How to Make It To Your One-Year Anniversary

Posted in self help by Steph Auteri on May 14, 2008
Tags: , ,

wedding photo.

I’ve already written about the difficulties in making a relationship last. (It’s hard.)

As mine and Michael’s one-year wedding anniversary approaches, however, it occurs to me that just making it 365 days, let alone forever, can be a long shot.

Heck, I’m surprised I made it through the first month. The months following only humbled me more.

Which brings us to Peter Scott’s There’s a Spouse In My House: A Humorous Journey Through the First Years of Marriage.

More entertaining than I had expected, Scott’s humorous “how-to” pinpoints the realities of first marriage in a way that will make you wonder if you’re being secretly videotaped.

After the jump, a number of the topics Scott touched upon, and how they scarily relate to my life with Michael:

Dealing With the Aftermath of the Wedding:

Six-month-late thank-you cards aside, Scott captures the absolute truth about all wedding vendors brilliantly: Once you’ve paid them, you will never see them again. As amazing/talented as our own wedding photographer was, we’ve only just received our wedding proofs on CD, and are still waiting on our photo album. Why is this especially infuriating? We will be celebrating our one-year anniversary in just over a month. At this point, no one (but me) remembers — or cares about — our wedding.

Adjusting To Cohabitation:

Thankfully, we got most of this out of the way in the year before our wedding, but those first six months after moving in together were a doozy. If we hadn’t already been engaged during that difficult time, it would have been sort of easy to convince myself that the entirety of our relationship was a mistake, and that I should hightail it out of there (leaving him with the mortgage payments). There are many reasons for this: Previously unrealized annoying habits, a lack of space, and an inexperience with compromise are among them. As it was, I threatened to divorce Michael many times, despite the fact that we were not yet even married.

Staying In Shape:

It is still a mystery to me why I instantly gained 30 pounds after my wedding, while Michael is now at my goal weight. The fact that our new slow cooker is still in the hall closet — in its box — may have something to do with it. That and the fact that our freezer and pantry are always well-stocked with high-sodium instant meals.

Spending Quality Time Together:

I was taken aback when I read, in Scott’s book, about couples suddenly realizing they have nothing in common, despite all the pre-wedding common interests that brought them together in the first place. So I’m not an anomaly! When we first met, the fact that we were both writers was enough to make me fall for Michael. Then I realized that there was a huge difference between copywriting and journalism. After the wedding, I also realized that Michael enjoys Jersey bars and late-night, near-deafening indie rock shows, while I prefer lit events, and being in bed by 11 p.m. This is part of the reason I started up our weekly Date Nights, where we take turns coming up with nifty date ideas. Scott also suggests some classic bonding activities, such as sleeping, eating, and running errands.

Making a Condo a Home:

Scott writes (hilariously) of accidental husband decoration, whereby a husband is given a seemingly harmless object which he then places in a place of honor in the living room, in turned destroying the careful aesthetic sensibility that the wife has created. Lordy, but I can relate. He also writes of the desire to immediate upgrade living quarters, despite financial impracticality and general non-necessity. Yes, it’s true. When I’m not ordering wall art and art glass vases, I’m daydreaming about buying a house, in which I’ll have my very own office, with hand-painted bookshelves, a sky chair, and a lock on the door.

Divvying Up Holidays Among Families:

Mothers have a way about them. A way that makes you feel as if you’re the most ungrateful, awful child to ever be expelled from their womb should you decide to spend the holidays with your in-laws. Figuring out how to split these up fairly is always (as in never) fun. Especially when most of the relatives you grew up with are dead, the rest are living across the country, and your parents will have no one else to celebrate with, making it the Most Depressing Holiday Ever (until the next holiday).

Vacationing With Your In-Laws:

God, it’s difficult enough to find the time and money with which to get way just the two of you. Does a trip to Disney World with your in-laws really count as a vacation? It’s hard to even give this one a shot when a mere evening with the in-laws exhausts you. Besides, you can barely handle a four-day vacation with your husband. (Full disclosure: I was already doing work-related research, e-mailing friends, and pining for home by the third day of my honeymoon.)

Socializing with Others:

You find his friends immature. He likes your friends, which only enrages you, because then you have to feel guilty for finding his friends immature. In addition, going to happy hour with him and his co-workers doesn’t appeal to you in the least, because he knows everyone, you know no one, and you forgot to take your Xanax. Finding good couple friends is the only solution. They’re hard to come by, though, and you should prepare yourself for the inevitability of subterfuge and eventual heartbreak that occurs when you catch your best couple friends dining at Veggie Heaven with another couple. Whores. As for the single friends you had when you were still single, forget about them. They hate you now because you won’t go bar-hopping in Hoboken with them, as bar-hopping is past your bedtime, and bar patrons disgust you.

Oh, marriage…what a lovely institution. I’m crossing my fingers that I make it through the next month. There’s a nice winery-centric weekend trip, including a B&B and a double whirlpool tub, in my future if I do.


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