Hmmm... This is one of those hindsight 20/20 deals. Not a ton of things come to mind for me here. Here are a few things I learned really quickly:
1. Girls are not wooing boys-they do want to spend that much time with you, and if you think that is going to go away, you are mistaken. I am not saying that I want/wanted more of my own time... I am saying that I had a misconception- I thought that just like when Tiff and I were dating and said goodnight or hung up the phone and I could do whatever I wanted with "my time," I would have loads of "my time" as a married man... That is not true (or at least it shouldn't be.) One of the things that has made our marriage work so well is that Tiff and I figured out the "one flesh" thing pretty well. We are by no means perfect, but our life is ours-not his/hers. I have seen so many marriages of good people that everyone would say "would never" struggle completely blow up. I have had to ask "why?" the answer is almost always that they have become roommates. Their lives have drifted apart so completely that they barely have a relationship anymore. Sometimes its hobbies or careers, sometimes hurt and pain, but always something draw them away. As spouses, we have to be so careful to ensure that we are in this thing together and that we have each other's back!
2. Set clear boundaries. Having said all that... I fell face-forward into something I think was really good. One Sunday shortly after we were married Tiff cuddled up to me and settled in to watch the Giants. Then she began asking me what I wanted for dinner this week... then about some future dreams, then if... to be honest I don't know what the other questions were-I was completely focused on tuning her out. So, on commercial I looked at her and said, "if you want to do this stuff anytime, that's fine-but for 4 hours on Sunday afternoon while the Giants play, I want peace and quiet. You can watch if you want to, you can ask about the game... but, please, no talking about anything else." And, 10 years and three kids later... that's still what happens. Tiff loves me, knows I love her, and knows that for four hours I love the Giants. And that's okay. Usually she walks in the room and says "how are they doing?", and I grunt happy or - well, if it's bad it's pretty easy to tell...
I know this is a counter-part to the last point, but if there is something in your life that is important to you, even if it is as foolish as a football addiction, own up to it. Because I will choke down broth based soup with peanut butter in it all day for a wife that will respect a clearly set boundary.
3. Like I said, I do not have a ton of things that come to mind. Here is one I wish someone had been man enough to tell me: I hope you enter your marriage without having had sex. If you are in that enviable position (no pun intended) you are going to stink at it. Just understand that your wife doesn't know what she's doing either... You'll figure things out with time. Don't go in with high expectations. Be open with your spouse about what you like, ask her to do the same. Be honest. AND DON'T TALK TO OTHER GUYS ABOUT IT! I hate it when guys come up to me and give me complaints about their sex life or worse-when they brag about it... It's skeezy. That is an intimate relationship with your wife, keep it that way.
That's about all I got folks...
To read my wife's answer to this question click here.
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