I think I’m losing my romantic touch. The other evening I was attempting to flirt with Joel, and I said, “Hey baby, can you do that thing I love so much?”
He looked up from his newspaper and replied, “The dishes or the laundry?”
Pillow talk amounts to discussions about whether we should invest in memory foam or plush down alternatives. I’m a fan of each person having several types of pillows. I like memory foam for under my head, plush down alternative for between my knees, and a couple of smaller microbead cushions for back support and noise reduction. Microbead pillows are safer for noise reduction because a person can breathe a bit through them, whereas the memory foam types may dangerously obstruct respiration. And listeners may remember that a couple of cylinder bolsters can also be used to prop up the snorer’s chin.
It’s not that we don’t make regular attempts to keep the magic alive. The other night, I walked into our room to see Joel folding the last basket of laundry to the sound of the Bee Gees playing softly in the background. I’ve never really liked the Bee Gees, but let me tell you, seeing him doing laundry was a real turn-on.
In an attempt to do some self-examination, and continue to strengthen my marriage, I decided to develop a list of Little Spouse relationship hacks. I’m sharing these for the edification of listeners in the hopes that you’ll share some of your own gems with me. We are never too old to learn.
Do play romantic music to set the mood. It can really make folding the laundry go faster.
Don’t mention dieting. When your spouse hears about it, he’ll lose weight, and that will only get on your nerves and cause you to search for the stash of junk food you directed him to hide from you.
Do compromise. If he likes to watch westerns and you like to watch rom coms, occasionally allow him to read a western while the rom com is playing.
Don’t go to bed mad. Wait until your spouse starts snoring really loudly to get upset; then, since you’ll be up anyway, you can relive all the day’s slights with wide-awake bitterness.
Do dress for success. If he suggests you go and “change into something more comfortable,” don’t be afraid to throw on a pair of grungy sweats and a stained T-shirt.
Don’t hide things. If there’s something you’d prefer your spouse didn’t know about, place it on the dining room table as a centerpiece and he’ll never notice.
Do take turns choosing restaurants. Be gracious when his choice causes food poisoning and projectile vomiting from the kids in the back seat on the way home. After all, he’s going to have to clean the puke off the car seats, and after the fourth or fifth time, that natural consequence will teach him to choose a different place to eat.
Do send little surprise gifts to your spouse’s place of work. And if you don’t get anything back, be satisfied that you didn’t do it for some kind of reward. It should be enough to know that you’re up in the scorebook.
Do understand that it’s hard to argue with someone who’s vacuuming. Vacuuming is also an excellent time to inform your partner of any information you’d rather keep on the down-low.
Don’t forget to laugh together. Seriously, some of the most rewarding and joyful times in marriage come with those barely stifled giggles at midnight. The older I get, the more I realize that being “too cool” to show raw emotion with the people you love is harder on you than it is on the others.
I’m going to work on taking my own advice over the course of the next few weeks. Our relationship is already quite strong, but we don’t want to become complacent or take one another for granted. I’ll let you know how it goes. I hope I don’t have to start too many meaningless arguments to get Joel to vacuum all the floors in our rambling house.
Do you have some relationship hacks you can share with me? Interact on social media and Little Spouse may just feature your comment on an upcoming episode. Check facebook.com/littlespouseontheprairie and Twitter at SpouseOnThePrairie@ValerieKuchera. Be sure and tune in next week.