Man’s Guide to a Successful Marriage [OPINION]
Guys, this coming Thursday, October 1, marks the beginning of another deer season, or as we call it at my house, "Our annual divorce." Don't get me wrong, I love my wife, but from October through January, I have to love her from afar, as most of my awakened hours are at the deer camp.
And she's fine with that, because I've learned a few tricks after the last 22+ years of life with this awesome woman. So, for you young guys who might have just gotten married in the last few months, take it from old Uncle Gary, this is gonna be the toughest job you've ever had. The rewards are so worth it, but it's gonna take loads of your blood, sweat and tears.
That's why I've taken it on myself to give you a little advice to keep things on track. Yeah, your new wife is the most beautiful woman you've ever known and your best friend; for now, anyway. I'm here to tell you how to keep it that way.
You’ve just entered into a contract with a partner you really don't know. You thought you knew her when you skipped down the aisle, but that was before she took a bite of that magical food that changes everything: Wedding cake.
The first and foremost rule to understand is that you had no life before she was in it. No old girlfriends or ex-wives. In fact, you're not even real sure you can remember your own Mama's first name! If you see an ex in the mall, its eyes on the floor, hugging your wife tightly and keep repeating how beautiful she is and how lucky you are to be part of her world.
Next, remember your position in your new family. You're the "hunter/gatherer;" the "protector." And she needs you for that. Here's a creature that can pour hot molten wax all over her upper thighs and rip the hair out by the roots, but she still might be scared of a spider. You are the designated "Spider Fighter."
You're the go-to guy for every weird noise out in the garage at 3 a.m. Keep your baseball bat handy, and be sure to grunt a lot when you get up. It makes you sound tougher and she really likes that.
You're also the mechanic of the household. Here's a person who can let the "Check Engine" light stay on in her car for over a month without ever mentioning a thing, but the second the light goes out in the refrigerator, you've suddenly got a new line on the 'Honey Do List." But it's not for us to know why; just get it fixed before the engine seizes up and costs you even more.
Oh, and speaking of "honey do's," if you're ever called on to do the laundry, DO NOT try the old 'I'll throw a red towel in with the whites so I never have to do this again' trick. It only worked once: for your great grandfather, one hundred years ago. It'll just cost you an entire Saturday while you're out shopping for socks and lingerie to replace everything she had. Not a good trade.
See, this marriage thing is all about balance. Yin and yang, you know? Give and take. She’s always right and you’re always wrong. It's just the way it works. Unless you're comfortable splitting your stuff down the middle and giving her half and the lawyers the other half, remember these two words: "Yes, dear." Practice it with me. "Yes, dear." Whatever she asks, the answer is always, "yes, dear." Unless, of course, the question has anything to do with her butt size.
Never expect her to apologize, but prepare yourself to say I'm sorry even when you're right. You'll probably need to apologize for stuff that happened years before you met her. Just another part of that "balance" thing we discussed.
Another thing to remember is the way you conduct yourself when she's not around. Think of that once-a-year occasion when you get to spend the weekend with your buddies at the deer camp. Just because she's not there doesn't mean she isn't aware of everything. You know the old adage, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas"? Well, what happens in Bossier City is on Facebook before you can get back home. Whatever you were planning, DON’T DO IT! Keep picturing those lawyers with half your stuff.
But the most important thing to remember is to choose your battles and remember that in most cases it really doesn't matter who's right or who's wrong. Like my Daddy always told me, “You can be right, or you can get lucky." And the real lucky ones are the guys who's wives actually will spend time with them AT the deer camp. If you're one of those guys, count yourself as one of the chosen few that God loves most!