I love the phrase “friendly reminder”. It’s one of those back-ended things where we truly want to say one thing, but write another. So instead of, “Hey, get this done before I kick you in the teeth”, it’s, “Hey, just a friendly reminder to take out the trash!” Sometimes we need a friendly reminder about tasks in our day, and sometimes we need them about aspects of our life.
In my case, I need a friendly reminder why marriage is a fantastic thing. I read somewhere that the hardest year in marriage isn’t the first, or the seventh, or the last (ha!), but the year you have your first child. 10 months into it, I think I can honestly say we’re doing pretty well, but it is tough to manage the stress, the various relationships pulling you in different directions, and figuring out how to incorporate this little bundle of joy into your daily lives.
Now, K is married as well, but I won’t presume to know all about her relationship, or that these reasons necessarily apply to her. But for me, it’s always nice to reminisce about the relationship that been a constant in your life for so many years, and to give yourself a “friendly reminder” why it’s going to be here today, tomorrow, and forever.
1. Nobody knows you better.
Since I moved out of my parent’s house and went to college, there is probably no one I’ve spent more time with than my husband. We met my freshman year of college, so we’ve been through multiple cities, vacations, job changes, weddings, babies, you name it. No one else was there for every single moment. Sure, lots of family members played important roles, but nobody was walking beside me step by step like my husband. One of my favorite things to do is go back and remember specific moments in our relationship, like our first date, and just think about how far we’ve come.
2. You can tell them all the nasty things you wouldn’t tell anyone else.
I’ll admit it, sometimes I have some harsh words for people in my life, mainly idiots in my Facebook feed. But instead of actually voicing them, I have my husband to go and spew hatred for a few minutes before I return to normal. I would never, ever, actually say something to the perpetrators, but it helps so very much to have someone I can go be rude, gossipy, mean, and vindictive with, just to get it off my chest. Man, I sound like a bad mofo, don’t I? 😉
3. They balance you out.
Orlando and I are that typical “opposites attract” couple. He’s messy, I’m OCD. I’m the type to want to be out and about exploring, he’d rather have quality time with the family at home. I could go on and on, but the point is, sometimes I need to relax about the mess and just sprawl out on the floor with Cora. He helps me even out my personality, and I think I do the same for him, so that we’re both more “normal”.
4. They create “home”.
We have lived in various cities thus far, and to this day we still have to get up and move every six months because of Orlando’s basketball season in Mexico. But it doesn’t matter if we’re in a hotel room, or in our childhood homes, when we’re together as a family, it feels like our place. Sometimes living conditions can be different than what we’re used to when living in a foreign country, but it always feels like we’re where we’re meant to be.
5. You’ve always got a second opinion.
One day I should count, just for kicks, the number of times I ask Orlando for his opinion on something. Don’t get me wrong, I’m almost always right, but his perspective on things is consistently a fresh way to look at it for me, and I love being able to come out on the other end of a discussion with a solution that we’re both happy with. I feel more secure knowing that he approves, and we’ve come together to decide something for our family.
6. Someone else can do the dishes.
Remember a little bit ago when I said sometimes living conditions are different here in Mexico? One of those “conditions” is not having a dishwasher. So our deal is, I cook, he does the dishes. Hallelujah for marriage because I LOATHE doing the dishes.
7. Someone will always be there to listen to your stupid jokes.
I am the classic rambling story teller/awful joke lover. If I told them at dinner parties I would probably never be invited back again. But sometimes there’s a story bubbling inside me that I just have to get out, and Orlando is the perfect outlet. And yes, sometimes he’ll make fun of me, but usually he’ll just nod, give me a courtesy chuckle, and we’re on our way.
8. You back each other up.
One time when we were in college a drunk guy kept knocking into me at a football game and I thought Orlando was going to flip. the. heck. out. While that example was a little scary and slightly Jersey-Shore-style, I know if anybody were to ever “wrong” me, and Orlando found out, he would 100% have my back. I hope he feels the same way about me. It wouldn’t matter if it was extended family, or another drunk guy at a sporting event, what matters is that we stick together.
9. There’s a balance to your parenting.
I’ll admit it, sometimes I go a little crazy first-time mom and want to go overboard on things that Cora’s probably not ready for. Like making her a chalkboard when all she wants to do is eat chalk. And mixing up a sensory box full of flour and baby oil when, again, she just wants to eat it. Lots of problems with my parenting skills revolve around Cora still needing to eat everything in sight. But Orlando helps me come back down to normalcy, and with our separate childhoods, we are raising Cora with what we hope to be the best of both.
10. Everyone else gets on your nerves eventually.
This one I stole from my Mom and Dad, because it’s how they always explain why they never have any other friends besides each other. It’s true though, you marry someone because they light up your life, complete you, blah blah blah, but the truth is, everybody else has that one quirk or idiosyncrasy that would drive you nuts after five years. (Cue endless Seinfeld references here)
No matter how irritated, or stressed, or pushed to the limit I am, being married to Orlando is something I depend on, and it’s nice to have a “friendly reminder” of that.