Do not skip this step in your relationship or you are doomed
What did you just eat? Is that peanut butter in your breath? My wife asked me clearly annoyed at the smell. Her first pregnancy didn’t come alone. It came with incredible spidery senses that were particularly high in the olfactory department.
I couldn’t really respond. I stumbled through my answer because the last time I had peanut butter was three days before. Since then I had religiously brushed, flossed, and water-picked my teeth. But apparently, my habitual dental routine wasn’t enough for me to get rid of the clearly obnoxious scent of our organic dark roasted smooth peanut butter.
I told her that much and I followed with a sheepishly, “I don’t know what else to tell you.”
She firmly responded, “I know what to tell you: you are sleeping outside.”
And just like that, I was relegated to the doghouse. The doghouse is not a warm, nor comfortable, place, usually reserved for husbands who make off-putting slightly sexist comments after they’ve drunk too many IPAs at Timothy’s birthday party.
I was deported there with them after tasting the deliciousness of blended legumes three days before. I know there is hell to pay for eating legumes but I typically thought they were reserved to the crimes of the gut-health persuasion. Little did I know I would be chastised by my wife for doing something some people consider healthy.
My wife is not mean and I don’t recall a time when she told me anything like this when she wasn’t pregnant.
But this time she was pregnant and, as a society, we grant incredible latitude to pregnant women because they are creating life for god’s sake — which is a godlike event.
I know. I have seen it. I have been there. It’s bad-ass and all women that do it are bosses. As such we understand that they create paradise in seven days and can also drown in forty days of emotional flood and all you have is the inflatable kayak hidden somewhere in your garage but it won’t help you because you need an emotional supertanker and no one has one of those.
The Mai-Tai of hormones cocktail provided by nature to pregnant women makes the relationship feel like nine months’ of Disneyland Space Mountain — this rollercoaster specifically because you can barely see anything in the darkness of the ride but you feel it because of the centrifugal force of your cart threatening to rip your seatbelt and launch you headfirst into oblivion.
But I handle these conversations like a boss, too, and I don’t let my ego get in the way. I’m ready for them and the reason is simple: I didn’t elope.
If you eloped, this simple conversation might’ve driven you to divorce. Like Joe Rogan says: marriage is a high-stakes problem solving with dire consequences. Of course, I’m paraphrasing because Joe Rogan was talking about MMA and not marriage. But you get it.
And if you skipped the wedding planning, you skipped the most wonderful opportunity to train and to know if you are up to the test of negotiating reality with your future spouse. Wedding planning is the perfect microcosm of negotiation toward a similar goal while balancing and negotiating the intentions, egos, and desires of everyone surrounding you.
You think I’m kidding. I’m not. There are plenty of people that don’t make it past the wedding planning or they get to the wedding and they hate their better half and all of the in-laws except for the grandma who albeit a bit racist has a place in their heart because of her candor.
If you make it through the wedding day unscathed then it is very likely that you will find a way to work out all the following milestones like what religion to teach your kids, where to live and raise a family, do your kids punch bullies right in the nose or do they tattle-tell, should they be allowed to play extremely boring shoot-me-now-right-in-the-forehead sports like baseball or should they be grounded for life at the mere mention of sports.
If you make it through the wedding planning there’s a good chance that you will have the tools to negotiate your marriage but that only happens if you don’t elope. If you eloped, may god have mercy on your soul. Good luck. You are going to need it.