Last week’s article, Marriage: Expectations versus Reality was a huge success. Seriously, my average readership (based on those who read the blog as opposed to those that read the email) was up over 900%. A special thanks goes out to the three people who clicked on the ad for the laxative medication, you know who you are. Because of your support I was able to make $0.13 and as a result my family didn’t go hungry this week. I’m kidding of course, I do not make any money off my blog, that right is reserved solely for WordPress, I merely write for the entertainment of others. Due to the widespread popularity of last week’s article I decided to give an encore presentation this week, however, instead of a continuation of the expectations versus reality theme I’ve decided to address some of the sillier things that couples fight about, but before we dive into that I would like to take a moment of silence to remember my fellow husbands in arms who have perished in the battles over toilet seat position…
Toilet Seat Position
Girls claim the seat should always be down (but rarely bother to close the lid); guys have the tendency to leave the lid up. The battlefield of marriage is littered with the corpses of poor souls who have perished while defending their right to not have to bend over to close the lid. What most women fail to realize is that men are typically very environmentally conscious and many of us spend our nights concerned about global warming. Leaving the seat up is simply our way of combating said phenomenon. You see, as water evaporates it serves as an overall cooling effect on the surrounding air, this means that leaving the lid up and the water in the bowl exposed to the atmosphere we are doing our part to help the environment and to offset our carbon footprint.* If you find that toilet seat position is a source of conflict in your marriage I recommend arm wrestling as a method of settling the disagreement, the winner determines ultimate seat position.
*Welcome to “A Clever Name for a Blog” where the science is made up and the facts don’t matter.
Toilet Paper: Over or Under
Couples often fight over the silliest little things, things that most unmarried people simply do not understand. They do not understand because they have never been thrown into a whirlwind of change where every single detail of how you run your life is suddenly called into question, a life where you are simply looking for a single shred of normalcy amidst a tumultuous storm of chaos and change. This battle is surprising considering the preponderance of evidence demonstrating that there is only one correct way to thread the toilet paper. As the graphic above demonstrates the science is clear, over is the only way to go. Additionally, there is a significant amount of evidence in the medical community that shows men who put the toilet paper under the roll are 47% more likely to develop prostate cancer later in life. Do your part, fight cancer, use science, and put the toilet paper on the right direction. Alternatively, you can use the tried and true method, a method guaranteed to annoy your spouse and guests alike; just place the roll on top of the dispensing apparatus.
Let me take a moment and speak to those of you who disagree with my thoughts on the matter. I’m sorry that you are wrong, but the science* is irrefutable. Compromise is the essence of respecting each other’s opinions, no matter how wrong yours may be.
Where to Squeeze the Toothpaste Tube
If there is one thing that most often gets overlooked going into a marriage it is how your spouse squeezes the toothpaste tube. Believe me, this is something you need to find out before you get married, before you make a lifelong commitment to somebody whose toothpaste practices should be in violation of the Geneva Convention. There are those that try to argue that squeezing the toothpaste tube in the middle is a sign of living life vicariously, of living a life beyond the structure society forces upon us. They say these people are fun-loving and often the life of the party… Yea, I don’t buy that. You know the picture above that says “Some men just want to watch the world burn?” Those are the type of people that squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle.
Much like last week, this entire newsletter has been written in jest, however, each of the items listed above represents an actual conflict in a marriage. Numerous couples all over the United States (I would say all over the world, but there are a number of places in the world that don’t use toothpaste… or toilet paper… or toilets for that matter) have had a fight about one of these items, some of them all three. What often times is not communicated to newlyweds is that conflict is a normal part of any healthy marriage. Notice I said a healthy marriage. That’s right, conflict and how you learn to deal with it contributes to your overall wellbeing as a spouse.
Fair warning, if you’re not interested in hearing me get preachy about marriage you may want to skip the rest of this newsletter. *Steps up on a soapbox*
There was a recent article in Time Magazine that sported a survey claiming that nearly half of millennials would support a two-year trial license on marriage. This is not to say that millennials are the only generation that has an issue with divorce rates, only that the divorce rates among millennials are bad and that they will likely get worse as more of them get married. This breaks my heart because it represents a fundamental misunderstanding of what marriage is. Millennials have, in large part, been raised with the mindset that conflict should be avoided at nearly any cost and this is starting to show up in their marriages. When they first encounter conflict in their marriage they are not equipped with the tools to resolve that conflict and instead of sticking with it the easy solution is to seek an out. Of course I don’t mean that the first time a couple fights they wind up getting divorced, but if that couple does not resolve the conflict it will keep snowballing until eventually an avalanche of anger and hurt feelings tears the relationship apart. Marriage is a life-time commitment to another person regardless of your ability (or inability) to handle their problems or your own. Marriage is a commitment to your spouse that says, “no matter what happens, I will always forgive you,” because in fact, this is exactly what Christ has said to us as believers. “Child, no matter what happens, I will always love you and I will always forgive you.”**
So, J, A (does this make us cousin-in-laws?), remember that your vows constitute a commitment to each other to always forgive the other, regardless of if you feel like it, regardless of if they deserve it or not. When things get tough, and believe me, they will; they may get tough enough that you start praying, “God, I meant it when I said ‘until death do us part,’ but I’m not certain how much more of this I can take so kill me now,” but when things get tough, remember just how much you have already been forgiven, and how much you have to forgive your spouse will pale in comparison.
**No, this isn’t a red-letter edition and no, that is not a direct quote from Scripture.