7. DON’T STOP TAKING HER ON NICE DATES.
When I was dating her, I’d have no problem paying a little more for nice dates. Twenty extra bucks for the ambiance of a nicer restaurant was no biggie when I wanted to charm her and make her feel worth it. I’d pay for nicer seats at the show. I’d get better seats at the basketball game. So why is it that after marriage, she was no longer worth it? Why was spending the money a waste instead of a valuable way to keep her feeling special? Why did I stop going to shows and basketball games and everything else?
IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER: I’d think she was special enough to spend a little extra cash on once in a while. I’d look at every extra dollar spent as an investment into our relationship. I’d keep apprised of her favorite bands and her favorite performing art shows and I’d surprise her with tickets before she even knew they were coming.
BONUS! Nice dates lead to nice pictures on her phone which lead to everyone on her Instagram and Facebook thinking you’re the damned coolest hubby on the planet.
8. DON’T GIVE HER GUILT FOR NEEDING TO GET AWAY FROM YOU.
There were times when I just needed to get the hell away from her for a while. And not because something was wrong. Simply because too much of anybody is just too much. But for some reason, I always felt like something was secretly wrong when she wanted to duck out for a while with no explanation. I’d insist she “talk” or that she tell me what was up. I’d never just let her go and get her much needed moments without me.
IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER: I’d make sure she knew that it was always okay with me if she just needed to get out and away for a little while. I would never pressure her to have a good reason. I’d encourage her to spend some time on her own, out with the girls, or doing what she wanted to do.
BONUS! Time away from you means you can sneak that triple bacon burger she rightfully never wants you to eat.
9. DON’T DROWN HER WITH YOUR SARCASM.
Sarcasm comes from the Latin sarcasmos or “tearing of the flesh.” I don’t know that having my flesh torn sounds particularly fun. Yet, fun is exactly what I thought it was every time I’d lay on the sarcasm. Fun. No matter what she did, it seemed I would lay on a dose of sarcasm. Happy sarcasm. Funny sarcasm. Snide sarcasm. A lot of times straight up mean sarcasm. And, just like when I put her down, I’d make her feel stupid for not laughing about it.
IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER: I’d understand that some funny sarcasm, in the proper moments and with the right spirit can really enhance a relationship, so long as it goes both ways. I’d also understand that when she’s trying to tell me something important is not the time. Or when she’s trying to apologize. Or when she’s sad that her mom’s in the hospital. Or when she’s throwing up. Or when she miscarries. Or when she’s already about to strangle me because she just dipped her butt in the toilet water.
BONUS! When you skip the negative sarcasm, you develop a real sense of humor instead of that sorry excuse for a funny bone you call wit. Pleeeease tell me you noted my ironic use of sarcasm being used here.
10. DON’T MAKE HER DO THE GROSS AND SCARY THINGS.
When we were dating, I was a knight in shining armor. Was there a spider that needed killing? I was the Gladiator. Was there a drain that needed a good hair-unclogging? Who else would she call but me? Was one of the kids losing her lunch in the entryway? Sit back my fair lady. I’ll clean up the puke. Then, the second we were married I told her to kill her own spiders. It was her hair clogging the drain, so why should I have to touch it? And it just seemed like a mom’s duty to “help” a sick kid.
IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER: I’d cinch up my damned knickers and do the gross and scary things that I was born to do. I’d remember that I fell in love with sugar and spice and everything nice, not slugs and snails and puppy dog tails.
BONUS! How do I put this? When she gets scared, she more often than not needs physical reassurance of the safety that she’ll only feel in the arms of her big, brawny, tough, macho man.
EXTRA BONUS! After doing the gross and scary things, you get to stand up and scream, “are you not entertained?! ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!” (name that movie.)
11. DON’T THINK YOU’RE SMARTER THAN SHE IS.
I have always struggled with an over-bloated “confidence” in my own intelligence, and unfortunately that carried over into my marriage far too often. Guess who always had the right answer about everything? Guess who always had to correct her when she was wrong? Guess who always had to whip out his phone to prove something she said was incorrect? Guess who would crap on her awesome ideas? Guess who was constantly DRIVING HER CRAZY with it?
IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER: I’d remember three things. One, know-it-alls drive everyone crazy. Two, know-it-alls usually end up alone. Three, know-it-alls are wrong, a lot. And they’re never as smart as they think they are. So, instead of thinking I knew everything and that I knew better ways of doing everything, I’d sit back and enjoy letting her make a lot of the decisions. I’d let her save face when she was wrong. And, I’d applaud the fact that there are a lot of areas of life that she knows a lot more about than I do.
BONUS! Not knowing everything makes you look a lot less stupid.