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My sister asked me, as part of her wedding ceremony, to Say Something About Marriage. I've been married for over two years, so obviously I have way too much insight on this issue than could reasonably be fit into the middle of an otherwise fairly compact service, but with some effort, and some help from my wife Bethany, I got the list down to twelve potentially useful pieces of advice. These probably aren't the most useful twelve pieces of advice, but I think they're better than nothing. As delivered at the wedding last weekend:  

1. Your world is getting bigger today, not smaller! More history, more friends, more possibilities. Marriage is not the end of the search, it's the beginning of all the searches that are more fun to do together.  

2. Be the guardians of each other's solitudes. Not only do you need to give each other space, you need to make each other space.  

3. No difficult conversations after 10pm. Not only is it harder to solve problems when you're tired, but at least half the time being tired is the problem.  

4. The Dutch principle of Total Soccer means that any player can attack when there is an opportunity, and any player can defend when there is a need. In Total Marriage you only have two players, so this is even more important. Both of you should be able to do everything your team needs. You'll have your preferences and strengths and habits, but if one of you goes down, the other one has to be able to cover.  

5. Wedding rings don't really come with magic powers. You will learn how to take care of each other one insight at a time. And even when you're not sure how, show up and you'll think of something.  

6. Headphones; separate closets.  

7. If you aren't already the world's leading experts on each other, you will be soon. It is thus your responsibility to be not only the world's biggest fans of each other's best qualities, but also the world's staunchest fans of each other's weaknesses and flaws.  

8. Get pets. By far the easiest way to remember that you have to feed your shared life together is if part of it comes and stomps on you every morning.  

9. No ultimatums. Ever.  

10. Travel. Surprise and challenge yourselves. It's easier to have a world together if you have a world to compare it to, and part of the fun of getting to know each other is putting yourselves, together, in positions where neither of you know what you're going to do yourself.  

11. Committing yourselves to one another is one of the most mature, responsible, focused decisions you can make. Balance it out by being immature, irresponsible and playful together as often as possible.  

12. When people, especially your relatives, offer you long lists of marriage advice, just smile politely and nod until they finally shut up.
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