I got married earlier this month.
Based on my nearly two weeks of married life, I think I'm getting a solid grasp on what makes a marriage work. It only seems fair to share what I've learned.
1. Touch is important. A good firm handshake once or twice a day will go a long way to build emotional intimacy.
2. Thoughtful gifts. It's not about the money, it's about the thought behind the gift. Get them an exotic pet to show how rare and wonderful you think they are. Or a snake to demonstrate how intertwined you two are. Or two sea otters because it's really cute when they sleep holding hands, just like you two do.
3. Snacks are critical. Low blood sugar is serious. I'm going to, like, die if I don't get some food right now. RIGHT NOW!
4. Trust. If you say you're going to do the dishes, do them. If you say you're going to pick up wine for dinner, pick up wine for dinner. If you say you're going to walk the dog, walk the dog, even if you don't have one.
5. Pay attention. Mmm-hhm. Uh-huh. Oh yes? Are you serious? These are all phrases you should say when you're listening to your spouse as you look them deeply in the eye. Don't break eye contact. Ever.
6. Do fun things together. Find things that you enjoy doing together and make time to do them. Go for walks. See a movie. Rob a bank.
7. Be polite to your spouse. Hold the door for them. Help them with your coat. Address them by their last name. A little politeness goes a long way.
8. Don’t worry about the small little things. Learn to view your partners little idiosyncrasies as entertaining rather than irritating. When the other does something you find annoying, give a big, hearty laugh. Don't stop laughing.
9. Greet your partner with a smile. And never stop smiling. Even when you sleep.
10. Words matter. "I love you," "I'm here for you," "I understand," "I'm sorry," "Thank you," "I really appreciate all that you do", "I don't know what that dead body is doing in the closet," "It's so nice to see you," "You are so accomplished," "Seriously, that body wasn't in the closet this morning, ask the cat about it."