By Mitch Roy
Have you ever looked at someone else’s marriage and wondered what they have that yours doesn’t?
Ever wondered how a couple has managed to stay together in the face of serious problems?
I’ve discovered there are five potential marriage breakers, that turned around, can become marriage savers!
Porn: Here’s the thing about porn: it can and does destroy relationships. But the other thing is, it can and does save relationships. Let’s face it, sex can get boring. You get bored, and you get boring. Sex begins to follow a script because you can’t think of anything else to do. It was uber-exciting years ago, but even the most taboo thing becomes rote and yawn-worthy after awhile. When people started falling into that rut, porn sites were born. This brought a whole new level of things into bedrooms because it gave people a chance to see new things, new positions and new experiences. It also let us suggest new things to our partner without admitting we’d been secretly fantasizing about it all along. “Hey, that looks interesting, want to try it?” while watching a blue movie is a lot safer than sitting your honey down during the Simpsons and admitting curiosity about a new sex act. Check out Magic Mike, a new movie about a male stripper played by Matthew McConaughey for ideas, if outright porn isn’t your thing. Maybe you’ll pick up some new dance moves to show your partner!
Arguments: There is nothing my husband Randy hates more than arguing with me. But I’ve had relationships in the past where we didn’t argue at all. Because we didn’t care. I’m not talking about fights, but just a good old-fashioned argument. It shows passion, and also that you both care enough about the other’s opinions to try and make them see what you’re talking about. Keep it constructive, use a lot of “I” and “me” statements instead of ones that start with “you”. I always know when I’ve gotten too “you-ey” because Randy gets defensive and the whole thing disintegrates.
Financial Troubles: Oy, I sound crazy. But speaking from personal experience, financial trouble can help rekindle interest. You can’t afford to go out, you can’t afford to host dinner parties; you’re sort of stuck with each other. That can bring some intimacy back into your marriage and not just sexually. Play board games. Go through cookbooks and work out menus together. Dig out old movies and watch them together. Randy and I discovered the Wii Bowling game and rediscovered how much fun we used to have back when we had to use our imagination for entertainment.
Kids: And no, I’m not talking about the saccharine, shmoopy thing where you have a baby and suddenly you’re surrounded by butterflies and sunbeams while the two of you smile beatifically at the (peacefully sleeping) Bundle. The reality is, having a baby puts an incredible strain on a marriage. The sleepless nights, relentless crying (yours as well as the baby’s), schedule upheaval and extra expense (not to mention those middle-of-the-night runs to the store for diapers!) can be devastating to you both. But knowing that you can count on your spouse – and they can count on you – to handle things and take good care of the baby when you need a break is a lifesaver. I learned that Randy wouldn’t hesitate to take his turn with the baby, and just knowing I could trust him with that was worth at last two hours’ uninterrupted sleep. Speaking of…
Sleeping Apart: Randy snores. Think: semi jake-breaking down a hill. We spent 15 years with me elbowing him, nudging him, pinching his nostrils together and seriously considering the pillow smothering before finally giving it up as a bad job and he moved into the guest bedroom. This let us both sleep through the night, which makes us both better, happier and saner people. It also insures we both survive the night! But here’s the warning: Randy had sleep apnea and needed a CPAP machine to help regulate his breathing. Once he got it, he was able to move back into our bed with me. If your spouse is snoring badly enough to disrupt your sleep, have them do a sleep-study.
To me, the key to a good marriage is both of you have to do whatever it’s going to take to make the marriage work. If you’re both willing to do that, you can meet any challenge or threat head-on and turn it into something that will only make the marriage stronger.