Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The challenge of becoming a Husband

I was listening to a conversation about getting married the other day and it made me think of when I was trying desperately to become a husband.

There's no real way to dress it up - It was a long up hill battle. And lets face it, when have I ever made stuff I want to do, easy for myself.

I had met the Future Bride at a party of a friend. Due to the nature of the party we were left as the only two people standing (literally) and just kept on chatting. A few more dates pass and I had decided that this was the woman I wanted to marry (or at least spend as much time with as possible before someone else snagged her)

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We started to get pretty serious, she would stop on the way home from work (night shifts) to see me and we would go to parties and out to dinners together when ever possible.

I once even slept in her car out the front of the house after a party, which was all going unnoticed until I got busted doing a pee on the nature strip.

So time moves by and there we were travelling nicely as a couple, until the Parents in law To Be went away and we decided to spend the week together at my place. The plan was simple, we would go back to her parents house each day or so to water the plants and feed the dog.

The dog gets fed, the plants get watered and I get uninterrupted access to the dream girl.

Easy. No one gets hurt.

The neighbor ratted us out.

Now here's where it gets tough for any potential suitor. Her mother was less than pleased and immediately I was labeled as trouble. To come back from here was going to be tough. The relationship with my mother-in-law to be was not good.

Oh who am I kidding, there was no relationship.

So here's Tip #1 - Build a good relationship with your proposed family in laws.

So as you can guess I did what any husband to be should do. I went to every family function and did what ever I could to be helpful. Dishes, serving food, helping, cooking food. You name it I did it. Because at this point I was on the bottom of the family ladder.

So now I'm working towards the engagement. We were going on a holiday and I had decided to surprise her with a useful travel item (pre Sept -11 days) a Swiss army knife. Somehow I manged to describe this "surprise"  that made it sound exactly like an engagement ring. She was beyond disappointed. I still haven't lived that one down.

So here's Tip #2 Do not try and surprise her with small gifts. Get really big ones until after the engagement. In fact no small gifts until after the wedding as all small gifts may will be misconstrued as diamonds.

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When it's time to ask her father for permission to marry his daughter, take your time and do not rush this meeting. It is full of traps.
Firstly choose the time and place carefully. Also if he points out an attractive woman - For goodness sake DON'T look.

When her father asks you how your job is going he not asking to be polite, Oh no he is ensuring you can look after his daughter and eventually his grand-kids so don't bore him with what a jerk the guy opposite is or how dumb your boss is. Keep it simple and to the point - You have a job and it pays.

If somehow you manage to make it past this point, don't think you are out of the woods just yet.

The proposal itself is for her just as critical as the wedding day. It has to able to be able to be recounted to all her friends and gain the ever sought after "he's soooo romantic, I wish my [insert term for other half here] was more like him !". The Wife To Be will expect you to get down on one knee as well.

And don't be put off by those stupid rom-coms where it all goes wrong and then is suddenly the most romantic thing on earth, that never happens. Just keep it in line with things she likes to do with you (not paintball or go-carting) and work from there.

Tip #3 Remember the proposal is like the diamonds you're going to eventually have to buy her  - Forever.

So think carefully and plan.

The biggest challenge I found was just be yourself. Your Wife To Be is going out with you because of you, nothing else ( unless you are a mining magnate and if you are - get a pre-nup). I got all caught up in trying to be perfect / make everything perfect and usually ended up just making it harder for myself.

And as I always remind people, you have to work at your marriage - it takes patience and persistence and most of all planning ! So you are going to have to work at becoming a husband as well.

So as I sit here typing away, looking back on 13 years of marriage I say to you - get on to it - its a cracker and you won't regret it.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! I proposed over the phone... ouch. But she loved me and I still got the answer I wanted. Should also point out that we got engaged after just two weeks of dating (and knowing each other 3 months). Still going strong after nearly 14 years and 5 kids. *Sigh.