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    updated 8.29.11

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Randomonium: Marriage Edition

Disclaimer: this is fairly focused for a Randomonium post, but it does seem to skate all over the rink under the banner of being married.

Yesterday afternoon, someone asked me how long Kels and I had been married. July will be twenty years. It doesn’t seem like it, but that’s a long time!    I meet young couples married 3, 5, 7 years and think “We’ve had conversations longer than that…”.

I love having been married that long – and love my wife more today than I did the day we got married.  In nearly twenty years of marriage, I offer you the following bits of wisdom.

Respect the clock. There are morning people and there are night owls and if they try and convert one another, someone will be wearing their grumpy pants for sure. Learn to roll with it.

Utilize your spouse as the other half of your brain. Kelsey and I look at things differently, and often by combining our perspectives, we can see the whole better than either of us could alone.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “Help me think about this….” and walked away ready to react in a more appropriate way than had I reacted only on my perspective.

Once you’re married, don’t ride in a car alone with the opposite sex. I don’t care if the person is going where you’re headed and is just  like your sister.  You don’t have sisters like that anymore.  Grow up, even if it means an inconvenience.  Appearing above board is often an inconvenience.

Keep a joint bank account. I’m not saying you’ll never have any money that’s your own, but limit it to things like birthday money.  Combining finances is an act of trust and a show of faith.  His and her money smacks of distrust and will lead to misunderstandings, even among good people.

Follow the other’s lead on giving. We talk through who we give to and why.   That said, we don’t always feel the same amount of energy on giving to something and choose to err on the side of generosity (if you can err on the side of generosity).  This means we don’t exercise veto power in matters of benevolence.   A shiny new gadget, maybe, but not in giving to people.


4 Responses

  1. And…(I learned this from Luis in the hallway of IKEA) if your wife taps you with her foot on your shin while you’re talking…that means you should stop.

  2. Are there really couples who are planning to stay married who have seperate accounts? Thought that was part of the process of seperating.

    Good post.

  3. We hit 25 years this week- a milestone in the world today – sadly, even the church world. Our pastors have always followed the “never be alone with a woman who is not your wife” rule and I tell you,it is a BRILLIANT. Weird and often annoying, but brilliant. We have worked together almost 20 years and we won’t even ride to a local church together without a “baysitter:)” – SMART! SMART! SMART! Good for you!

  4. I like it. I’ve only been married 7 months, but the “clock” is something that is a big deal. I tried converting him to mornings, and, yep, not so much. What’s the point if they can’t go to bed at a decent hour, right?

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