30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: #11 NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

The Internet is forever

Modern Proverb

This is the only bit of advice that I have given in all caps but it is about as critical as it gets.

In life there are always frustrations and in the days before the internet people vented in a bar, or to a friend or, as I like to do, take my frustrations out on a pinball machine (nothing better when you need to relax). It can be very healthy to vent one’s frustrations.

However it is not healthy to do so on social media.

Social media is good for many things but venting at a moment in anger isn’t one of them. When angry one is liable to say things that we instantly regret, picture saying or writing said thing on a permanent platform where the world can see it and comment on it, and where it never disappears (don’t think for one moment it won’t get screen caped).

We’ve all made the mistake of saying things in anger to a spouse, don’t compound said error by doing it so on facebook, twitter, snapchat or anywhere else where there will it has the potential of doing permanent damage to a relationship.

Incidentally it goes without saying that this advice is worthwhile for things far beyond marriage.

The 30 Tips to Say Married 30 years so far

30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years: #10 Remember Birthdays and Anniversaries

Captain Parmenter: Now Jannie I told you I would write you, and I’ll even send you a birthday present every June.

Wrangler Jane: Thank you, and I won’t open it till November, [sobbing], on my BIRTHDAY!

F-Troop A Fort’s best friend is not a mother. 1966

I was actually planning a different tip to do next but yesterday was DaWife’s birthday so all the plans went out the window, which makes this a perfect time to put up this tip: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries.

Granted in these days of smartphones and various planners and Alexa who can remind you of days you’ve forgotten this tip seems almost anachronistic. But remembering a day is more than just knowing what the day is.

It’s actually celebrating said day, showing appreciation for the fact that your spouse is there, even if it just making up a silly song for a birthday (I recommend my “Hooray You’re not Dead!” song) to let said spouse know that you’re glad to share the day with them.

And one should always remember that while stuff is cool it tends to just accumulate, it’s time that is the greatest gift as we all have a limited amount of it (see the song above). Give that time to your spouse on that day and if it means something else goes by the wayside, such as posting is lite, your podcast late or even that the latest tip in the 30 tips to stay married 30 years misses a day, That’s OK too!

Next to your children your spouse and marriage should be of greatest value to you, act accordingly, particularly on the days that celebrate them.

The 30 Tips to Say Married 30 years so far

Hooray You’re Not Dead! The DaTechGuy Birthday Song I Sang My Wife Today

Are you sick of the boring: “Happy Birthday” or “Today is your birthday” well if you are you can sing this birthday song that I made up yesterday and sang to my wife this morning.

Hooray You’re not Dead the DaTechGuy Birthday Song!
(Sung to the tune of three blind mice)

  Hooray you’re not Dead!
Hooray you’re not dead!
You haven’t died yet!
You haven’t died yet! ♫

You’re birthday’s come and you’re still here
But the future isn’t exactly clear
So let’s raise a glass and give a cheer
Hooray your not dead!

30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: #9 Don’t Diss your Spouse to your friends

Marisa: Can you keep a secret?
Caroline: Yes of course.
Marisa: Good. So can I.

Maid in Manhattan 2002

This is a corollary to the our last tip about going to parents or older relatives for advice.  There are times when your spouse is going to drive you nuts and you will want to vent about your spouse, when that time comes, make sure you don’t do that venting to friends, particularly in a group.

There is nothing that will start the seeds of trouble in a marriage that gossip about a spouse, and there is no secret less likely to be kept than gossip made about a spouse with a group of friends

One of the best bits of advice I ever heard came from my former radio co-host Joe Mangicotti on the subject of gossip reminding people that the problem with gossiping about people when you’re with a group is sooner or later you will leave the table and the subject of the gossip will be about you. (An example of this literally took place a few minutes ago while I was finishing a previous column in this series while dining out in an intimate public place.  One person commented on the longevity of their marriage and as soon as said person left a company of comments concerning said person’s infidelities was the public talk of everyone around me.)

Gossip within a group or even with a friends has an excellent chance of spreading, particularly in the social media age, back to a spouse who will not be amused to be used as a punching bag in front of other people.  It also has the real potential to backfire on you within said group as well or to cause members of the group to treat your spouse differently which will only add to tensions that exist.

This is one of the easiest ways to break trust and one of the hardest to repair later.

So do yourself a favor, if you’re out with the boys and/or girls and your angry with your spouse about something keep it under your hat and if you aren’t capable of doing so postpone that night out for another time.

Your marriage will thank you for it.

The 30 Tips to Say Married 30 years so far

30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: #8 If Possible Take Advantage of Your Parent’s Advice

James McCandles: Do this, do that! I’m gonna do whatever I want!

Sam Sharpnose: You do what he tells you, every time he tells you and we might come through this alive! Might even save the boy. Otherwise you’re gonna get yourself killed. Don’t matter to me, but you’ll probably get him killed too, and that does.

Big Jake 1971

This is one piece of advice that is completely conditional for several reasons:

  • 1. Many people are getting married later so it is very possible that their parents are no longer alive.
  • 2. In this era many people have divorced parents separated by distance or come from a single parent household and never knew one of them.

Nevertheless if you are in a position to get the advice of a parent by all means take it.

Your parents whether successful or not in marriage themselves not only bring years of life experience to the table but are a source of unconditional love and support.  There are going to be times when you need to vent in a marriage and such venting is best with a person with more life experience than you.

Thanks to current technology you are in a position to speak to parents “face to face” on a daily basis in a way that couples in the past can not. Of course if they live close enough to be directly engaged with your family on a regular basis it is even better.

Parents are the best choice, they can see things from outside of a circle of friends, furthermore they are less likely to have a side agenda that they are trying to promote.

Your parents want your life to work, let them help you.

A final thought, if for whatever reason parents are unavailable or inappropriate for such advice, an older Uncle or Aunt can serve this function.

The 30 Tips to Say Married 30 years so far

30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years: Today’s Tip #7 Embrace Your Mother-In-Law

Mr. Cornblow: [To the camera after the sheikh’s 28 gorgeous wives exit the bridal tent] Just remember every single one of those girls has a mother.

Groucho Marx of The Marx Brothers A Night in Casablanca 1946 (deleted scene)

One of the first bits of advice I remember hearing on marriage came when I was a little kid talking to my Dad.  He had told me that when he got married his father told him to make sure he treated his mother-in-law better than he treated his mother.

He lived this out   In 1968 he moved out of the neighborhood full of his family to build next door to his newly widowed mother-in-law and helped take care of her as needed till the day she died.

Now you don’t have to go to this extreme but that advice remains good.

Remember your spouse’s family is a part of them, the better your relationship with them the better your relationship will be with him or her.  There are a valuable source of information about what your spouse likes and dislikes if you want to set up a surprise or avoid offense.  Furthermore unless there is a specific break those parents are likely the folks they will confide in case of trouble so they will likely indirectly clue you in if there is an issue that is a potential time bomb that you might be completely oblivious to.

And of course the better your relationship with your in-laws the more active they are likely to be when the children come along.  Grandparents who are present and visible not only makes child rearing easier but will make for happier children.

Now there are some caveats here, if there is a big rift between your spouse and the folks then you have to thread carefully.  If there is a divorce involved while you want to embrace both parents and/or step parents the advantages I speak of will only apply to the parent the spouse is close to and you want to be careful to be not to choose a side that will cause a split with your spouse.

Either way the old saying runs through, you ARE marrying the family when you marry so it behooves you to do your best to make not only a happy home but a happy extended family.

Your spouse will thank you for it…maybe even for 30 years.

The 30 Tips to Say Married 30 years so far

30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years, Today: #6 Live Modestly

Mr. Potter: Now let’s look at your side. A young man, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, married, making, say, forty a week.

George Bailey: Forty-five!

Mr. Potter: Forty-five. Forty-five. Out of which, after supporting your mother and paying your bills, you’re able to keep, say, ten, if you skimp. A child or two comes along and you won’t even be able to save the ten.

It’s a Wonderful Life 1946

There is a real trap that takes place early in marriage you’ve just come off a honeymoon. You’ve been showered with gifts and unlike year past you likely have two incomes coming in instead of one. It’s very easy with a start like this to begin living high or at least higher than you did before.

This is a trap worth dodging and that’s done by living modestly.

Early in the marriage is the time to build that nest egg for those inevitable expenses that will come. If you have some left over cash from the wedding, pay down or off your credit cards. If you don’t concentrate on eliminating any existing debts that you brought with you. The fastest way to get rich is to leave below your means, that’s also the fastest way to get out of debt.

If you were in the habit of eating out three times a week, make it two instead. Did you go out for lunch at work regularly, take a lunch instead. Put off that latest iPhone or TV upgrade or that new car and don’t worry what your neighbors or friends have. Do half of what you’re used to doing (and make that half count) and put that money aside.

Once your debts are gone build your savings. Get that first thousand in the bank and once it becomes two put that 2nd thousand in a CD and keep doing it. If you get a raise at work put that increase directly into savings, save up for that house and once you get that mortgage put an extra hundred or two toward it.

Money Problems are one of the most common sources of tension in marriage and will stalk a couple like a wolf at the door. Living modestly will keep that wolf at bay.

The 30 Tips to Say Married 30 years so far

30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years: #5 Set Limits Early

Tommy: She said I could have one if it was dusty.

Mac: Wife don’t like him to drink.

Jimmy Ringo: Don’t blame her….[pleasant conversation as they drink together] That’s fine, have one with me

Tommy: No thanks. ONE is what she said

The Gunfighter 1950

This one is very hard.

There are certain things that are important to individuals for whatever reason, either they value them or they hate them with a passion.

These things develop over our youth and by the time we’re getting married they are ingrained, sometimes to a degree where we think Of COURSE everyone feels the same way.

It can be a thing as simple as putting pans away a certain way or as complicated as an annual pilgrimage. With my brother Tony it was clothes, he told his wife to be in no uncertain clothes that nobody washed clothes but him, but whatever it is, you need to discuss it with your fiancée /wife/husband. Before marriage is best but if you wait till after the nuptials do it quick.

The sooner these limits are set the less likely they will fester into resentment and if for some reason this contradicts something important to your spouse it’s best to get it out there early while still in the throes of the enchantment of new marriage when you are likely to resolve it, than to have it out when that factor is no longer there and you’ve had years of silence breeding resentment that will burst out when you’re angry.

It will pay off in the long run, my brother Tony will be married 48 years all of which involved him doing the laundry to his wife’s delight.

Previously in 30 tips to stay married 30 years:

30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: #4 Don’t Write Your Own Vows

Charlie Anderson:
 Do you like her?

Lt. Sam: Well, I just said I…

Charlie Anderson: No, no. You just said you loved her. There’s some difference between lovin’ and likin’. When I married Jennie’s mother, I-I didn’t love her – I liked her… I liked her a lot. I liked Martha for at least three years after we were married and then one day it just dawned on me I loved her. I still do… still do. You see, Sam, when you love a woman without likin’ her, the night can be long and cold, and contempt comes up with the sun.

Shenandoah 1965

One of the most common things I’ve seen in the days since marriage has been removed from churches have been people writing their own vows.

Many of these vows are flowery, beautiful words, remembering pleasant times together and looking forward to a bright future together and to be sure I don’t doubt that when those vows were being made the couples making them were convinced that this would be the case forever.

Ah the optimism of youth.

It is true that love is a grand thing and that the vow to a love is a part of marriage but what IS love?

Love is being true not just when things are going well, but when everything is falling down around you. Love is standing with someone not just when all the bills are paid and you are going on fine vacations, but when the credit card bills are overwhelming you and your car and house are being repossessed. Love isn’t just devotion during the days of youth and strength, but in the days of infirmity, of age of confusion. Love isn’t just honoring someone when they has position and rank and standing, but when they have no position, no standing and seemingly no prospect for that to change.

The lovely phrases crafted by couples enthralled with the idea of the perfect wedding neglect this reality, but these traditional vows do:

“I, ______, take you, ______, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”

As does the slightly more modern version

“I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”

When you are wedded to a culture that says if it feels good do it and if it doesn’t throw it away, such vows are a scary thing, it acknowledges the reality of what marriage is and is has always been meant to be.

If you want yours to last, take thee traditional vows and acknowledge what a marriage is, you can always say some flowery phrases at the reception before you guests after the real vows are in the bank.

Previously in 30 tips to stay married 30 years:

30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: #3 Get Married in Church

Jesus Christ:Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.

Mark 10:9

I think it’s no coincidence that it’s been years since I’ve been to a wedding at Church and that so many of the weddings I’ve been to during that time have failed.

To many a wedding is just a big party and to be sure a wedding is certainly worthy of the celebrations that insures a large and joyous one if possible.

A Marriage however is more, it’s a legal public acknowledgement that the person next to you is your mate.  It says to the government and the world that the children that come from this union have a mother and a father and that the people involved in said union belong to each other.

But a marriage in church, particularly a sacramental Catholic Marriage is much more. It is that acknowledgement made before God something blessed and holy.  It’s a contract placed before something greater than any mere human industry and done in a ceremony that while joyous, is also consummate with the dignity and the solemnity of the event and the entity that the promise is being made before.

To be sure a church wedding does not guarantee a marriage will survive. From Henry the VIII who was married Catherine of Aragon with the greatest of religious ceremony, to Ronald Reagan to our current President men and women have revoked these public declarations even when made in church.  It wasn’t until the 60’s this become not only more common but accepted and it’s no coincidence that the social ills that come with illigitmacy , single parenthood and absent fathers are now the scourge of society. The Common Thread, the secularization of the society and the removal of God from marriage made this possible.

This comes from treating the marriage contract as a “scrap of paper” to be discarded by men rather than a sacrament made before God to be blessed and kept.