If love is a battlefield and marriage is a foxhole dodging live rounds, these are the 5 checklists or rules to survive it all.
1) A happy wife is a happy marriage. This is the overriding ground rule. When all else fails, when it's that time of the month, when she's touchy or edgy or scratchy or just creepy, hold this rule close to your clueless heart. Don't let go. Husbands are there to make wives happy and Pharrell Williams got the finger on the button or the tug on the heart string with his awesomely simplistic song "Happy". Every husbands ought to memorize the chorus in order to dodge all that heat-seeking marital bullets. Here is me giving you a head start.
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a head without a clue.
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness' just for her.
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you know that happiness for you is her.
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like that's what you gotta do.
Got it? Still clapping? Now repeat the chorus again and again until it plays in your mind like a splitting migraine and is the only thing you hear when she's in one of those hell-has-no-fury moods. "Check".
2) Say sorry even if you don't entirely mean it. Doesn't that make me half a hypocrite you say? Erm...there's a context to that actually. You see, I have discovered that saying sorry may seem to be the hardest word, but not saying it only makes it worse. By holding on to your ego, which unsurprisingly is the cause of all our marital downfall, you're not doing your marriage a favor, not at all. Let's face it, you marry her because you love her. The vows, the crowd of witnesses, and the unrelenting consummation pleasure all adds up to authenticate your love for her. So, you would be a full-blooded "hypocrite" if you deny all that. Logical? That is why being half a hypocrite (apologize) is infinitely better than being a full hypocrite (deny you love her by refusing to apologize). Get it? It's simply relative in a tweaked way. If you want to be true to yourself, at least as close to the truth as possible, then just say sorry because not saying it will bring you a lifetime of unwitting hardship. How about sincerity, you ask? Well, I believe if you say it (long enough), they will come (sincerity that is). Don't even try to dissect that. Say it and you will be magically surprised that many (trap)doors will be opened for you to escape from a potentially explosive situation. "Check".
3) Saying "I love you" can save your life. If sorry doesn't quite help, then follow that up with "I love you". Whether you mean it or not at that moment is secondary to the unintended consequences that flow from those three words. Biblically, love covers over a multitude of sins. In your case, it covers a universe full of it. Even when you think you have a point, or that you are right in some ways, forget about bulldozing your way through. The larger picture is always more mutually beneficial. Defer your point to a later date when you are safely out of the eye of her storm. Because when in the storm, all she is dying to hear is how sorry you are and how much you love her. So go ahead and say them, say them in its proper sequence, and I assure you, immediate peace and a quartet of chirpy birds will descend upon you. And if you strain a little, you may even hear a chorus of Pharrell's happy song playing in your head and experience a feet-tapping elevation of your mood. "Check".
4) Silence is golden when you are pissed off. This is the part that is the hardest. In order to keep it all together, I've learned that you have to keep it shut, tight. I know this is counterintuitive. But it is only temporary. Just for that gut- bursting moment, silence beats a shouting match anytime. It is said that the fool is silent because he has nothing to say but the wise is silent because he has many things to say. And although wise husbands are hard to come by, they are not ignorant of the fact that when they are pissed off, trying to say anything so laden with their inflammatory mood is as effective as trying to drown a fish in water. The fish will not be drowned and your boat will not float with her. So, somebody has to take a deep breath, give in and endeavor to close the gap. If men are the head of the household, so says the scriptures, then husbands are to take the lead on this. It's our sacred duty. "Check".
5) Time is the coveted fruit of a resilient marriage. This is my final point and the most serious one. This point is a tad cryptic. Time here refers to passing time and passing time eases all hurts and misunderstanding in a marriage and graciously deepens the marital ties. If we fight for our marriage, especially the husbands, treasure it, and strive to develop it, the foundational roots will invariably grow. With deeper roots, and with passing time, the marriage will be resilient and strong enough to face all kinds of weather. While my four mischievous points above relate to in-the-moment, situational scenarios, this last point is about taking the long Len’s view of things. It is looking beyond the here-and-now and into our marital future, the horizon of growth and understanding. Everything has a future if we take the time and put in the effort. A plant, a puppy, an education, a child, and our marriage, you name it, they all have a future. We end it when we give it all up. But should we persist, against the odds, putting aside our personal ego and selfish desires, our marriage surely has a rewarding future. This is not plain idealism but it is realizable reality via a passion that never say die. So, give it time, don't give up, give of your best, and watch this gift of love blooms into a future that may very well be a truly HAPPY one for both of you. Cheerz.