The Marriage Whisperer

Layne, my witty worded friend and outrageously talented photographer, is back and will post the first Monday of every month for the WHOLE YEAR!!! Please check back each month as she is a brilliant writer and full of humor from her life experiences. You won't want to miss her!

We’d just gotten into a fight over why he put peppers in the meal when he knew I loathed them, why he couldn’t just understand..., why he felt that....well, with some time and space, let’s just say it was something Quite Small.

But I sat most of the 7-hour car ride in silence, my sealed lips a severe reprimand to my husband. Immovable, taciturn, behind closed eyes I shot daggers at him with my thoughts, willing him to understand my message.

Jkladfjlfdaljadfjjkladfjldajdafj. Who the hell does he think he is? jladsfkljajkldfadfakjajdjkajkldfaouuiafd @#$$##$@ !!!  I held my face immobile, in what I imagined to be a stoic expression.

It wasn’t the shiniest moment of our marriage; not even close to the most juvenile.

I want to justify my silliness to you, dear masses, by assuring you that none of my other relationships have sunk to the messy, disastrous interactions of my marriage.
And it’s true.
I want to iterate that I’m a nice person. You can ask my dad; you can ask...well, almost anyone. I’m polite, I know how to have adult conversations and problem solve like a sane person. I am kind.

Well, OK.
The above is-or was-entirely true until I entered this blessed holy estate called matrimony. And then it seemed all my nasty monsters awoke from their sleeping beauty state and crawled into bed with the hubs and me. Monsters I hadn’t met or seen in a long time like pettiness and rage. Oh, unreasonableness and pouting came to visit too.

I won’t give you a diatribe of all my wrongdoings in my last few MRS. years-but I will be honest and let you know that I’ve made a few mistakes along the way.

Hubs was an ama-professional Casanova before we got together-he dated over a dozen girls in the two decades before we even met. I mean, okay-with his baby face and sweet as lips I can totally see why the chicks dug him.

As for me? Well, let’s just say I had a few too many messy encounters with the opposite sex. Being a broken person isn’t exactly helpful in the equation towards wholehearted living and relationships.

But by the time I met the MR., I was a well-rounded, happy, whole and set-in-my-blessed-ways single gal from the south.

I was ready for love. I was ready to be an adult and be the best Other Half in the world. I was ready for anything.
Or so I thought.

The adventure of getting me out of my settled-in ways and getting him into the gentleness of wooing an Austen-and-Montgomery-loving girl has been...well, let’s just say I wouldn’t go straight to any sort of dessert comparison.

Combine that with the fact we both come from some rather “normal” families-you know, the ones with a labyrinth of issues like anger, passivity, criticism, control, aggressiveness, manipulation, passiveness-and you have a recipe for...well, ahem, a Huge ball of learning curve.

Marrying the Mr. is by far, hands down, at the top of the Best Decisions of My Life list. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I don’t know your story or your Significant Other, but I can assure you that mine is The Most Complicated and paradoxical blend of amazing, kind, sweet, gentle, stubborn, unyielding, uncompromising, compromising, romantic, silly, all-boy, all-man, amazing listener, won’t listen, thoughtful, focused, waffle-brained species there is.

It’s quite astounding.

I love him and I’d walk through fire for our marriage. But some days it feels as if that’s all we do-fire walking that is.

So here I am, the marriage whisperer to help us all along in this journey of Love.

For you see, though we’ve already acknowledged I’m not the most pristine soul in the bunch, I have learned a lot along the way. So, without further ado, here goes.

In my experience, here are some pretty basic DOs and DON’Ts that will work in almost any marriage.


-DO tell him how much you respect and love and admire him and his work at every turn.
-DON’T try to interrupt him when he is playing a video game.
-DON’T attempt to ask him a question when he is watching a movie.
-DON’T interrupt him when he’s talking.
-DON’T attempt to help him lose weight.
-DO remember to match up his socks...or is that just my man?
-DO remember that cultivating a perfect memory for your fights is unpardonable.
-DO remember that he’s a sensitive soul too.
-DON’T try throwing pillows at your closed bedroom door in the middle of a quarrel; he’ll inevitably-and perhaps fairly-call you childish, which will make you angrier still and the messy cycle will spiral on.
-DO remember that just letting yourself go sounds freeing...but it might not be the most freeing thing for your love life. Showering is good for the romance.
-DON’T take him away to a cabin for Christmas with your mum and both sisters. It will be like chaining up a wild bear and who knows who will come out alive.
-DO remember that kicking him while he is snoring is potentially not the best strategy to keep the peace.
-DO remember that he might not take it kindly if you start giggling wildly during an argument.
-And DON’T forget to say I’m sorry. Again. And again. And again.

And for you manly men out there-

-DON’T make teasing comments about your wife’s jiggles or love handles, even if she’s secure about her weight.
-DON’T attempt to help her “shed a few.”
-DON’T ask her if she should really be eating that donut/chocolate bar/brownie.
-DO remember that making out is some of the sexiest foreplay there is.
-DO remember that making snide remarks about how much she is like her mother might translate to a punch in the face. Her mother would be so proud.
-DO remember that calling her crazy is like calling up the crazy monster itself.
-DO remember that even the most low-maintenance of wives still love a bit of romance in the form of notes/flowers/dancing in the kitchen by moonlight.
-DO remember that a good back rub (and I’m not talking about those 2 minute ones) is the key to getting lucky at any given time, day or night.
-DO remember that we just need to a few times a month week, for any and every given reason. Just hug us.
-DO remember that the harsh and straightforward way you talk to your guys doesn’t translate to us girls.
-And DON’T forget to say I’m sorry. Again. And again. And again.

Relationships are hard. Relationships are messy. Relationships are a helluva lot more work than many of us knew or dreamed. They certainly don’t show you all this behind-the-scenes junk in the shiny romantic comedies.

But what we’ve got is so much better than the movies-even with all the inglorious burnt toast, stretch marks and bad breath mornings.

Being married is The Best, even though to be honest, right now ours looks like a child's paint-by-number next to a Van Gogh. I think we have a long way to go.

But we are making a go of this amazing, intricate story together, hearts bared, souls wild. We have this one beautiful life to live and we are giving it all we’ve got.

I will be grateful for the morning snuggles, the stolen moments.
I will work on pursuing his heart and needs above my own.
I will say I’m sorry again and again. And again. ...and again.
I will love my man with all my might, even when it hurts like hell.
I will hold his hand every minute along the way...and squeeze extra hard when he’s being extra annoying, I’m experiencing some intense emotions...

Layne lives in southern Ontario with her husband Jonathan where they have been running their media company since October 2011.

She graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in photojournalism. She interned at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan and has volunteered for PhotogenX since 2009.

Layne co-authored “Act Here. Love Now.,” a culmination of stories, photos and practical ways to impact your own community, city and world. “Act Here. Love Now.” was a finalist in the Multicultural Non-Fiction and Current Events/Social Change categories in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Their business was recently featured on Wedding Chicks, one of the premiere wedding planning sites.