Final Friday with Cousin Mars: Marriage Advice – Well…kinda

I’ve heard the term “Birds of a feather flock together” throughout my childhood. I felt as though my mother and most influential high school teacher repeated these words to me too often. It frustrated me. By the way, I continued hearing this through college and even in the work place. When I got engaged, I started reminding myself of this all too familiar phrase. Having matured a great deal since I first heard those six words phrased together, I felt I should heed the advice I had been receiving for three decades. Since better understanding the term as a young adult, I started to share this jewel myself. How does this relate to my Cousin Mars’ Final Fridays post? I’ll tell you.

Due to horrifying statistics surrounding marriage and its failure rate, I wanted to give my marriage the best possible chance of breaking negative expectations. Because I accepted not knowing too much about what to expect after marriage, I made the decision to research almost everyone in my circle. I spoke with those that are married as well as those that are separated and/or divorced. During my engagement, I realized as it relates to marriage – birds of a feather may actually flock together. Understand that all rules have some wiggle room. This “rule” is no different. My research concluded (for me at least) that examining the relationships in my circle and discussing the strengths of individuals around me could potentially help my marriage. I understand all relationships are different. However, I also feel certain traits and behaviors are transferable. I was able to infuse jewels from various people to help my marriage. Some friends are more supportive of their spouses. Some colleagues are more encouraging of their spouses. Some acquaintances are better listeners in their marriage. Compiling and deciphering through this information with hopes of taking the best of it and using it to create as healthy and happy of marriage possible for me has so far proven to be a good method.

Sooooo, would you like me to share some of what I learned? Here are just a few of the Rules of Marriage shared with me. See below:

First 15 Minute Rule
The first 15 minutes the two of you share at home in the evening will probably dictate the rest of the night. It is always a good idea to start with a kiss and a compliment.

Amnesia Rule
Having convenient amnesia often helps a marriage. If she annoyed the hell out of you yesterday – leave that with yesterday’s stuff. In other words FUGGET ABOUT IT! Trust me, rarely is it a big deal.

Date Night Rule
It is important to continue dating while married. Remember – this includes placing the same importance on appearance as you did before jumping the broom.

Recent Picture Rule
Don’t allow laziness and a new found comfort prevent you from attempting to resemble the “you” in your wedding pictures. Understanding that life throws curve balls and priorities change, make sure to always give the effort towards remaining – as long as possible – the person your spouse fell in love with.

S/He’s Thinking It Too Rule
Your spouse probably has a similar list of things you do that irritate her/him. Wait! Did you really think it was just one sided? You must not have been paying attention.

After writing this post I realize that I need to step my game up in a few areas. Consider this a reminder that it is easy to allow the day-to-day stuff we call life to cause a temporary memory/judgment lapse causing one to stumble a bit. A loving spouse understands this will occasionally happen. Bottom line — remember who you chose to spend the rest of your life with and make their choice look like the best decision they ever made. As for the Birds of a feather… cliche, I’ve tried to flock with the husbands and wives I admire and respect most. I will never try to mimic another couple’s relationship, but I will not be foolish and ignore gems that I feel can help my own.

Read previous posts from Cousin Mars here and revisit his amazing four country bachelor trip here.

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    Comments

    1. As usual, a ton of jewels in this post. Also, the fact that you guys are close to us is a nice compliment on the progressive work we’re putting in our own relationship. I like those rules.

    2. I could not be more proud of your wisdom! Parents are supposed to teach their children but, I continually learn from you. Growing up, Respect was my mother’s mantra. You’ve earned mine, big time. One Love!

    3. I recently started following this blog & I love it. Today’s post is awesome. Thanks for sharing some of your rules.

    4. This is such an awesome post. Continue thinking/doing what you’re doing in your marriage and when challenges occur just remember your rules from this post..

    5. OMG, I’m sticking these rules to my fridge.

    6. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      Well isn’t this a love fest in the comment section? LOL. Seriously Mars, thank you for your continued candidness. I’d also like to commend you on seeing value in the healthy relationships of your peers. It may seem like a no brainer but far too often people allow jealously to take over and therefore miss the gems you pointed out in your post.

    7. Ed Smith says:

      Bravo, cousin. It SHOULD (wow–that word is full of so many plusses/minuses and everything in-between) be clear to every adult who has not been living in a cave that marriage is not only a commitment, but also an investment–in yourself as well as your significant other. If you want the best return you have to pay attention to the marketplace (friends with the most successful relationships) and maybe even copy their strategies. (MEN TAKE NOTE: THE WIVES ARE TALKING AMONGST THEMSELVES AND YOU SHOULD TOO!)
      Also, try to look ahead. Make an educated guess about what is likely to happen if you/she does x/y/or z. Don’t be obviously caught unaware/sideswiped (your assessment) by a situation you could have handled yesterday/last week but instead chose to fix yourself a sandwich and watch the game/s. Believe it or not, the game will go on without you; your marriage will not.
      Keep repeating the phrase: “YOU GOTTA BE IN IT TO WIN IT!” “YOU GOTTA… .”

    8. Matthew B says:

      Good points. Even though im not in the same exact situation as Cousin Mars, the 15 minute rule can apply to any relationship. It just makes the rest of the day/night go that much smoother.

    9. Great post. Date Night is a “must-have” in my marriage. Sometimes we go out, sometimes we stay home and watch a movie, play the Wii together or just sit in the same room and talk with no t.v. I’ve found that after we have some time to just have fun together, I feel much more connected to my husband. It reminds me of the fun, awesome guy I married. We really look forward to having that time together. Date Night has definitely played a part in the success of my marriage.

    10. Cousin Mars says:

      Thank you for the comments. Triple B has continued to be a platform that allows all relationship topics to be discussed. I’m excited to be one of the contributors of this movement.

    11. Gerald McCoy says:

      I agree with most of the rules especially the “Recent Picture” and “She’s Thinking It Too”. Not too sure about the First 15 minutes though. We live such hectic lives and I’m busy with so many projects that I would hope our first 15 minutes seeing each other wouldn’t dictate the rest of the night. But yeah, it’s probably not ever good to start your evening off with a dirty look or a nasty comment…

    12. It looks like I’m getting several guys to comment. Excellent! Feel free to share some rules you follow that I didn’t include in this post.

    13. Great posting! Sometimes its the simplest things that are overlooked. I concur that those first 15 minutes are vital for the remainder of evening.

    14. That’s that skippy Cuz! Me and the Mrs. are hitting year 13 and were dating long before that. While we’re different people our focus is very much the same and our interests are very similar. Marriage requires work and attentiveness. As long as you guys are locked into the goal of being happy and creating happiness and the space for it in each other’s lives it becomes less work and more life. Blessings to you and the Mrs.!! I hope you count me as one of the folks you can use as a sounding board. Keep it Strong!

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