10 Tips from a Newlywed
Today marking 8 months of being married myself, and considering the upcoming nuptials of my cousin-in-law (that’s a real thing), I decided to shed some wisdom, from a male perspective.
10. YOUR WIFE IS NOT YOUR MOM.
This is probably the first lesson males must learn when they first get married. Let me explain. Chances are you had a mom who did everything for you. She bathed you, fed you, changed your diaper, dressed you, told you she’s gonna love you so much that no woman is gonna be good enough for you. Now you found said woman. You’re already preconditioned to move in with a lady who will act with mom duties but someone you can also have sex with. Wrong. Your wife is a woman living in the now, not the 1950’s. My dad will not sleep in the bed unless my mom makes it. If our bed is unmade, it will stay unmade unless one of us (usually me) washes the sheets. Don’t get me wrong, your wife will be considerate, caring, and supportive. But ask her to pick up your dirty underwear off the floor, and you might as well be moving back in with your parents.
9. COMPROMISE SHOULD BE PART OF YOUR VOCABULARY
Get on board right away about your roles. In a perfect world, a couple would discuss the day and one would wash the dishes while the other dries. Who has that kind of time? My thought is to divide and conquer. The way it works with us is my family lives in MA so if we’re going to visit them, I drive. If we’re going to visit her family, she drives there. Sometimes we alternate depending if we can remember who drove there last time. When my wife has some dumb show on like Say Yes to the Dress, or wants me to watch Notting Hill, I suggest you indulge her because when you want to see something really bad, she can’t say no.
8. GET ON THE SAME PAGE EARLY
Before you get married, you should air out the dirty laundry pretty early. You should know where you stand on kids, religion, etc., before you even get serious. These are the topics that nobody wants to talk about but it’d be a rude awakening when you’re married and find out your wife hates kids when you adore them. Make sure you make all your decisions together, or at least put your significant other in the loop.
7. MARRIAGE TUPPERWARE
Keeping the marriage fresh. Usually this is for when you enter the “seven year itch.” However, if you already know everything about your partner and just got married, and have nothing left to talk about, it’s good to throw a few curve balls each other’s way. This can be as simple as surprising your wife with a bouquet of flowers. Or in my case, my wife bought me a video game I wanted for no apparent reason. Spontaneous sex can also be a good thing. Some non-sexual things to spice up the marriage is: Do something neither of you has done before and probably will never do again, like flying in a helicopter (although I recommend you locate the vomit bags first). You can also order for each other at a restaurant and not let them know what you ordered until you say it to the waiter. Also do these things intermittently, otherwise it won’t be as special if you do it all the time.
6. “NOTHING” IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH
This can take on two meanings. Nothing is ever good enough for your sweetie. You can have a picnic in a hot air balloon, but it’s not as good as a picnic while jumping out of an airplane together. Um…what?
This was more for the second meaning. If you say nothing, do nothing, or say the word “Nothing,” it doesn’t usually end well for you. Make sure you answer your wife even if the answer is “I don’t know.” If she asks you what’s on your mind, what you think about her outfit, what you guys should do for dinner, where you guys should plan your trip, if you sit there in total silence, she will be confused and frustrated (Happy wife, happy life right?). Even if the answer really is “nothing,” don’t let that be your go-to word or plan of action. Like if you say you’re going to do something, do it. If there’s an emergency, do something even if it’s yelling and flailing your arms around.
5. THE FIVE DREADED QUESTIONS
Women already have these questions implanted in their heads at birth so be prepared for these questions. They are as follows:
- HOW DO I LOOK?
Girls always need validation. They can’t go to the bathroom by themselves, they don’t trust mirrors, and they take forever to get ready to impress YOU, so you better have a good answer. In an episode of Friends, these two tell you that the answer should be automatic. Do I look fat? No. Is she prettier than me? No. Does size matter? No. And it works both ways.
My suggestion, when she asks you how she looks and you’re assured that it’s not a trap, you look and give your honest opinion. Sometimes if you’re running late, you might just say she looks good just to get out the door. But at least look (not more than like two seconds) and give an answer right away. “Yeah, you look great!” “Very sexy.” “I actually don’t like that shirt.” She’ll appreciate your honesty. Never use the words “bulky,” “ugly,” or the phrase “It makes you look skinny.” What? She doesn’t look skinny always?
- DO I LOOK FAT?
This is a derivative of “How do I look?” but unlike the first question, this question is a yes or no answer and your answer should always be “No.”
- WHAT DO YOU THINK?
This question is asking for your honest opinion, so give it. You don’t have to sugarcoat things, but don’t be mean about it. It’s all about constructive criticism so if you don’t like something, suggest a way she could make it work better. Be encouraging and supportive but at the same time, be realistic and straightforward. And if she asks what you think about Julia Roberts, it’s acceptable to say, “She’s a pretty woman.”
- CAN YOU PLEASE _________________?
There’s no doubt about it, your wife will ask you to do things. You’ll be lucky if you can get the “please” in. Can you take out the garbage? Can you do me a favor? Can you shut up now? Haha. Ok, maybe she won’t ask the last one (she wouldn’t have to ask). And she’s just trying to be polite. She’s not asking you to see if you are physically able to do these things. She expects you to do them. It’s usually okay if you’re like, “After this.” Or “Later/Tomorrow.” Just make sure you DO IT in that time.
- WHERE IS IT?
This is usually the question the husbands will ask because it’s normally the women who have the maps of the house. In my case, I have to be my wife’s memory. She’ll forget her glasses are on her face!! Ok, maybe it’s not that extreme but it just proves that women can be forgetful too. Also, don’t just watch her go crazy looking for something. Help her look for it!
4. HAVE AT LEAST ONE DATE NIGHT A WEEK
Even if you’re trolling around Target for a toothbrush, do it together. Your woman likes and deserves to be wined and dined, so you could at least give her that. There’s nothing wrong with the old-fashioned dinner and movie. Your lives will get pretty hectic so it’s nice to unwind at least once a week. Even when you have kids, it’s important to spend quality alone time…together.
3. QUALITY ALONE TIME…ALONE
Now we all love our significant others and would spend every waking moment with them, but let’s be real. It’s important to have some time to yourself. This is why “man caves” were born. A girl needs to spend time with her girlfriends…talking about her husband! Just kidding. It’s perfectly fine to spend some consensual time apart, just don’t forget about the time together.
2. THERE’S TEASING, AND THERE’S TAUNTING
If you’re married, there’s no doubt that you’re gonna bust each other’s chops. Keep in mind, there’s a fine line between a gentle ribbing, and being outright cruel. I think it’s healthy to make fun of your spouse every once in a while because let’s face it, there’s no relationship that’s perfect. Just make sure it’s playful and watch your tone because if she doesn’t know you’re joking, it could have bad consequences.
This is probably the most important piece of advice I could offer. A marriage should be based on communication. If you can’t communicate with your spouse, it’s gonna be a long road ahead of you that probably won’t end well. One word to keep in mind when thinking about communication is the word “language.” This could be whatever language you speak verbally, or it could be your body language. This is sometimes more important than audible language. Your facial expressions can tell a lot about what you’re thinking. In my case, it says a lot about how I feel about something (except for my resting bitch face). I’ve learned to pick up on signals like to immediately shut up when my wife shoots me that look, or when it’s not going to happen in the bedroom when she gives me the cold shoulder. Just make sure if you’re having a fight (which you’ll inevitably have), that you talk about it with each other. Try not to go for outside help because everyone’s going to try to give you advice but the only good advice they can give you is to have it out with your spouse. Eventually, you’ll come to a resolution. If you have a fight, you work it out, you try to change, you learn from it, you move on, and hopefully you don’t come back to the same fight.
Hope these tips work out for you newlyweds! Got any other advice? Leave a comment!