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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  • Emma Anderson

    Never a truer word was said! My husband once accidently discovered my ‘tache removing cream…I pretended it never happened and it hasn’t been mentiond since. As I write he is putting furniture together and I will not be helping!

  • Lauren M. Blanchard

    Thank you, Danielle, for making my morning, thereby making my day

  • Candice Sesi


  • Nichole Brown

    Thanks for making me smile with your humor & for the advice! =D

  • Javacia Harris Bowser

    This is awesome! Unfortunately, I’ve already broken rule 1, 2, and 5 with my husband. We’ve been hitched 5 years. I’m about to check his night stand drawer now to make sure he isn’t hiding divorce papers.

  • Allie Kaye Luallen

    Very true!!!

  • Samantha Slavin

    I think your wit is probably what keeps him around. And probably what sends him hiding when your angry because a witty gal can be a double edged sword. You had me laughing.

  • Elizabeth P. Fink

    I love this, my parents always say that a couple should have to hang wall paper and put up a tent together before they can get married. If they can make it through that they will be just fine.

  • Jenikah Joy

    I was recently watching Knocked Up with a girlfriend and sat laughing sadly at the 2 disturbing relationships portrayed throughout the movie. Mid movie I asked her why no one ever makes a movie about happy healthy relationships. Its good to hear the occasional boast of happiness and love despite struggles without all the depressing “we just deal with eachother” BS that’s overly popularized in our society. Be in love and be happy to have it, I say!

  • Erin Cummins

    We quickly established that if there is furniture to be assembled in this house, I will not be the one assembling it. No matter how thoroughly I read the instructions I always miss some crucial step and then need help taking the thing apart in order to reassemble it.

    Also, my fiance and I tend fight in cars. We’ve figured out that in order to maintain our relationship, we must approach car trips like a cold war. I stay on my side of the car, he on his, and topics such as whether the guy behind us is tailgating (he was) or whether we’re going the right direction (we weren’t) are strictly taboo. :)

  • Ana Marie

    Bahahah!!! oh my goodness…This is great! it truly does capture the truth of marriage…there are so many things shoved in our faces about marriage and long term relationships that sometimes its hard not to think that your relationship is totally NOT normal…and then you talk to another married person and learn that you are EXACTLY the same….The moment you know you’re in it for the long haul is the moment your curled up on the bathroom floor with puke mouth and your significant other is right there offering up sips of water and encouraging words! its almost liberating! LOL well captured!

  • Olivia Colsman Langford

    Great advice, my fellow-happily-married…er, friend? I don’t really know you, so I”m not sure we’re friends, but I think we could be if I did, in fact, know you.
    Anyway, I would also add to your advice: If at all possible, use separate bathrooms. You may *think* you have a great marriage, but I guarantee you it will improve five-fold if you both use separate sinks, showers and commodes, as well as soap, toothpaste and shampoo. I’m serious. It works wonders in ways you can’t even fathom.

  • Jennifer Marko

    It’s 5: 50 a.m. & I just shot coffee through my nose and made a little fart from laughing so hard. If my hubby were here, I’d still be laughing but squeezing my but cheeks together so as not to release the fart…I have been doing (& not doing) that for 16 years! Talk about work!!!!! Thanks for the early morning laughter & someone to share it with : )
    Your words truly are words to live by!

  • Amy Joy Dieringer

    Oh my gosh. I should not have read this at work. Laughing out loud at your corner desk does not make you look sane. Any ways, THIS IS SO TRUE. I have to share it with all newly married couples I know because it’s THE TRUTH.

  • Claudia Copeland

    Love this! I hate when people say “When you get married it’s all down hill” I’ve been with my fiance for 5 years now. We’re high school sweet hearts and both only 21 years old. He’s my first and only love and I like to think that we’re going to be married forever and be that couple people talk about and wish they could be. (Not trying to be conceded at all) I hate that marriages fail so quickly now days..couples need other couples to look up to. I will be sure to keep this list of DO NOTS in the back of my head at all times!
    Thanks Danielle!

  • Caitlin Koch

    I love this! Beautiful & witty! :)

  • Kimberly Kalnitzky

    I had so much fun reading this I read it to my husband! He rolled his eyes and chuckled but I almost peed myself even the second time. It is so true!

  • Melissa Osorio

    LOL, I love this, totally made my day.

  • Emily Johnson

    Haha this is so funny and true! I am still trying to convice my fiance that pooping and talking about pooping kills the romance. I literally have to tell him I love him a little less each time he says anything about pooping!

  • Kelsey Bishop

    this literally made me laugh out loud.

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