Two years ago today, I was fortunate enough to marry my beautiful wife and best friend. Now some people feel that when they met their significant other they hit a home run. I personally feel like I hit a David Ortiz-ALCS-Grand-Slam when I met mine.
I'll be the first to admit that I was the quintessential bachelor before I met my wife. I was messy, lazy, didn't know the meaning of a hamper or what purpose a dishwasher served. Hell, if there were dirty dishes in my apartment sink I'd simply cover it up with some aluminum foil until I got around to it. "Out of sight, out of mind, right?"
I was a stubborn man, and in some ways, I still am. But ever since I got married I've realized that it is no longer just about me. When you get married, you are not only committing yourself to someone, but they are committing themselves to you. They are trusting you to take care of them, support them and be their rock in good times and bad. It's a process and a journey, but when you have someone you love by your side it makes it all worthwhile.
For all the men out there, newlywed or not, here are the three most important things you can do in your relationship, and these are tips that I myself need to remember as well.
LISTEN: The biggest cliché there is, right? Well, it's a cliché because it's true. Listen to your significant other. When she speaks, take the time to listen. No phones, no television, no nothing. Make her feel like the most important person in the world when she speaks to you because for one thing, she is, and also, her opinion matters. Communication is key. If she's willing to listen to you rant about sports and movies, she damn well deserves your attention when she speaks.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT MATTER: You don't always need to break the bank to do something special (but that doesn't mean you never should!). Take note of the little things she likes to do, whether it's hiking, music or simply cooking a dinner together at home. It's not about the money, it's about the memory. Fifty years down the road, she won't remember how much you spent on a fancy meal, but she'll remember that picnic you had after your hike.
LAUGH: They say laughter is the best medicine, and it truly is. Remember that the person you are with is not only your spouse, but also your best friend. Have fun together and make them laugh. One of the best compliments my wife has given me is that even after five years of being together, I can still make her laugh (with fresh material, too!).
They say marriage is a team effort, but as a husband, it is your responsibility to take the lead.
Ever since I was a kid, I've loved superheroes; I always thought that the hero had to save the girl (Superman saving Lois Lane, Spider-Man saving Mary Jane). But I've come to realize that heroes are who they are thanks in large part to the women they love. They have someone to protect, someone who relies on them. They have that special someone who makes them want to be a better person every day. I've found my Lois Lane, and couldn't be happier.
Happy Anniversary, honey.