Today is my 19th Anniversary. I have been married for 19 years… WHAT?!?! 19 YEARS? WHERE DID THE TIME GO? Crap, I am old. Old and happily in love with my wife of 19 years. It is pretty darn awesome.
Anyhoo… I opened up the question bag on Facebook to get some questions for today’s topic of Marriage. Thanks this week go to Erin, Kallie, Jon, Lsig, Scott, Bruce, Sandy, the Wife, my darling Daughter, and some other guy. Let’s do this!
1. What's different about marriage than you thought going into it?
It can be happy. I only really had my parents’ marriage to work from and Mom was depressed and Dad was emotionally unavailable/distant. When we were married for 5 years or so, my loving wife asked me this question and then after hearing my answer asked me “Why would you want to do that to me?!?”
My response was, “I want you to be miserable with me, Love. I want you to be miserable.”
2. Do you believe in the 7 year itch?
In a way, sure. I don’t think it has to be precisely 7 years, but I do think there is a point in most relationships where the people in it wonder what color the grass is on the other side of the fence. It doesn’t mean that you have to jump the fence, but I think it is only realistic to havepoint when people question things.
3. If you could change one thing about how you are a husband to your wife, what would it be and why?
I would be more physically affectionate. I just haven’t been able to beat some of the physical and mental intimacy barriers that I have to deal with in my life.
4. In hindsight, how do you feel about getting married so relatively young? Has it made it easier or harder? (As someone who married the same age and the same summer as you two, I'm now constantly amazed that we were allowed to go through with it!).
It was a crazy and foolish thing to get married as a child. A. CHILD. I do not know it has been easier or if it has been harder, because it is all I know. That being said, there are positives and negatives associated with getting married at 23. The biggest positive is that what we have is truly ours. We could not rub two nickels together when we first got married. Everything from that point on has been gained due to the marriage. The biggest negative is that we were not really fully formed as adults when we got married.
5. What are your strongest memories of your actual wedding day?
Everyone loved the food, I was allergic to my boutineer, and my wife danced the entire night.
6. Whose marriages, besides your own, do you draw strength from?
Honestly, in many ways, no one’s, and with the converse of that, everyone’s. No one’s: All relationships are different and there is no one true path to happiness and success in a relationships. No one else’s relationship really informs mine. Everyone’s: I watch how things don’t work and try not to do that. You can often learn more from relationships that are faltering than from ones that are working well.
7. If you could give your children only one piece of advice each for a successful marriage, catered to their particular personalities, what would the advice be?
Little Man: Learn to bend in your thinking and stop being lazy.
Little Lady: Sometimes the answer lies outside of yourself.
8. Pick a random friend who never married or married much later than you. What advice would you give them if they were getting married on the same day you did?
Figure out your communication style and know that not everything is personal.
9. What advice would you tell them to please share with the younger version of you?
Save up and buy a nice couch not the 3 crappy ones your waded through in the 2000’s.
10. Do arranged marriages have a place in our era?
Sure. Marriages can take the form of all sorts of constellations.
11. Thoughts on multi-marriage: more than just 2 people in the joining.
I think it becomes insanely more difficult when you jump from 2 to more than 2 because of property law. It is very easy to dissolve a bivariate partnership, but when you add another person into the equation property transference rights and rights of attorney become seriously muddied.
12. Renewal of vows? - What point in the marriage? Maybe for a specific anniversary?
No need to renew vows. That is silly. Just throw a party where you say you are happy to still be married.
13. How long does The Representative schtick around at the beginning of the relationship stay before they slip into sweats and gaming every day (i.e., finally comfortable that there's no need to impress anymore)?
Get married at 23. All you have is sweatpants, farts, and love.
14. Does marriage really work anymore?
It can, but I don’t think it is a good fit for everybody. I especially don’t think that marriage is necessarily meant to always be a forever thing. It has worked so far for me and my wife, but I have seen some very successful marriages that do not exist any longer. That does not remove their success or their usefulness as an institution. I have a whole theory about this that I could wax eloquent about, but I won’t. Ask me about it and I will email you my treatise on the broken institution of marriage, but it would bore the pants off of everyone here.
15. What is the gift for 19 years?
Aquamarine or bronze. I say, go with both...specifically this.
It can be bought here: "http://www.reneetaylorgallery.com/Vanderveen.html" and is honestly pretty stunning.
16. Why does the bride have to walk down the aisle? (from my daughter)
Because she was traditionally property. When/if you get married this may have changed.
17. Why does the groom wait in front of the alter? (from my daughter as well)
Because traditionally the groom receives the property, and that property should be brought to him to inspect.
18. What did you learn from your parent’s marriage? (For realsies, No snark).
I learned that you can work through most problems, and that marriage is work. It is not a fairy-tale where everyone lives happily ever after.
19. Do you believe in marriage?
I do, but I believe in marriage like a believe in medicine. Not all medicine works for all people. Think of clinical trials with medicine. If medicine only works on 50 out of 100 people in a trial they say it is 50% effective, but what if the medicine is 100% effective for half the people. Therein lies marriage. It works really well for some, but not all. The stigma associated with the 50% where this institution does not work needs to go away.
20. What’s the biggest compromise you’ve made in your marriage? (I know it’s the puppies. God. Get over it.)
Truthfully the puppies are a big one. I love my pups, but I really am a cat person. However having puppies has reinforced the understanding that I do not like dogs. The biggest compromise that I think I have made is that I no longer watch boatloads of sports. I don’t miss it much, but I do miss watching soccer as much as I would like to. I used to be knowledgeable about the NFL, NBA, NHL and NCAA sports. Alas and alack that knowledge has left my bailiwick.
Marriage isn’t for everyone
I will be at CincyComiCon this weekend
Come get a crappy sketch card from me
They are crappy! they are sketchy, and they are cardy!
All at the same time
Seriously, come by the table and buy some cards
If you say you came because of my blog, I will give you a discount
That’s how I roll
The wife and I have decided to go for 19 more years and then reassess
I think that is wise
Have a great week everyone