My (CWRU AXO) friend Audrey tweeted this article from Real Simple magazine that made me laugh: 10 Ways to Make Your Marriage Divorceproof.
Here are my favorites:
1. Realize that if you can agree on what constitutes a clean room, you can agree on anything. If you are the kind of person who wants the vacuum tracks on the living-room carpet to last all week (as in, Jason), you need to understand that your spouse is physically unable to hover three inches off the floor when traveling from point A to point B. You may have to shoulder the burden of raking the shag rug twice a day yourself. Conversely, if you are the type of person who “gets around ” to wiping up a raw chicken–juice spill on the counter (for example, Sam), you should know that if you want to live with other humans, you need to surpass the hygiene standards of, say, the average fraternity-house bathroom. Fortunately, if you can compromise on the red hot–button subject of cleanliness, your marriage is unlikely to be thrown off course by comparatively less volatile topics, like politics, religion, and money.
5. Procrastinate. Yes, we know things need to be done, but seriously. Put your BlackBerry away and stop worrying about the broken garage-door opener. Have dessert in lieu of dinner. Watch old John Hughes movies. Hold hands. There, aren’t they smoother than how you remembered them?
10. When you buy gifts for each other, give them at least a full minute of thought. Sam’s mother once gave her partner a giant meat grinder for Christmas so that he (an extremely reluctant cook) could make her tastier hamburgers. In our opinion, gifts that require someone to perform a household task don’t count as gifts. A present should convey the message “I love you, but most of all, I get you.” (Yes, that’s a tough sentiment to express with a big-box–store gift card. Ahem.) Like playing chess or figuring out Facebook privacy settings, delighting a longtime spouse is a genuine challenge—which (duh) is what makes it worth the effort.
The best part of the list is there is a lot of truth to it... along with the laughter.