Marriage can be a hard thing, which is why your choice of mate is pretty essential and the way you interact is key to your happiness. Mr. VS and I do pretty well, considering that he’s probably the MOST normal person on the planet and in addition to weird and crazy, I’m also annoying, sarcastic, ranty and annoying (did I say annoying?). The thing is that somehow we’re totes in love. LIKE TOTES with the hearts, rainbows etc. Mr. VS and I are so in love that we’re in the deepest of hate.
As I’ve studied our marriage with a scientist’s precise eye, I’ve discovered that there are several things that make our marriage tick and I thought I’d share my deranged wisdom with you! (BTW, I lied so hard in that sentence, I am not scientist and my eyes are very far from precise, however, onward! The blind leading the blind!)
Here’s how you too can assure yourself of an amazing crazy marriage:
Make Fun of Each Other
You really need to do this daily. If you can laugh at each other and laugh at yourself, you’re probably going to win at marriage. I laugh at Mr. VS when he screws stuff up and he laughs at me when I make epic mistakes that are so special and weird, they can only belong to me. We’ve learned the specialness we each possess and we exploit it and downright laugh about it at every opportunity.
For example, Mr. VS is extremely slow at making a taco bowl at dinner time. He’ll take an hour to assemble his ingredients, carefully layer them together, microwave it, get chips etc. Meanwhile I was done slapping my taco together in 2 seconds flat (I’m highly efficient) and I’m sitting there, toe tapping, waiting for him to finish up so I can push play on whatever Netflix show we happen to be binge watching at the moment. My dinner is growing cold, my darling! Let’s move our darling precious asses!
The waiting kills me. I have the smallest reserves of patience on planet earth and Mr. VS will bleed me dry with his slow dinner preparations until I’m on patience empty. He knows this, I harass him about it, he continues to be himself, I harass some more and poke fun, we laugh and we move on. But the best thing was that I found out that people at work know that Mr. VS is slow with food prep. They were having a cookout and his office mates didn’t want to follow after him in line because they knew he’d take forever to put his burger together. He’s slow. It’s his way.
When I found out, I laughed my ass off and felt completely validated and had some grand fun at the expense of my darling Mr. VS. This means our marriage is happy. I also, routinely laugh at him when his Male Pattern Blindness is showing.
I’m also highly capable at screwing things up but am failing at coming up with really good examples. Here’s an okay one: I went to buy some fish at the fish market. It started pouring while I was inside and I put my wallet into my pocket and ran to the car. I drove almost all the way home and then realized, where the F is my wallet?? I pulled over, looked around, clawed at my handbag, threw things about the car in a blind panic, panicked some more, drove all the way back in the pouring rain, hands clenching the wheel in terror and was just about to get out of the car to search for it and get soaking wet, when, as I moved, I noticed something was behind my back. Yup, the wallet had slipped out of my pocket and behind my back.
SPECIAL. I wasted my own time, got my own heart rate up in a panic and then solved my own problems and cursed myself for being an idiot and wasting my own time. As I drove back, in glorious traffic sporting the best of moods, I was thinking about how I’m truly a genius. It’s probably only slightly better than the time I slacked at putting away the groceries because I didn’t think there was anything cold in the bags and left the sour cream out. Doh?
Annoy Each Other
I’ve already written an entire blog post about how I annoy Mr. VS whenever I can, but I haven’t said much about when the shoe is on the other foot. Like when Mr. VS does his special dance moves or air drumming to annoy me or when he, as I mentioned above, does things in an extremely slow manner just to piss me off. Like walking up the stairs in front of me painfully slowly, or unloading the dishwasher with the slowest movements I’ve ever seen. Or when he hops around like a maniac or gets this crazy grin on his face (I did say he was normal, do I regret it? Maybe.) Basically, you both have to annoy each other if you want to be happy. Bear with me here…
The thing you learn, pretty quickly is that you’re going to annoy each other naturally without even trying, so why not just go for the gold and really put your back into annoying your spouse in a really professional way? If you’re annoying them on purpose with an end goal in mind along with analytics and a feedback reporting structure so you’re ensured to be doing your best work, it’s better than annoying them while you’re just sitting there being yourself.
See, one is sad and depressing and makes you feel shitty about yourself, the other is…annoying, on purpose and proves that you are Queen or King of annoying others in a productive way. Plus annoying each other can be funny. Make sure if you annoy each other, it’s funny, otherwise you’ll scream at each other and have to use the next tip.
Forgive Each Other
Mr. VS taught me a good lesson about relationships by pretty much getting over any fight in record time, which is weird now that I consider how slow he is at doing many other things. This was weird for me. I was like…what about the holding of grudges like prized possessions? What about the hours-long silent treatment with huffing and limited eye contact? What about the pouting, tantrums and crankiness? What about escalating said fights into screaming matches where you rip your loved one a new one by picking them apart with the most personal attacks you can think of? What about hurting each other’s feelings with words you can’t take back??? WHAT ABOUT THAT MR. VS? HUH???
But Mr. VS was like…nah, I’m over that shit. I forgive your ass and you forgive my ass and we move on to happiness, STAT. At first I was like…you mean I can’t hate you for a few hours? WTF!! How dare you take that away from me!! But after I tried it, it seemed legit and after some practice I’ve found that I can actually do this and it’s pretty damn amazing. We fight, we forget about it. Mind blown!! No more grudges or harsh words necessary!!
Talk about Everything: I.e. be Besties
If you can’t talk about all the things with your mate and they’re not your best friend, than you’re doing it wrong. Mr. VS is my best friend and we talk about ALL THE THINGS. We talk about gross stuff, we talk about emotional stuff, we talk about practical stuff, we talk about everything. I’m making it sound like we talk about stuff all the time…but we don’t even really talk that much.
Economy of words. Well, shit, I talk a lot, I don’t economize on words, I spend mad G’s on words, meanwhile Mr. VS just nods, eyes glazed over while he stares at his computer screen. But it’s effective or at least…it seems to be. I think most general messages are being received. I gotta give Mr. VS some credit because I’m sure it takes substantial mental power to block out all the annoying I do on a regular basis, so it’s hard for the “real” messages to get through. Reiteration may be necessary. Gentle reminders, if you will.
Be in Love and in Hate
Mr. VS and I are occasionally so much in love that we’re in hate. It’s two sides to the same coin. You love them, they drive you crazy, you hate them, you love them, you’re sick of their shit, their moods annoy you, you love them, damn you, stop moving my shit and pick up your underwear!! Most of the time that we’re in hate, we’re just giving each other a hard time and admitting that actually we’re really in love and we love each other’s special and annoying ways, like a lot, so much so that we kind of hate each other because we know each other and we’ve memorized each other’s ways. Basically we can predict how the other will respond and it breeds a wonderful hate that is so close to love you can’t even tell the difference. Does that make any sense at all? No?
Designate Spirit Animals
It’s perfectly legit to have your own interests when you’re married and not spend every moment together. In fact this is a prescription for a healthy marriage: don’t spend every minute together or you’ll murder each other. The opposite is also true, you have to spend some time together or else you can’t possibly be Besties and in Love and in Hate. It’s a fine balance.
Mr. VS and I have a few differences when it comes to the things we want to do. Mr. VS for example, can’t sit still to save his darling little life and must always be doing “things” and whatnot, while I love to sit around the house writing or reading all day, soaking up knowledge into my big beauteous brain. Due to this, Mr. VS typically accomplishes more concrete tasks than me and feels himself to be superior while I feel superior for my fiction-informed writerly intellect. I think I win because it’s what’s inside that counts, as they say, and my brain is totes astonishing (WITNESS IT!!). I lather myself with praise regularly. Rinse, repeat.
Due to these stunning differences, I’ve taken the time to research and designate his spirit animal as the donkey, for their love of hard work and tireless energy (are donkeys slow…perhaps, perhaps) and my own spirit animal is the cat, renown for laziness with sporadic moments of insanity and energy and the occasional tail chasing and hairball.
It’s my belief that understanding your styles of operation is highly beneficial to any relationship. Because you know what? Everyone has WAYS of BEING. And learning them and learning to deal with them is pretty big. You’ll know what to expect and you’ll minimize how pissed you get when your loved one doesn’t act how you want them to act. It’s their spirit animal and they can’t help it. See Mr. VS this is why I need to take a nap, right now.
Value, Goals, Hoarding
It’s important to learn to accept that your lover might be a hoarder who wants to build a barn to house his “treasures.” What I mean to say is that it’s important to share the same values and goals in life. Mr. VS and I share many of the same goals, whereby we like living in the woods, we like gardening and canning (which we grew to like together over time, double meaning=bonus points), Mr. VS likes hiking, I tolerate it, we both tolerate camping, we like the same animals, like goats and cats, we both like socializing to the same degree.
We’re both slobs with jobs, we like the same foods, like pizza and tacos and beer (who doesn’t?). Mr. VS wants to collect things, en masse, like records, record players, tools, chainsaws, rusty yard ornaments, tractor implements etc. I, on the other hand, like to collect paperbacks, scarves, bags and second hand clothing. It would seem that we’re both united in the desire to fill up our house ASAP.
We’ve also got complementary skills which may make us want to murder the other at times, however in the end unites us. Mr. VS, for example, would make a terrible administrative assistant while I rock that, meanwhile Mr. VS is pretty technical and smart and he has INSANE levels of patience, which as you may know, I fail at, wholesale. Together though, we’re like some kind of super group, like those 1980’s hair band super groups filled with stars from other bands, that’s us. For example, when we built our house, he was the slow methodical thinker and problem solver and I was the schedule, time line, order materials, hurry up, get shit done person and together we totally built ourselves a house. And our MARRIAGE SURVIVED and the house still stands to this day!! Miracles!!
#Winning at Marriage
What I’m trying to tell you is: have fun with it, annoy each other, poke fun when appropriate, quit holding grudges and screaming matches (cause you’re in LOVE! I hope?), practice love but realize that hate is right there too and that’s okay, learn each other’s special “ways” and have similar goals and values. It’s really quite simple. Even a dummy like me can do it…so you can too!!!
I’ll bet you’re wishing I had just put the above concise wrap up as the entire blog post, but instead I made you read the entire thing, including weird stories about me and Mr. VS just to get to the salient points! HAHA!! I tricked you! MWAHAHAHA!! I’ll bet our relationship together is stellar. I designate you as a Sloth for your slow reading skills. 😉