First of all, it’s a lot better than dating.

Second, over time you are definitely going to irritate your spouse a lot during the marriage. I would say after the first year, they will probably find you irritating more than 50% percent of the time. But remember, it’s their problem most of the time and they need to deal with it, suck it up and take one for team because you are you and you can’t help it. Plus in the long run it makes everybody better when they have to suffer a little bit.

Third, when you are irritating them more than the normal 50%, like upwards to 60% or 70% of the time, that is when you need go to get some crape paper and marking pens and make up some homemade coupons. Coupons for hugs, pancake breakfasts, a shave and a shampoo, or even to clean up the kitchen a few more times than you usually do, seem to take the edge off and usually will pacify everybody for a little while. They are a big hit in our house, and sometimes I even make up coupons offering mental or emotional discounts.

Sometimes, though I change things up and offer Dale dollars. So if my wife treats my well during the week, buys the right kind of groceries, or cleans up the house more often, then she earns Dale dollars. And, then she can cash those in at any time when I am being a real bugger around the house.

Homemade coupons go a long way towards getting your spouse to tolerate your presence in their personal space and are a must in any successful couple’s marriage toolkit.