Clay and I tried to attend a Sunday school class on marriage the last couple of weeks because we love the teacher, but then we decided we couldn’t go for several reasons.
1. Clay said he wouldn’t be able to make it through a class without snickering.
2. In one of the classes we had to compare our marriage to baseball. If I did that then I’d have to say, “Uh, so what you’re asking me to do is say marriage is miserably boring and makes me want to eat hotdogs?” Yeah, I don’t do sports analogies in a positive light, ever.
3. The teacher described sarcasm as something that tears down a marriage. I leaned over to Clay and said, “The foundation of our marriage is sarcasm!” and then we spent the rest of the class laughing and making fun of each other.
That’s when we decided we shouldn’t attend that class anymore. We are marriage class drop-outs.
So, if we were to teach the class here’s a few tips we would give to couples:
1. It’s a good idea to like the person you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with more than yourself. Clay is way cooler, sweeter, kinder, loving, gentler, blah, blah, blah than me all the time and if you asked him….he’d say the same about me, or he’d say, “I say what makes her happy and then we can all live in peace.”
2. This is the best advice ever, so remember it. Fart around each other before you get married. Did I seriously just say that? Yes, gas is natural and if you don’t let it out you are going to be miserable. Also, farting is always funny, especially making fun of the other person farting. I’ve known couples that never fart around each other and I don’t know understand that. Just let it out and then spend 15 minutes laughing about it. Crude, yes, but you’ll live and your stomach will thank you.
3. Find stuff that you both love to do together. It can be simple things like watching movies, going out for dessert, walking, talking, gardening, sports, whatever….latch onto those little things and do them. I think this is one of the hardest things for couples to do when they get busy with kids and work. Last week Clay and I found ourselves on the couch alone which never happens. Our two littles were in bed and our older two were hanging out with friends. We had picked out a movie to watch, but ended up talking for a couple of hours instead. Those moments where we can catch up with each other are my favorite times. I love talking to him more than any other person. I find him fascinating.
4. Forgive quickly. It’s okay to irritate your spouse and to get angry about stupid things, but you also have to learn to forgive and ask for forgiveness. I think there is plenty of room for sarcasm in a marriage, but there is zero room for a stubborn, selfish, arrogant, self-serving attitude….that person needs to be a single person. There are two words that you need to learn and use sincerely in a marriage, “I’m sorry.” Chances are you are going to hurt the feelings of the person that loves you the most and that person is going to hurt you. Mend those wounds quickly and don’t be an idiot by waiting too long to say your sorry or ask for forgiveness. Anger can fester, so put some salve on it so it can heal fast.
5. Have fun. Enjoy each other. Laugh at each other, laugh with each other. Find your happiness together.
6. Choose your spouse. You are the one that decided to spend the rest of your life with that other person it’s only right to choose them again and again and again. Make an effort to raise the quality of your relationship. Choose the one you love over the distractions of this world. Cherish that one person.
That’s it. That’s what I know and it seems to be working. We’ve been together 23 years and married 19 years. I love him more today than I did twenty years ago and I didn’t think that was possible.