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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

To Emily on her Engagement

Dear Emily,

Congratulations on your engagement!  I am truly very happy for you!  I will miss hearing about your travails in the dating world, but I am very happy that you found someone with whom you wish to spend the rest of your life.

As you know, I am quite happily married to my husband.  Most of the time.  Over the years, we've watched our friends marry, divorce, remarry, redivorce, etc.  In fact, now that we're in our 40's, we go to more "Just Divorced" bar nights than bachelor/bachelorette parties.  I've learned  a lot watching them.

One of the things that I've learned is that adultery does not mean being an adult.  I have found that most people get very upset when they learn that their spouse is dating/fornicating/fooling around with someone other than themselves.  You would think this would go without saying, but alas, it does not.  Depending on your definition of "sex"-- Republican or Democrat-- dating while you're married is generally frowned upon.  So if I could leave you with this tidbit- try to avoid having sex with other people. 

Also, just a heads up, every day for the rest of your life is a really, really, really, really, really, really, really long time.  You are going to get extremely bored with each other.  Again, this doesn't mean date other people.  Just to clarify.  You're going to need a life.  Your own life.  With your own purpose.  It keeps the conversation going.  Trust me.  It's not the sex that burns out, it's the conversation that's difficult to keep going.  Shopping lists, mortgage rates, home repairs, car pools are not exciting topics. 

As I'm sure you already know, it's not going to be unicorns and rainbows every day.  We have an 80% marriage.  About 40% of the time we are sickeningly in love, 40% of the time we are fine, 10% of the time he's a complete jerk and 10% of the time I'm, um, well, unpleasant apparently.  I'm good with that.  It's the days that the 10% is back to back to back that make is a bit less than easy.  Again, this does not mean to go date someone.  I do recommend taking a lot of pictures of the 80% good times so you can look at them during the off times.  It will make you want to stab him less.  There will be days...

I hope you have fun stuff that you can do together that you actually enjoy.  Dating is a fake period where you pretend to do stuff that you hate.  Forever is forever.  If you don't have a together hobby, find one.  This will help the conversation.  It also resolves the perpetual question that resonates in everyone's marriage "I don't know, what do you want to do?"  Which results in sitting on the couch watching bad pay-per-view.  We like to shoot things.  And fish.  And do karaoke.  Okay, I like karaoke.  So maybe marriage doesn't end the fake stuff....

My husband is always there for me.  Every.  Single. Day.  When I wake up.  When I go to sleep.  When I turn around.  When I come home from work.  Always, always, always there.  Right there.  Be sure to have a quiet place to hide...

But seriously, I am very happy for you.  Getting married is one of the best things I've ever done.  There's something about having someone on your home team, cheering for you every step of the way. I love my husband more now than I did 10 years ago- no joke.  And it's not just because we have a mortgage (although, after signing I did say- genuinely- "Wow, now I REALLY feel married...").  It took me awhile to adjust- I had always done everything myself-- but caring for another person and being cared for-- it's an amazing feeling.
I wish you happiness.  At least 80% of the time!

Love,

Mama Bean

4 comments:

Helen said...

Perfect my friend, just perfect!

Emily said...

I feel famous! And blessed to have such a wise friend. Hugs!

Mama Bean said...

You ARE famous- you are THE BRIDE!!!

Sarah said...

Love it !