The Best Relationship Advice You’ve Ever Heard

It’s proposal season, and I totally get it. Emotions are high. It’s all love, magic, and Hallmark movies. And what’s a better “Just Engaged” selfie opportunity to blast across social media?

Before you get down on that knee, or say “yes” to the dude or the dress, let me tell you something that EVERYONE should be told:

When you are dating someone, take ALL the good, and ALL the bad, and multiply it times 10. And THAT is what it’s like when you are married.

It’s the best relationship advice I have ever received, and it came from my dear, wise, mom. It’s so simple, and it seems so obvious, but we ignore the truth of it. So often, I hear people say – “Well, after the wedding she’ll cool off…” or “Once we’re married, he’ll settle down.” Not the case, friends.

If him clearing his throat without any apparent result reason irritates you 7 months in, guess what happens after 7 years and two kids? You will glance lovingly at the sofa pillow with fantasies of suffocating him with it – and that’s on a good day.

Do all your friends HATE your significant other? Just wait until they are all wearing the same thing, standing at an altar. You’ve just made them a TEAM, complete with uniform. That situation is NOT getting better after “I do.”

On a serious note, if she seems to enjoy raising her voice at you, and belittling you, it WILL get worse. First verbally, next emotionally, then possibly physically. Do not ignore these signs.

But it’s not all bad news, y’all, because there IS a second part to this adage. All the GOOD. If he can make you giggle to take your mind off of stubbing your toe while you’re dating, there’s a good chance he’ll be able to pry a smile from you even if a whole hammer comes down on that thing.

The thought of going to that douchey bar isn’t fun unless you know your boo is going to be there to make fun of it with you? Good! Because Saturday nights might be more Netflix and less “chill” as you get older.

If the feeling of her arms around you is the only thing you want after that bad day at work / fight with your parents / fender bender, that’s a good sign. Down the line, you may be returning to those arms after something life changing – a layoff or the loss of a loved one.

When I was dating my husband, I thought about this advice a lot. A LOT. I remember being in the passenger seat of his car as he had me laughing hysterically at us being lost and I thought – “10 times this for the rest of my life? I’m in.”

We got married in March of 2004 – and our first big test was Katrina- who gave our dear city SO much more than 10 times the pain and heartache most of us could remember. Our emotions and nerves were so raw – and I will be the first to admit that I was 10 times bitchier than I ever was when we were dating. But the 10x GOOD kept us going – sarcasm and laughter and love. As the years have passed and we have navigated infertility, illness, parenthood, and all the normal, everyday disasters, my husband has been 10 times the ridiculous, wonderful, brilliant jackass I said “Yes” to almost 2 decades ago.

I could give you more examples from my marriage, but I don’t have to. If you are in a relationship serious enough to be considering marriage, you have seen both good and bad traits in your partner. Can you take 10 times more?

I share this advice often and without remorse. As humans, we want to bury our heads in the sand and ignore red flags. I don’t know why we do this, but we sure do, don’t we? Outside forces such as hurricanes and mortgages will challenge your relationship enough – don’t start with 10 times the bad and none of the good.

If you can’t take 10 times more than you’re getting now, the good news is: this is ALSO a great time of year to snuggle up with someone new.

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Jeanne is a proud Westbanker and inordinately blessed wife, full time working parent, and middle child. She and her insanely handsome husband of 15 years have 2 daughters, aged 11 and 2. Her hobbies include cake decorating, reading, devouring movies, and slowly turning into her mother. When they are not patronizing local restaurants, she and her family enjoy driving around to take in the surroundings of their home, from Lafitte to Folsom, and all points in between. Jeanne has contributed her time and skills to a number of organizations, including WRBH Reading for the Blind, and the Jefferson Chorale. She celebrates the seasons in true New Orleans style - Easter champagne brunch, summertime snoball, Saints game day Abita, and Celebration in the Oaks with a flask. 

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