marital bliss is being happy just spending a special day with your special person, even if both of you are exhausted and wearing your rattiest pajamas. Whether we’re all decked out at a fancy restaurant or sitting on the couch eating cheese and crackers, I am just glad to be with him … most of the time.
Our other secret to marital bliss is that he accepts me, completely, and we try to have a lot of sex (those two factors go hand in hand). So while time has changed us, inside and out, and our relationship may not always look pretty, marriage really does get better with time.
Here’s what more than a decade of marriage really looks like. (Hint: It looks like a lot of back hair.)
We’ve both become a little more lackadaisical with our grooming over the past 11 years. I remember when I used to freak out if he touched my unshaven legs. Aw, I was so cute back then. Nowadays, my husband doesn’t even flinch when he feels fur, which is only fair, since I spend a large portion of my day cleaning up his beard and back trimmings.
The single most romantic thing my husband has done over the course of our marriage is get a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine to control his snoring. We spent over a year sleeping in separate rooms because I just could not handle the insane rumbling, and let’s be honest, it’s really hard to remain in love with a person who prevents me from getting a decent night’s sleep. Now he wears an apparatus that makes him look like a Storm Trooper, and I wake up rested. Who says romance is dead?!
We can have an entire conversation with our facial expressions. He knows when I need space, a foot rub, or a glass of wine. I know when to close my mouth, back off, or give him a hug. Years of experience has helped us learn each other’s moods and the best ways to smooth things over when the other one is grumpy. And also? We know what treats to buy the other at the grocery store when we are trying to be nice, and he knows better than to judge my wine intake. That’s what it means to be a team.
He knows better than argue with me on certain things. Take throw pillows, for example. JUST ACCEPT THAT THEY ARE A PART OF YOUR LIFE AND MOVE ON. There are so many things that we as women do, that do not make sense to men. They should just lean into it, embrace it, and stop arguing about it, right? Well, my husband would say the same to me about the things I will never understand, like how we can spend two hours with each other at dinner and afterwards he is unable to tell me what color shirt I was wearing.
The thing about being married for over a decade is, you learn to pick your battles. Which leads me to my next point.
I let a lot of shit go. A LOT. I stopped caring if his dirty clothes make it into the laundry basket. I stopped nagging about things that didn’t matter. I stopped trying to change him (really! I did!) and finally took a page from his book and began to simply accept him, just as he is, and not for what he COULD be. I picked him to spend the rest of my life with, after all. The rest is just details.