Today Alyssa is back with Ask Team Practical Friday, talking about fun in marriage (and good sex). Because yes, both totally exist. Also, while I’m at it, I should clue you in on a little secret. Alyssa has started up her own blog called Kind of a Mess, where she’s hilarious every day of the week. I’ve been bugging her to do this for well over a year, since back when she was what David called “Lysachelle, Meg’s biggest fan!” and when I would cry about my blog re-launch he would tell me, “Don’t worry, Lysachelle will still read it!” Anyway, now we know Lysachelle’s real name is Alyssa, and she’s hilarious in real life too, and she finally has her own blog. Except don’t read it now, because first you want to read her post, and share your secret marital fun. And then read it. Obviously.
Today’s question is a little different but more important than you’d think upon first reading.
A. asks, “I see a lot of talk about the seriousness of marriage and how you’ll be and how important it is. But what about the fun? My partner and I are fun, and we do a lot of great things together. I’m worried that the fun will stop after marriage. It’s not that I’m afraid of commitment or that marriage will change us. But married couples just don’t seem too…fun. I don’t want marriage to make us (and our sex life) boring, like an old couple in a cafe who don’t speak to each other.”
Well, fun just depends on your attitude. Just the fact that you’re thinking about it makes it less likely to happen. If you expect to be old and boring when you get married, you probably will. But if you go into your marriage thinking, “A. and N. Super couple of awesomeness. This will not stop,” well then, the party should keep on rocking. Keep your relationship flexible to handle any natural changes, but if fun is your priority, then keep it at the top of your to-do list.
The problem is not that you might turn out to be un-fun, but that you might have some bad information about marriage. And at APW, clearing up misconceptions is what we do best.
It wasn’t clear from your letter what kind of fun you mean, but keep in mind that fun is subjective. Your fun is not going to be another couple’s fun, so don’t compare yourself or look to others to judge your relationship. Especially since you only view snippets of other people’s relationships at any given time. That old couple in the cafe? There is a distinct chance that they finish up their nice silent brunch, and then run home and strip down buck nekkid and play canasta. Your fun is not their fun. (Editors note: or IS it?)
Decide what kind of fun you want. Maybe you want to sail around the world (or maybe you really don’t, I’m not sure I do, I just want to read about it). Maybe you want to buy chickens. Maybe you want to read decorating magazines next to your husband on a hot summer day. Maybe you want to make your husband a boob cake (What? I just gratuitously linked to my new blog. Meg said it was ok. Deal with it.) Regardless, sit down and make yourself a list of what’s fun for you both.
And don’t feel like in order to be “fun” you need to be out all the time DOING something. Just like weddings, your fun with your honey needn’t always be spectacularly blog-worthy. I feel I really did learn about love from “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Remember that scene where they’re lying in bed, smothering each other with a pillow? That was the WEIRDEST thing when I first saw it when I was single and dating. “WHAT are they doing? That’s so freaky,” said I, Miss Judy Judger.
But now? Now I realize that when you’re married (or even in a long-term relationship) and you spend LOADS of time with each other…you do weird crap. Things that you don’t think about and conversations that don’t faze you, but if someone suddenly opened a window into your life and peeked in, they’d be flabbergasted and possibly appalled. You develop strange inside jokes that are unexplainable. You find things that you enjoy together that you might never do by yourself or with friends. (That couple that talks about redoing their bathroom with excitement? They really are having fun.) There’s nothing wrong with being strange with each other. The best part of coupling up is that you can truly be yourself. That doesn’t make you guys weird. That makes you awesome. (Okay, and maybe a little weird.)
And the jokes about married sex being boring? LIES. Hello, sex with someone you’re madly in love with is good even when it’s mediocre. Plus, when you’re married, you get a chance to do the crazy sexy-time things that you always wanted to, but didn’t want to try for fear of ridicule from a partner who might bring it up to friends during a fight or on Facebook. But no longer. As a married woman, I’m free to step out of the bathroom nekkid and say, “I have been cleansed and shorn for you, my lord. Feel free to do to my person what you will, just remember, I am but a maid.” It’s totally okay.
Of course, your husband may be like mine and respond to this by looking up from his Xbox and saying, “HUH? You’re butter made? What the hell are you talking about?” Cause those crazy sexy-time things don’t always work out. And it’ll still be okay.
So don’t worry about losing the fun. Marriage, in and of itself, is fun. So’s not being married. You didn’t worry about you and your fiance being boring while dating, don’t worry about it changing when you’re married.
So Team Practical, let’s talk fun. How do you keep it up in your marriage? What weird stuff is fun for you guys? Or, you know, what OBVIOUSLY entertaining stuff is fun for you (nekkid canasta)? Tell us about the hilarious and awesome parts of a often-taken-far-too-seriously institution.