THE KEY TO A GREAT MARRIAGE: HATING THE SAME THINGS

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My wife hates Olive Garden. She finds it barely edible. To take my wife to Olive Garden is the equivalent of slapping her in the face with an unlimited supply of unappetizing breadsticks. To invite her out to dinner there is to uninvite yourself as her friend. I, too, feel the exact same way about Olive Garden, and our mutual hatred of that establishment has sustained our marriage for over 13 years.

As much as having mutual interests with your spouse is great, nothing can bring a couple together like hating precisely the same things.

In fact, the smaller and more trivial the thing is and the more intense the hatred is of said trivial thing, the better the relationship will be. Disliking similar foods, music or, yeah I’ll say it, other parents, can be a great bonding experience for the both of you.

I’ll give you an example. Have you ever found yourself out at restaurant with your spouse and there is a lull in the conversation, not so much from not knowing what to say as it is that familiarity of basically having covered everything? And in that lull you’ll casually toss off how you really hate the Courier font they use on the menu, and then your spouse will completely agree with you and you both will go off on how painfully boring Courier font is, and that hatred will spark the conversation and even lead to longer, fuller conversations that have nothing to do with fonts?

Well, that’s the power of a mutual dislike, and that power is nearly as strong as both of you loving Courier font. (Though why anyone would love Courier font is beyond me.)

Part of the appeal of hating the same things as a couple is the logistics involved. If a friend asks me if my wife and I want to go to a Halloween masquerade party, I do not have to check in with my wife. I already know the answer is a resounding no. We both hate dressing up in costumes. That is the exact opposite of fun. We are not going to a masquerade party; end of story, now let’s go out for sushi instead.

As much as people loathe admitting it (another thing we enjoy hating: the word “loathe”), all of us have other parents in our lives that we just don’t like. But rather than feel bad about it or try to hide it from your spouse, embrace it. The moment the both of you verbalize your hatred for those parents is the moment that love blossoms. Nitpicking other parents’ parenting styles can be as an enjoyable a pastime as playing a round of golf. (Something we never do, as my wife and I are both in total agreement that golf sucks.)

And discovering a dislike that you have that you didn’t know your spouse shared, well hell, that’s just like falling in love all over again. After all of our years together, my wife had no idea that I cannot stand being around any sort of karaoke, whatsoever. There is no such thing as “having fun doing karaoke,” and for years my wife felt this way, but was unaware that I did too. So when we realized we both have an extreme distaste for anyone in a bar belting out “Don’t Stop Believin’,” it was like experiencing a second honeymoon, if you know what I’m talking about.

Yes, you need to enjoy the same things in a marriage, but that doesn’t mean one of the things you enjoy can’t be mutual disdain for certain aggravating things. Sure, love is sweet, but sometimes that love needs a little spice. Hating the same things gives you that spice.

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