I will be 50 next month. At 49, I see the long road ahead and behind me too. I see the wrong turns, U-turns, detours, sidetracks, backtracks and ruts I've landed in or chosen. I have only been married once and this one's moving into its 27the year. Many of the wear on my tires is due to marriage miles. Not necessarily because of the guy who wears my ring, but mostly due to the misnomers that I've believed about marriage. I guess you could say my expectations were wrong. Here's the best advice anyone has ever given me about marriage: change your mind and bite your tongue. Here's how it's worked for me.

  He comes down dressed for our date in his work boots because they are comfortable as he says, 'who knows if I might have to change a tire'. I'd have preferred something dressier and at one time would have made a federal case out of it. Bite your tongue.

  He throws a tantrum because he can't separate the coffee filters. I do not appreciate tantrums and at one time would have thrown one of my own. Bite your tongue.

  The trim he promised to install two years ago, is still not put up on the upstairs landing. Nag and whine? Tempting, but too much work. Bite my tongue. Until he scratches his ankle on the raw, untrimmed wood, then permit myself a smirk.

  He yells at me because he can't find his socks. Tell him what he can do with his socks or go in, open the drawer, pull them out. Or Bite my tongue and ignore till he gets the hint to ask nicely.

 While scolding me for 'taking the long way and wasting gas', he runs a stop sign. Protest, defend myself and pout?Heck no! Bite my tongue but laugh like crazy.

  He spends Saturday drinking beer and lounging when I wanted the porch painted. Empty the beer bottle down the drain? Nah--bite my tongue grab a glass of wine and join him.

  He's made supper and it's sausage. Again. Complain? I'll just bite my tongue and serve him chicken breasts and tuna casserole all next week.

  Don't get me wrong. I'm no saintly martyr. I find sweet, 'butter wouldn't melt in my mouth' women pretty sickening. I don't say that I can manage the 'bite my tongue' approach all the time. There's still a decent amount of the shrew left in me. I don't say that biting my tongue should be carte blanche. Sometimes, I should say something. I do know that I feel better when I don't waste time on complaining, tantrums, nagging and fighting. And what goes around, comes around. He's biting his tongue a lot more now, too. 

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