Keeping the Spark Alive, or How I Tricked my Man into Loving me Longer

I am a married person. That means, according to most lady magazines and male buddy comedies, that I manipulated my now husband and hid enough of my true nature from him in order to get him to the altar. That actually couldn’t be farther from the truth. My husband knew exactly what he was getting pretty early on in our relationship. My bout with food poisoning from the poor choice I made to eat a hot dog at a small Caribbean airport just a few months in was a real make it or break it moment for us.  He stuck with me through that, through the printer incident of 2005 (I might have, accidentally, gone into a rage spiral and physically destroyed a slightly malfunctioning printer. I saw real fear in his eyes that night) and through many other of my very real and very unattractive moments. He truly loves me for me. Did you all just vomit a little right then? Good, that’s what true love tastes like.

All that being said, however, relationships are a work in progress. Just because you’re married, or have been dating for a year, or have a cat together that you adopted from a shelter just so you can go around bragging that it’s a “rescue” doesn’t mean it’s time to start taking each other for granted. It’s wonderful to be comfortable in your relationship, but becoming so comfortable that you both start communicating to each other in farts is probably a big romance killer.

I’ve been married three whole years, so I guess what I’m saying is that I’m kind of an expert on relationships in general and that I’m probably not going to die alone. Based on those qualifications, I feel I’m in a position to give advice to others about how to keep the spark alive in their relationships. Below are just a few tips.

1) Don’t take a dump in front of each other

Okay, this is an important one. You can pee with the door open all you want. When you feel comfortable enough to do that in front of each other it can almost feel bonding and adorable, but dropping a deuce while your significant other brushes his teeth two feet away is the opposite of flirting. Everything is less cute when it’s taking a crap, even a baby bunny, so why are you any different? Obviously in cases of food poisoning (see Caribbean airport hot dog above) and stomach flu all bets are off and anyone who helps you through that is doing God’s work.

2) Don’t reveal all your beauty secrets

I practically never wear make-up around the house, and sometime a week or three can go by without my legs being clean-shaven. No bigee. But for a Jewish girl like myself, there are some hairs I have that must never be spoken of. They’re the Voldemort of my body. I’m talking about my ‘stache. It’s not like I’m Magnum PI or anything, but without my bleaching cream, I can be mistaken for Mariah Carey in “Precious.” My ‘stache bleaching is a very secret, almost religious ritual that my husband will never be privy to. When he has unexpectedly come home while I am in the middle of it, I quickly run into the bathroom, lock the door and let him think I’m hiding a terrible eating disorder from him. That somehow seems less horrifying.

3) Don’t watch “Terms of Endearment” in front of him

“Terms of Endearment” is the most heartbreaking movie of all time. If you haven’t seen it, SPOILER ALERT, Debra Winger dies of cancer at the end and it is soul crushing. When Shirley Maclaine screams, “Give my daughter the shot!” you will break down in a cry that is so hard and so ugly, your face will no longer resemble itself. You’ll look more like the melting Nazi from the first “Indiana Jones” movie. You will be so inconsolable and ugly and angry at Flap (Debra Winger’s husband in the movie) for cheating on her with that slutty co-ed, that you will take it out on your boyfriend/husband/significant other. None of that is sexy or healthy, so heed my warning. This also applies to the movies The Color Purple, Steel Magnolias, and Beaches.

4) Do NOT compete on The Amazing Race together

Nothing kills the romance in a relationship faster than a couple screaming at each other for misreading a map, or moving too slowly, or mistakenly launching a watermelon at the others face all while competing for a million dollars. Even the seemingly happiest couples seem to break under these conditions. Sometimes my husband and I just watch this show together and end up in a fight.

And you will do this last one, but hopefully you will learn from your mistake and never do it again.

5) Don’t assemble furniture together

This includes any items from Crate and Barrel, Ikea, and even Babies R Us. When you are putting this item together it will seem exciting at first. You’re probably newly moving in together or building a crib for that baby on the way, but the experience will quickly deteriorate into something hellish that will end in tears and/or bloodshed. The directions are always confusing, the parts don’t quite fit together, and you might end up with a beautiful TV console, but you have paid for it with a little piece of your souls.

If you just follow these small suggestions, I can guarantee you will have a fulfilling and loving relationship for the rest of…the next three years. After that, it’s anyone’s guess.

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