Sunday, January 12, 2014

Don't Go To Bed Angry

At my recent Bridal Shower, the hostesses had others in the group provide me marriage advice. It was sweet, and many people responded with their own special recommendations.

Remember to do the small things.

Don't sweet the petty stuff.

But the most common piece of wedding advice was don't go to bed angry. Its so simple yet so missed by so many people. There is so much more time for love if you just let it go. Someone the other day asked me, are you and Bryon really as happy as you seem? The question stunned me at first. Of course we are. We are one of the most on the surface couples I know and that is not meant to seem smug, but we are. We don't hold on to grudges, we talk about everything, and we respect each other unconditionally. And maybe that's the difference.

Online dating has changed the face of the world. More and more often when people ask me how we met and I respond with "We met online" the typical next comment is "oh I have a friend that" or "oh I met my husband on" or "which website?!?". Its becoming more and more common. The only thing that people want to know is "how does it work?".

What people don't understand is that, its actually quite simply because we started this whole thing, our relationship, our engagement, and will start our marriage, with all of our cards on the table. Its easy to be honest with someone over a computer screen, through text message. And by easy, I mean that it is easy to be frank. It is, ironically, the same reason that cyber bullying is so prevalent, because you say things via the internet you would perhaps never say to someone in person. Dating is no different. You go on a date, you talk to someone, but you don't talk about the "big" things.

Religion. Politics. Money. Children. Drugs. Alcohol. Family. Holidays. Failed relationships.

You ignore them, you just want the person to like you. And then you get trapped. You invest months, even years, hoping that you can make something work. I see it all the time with my friends, they get themselves trapped. At our age, I can't believe I just said that, we can't invest that kind of time. So how does an online dating profile allow for all the cards to be on the table? If I still had access to my profile page, you would be amazed the kinds of things I was willing to share with the public.

I want children. I'm a teacher, and my work matters. I am not invested in religion, but I don't want to raise a child who is unintelligent on how the world works. My family and my friends are some of the most important things to me. I've been married, I've been divorced. When you start with your cards on the table, there are less questions, more answers, and what I consider to be my non-negotiables, were already quite literally spelled out in black and white.

So where am I going with all of this?

People need to talk about things. You need to have the big conversations. You need to talk about the fight before you go to bed because going to bed angry, allowing the anger to seethe, to grow, to manifest, is worse than anything you can do to your relationship. And remember, sometimes relationships don't work. The only way to find a relationship that does work is to admit when one is not working, and move on.

Love yourself. Love others. And always make sure that your husband is your partner and best friend.

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