My favorite marriage advice was said to me in my first few months of marriage: Treat each other like a king and queen.
Actually, it was more like: Treat Scott like a king. Oh yeah, then you get to be the queen.
I am 25-years-old, and my ears perk up at “queen” because my friend know how to get through to me. Scott and I try to follow this bit of wisdom and treat each other with respect and kindness, but our first year of marriage is challenging. We are 2 people in 1 home who are used to me, mine, and now. An “us” is a learned behavior and we are not quick studies.
While our sense of humor often saves us from arguments, we cannot ignore how differently we cope with tragedy and stress. I talk and talk and brainstorm and plan and attack and flank the problem. Scott retreats and ignores and shrugs and thinks and thinks about the problem.
We are also lazy and like being the king and queen if that means we wouldn’t have cook or clean or do anything outside of our comfort zone. However, the heart of matter is to treat each other like royalty and that means one us has to get up off the couch.
But we believe in the advice because we have moments when reverence for the other is all that keeps us from metaphorically slugging it out. Our kingdom keeps us from saying and doing the words that can never been taken back. The words may eventually be shoved into a closet, but the effort to heal the wound is more than it takes to try at this love and respect. But we realize that no one wants a marriage filled with resentments and fighting. How can we remember what to do in the heat of all the moment which make and break a marriage?
On our first wedding anniversary we buy styrofoam, stickers, and ribbons. Sitting on the floor of a fancy hotel in Virginia, we cut and tape and measure and laugh.
Those days when one person can only complain, or refuses to help, or is just being a pain, the other person walks over to our china cabinet, grabs a big styrofoam crown and plops it on a royal head.
And we laugh. And listen. And show a little more respect.
I am a queen more in love with my king than I ever thought possible as my friend suggested we become royalty many years ago.