You bought the ring, planned a thoughtful proposal, and you dropped to one knee… In one fell swoop, you made one of her childhood dreams take shape. Congratulation, your work here is done. It’s all smooth sailing until the post party Hangover right? Not quite… at least, it shouldn’t be.
You see, you will soon discover that the road to married bliss is a complex system of subconscious “good will” accounting that must be understood early on. As in many areas of life, marriage is all about perception – and “perception of equality” is at the top of that pyramid. By now you may be thinking: what the h… is he talking about?
Please follow me in a thought experiment involving a generic couple. In this world ripe with income equality, John makes double what Jane makes and they live happily together. John pays the rent and makes the car payments; he is a good hunter-gatherer. Jen makes less but she insists on paying for the Internet and the electricity bill and even puts 20$ a month in the emergency cookie jar. John’s overall feeling is that Jen is pulling her weight in relative terms and even though an accountant would cry foul, they are a happy couple. Should Jen stop her efforts, the financial impact on John would be manageable but resentment would slowly begin to creep in. The previous account could be perceived as sexist but just reverse the names and the argument still stands.
This article however, is not about money, but about time. Most women love weddings; they buy magazines, they read wedding blogs and many have a Pinterest account they visit regularly. It would be tempting for any man to harness this passion and let their lady run with the wedding ball while they put countless hours into their hockey pool. But, tempting as it may be, it’s just a matter of time before resentment rears it ugly head. Trust me, you don’t want to be accused of not caring for you own nuptials! The problem is that few men want to sit for 200 hours with caterers sampling food, visiting multiple venues, looking at zillions of pictures of cake and making clippings from other weddings to create your perfect wedding day. Just writing about it makes my insides cringe….
If these kinds of activities entice you, stop reading and enjoy the ride! If you are like me, this is how you can make a greatly appreciated and noticeable contribution (read: paying the power and Internet…).
You should sit down with your bride as soon as possible. (To get the points, you have to bake the brownies early). Remind her how excited you are about your wedding and, despite the fact you are extremely busy and clumsy at these sorts of things, you insist on making your contribution to the tremendous amount of work ahead (feel free to paraphrase but the “exited” and “insist on making your contribution” thingy are pretty important!). Please don’t read from a printout or the gig is up…
Think of one thing you can do on your own. Take full ownership of the task and carry it out with all due diligence. Most brides will want a say on big thing but you could probably be trusted with wedding cake, stationary picking or entertainment. The thing to understand here is that you cannot just half-ass this (something I am notorious for – except at my wedding). If for example, you take on the cake thing, you should meet with at least 3 providers, take pictures, record appointments and tastings, keep a few magazine clippings and keep it all in a folder – just in case you get audited. Don’t laugh, it could happen. She could ask how your task is going and if you have an actual file to show it could get you enough points for a down payment on a boy’s golf weekend.
You should offer to help with one task. Something you could do together as lovebird. It should be seen as an opportunity to show that you are on board with the crew, so to speak. Ideal for this would be meeting with the florist. These things are normally not too intense and she will assume, correctly perhaps, that you know nothing about flowers and are there as a supporting actor. A good tip, the night before, google flower names so you can show off some unexpected knowledge. ” Look here honey! How about some Calla Lilies!” Booya, you’ll be thinking as you consider the look of disbelief on her face…. Priceless. If you play this right, you will be officially part of you own wedding, your wife will love you for it, and you will still have plenty of time for your HALO tournament.
Blogger and husband extraordinaire – telling it like it is from his side of the aisle,