For years I have been giving sage advice to newlyweds. This is especially important during summer, the height of the wedding season.
One of my best pieces of advice is this: When you return from the honeymoon to your new home there will be a lot of things that need to be done during the course of a normal day - make the bed, wash the dishes, fix dinner, wash clothes, iron, dust, etc.
So here is my advice: When you get home from the honeymoon, for the first two months don't do anything! Whatever job you do during this time period will automatically become your job for the rest of your life.
Make the bed the first day home and you will be making the bed for the next 50 years. Same with making the coffee or setting the alarm clock.
My next advice to newlyweds is this: When something goes wrong no matter how big or how small, no matter what your involvement may or may not be - never admit responsibility.
Taking responsibility for mistakes is normally very honorable. But in a marriage and among family, if you take responsibility for something that goes wrong, you are going to be hearing about it for the rest of your life.
If you burn the turkey for a Thanksgiving dinner, they're going to tell that story every Thanksgiving until your 95 years old. If you run out of gas on the interstate during a vacation, every time the word vacation comes up in conversation your spouse is going to retell that story.
Awhile back some friends of ours decided to replace their front door. She selected and purchased the door. His job was to install it.
Husband: "This door seems a little big. Would you hold it while I try to pound it in with a hammer."
Wife: "Wait a minute! What are you doing? You're going to destroy the door. Look at this. This door is three inches too wide. You can't force that much in with your little hammer."
Husband: "How about a sledge hammer?"
Wife: "We got the wrong size door. How could we get the wrong door?"
Husband: "You were the one who bought it."
Wife: "But you gave me the dimensions."
Husband: "But you must have written them down wrong."
Wife: "Maybe you measured wrong."
Husband: "Come to think of it, I don't remember measuring at all. How could you have purchased a door without knowing what size we needed?"
Wife: "How could you have sent your poor, busy wife out to do this? If you had gone out and bought the door yourself maybe this wouldn't have happened. You wanted me to buy it so you'd have me to blame if something went wrong."
Husband: "It was your idea to replace this door. I was perfectly happy with the old one."
I saw the husband the other day and I asked him if they'd resolved the door problem.
"Absolutely," he said. "We ultimately solved it like any mature and loving couple."
"You compromised and together found a solution?"
"No way," he said. "We sold the house."
I hope the new one doesn't need new doors.
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