Relationship Advice

Copyright 2001 Kaitlin Duck Sherwood

Here are some relationship strategies that have helped me enormously. My husband greatly appreciates them, too.

  1. My uncle-in-law gifted us with advice that he had been given when he got married: "Never refuse a reasonable request." What this really does is keeps you and honey from playing status games.

  2. "Learn how to say, 'You were right. I was wrong. I'm sorry.'" The Guy and I say that ALL THE TIME. Even for trivial things. Especially for trivial things. That makes it easier to say when the big things come along.

  3. A friend of my mom's told me his story. He said that he would date women who were incredibly sweet and nice to him, so when they ultimately dumped him, he'd hurt like blazes. Finally, he vowed he'd get even. He decided that the next time he got together with a woman, he'd treat her so nicely that if she ever dumped him, she would hurt like blazes. (My husband calls this "pre-emptive revenge".) So I am really nice to hubby so that he wouldn't be able to stand dumping me.

  4. If you're mad at honey, be sure somewhere to say, "Look, I love you and am not going to leave you over this, BUT..." Reassuring honey that you still love honey makes the argument a lot less threatening.

  5. If honey yells at you about something that's making him or her mad, thank him for telling you. (That'll catch honey off guard!) Better honey tells you than lets it fester.

  6. If things have been going well, go up to honey and say, "Can we talk?" Get honey someplace comfy and tell him that you appreciate this/that/whatever and that you're really pleased about how the relationship is going. Get honey so that honey doesn't flinch if you say, "Can we talk?"

  7. If you recognize that you've been slacking on your share of , 'fess up before honey notices. "Honey, I've been really busy with X, and so you've been doing a lot more of the laundry than I have lately. I've noticed that and really appreciate it."

Wedding Advice

If you are getting married soon, I will pass along these pieces of wedding advice:
  1. Keep this really clear in your mind: at the end of your wedding day, you'll be married, and that's really all that matters.

    If the flowers are wilted, the food is cold, and Uncle Fred gets roaring drunk and pees in the corner -- at the end of the day, you'll still be married.

  2. Something will go wrong on your wedding day. Count on it. Get used to that now.

  3. On your wedding day, you can ask anybody who has had a wedding to do anything for you, and they will be happy to oblige. You see, they remember what a zoo it was when they got married. "You want me to drive two hours, break into your apartment, find the wedding rings in your underwear drawer, and drive two hours back? Sure, let me get my keys."

  4. Make someone who is not in the wedding party and who is not in either family your designated feeder. Otherwise, you Will. Not. Eat. There will be a zillion people who you really like who will all want to talk to you. If you are left to your own devices, you won't remember to eat. So have someone chase you around with a plate of food.

  5. Going along with the above, eat well before you start getting ready for the ceremony! Your designated feeder might flake.

  6. Sign up for an expensive pampering session (massage, facial, hot tub, whatever) the day before the wedding. You need some Quality Time away from friends and relatives and the chaos that surrounds the event. The pampering will help you relax and undwind a little -- but make sure to make it something scheduled and expensive so that you can extract yourself from the chaos. "Sorry, gotta go -- I've got a massage appointment at 2 o'clock and if I miss it, I still have to pay for it!"

  7. Think about what traditions are important to you and keep them. Think about which are not important, and feel free to dump them. For example, it didn't make sense to us to have dancing at our outdoor, afternoon reception... so we had croquet instead.

  8. Two traditions that we dumped involved photography. Frequently, a professional photographer is intrusive, and if you want to shoot all the permutations of people, it takes a while. And, if you shoot after the ceremony, your guests will get bored waiting for the reception to start.

    My husband and I scheduled a photo shoot the day before the ceremony for just the two of us. That turned out to be one of the happiest, giddiest hours of my life. It was the two of us and a photographer we felt really comfortable with, all the cellphones and to-do lists were put away, we were in our wedding clothes at our wedding site, with a (second) set of flowers adorning us, together, and had no expectations to fill except to smile and be happy.

    We also provided disposable cameras and asked people to bring their own cameras empty -- we'd provide the film, collect it at the end, and process it. This worked out reasonably well except

    • disposable cameras don't take very good pictures
    • most indoor shots with disposable cameras were no good because people forgot to turn the flash on
    • we got SO MANY pictures that it was hard to choose between them and hard to provide reprints!

  9. Ask your caterers to bring food and drinks up & down the receiving line. Standing in the receiving line is really boring, and people will probably start to get hungry by then. If you take pictures between the ceremony and reception, see if you can get your caterers to pass out hors d'oevres then as well.

  10. The tradition is for the bride and groom to leave immediately after the ceremony. I wish we hadn't -- because the family had all kinds of fun hanging out together the next day.


Copyright 2001 Kaitlin Duck Sherwood