Facebook tells me that I'm celebrating an anniversary with M coming Monday. Yes, you ought to say "Awwwwwwwwwwwwww" at this point and offer congratulations and what not.
Let's have a moment of silence.
Now for the speech:
1 year is a long time for someone who's held 4 jobs in 2 years. I think my mum was especially worried when I got married (before this, she was especially worried that I wasn't married) because of my beautiful temper (my nickname at home was RDX amongst other things), and my maladjustment with normal society (my dad used to say I was a Maoist- ironic that it should come from a communist, what?). But I don't seem to have done too badly. Heck, I think I'm a kickass wife, it doesn't matter who agrees or disagrees.
So here's some wisdom I wish to share with everyone on this stupendous achievement:
1. Yes, it's wonderful that you are married and have found The One and all that. But it's not so wonderful that you have to spend all your time wrapped up in each other. Don't cut off your friends or stop spending alone-time with them. It is possible to have conversations with them that don't involve your spouse.
2. Marriage is a big event in your life, all right, but it isn't your life. Taking time off from stuff to adjust and adapt and all that is fine. But get back to your life at the end of it. Don't change your priorities overnight and so easily.
3. Don't act dependent. It may seem cute initially that you need him/her for every little thing but in the long run, it will become a pain in the ass. You were running things just fine for 20 odd years before you met your spouse, so why become a helpless kitten suddenly?
4. You aren't a Pomeranian. So don't perform for rewards. If you do something nice or sweet, do it because you want to and not because you want a pat on the head. You will end up feeling unappreciated and ignored and what not if you perform.
5. Don't forget that you and your spouse are individuals first. Don't be so self-involved as to believe that you are the whole world for the other person. Nobody is that interesting. Don't get jealous and possessive if s/he wants to spend time by himself/herself or with people other than you.
6. Live in the present and drop your baggage. It doesn't matter who did what in 1937. Don't obsess about the past and limit who your spouse can be friends with and who s/he can talk to. Controlling other people is exhausting.
7. Fight with civility. No name-calling or in-laws bashing. If there are issues, deal with the issues upfront instead of finding out who can be cheaper. If you do lose your temper and end up saying things you didn't mean, apologize. It's also fine to demand an apology if you feel you deserve one.
8. Keep your personal space and make decisions for yourself. Discussing things and consulting each other is good, but don't allow anyone to tell you what to do when you don't agree with it yourself.
9. Be irresponsible and get to know each other well (even if you've dated for a million years, living together is a different ball game) before you pile on children, house loan, car loan etc. Nobody gets married thinking it's going to end in a divorce, but sadly, it can happen. And if it does, you shouldn't feel trapped by these factors. It's also unfair to bring children into a mess.
10. Learn from the marriages around you. What do you like and what don't you like? What can you avoid from the examples you've seen?
11. Keep the humour. Life is absurd and so are most of the things we do. Recognize that and don't take everything too seriously. Avoid interpreting and reading between the lines and analyzing the unsaid. It's a waste of time and energy and you wouldn't really care if something more interesting were happening.
12. Stay friends with each other. We often find it easy to forgive the mistakes our friends make or the hurtful things they say, but we are very touchy when it comes to family doing the same thing. We're also more encouraging and positive when a friend wants to get blue hair than we are when a family member wants to buy an iPod. Friendship is what will last when both of you are Diabetic, Arthritic, and ugly in the final years of your life. Work on it from the beginning.
Happy anniversary, M.
(AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW, I know.)