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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Marriage advice from Slashdot!

Intelligent people do not need the kind of rubberstamp advice you find in self-help books. As long you remain honest, open and calm, you are very well off. Not doing stupid thing like playing WoW (ATTN! compare to watching football with you buddies and sipping beer) through your anniversary helps, too.

I can't second this enough. In the 4.5 years I've been married, the ONLY time we ever ran into any real trouble was when I tried to "manage" information. The excuse you'll typically tell yourself if tempted to do this is that it's to "spare her feelings", "you couldn't cope with it then", or "spare us an unnecessary fight". Those are excuses...the real reason is you don't want to deal with her reaction and the fallout. Don't give in to that temptation. Be honest, and demand honesty from your partner. That, and a good dose of compatabiltiy and love, will take you through just about anything).

The other underlying principle I'd add is: take the attitude that you're a team, and its you against the world--not necessarily in a combative sense, but in a "we stick together" and an economic (perhaps competative) sense. If you do these two things, you'll do well, and weather just about any storm.

There are other obvious guidelines, like not tearing each other down to your friends (even joking about the ball-and-chain will propogate memes that undermine what you have, so don't do it), not engaging in activity that can result in relationship-destroying behavior that you'll regret--like drunken "boy's nights out" in nightclubs or pick-up joints, or my personal favorite: these idiotic bachelor parties/stag dos that people go on right before they tie the knot (talk about laying the groundwork for a divorce before you're even married) ... but these are all common sense things that are directly derived from the two basic principles above: be absolutely honest with each other even when (or more precisely, especially when) it is difficult, and stick together as a team against the inevitable external pressures that the rest of the world will exert (in whatever form it takes, be it economic, cultural, external tempation, vicious inlaws, jealous exes, or whatever).

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