Our anniversary is today. Nine years. A lot has happened since we met in a smoky nightclub all those years ago in Salt Lake City. Kids, moves, pets, fights, death, and a lot of life.
As a result, we’ve learned a lot about being married and figured we’d share it with you. A bit of advice for every year we’ve been married. Actually, there are a couple bonus tips in there, but 11 Things We’ve Learned After 9 Years of Marriage didn’t have the same ring to it as 9 After 9 does. These are just a couple tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way that have kept us married even when we sometimes didn’t want to be married anymore. That along with a bunch of photos that tell the story of us… and our weight gains and losses. Enjoy!
What’s your best marriage tip? Hit us up in the comments.
Before Marriage 1 of 11
Monica: Don't go to bed angry. KIDDING. You should totally go to bed angry! There are so many times that we're up late arguing about nonsense, feeling like we must hash it all out before bed when the best thing to do is get a good night's sleep. I'll often wake up wondering what in the hell we were so mad about. I wonder how many couples have divorced because some well-meaning Aunt Edna told them not to go to bed angry. Stupid Aunt Edna. Don't listen to her!
Serge: I completely agree with my lovely wife on this one.
2004 2 of 11
Monica: Your way isn't the right way. You can often get all wrapped up in 'winning' an argument or proving your point because you're certain you are right. But everyone has their 'right way.' Stop trying to win, slow down and try to hear what they're saying. You married them for some reason so they can't be a complete idiot, right? There's got to be something about their point you can hang your hat on.
Serge: My wife is totally right.
2005 3 of 11
Monica: Don't ever, under any circumstances, EVER ask your wife if she's on her period or feeling hormonal. What, you want to die?
Serge: Don't do that. It never ends well.
2006 4 of 11
Monica: Try not to nitpick all the annoying stuff he does, but also try not to let the small things fester until you're staring daggers into his back all day long. For example, Serge never loads the dishwasher properly and it makes me mental. I mean, does he not understand what's going on in there and that stacking dishes on top of each other or facing them away from the center is stupid?
But instead of whining every time he loads the dishwasher like a toddler, I just tell myself I'm glad he's at least loading the dishwasher. I'm letting that one go because, after years of nagging, I realize he isn't going to change. I'm not going to let a thing like dishwasher loading build resentment in my marriage or cause an argument that we all know will waterfall into an even bigger argument about who knows what.
Serge: If you hate doing something just do it poorly and she'll eventually do it herself.
2007 5 of 11
Monica: Don't sweat the big stuff. I mean, if he cheats on you or something, by all means, get sweaty over it. But if you have a huge fight and he says something that you think is the most horrible thing in the history of the universe, take some time to cool off and just let it go. In the heat of battle you've said some pretty crappy stuff too. It's bound to happen in a relationship. Don't hinge your entire marriage on certain events and don't dwell on those events either. Just let it go and move on. Arguing all the time is one thing, but having an occasional doozy is no big thing.
Serge: My wife is right.
2008 6 of 11
Monica: Don't compare your marriage to other marriages. We all learn how it's important not to compare ourselves with others and it's equally important not to compare your marriage. Nothing is ever as it seems, and I've often found that the marriages that seemed the happiest were actually riddled with more problems than mine.
Serge: I agree.
2009 7 of 11
Monica: Just because you sometimes find yourself hating your spouse, doesn't mean you need to divorce. Remember when you were a teenager and you totally hated your parents? It's kind of like that. There is no way you can completely merge your life with a whole other human being with their own universe of thoughts and feelings and not hate them sometimes. Just ride it out because, just like when you hated your parents, there is still a whole bunch of love underneath and you'll get back to that before you know it. If everyone got a divorce because they wanted to kill their spouse, nobody would be married.
Serge: What she said.
2010 8 of 11
Monica: Guys, if you can manage it, try and humor your wife as much as possible when she's pregnant. Being pregnant sucks so just try to nod and be cool even when she's a lunatic. She'll return to whatever normal she hovered near after it's all over, I promise.
Serge: *Nods in agreement.*
2011 9 of 11
Monica: Say your guy likes to fish. Or bike. Or whatever. Encourage him to do that thing as often as possible, because bitching about it makes him want to do it even more and then an epic battle ensues and you each become focused on winning and before you know it your entire marriage hinges on what could've been a minor issue. If you know you've got a couple episodes of The Real Housewives just waiting on the DVR, tell your guy you've got some work to catch up on or whatever and that he should go fishing. Or biking. Or whatever. I made the mistake of arguing with my husband about how often he was fishing and it became A Thing, but when I stepped back and thought about it I realized that I had stuff I wanted to do too — so I encouraged him to fish, which makes me seem awesome and gives us a break from each other. After doing something we each like to do, we come back to each other as better people.
Serge: I like fishing.
2012 10 of 11
Monica: Hungry = Angry = Hangry. Don't attempt to talk to your wife when she's hangry. Just get food into her system as soon as possible and wait 15 minutes. It will all be okay.
Serge: If she's pregnant, this advice times a million.
2013 11 of 11
Monica: Bartering works! Sometimes nobody feels like all that communicating via therapy speak. You know, "When you don't unload the dishwasher it makes me feel like you don't respect me as a woman and the mother of your children blah, blah, blabbity, blah. Barter! Say I really don't want to clean the kitchen. I'll tell Serge if he cleans the kitchen I'll put the kids to bed. Or if I'm dreading the hour-long put the kids to bed routine I'll tell Serge I'll make dinner if he puts the kids to bed. Barter.
Serge: You can bring bartering into the bedroom, if you know what I'm saying...
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