The honeymoon phase of relationships can be broken down into three simple lines of a Hall and Oates song:
I, I ‘ll do anything that you want me to do.
(I’ll wash your clothes. All of the clothes. Every day of my life.)
And I’ll do almost anything that you want me to.
(I’ll take out the trash for you, but just this one time. I don’t want to make a habit of this or anything.)
I can’t go for that. No, I can’t go for that.
(Cook every night? Meals? From scratch?)
My husband realized the jig was up when he looked into our closet, and my side looked like a Kohl’s had thrown up all over it. Gone were the days of me hiding my messes to appear neat and organized. I was free. Nothing lasts forever, including organization in my closet. The honeymoon phase of marriage is simply one section of marriage. It ends when you start to get comfortable enough to show the other person that you’re a fan of the five-second rule, and he’s so germaphobic that when you get sick, he checks into a hotel. Here are a few other signs the newlywed phase is newly no more:
1. You wonder, “When did they start doing that?” (The answer is, they probably have their entire life. Surprise!)
2. You have to internally debate if you should leave the room when your spouse snores or hit them with a pillow.
3. You ask yourself, “Who is this person?”
4. You seriously consider making a PowerPoint presentation on the mechanics of how to load a dishwasher.
5. You both fall asleep on a Friday evening before 9 p.m. during the opening credits of a movie.
6. You both fall asleep while waiting to put the kids to bed because, Peppa Pig.
7. You can sit without exchanging a single word and feel more comfortable than ever with each other.
8. You know when to leave the other person alone and give them their space.
9. You confess you never liked pancakes and only said you did because he was so excited about making them when you first started dating.
10. You start to accept things about them you can’t change.
11. You learn to work around their flaws and they around yours.
12. You are not only willing to confront your spouse with the fact that no one cares which way the toilet paper rolls, you will throw down over it too.
13. You no longer care how you dress.
14. They no longer care how you dress because it doesn’t define their love.
15. They tell you your cat is weird and not right in the head.
16. You declare how much you hate cooking.
17. They agree that you cook poorly.
18. You agree about your cooking without taking offense or having hurt feelings.
19. You laugh about how terrible dinner is and order takeout.
20. You start working together as one unit, rather than two individuals.
It’s not a bad thing. It’s simply a part of the evolution of marriage. Unlike Hollywood’s portrayal of what love should be, love is really a decision to stay with the person you chose to be with despite their flaws. The honeymoon period is the realization that sometimes you give more than you get; you take more than you give. There’s no equal balance. You both have flaws, but you understand each other’s shortcomings and weaknesses, and maybe the other person helps compensate with their strengths.
If you both work hard, at some point, you will hit a phase where you are so familiar with the other that arguing over little thing stops and stress becomes something shared to even the weight. Laughter is easily accessible, and there is an ample quantity of familiar love. Everything adjusts. Except for which way the toilet paper rolls. I can’t go for that. No, I can’t go for that.