Yesterday I got an email with the subject line “20 Easy Ways to Be a Better Spouse.” 99% of the time, I delete emails like these immediately; if I want relationship advice, I’m not going to take it, unsolicited, from an article on the internet–the amorphous entity that made “2 Girls 1 Cup” a thing.
But apparently I’ve reached somewhat of a boiling point with articles like these. With some exceptions, they’re filled with enough generic, holier-than-thou relationship advice to choke Dr. Phil, and without anything realistic or substantial. Basically they’re the same articles I read in Cosmogirl as a 15-year-old, but with more typos and fewer lip gloss ads.
So I opened the email. And I clicked on the article link, thinking, “You know what, internet? Impress me.”
Below I’ve listed seven of that article’s 20 ways to “be a better spouse,” and included a line of text the author-less article used to really drive home its point. Each slide in the article also came with a stock photo of a happy couple exemplifying “being a better spouse,” so I’ve included some happy photos from my life, too, for authenticity.
Make your bond unbreakable (and please your partner!) with these no-fail relationship rules.
1. Avoid A Rut
“Think spontaneity…Pick up his favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor (and eat it together for dinner!).”
If eating ice cream together for dinner is the key to an excitement-filled relationship, then go ahead and consider us Bonnie and Clyde.
2. Communicate Honestly
“Instead of creating some convoluted story, just admit that you forgot to pick up milk at the story (sic). Fibbing is cowardly and says you can’t own up to your mistakes.”
Okay. From now on when my husband asks how my day was, instead of saying “Not too productive, but otherwise fine,” I’m going to STOP FIBBING and communicate, honestly, “I accidentally left the wet laundry in the washing machine for three hours because TLC was playing a daytime marathon of ‘My 600 Pound Life’ and I lost track of time wondering how a 600-pound woman gets close enough to the bathroom mirror to pluck her eyebrows.”
I can already feel our marriage improving.
3. Hang Out With Friends
“Chances are, your guy just doesn’t care about that awesome J.Crew sale.”
Chances are my friends don’t care about the J.Crew sale either, because they’re shopping on the clearance rack at Target. Like I am.
4. Be Nice
“Make sure to always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ especially for those mundane tasks like getting the mail.”
Thanks for flushing the toilet, babe. I love you.
5. Listen Actively
“Sometimes a sincere ‘uh huh’ is all he needs to hear.”
As I woman, I know at least fifteen ways to use the phrase “uh huh” with my husband, and zero of those ways convey sincerity.
6. Nix The Sweatpants
“A ring on your finger is not a free pass to Sloppyville.”
You’re right. I should really put those little black dresses and skinny jeans to use for all the washing-poop-off-the-dog I do now that I’m married.
P.S. Yoga pants aren’t sweatpants, so technically I’m acing this one.
P.P.S. “Sloppyville” pretty accurately describes the state of our house when I’m washing poop off the dog.
7. Share The Spotlight
“Still craving attention? Sign in to Facebook and count the ‘likes’ on your latest selfie.”
Excuse me. I don’t have time for selfies anymore; I’m too busy taking BuzzFeed quizzes to find out which kind of potato I am.
What’s the lamest, most generic advice you get over and over that really grinds your gears?