I am an expert on marriage. What can I say…I just “get it”. This is why, whenever possible, I like to share my wisdom with young married people seeking answers.
Some advice I like to give includes the concept of just keeping your husband’s expectations really low. He thinks you’re going to cook every night. Don’t. Cook every third night. Sure, it will be rocky at first, but it’s so worth it when one night, you turn off The Real Housewives long enough to throw a Stouffer’s lasagna in the oven and cook some Texas toast. He’ll take you into his arms and declare what a lucky husband he is.
That’s how you’ll know it’s working.
But the most valuable advice I can give to all married people out there has to do with disregarding wisdom we were given when we were engaged. The ring was barely settled on my finger when people started taking us aide, patting us on the arm and declaring we should not, under any circumstances, go to bed mad.
We never asked what dreaded thing would happen to us if we dared slip into a slumber while still stewing over a first year fight, that let’s face it, was going to be over something like excessive Kohl’s charges or using his expensive tire shiner to kill a spider on the door. You know, things that don’t matter.
The point is, it was advice, and we believed it. We would go to bed happy, or we would not go to bed at all.
So with that information, here is an example of what one of our fights looked like then:
At 2AM EST, we were sitting on opposite ends of the living room. My eyes were red as I wondered how I was duped into marrying this man. His were spinning in a permanent roll, that I wasn’t sure he could stop without some sort of medical intervention as he dreamed of a world without women with emotional outbursts.
Oh, and there was silence…a lot of it.
The fight had begun five hours earlier over something as important as the thermostat and had now escalated into something much more personal. We were fooling ourselves into thinking a sentence existed in the universe that would magically make our anger disappear, our resentment vanish and our dreams about driving our cars in opposite directions until the gas ran out seem silly and ridiculous.
If only one of us could think of that one blasted sentence.
One thing was certain. We were not going to bed until someone thought of it. The great sentence of compromisation (no it’s not a word…but it should be) that would make us magically forgive each other and fall in love all over again, and we could go to bed “knowing” we “did it right” and oh how the well meaning people before me would be so proud of us.
We mumbled apologies of some type, eventually, and went to bed.
The next morning, we were still mad and now sleep deprived and somehow the apologies we forced ourselves to make meant nothing because we made them simply to get some sleep.
A year into our marriage, we decided that this bit of wisdom wasn’t working for us.
Let me give you an in-depth mathematical analysis of why this didn’t work, see below:
Mad People + Sleep Deprivation/Dumb Argument = Saying More Stupid Stuff
Saying More Stupid Stuff + 2AM EST = This Fight Will Last A Month
So we gave our fights a “Go To Bed Mad Makeover”. Here is the mathematical explanation for this:
Dumb Argument + Going to Bed Mad = Avoidance of Saying Stupid Stuff at 2AM EST
Avoidance of Saying Stupid Stuff at 2AM EST + Sleep = Don’t Care About Dumb Argument Anymore
Don’t Care About Dumb Argument Anymore = Someone Buys Chicken Biscuits for Breakfast.
Sometimes people say, “you never know…one of you might not wake up in the morning and you don’t want to have gone to bed mad.” First of all, yes you will wake up the next morning. Second of all, yes you will wake up the next morning. Thirdly, why are these people not waking up? Who did this first happen to that has made it a ‘thing’ to say to young engaged people? And, why do they tell this to newlyweds who are statistically not likely to die in their sleep?
Maybe they are being abducted by aliens in the middle of the night, but if one of us was abducted by aliens after going to bed mad, I guarantee no one is thinking about the thermostat anymore.
And finally, when you take the following into consideration as it relates to importance, it just brings it home:
Potential for Chicken Biscuits > Risk of One of You Not Being There in the Morning Because You Were Abducted by Aliens
I don’t really think you can argue with math…or chicken biscuits.