Everyone’s got an opinion about marriage and relationships. I’m no different. But having been through a divorce (many moons ago), I know one thing for sure; relationships are about the little things.
I’ll tell you that I have on rare occasion, been caught in the crossfire when another couple is having a ‘discussion’. And my only real opinion on the matter is, exactly as I stated above.
Love isn’t about grand gestures, or making an actual effort on Valentine’s Day. Making a relationship work takes two people; not one working their ass off to keep the damn thing afloat, and the other focusing only on themselves. When there are children involved, that takes two, too. It’s not just Mom’s job, simply because she’s the one who stays home with the kids, while Dad goes out to work. When dad gets home, and takes some sort of break from the day, it’s his job to see that mom gets a break too. She didn’t have those kids by herself, why is it only her job to cater to those little beings that they both created?
When I was first divorced, the husband of a friend said to me, “How do you think we can make it so that we don’t end up in your boat?” (Nice, right?) To which I simply answered, “Unload the dishwasher.” He looked at me, thinking that those three words were the punchline to some unspoken joke, but I was dead serious. I explained, “if you do things for her, they don’t need to be huge things, but they should be the things that she’ll have to do if you don’t. Things like unloading the dishwasher, bathing the kids, reading them a bedtime story, vacuuming the damned stairs…all of those things, are things that she has to do if you don’t. And if you do them, it makes her feel like you’re conscious of everything that she has to do, and are willing to help ease some of the work for her. Trust me. You wanna get laid on the regular? Unload the dishwasher.” He laughed, but I was, and am dead serious.
Making a relationship work takes two people, who’re both of the opinion that “if I do something for him/her, she/he won’t have to do it…”. Those things don’t have to be huge things, but they should be regular occurrences (like every day), they should be reciprocal (none of this one-sided nonsense), and they should be sincere.