My husband and I are in our 18th year of marriage. Over that many years, you gain a deeper understanding of what words like love, commitment, support, annoyance, frustration and forgiveness really mean. While it’s certainly not sunshine and roses all day, every day, being married can be pretty freaking awesome. Here’s why:
1. Not having to date. No waiting for a guy to call, no wondering whether or not your partner is really into you, no uncomfortable conversations about where you think this is headed. I do not miss any of that awkwardness and uncertainty at all.
2. Not having to shave religiously. Don’t get me wrong—I’m a shaver, but it’s more for my own comfort than for my husband. If I want to ditch the razor for a while in the winter months, it’s all good. Hubby don’t care.
3. Burping and farting and not being embarrassed. (Tee hee hee *snort* Bodily functions are funny.)
4. Sharing household duties. I’m admittedly a little spoiled in this area, since I married a guy whose parents owned a janitorial service and who is well-trained in mopping floors. It’s sanity-saving to have another grown-up to dust, do laundry, and pull long-lost LEGOs out from under the couch.
5. Sharing kid duties. Take the awesomeness of No. 4 and multiply it by 40. Parenting is a crap ton of work. Single parents amaze me. My husband and I can barely keep up with three kids between the two of us. I can’t imagine going it alone.
6. Warm up your feet at night—naturally.
7. Having someone to Netflix and chill with, and I mean actually watch Netflix and actually chill, at the end of the day and actually like it.
8. Not having to call sex “Netflix and chill.”
9. Having better sex. It’s a common myth that married couples’ sex lives will inevitably fizzle out, but I don’t think that’s true at all. If you can push through the little kid years of physical and mental exhaustion, the intimacy of marriage can create a really fun sexual playground.
10. Having a cuddle buddy. As fun as sex can be, sometimes you just want to be close without expending any energy. It’s lovely to be able to say, “I’m not up for a romp tonight—let’s snuggle.”
11. Having someone to come rescue you when you try to pull a casserole dish out of the top cabinet, start pulling everything else out with it, and can do nothing but teeter there with your arms fully stretched above your head while you precariously keep it all from crashing onto your head.
12. Having someone who understands how the remote control works. I have a college degree and still can’t figure that sucker out.
13. Being told you’re beautiful when you’re sitting bleary-eyed on the couch in your jammies and haven’t even had your coffee yet.
14. Sharing the driving on road trips. I love to drive, but not for hours and hours at a time. Being able to relax in the car and stare at the pretty scenery is a highly underrated perk of life partnership. And when the kids are little, having a co-pilot to hand out snacks and wipes and pick up dropped binkies is a huge bonus.
15. Being able to say to the kids, “Go ask your other parent,” when you don’t have the mental or emotional stamina to field one more freaking question.
16. Having someone to vent to without being judged. Sometimes you just need to complain about everything for a minute and get it out of your system. Spouses are great sounding boards.
17. Having a soft place to land at the end of a hard day. Sometimes you just need to curl up and let the day dissolve. Spouses make great teddy bears.
18. Constantly learning new things about one another. People are pretty fascinating, and life partners are especially so. It’s really cool to watch a person unfold over time, to witness the way they change, and the way you change along with them.
19. Being able to say almost anything and know that you’re not going to scare them away. There’s a magic in being vulnerable with someone and a beauty in feeling safe enough to do so.
20. Having someone to pick up the slack when you’re sick. Parenting when you’re sick is a big fat NO. There’s nothing more endearing than a partner who makes you honey lemon tea and keeps the kids out of the bedroom while you binge watch Downton Abbey and complain that you’re dying.
21. Being able to be you—all you, nothing but you—and having that be cherished.
22. Getting tax breaks, having someone to do your taxes with, and having someone to complain with about doing your taxes.
23. Communicating with a look. It might be “Are you effing kidding me?” or it might be “Hey baby, how you doin’?” but when you’re married long enough, you can practically have a whole conversation without words.
24. Building memories and reliving them over and over. The best part of being married a long time is the ever-growing archive of stories and memories you collect together. There’s comfort in sharing life experiences—good and bad—as a team.
I know that not everyone is thriving in their married life and that I’m fortunate to have an amazing spouse, but I also think people can be too quick to tear down marriage in general. Sure, it can be challenging at times and good relationships require work, but marriage really can be fabulous way to live.