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(2012) In Which I Mean It

Seth and I recently celebrated a big milestone--our 10th wedding anniversary.  I'm not going to make this a super lovey-dovey post, but let me be clear:  Seth Malley is the greatest. And I'm the luckiest. He makes being married to him a total joy.  In honor of our ten years as married folk, I thought I'd share the top 5 things I've learned being married to Seth

5. Go to bed angry.  Whoever said you should never go to bed angry was probably never married to an actual human person.  The later you stay up ticked off at someone, the worse it ends.  So go to sleep. Whenever I employ my own advice I almost always wake up the next morning and think to myself, "I know I'm supposed to be mad about something....but what was it?"  If you can't remember what you were supposed to be mad about, that's a good sign it was probably never really a big deal to begin with.  If that doesn't work, then perhaps you could try Seth's second line of defense: In a very dramatically smarmy voice, as though you're saying it over the soundtrack of a Color Me Bad song, say to your spouse, "Girl (Boy), I know you were wrong, but I forgive you."  It's always funny. Always.

4. Never ask the hard-hitting questions.  When Seth and I were newlyweds, I asked him the most loaded question of all-time.  I asked, "If you could change one thing about me, what would it be?"  Think of how horribly the answering of that question could have gone! I'm not sure what I was hoping he would or wouldn't say in response to that, but I know I definitely wasn't expecting what he DID say. After an alarmingly long pause (during which I was sure he was deciding which of my faults he would wish to change first) he said, "I wish you were a ninja."  That is the single best answer any guy has ever given any girl when she asks a stupid question like that.  The moral of that story is: don't ask stupid questions that will most likely end poorly for one or more parties.  But if you are asked such a question, be armed with a response as good as Seth's.

3. Learn to speak their language. If you've ever read, "Love Languages" you know where I'm going with this.  Early on in our marriage I remember having a conversation in which we both felt frustrated with the other because we weren't feeling like we were getting what we wanted emotionally.  I don't remember the specifics, but I do remember complaining to Seth that he didn't say nice things to me often enough, or verbalize in the way I wanted all the things I wished he would.  Seth told me he didn't feel like I showed him I loved him enough in the things that I did.  We finally figured out that I felt most loved when he verbalized emotions, and he felt the most loved when I did little acts of service.  Both of us were trying to show our love in the way we wanted to be shown.  Once we realized this, we could both appreciate the other's language.  Recognizing this has been hugely helpful.  Also, when in doubt--just do and say lots of nice things to people and they will generally feel loved.

2. Laugh. A lot.  When I met Seth we were both missionaries and I had a very serious boyfriend at home "waiting" for me. As the time drew nearer to my return home, I shared with a group of missionary friends the doubts I was having about my future with this boyfriend.  I explained that although my boyfriend wasn't particularly funny, or appreciative of humor in general, or of the opinion that Will Ferrell was funny at all---I guessed that it wasn't something important enough to complain about.  After listening for awhile Seth finally said, "I don't understand that at all. I plan to laugh with my wife everyday.  I want to be 65 and cracking her up."  That was a pivotal moment for me.  I had a very sudden realization that I wanted to be the person he was cracking up in the decades to come.  Thankfully, as it turns out,   I was the person he wanted to make laugh everyday for the rest of his life, too.  He has made good on that promise and I'm positive that laughing together is one of the reasons we are very happily married. 

1. Live like you mean it.  One of the greatest lessons I've learned in life came from trying to yo-yo.  I was struggling to get that blasted thing to come back up to me, and Seth said, "Yo-yo like you mean it!"  With the next attempt I flung that yo-yo like a boss, and whaddaya know...it came right back to me.  I realized that I had been hesitating slightly with every attempt, but when I finally gave it 100%, I got the result I wanted.  Now I know that may sound a little simple,  but really, try substituting any activity in place of yo-yo-ing.  In our house you'll often hear us say, "Like you mean it!" when someone is trying to do something, but not really committing.  When you really get down to it--it's the difference between making something good, and something great.  I often tell myself to "parent like I mean it" which to me entails not checking out, or just going through the motions, but to really make sure I'm engaged and connected to my kids and making the most of the moments that matter.  The same thing applies to any relationship.  Be married "like you mean it"! Be a friend "like you mean it"! Be whatever you are "like you mean it!" When we stop holding back and really commit to whatever it is we're doing, we get the results we want.

I can look back on my life and see the decisions I've made and the paths down which they have led me and I can truly say that marrying Seth is the absolute best decision I have ever made, and that I love him more today than I did the day I married him.  Thanks to my snootchie pootchie for making my life so sweet.  I can't wait for the next ten years.

Seth Malley