I never thought I’d ever tie the knot, but when I finally did I was very unsure about how it would work out for us.
A little background, my wife and I originally met online, and Red Flags #1-5 went off in my head during this time as I had a long history of failed online relationships. Because of this, I didn’t go into the relationship expecting more than someone new to talk to.
Long story short, after years of dating, meetings, and conversations, we fell in love [insert corny mushy stuff here], but we had yet to actually live together. Our first taste of married life together was also our first time being with each other for more than a week. This is where my education began.
1. What’s mine is ours… unless it’s hers.
So, as a military man, I don’t really own a ton of stuff. Ask any military member their least favorite part of their lives (outside of their actual jobs). The vast majority will say PCSing (a fancy term for “time to pack up and leave”).
Because of this, the single folks tend to own very little outside of the essentials e.g. Blankets, a bed, TV, PS4, booze, you know, stuff needed to survive. Once you’re married however, all of these are now shared.
Congratulations, you’re a communist! Don’t be fooled though, this rule doesn’t extend past yourself. Get caught using her pillow, or her soap, or her toothbrush, and you’ve just opened a whole barrel of worms that won’t soon be forgotten.
2. “I’m not the jealous type” Is girl code for “I’m the jealous type.”
This should go without saying for most, but I believed it. We live in Japan, the homeland of beautiful Japanese women, and I have an affinity for said women. They don’t make sunglasses dark enough for this problem (the guys know what I’m talking about).
My wife knows this, and she also knows that even with my weakness, I chose her, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Even with this knowledge, apparently my wandering eyes have gotten under her skin on a number of occasions, and has escalated to a point where we’ve both made foolish accusations due to misunderstandings.
So if any of you fellas are planning to marry, and your wife tells you not to worry about being seen interacting with other women, don’t listen to her. She’s testing you; like some kind of evil professor giving you the wrong answers to a quiz.
3. Hot or cold. The struggle is real.
I’m from Maine, USA, a place where the average temperature in the summer is lucky to break 75 °F. She’s from the Philippines, where Satan owns a summer home. Neither of us can survive long in the others environment.
We tend to stay in separate rooms in the house to keep ourselves in climates which we individually prefer. But when it’s time for bed, the battle begins. Usually the first person in the room sets the temperature, but this isn’t without some adjustments (when the other isn’t looking) from both of us.
Then comes the trench warfare. If it’s too cold, she’ll use me as a portable heater. Too hot? I’ll place my feet —which seem to stay at a brisk 32 °F — on her back to in an attempt to force surrender.
Skirmishes like these will continue until we find a happy medium; an elusive temperature which will satisfy both our needs. The search is ongoing, but the trail has gone cold “couldn’t resist the pun.”
4. There’s no ‘I’ in Marriage… wait a minute…
You’re no longer playing for your own team. All your decisions now impact your significant other. So, you need to involve her in all of them. Everything. From simple financial decisions, to life altering questions like, “Batman or Superman?” [Batman], all dramatically impact the course of a marriage and the trust you have within it.
We’ve so far managed to navigate this course without major disagreements to this point. But sometimes you must realize that compromise is needed, and both of you need to just bite the bullet, and do whatever she says.
And last, but not least…
5. IT’S A TRAP!
Fellas, at some point in your relationship, you will be presented with the infamous question: “Does this [insert noun] make me look fat?”
This question has no correct answer and is only asked in order to reinforce their own beliefs about themselves. It’s kind of like being presented two doors; behind one, Manny Pacquiao with spiked gauntlets ready to use you as a speed bag.
The other, a 12-hour loop of “Let it Go.” Both are equally damaging, but alternate between the doors each time the question is asked.
So, my advice to you loyal reader, should you find yourself beset by this trap, toss some chocolate on the floor and run.