Kat Wilder

Kat Wilder
Location
California, USA
Title
Columnist/blogger
Company
Marin Independent Journal
Bio
As a middle-aged divorced mom in Northern California, I have a lot to say — and sometimes people even listen to me (unlike my teen). I am a columnist/blogger for the Marin Independent Journal, where I share my humorous thoughts and experiences on balancing kids, work, friendships, dating, exes, perimenopause and midlife sex

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Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 20, 2008 8:03PM

Getting married? You can always do what porn stars do

Rate: 7 Flag

It wasn’t until I became divorced that I learned how to be the perfect wife. Husbandless, true, but still the perfect wife.

And just like a reformed smoker — the most obnoxious advice-dispensers around with all those “You shoulds" and “You shouldn’ts (and I am a
longtime reformed smoker, so I know) — I am full of advice for the married, about-to-be married, the about-to-be parents and the about-to-be divorced.

I know that it’s rude to dole out advice when it’s not asked for, but I
can’t seem to stop myself. It’s like I’ve picked up a sixth sense on
marital dysfunctions.

Like the time I was sitting at the bar at a local restaurant. I was waiting
for a friend who was running late, so I started chatting up the cute
young couple seated next to me. After several years of dating, they
had recently tied the knot and were still in the glowy honeymoon phase.

We started talking about kids. I shared a few of my good-cocktail-banter
horror stories about my son Trent, like the time he stuck a chocolate
Easter egg up his nose and I spent Easter in the emergency room, and
the time he tripped off the fire alarm in his elementary school because
he wanted to know what happened when someone pulled that lever.

New hubby listened carefully, and then he said, “You know, I
don’t think I really want kids."

“Oh honey, of course you do," new wife said confidently.

But as we continued to chat it was pretty evident to me that, no, he
really didn’t. I heard that loud and clear, but she surely didn’t. I
couldn’t help thinking — shouldn’t they have had this conversation
a long time ago?

Or maybe they did, and she — like so many women — thought
he’d eventually “come around." Because having a baby is, you
know, just another little decision like which color couch to buy or
whether to honeymoon in Cabo or Kauai.

I think the joke goes: Men get married hoping she won’t change, and women get married hoping he will.

Sometimes when I’m at home, I hear the drama going on next door.
The 3-year-old starts screaming, “No! No, Mommy, NO!!!" which
sets off the baby into a wail that sounds as if a pack of hyenas has
moved in. I think of Cara, their pretty young mom, and I know just
what’s going on in that house. It reminds me of Young Mom Kat a
nd Trent, who was not an easy child, and how overwhelmed I often
felt as I made the transition from career woman to housebound
full-time mommy.

I remember how that played out when Rob, my then-hubby, came
home from work. We were two tired young people, each with our
own expectations of the night. In hindsight, I can see so clearly some
of the mistakes we made in not keeping the couple part as alive and
vibrant as the parent part.

Now, a few years out of divorce and with lots of self-help books, self-realization and therapy behind me, I’ve thought a lot about what
keeps a marriage going. And I love to hear what others have to say.

So when I had dinner recently with a newlywed couple, the
conversation naturally veered toward marriage.

The couple, however, were a well-known porn star and her new hubby, also in The Business. I couldn’t remember a single title of a movie
she’d appeared in. but I knew she was a champion of women’s
rights and so we hit it off beautifully. But I didn’t really want to talk
about insider gossip or size versus technique. What I really wanted to
know — and not in a voyeuristic way — was, how do porn stars
make marriage work? I mean, just think about it …

By the end of the evening, I had learned their secret: Let go of
jealousy, make dates for sex and bring in a third person every now
and then. I’m not sure those are the right ingredients to keep
everyone’s marriage intact, but I respect that it’s working for them.

And I’ve learned what would work for me, should I ever walk down
the aisle again.

So, because I like to share, here are Kat Wilder’s Secrets to a Successful Marriage. Actually, it’s just one secret: Act like a single person,
but a committed one.

It isn't all that hard. It’s like this:

Remember what it was like when you were single and dating — or
trying to date? You hit the gym, you made sure you looked good, you
were active and interested and interesting. So what happens after people
get into a long-term relationship? They often let themselves go. That’s
why as soon as one spouse starts to lose weight and dress nicer, people think, “Uh-oh. Must be cheating."? Why wait until after the divorce?
Start doing that. Now. So Rule No. 1 is: Take care of yourself for
yourself

Here’s one of the best parts of dating, I think — planning something
special because you know he loves it, and then making it happen. It’s so nice to think of ways to give someone you care about pleasure. And
the anticipation can be pretty intoxicating, depending on what you’re planning. Well, you have to “date" your spouse, too. If your idea of
being together is channel-surfing and sharing a bag of chips (even if
they are stoneground, organic and blue) night after night, you’re in
trouble. That’s OK every now and then, but why should the wooing
end after you’ve tied the knot? Rule No. 2: Date your spouse

As a single person, you have a lot of “me" time to fill in however you
want to. I see a lot of friends expecting their spouse to be the emcee of
all their fun. But no one person can be the one-stop shop for all her
needs, nor should he be. He won’t see that chick flick? Go with your girlfriends. He’s got two feet and you like dancing? Take a dance
class alone. He wants to spend Sunday watching ESPN? Take
your kid and go on a “date." Rule No. 3 is: Give each other space

When you’re first getting to know someone, it’s all about sharing
intimate things about yourself so he’ll know who you are. And it’s all
about honesty, too, because now there are nasty things like HIV and
STDs to discuss. So isn’t it weird how after you’re married awhile
you stop talking about those intimate things? Sex, money, parenting — topics that really need to be updated constantly. If you’ve ever
told someone, “My wife doesn’t understand me," please ask
yourself when was the last time you actually told her something
honest — spoken in a nonaccusatory, nonjudgmental, loving and
caring way, of course — even (and especially) if it’s hard to say?
Rule No. 4 : Honesty really is the best policy

Every few days, Trent makes the trek from our house to his dad’s.
That means Rob has to cook, clean, plan, help with homework, take
him to the doctor and dentist and generally take care of things he never
had to do when we were married. Guess what? Rob’s a better dad than
ever! Got an absentee hubby who doesn’t understand what you do all
day, doesn’t lift a finger around the house and barely knows his kids?
Put him in charge half of the time, and I mean really in charge — permanently. He’ll get it. Rule No. 5: Dads can do it, too

The funny thing about being single is that you are often thinking about
sex — how long since you’ve had it, and how long it will be until you
can get it again. Married people use any number of excuses to get out
of it. I don’t care how tired, angry, resentful, disappointed, stressed
out or generally pissed off you are. Get over it and get ON it! With
all that oxytocin and testosterone surging, there’s nothing that quite connects a couple like a good romp. Get back into discovering his
taste, smell and touch, and start loving the person you promised to
cherish forever. Rule No. 6. : Have sex — lots of it

That’s it. I could probably throw in a few more, but you can see what
I’m getting at. Now I’m not guaranteeing that these will work, but they
certainly can’t hurt.

Worse comes to worse, you can always invite a third person ... …

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Comments

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Terrific thoughts. Marriage is difficult enough without taking away the qualities that attracted you to that person in the first place. I'd add one more, mainly based on your posting:

Have the 'deal-breaker' conversations before you get married and listen, really listen to what the other person is saying. So, having children, what you think about careers, sex, money habits, sharing household duties ... get it out of the way before you tie that knot.

Of course, this is dependent upon both people really listening and really telling the truth. That might not happen, alas.
Yes, marriage is difficult, but it's almost impossible to tell someone who is on the verge of marital bliss.

I hate going to weddings. It's not that I'm a cynic, I'm really not. Last week, I was showing off the amphitheater that offers panoramic city views of Boulder to an out of town friend.

There was a Scottish wedding going on and we were able to listen in to the wedding vows.

We are both marriage counselors. She has been married for almost 40 years to the same man. I am in a happy remarriage of almost 8 years (my first marriage I considered a success for 18 out of 21 years ). Between the two of us, we've been married for close to 50 years. Working with couples, we have seen our share of marital woes.

We both looked at each other and I leaned over to whisper to her, "I hate weddings. I just want to see these people 5 or 10 years from now and see if they can still say all this sweetsey goobley gook."

She leaned over and said, "I feel the same way. I not only hate weddings, I hate baby showers. I just want to say, 'Yeah, just wait until your little darling grows up and becomes a coke head and a gambling addict!'"

Really, we're not as cynical as we sound. But we're not naive either.

And while you're making lists for making marriages work, better make a list for REMARRIAGE cuz that's a whole another animal.

Things like:

1. Get ready for your stepchildren to hate you. You are the safest person for them to be mad at.

2. Get ready to be generous in spirit, cuz you're going to have to share your kids on holidays, birthdays and family events.

3. Get ready to watch your ex fall in love with someone else, and actually appear to be happier with them than they were with you.

4. Get ready to confront and talk about finances, wills, trusts and stock portfolios, especially if there is financial disparity between the two of you.

5. Get ready to have your spouse's ex resent you, for any number of reasons.

6. Get ready to be really flexible with your schedule, your kid's schedules, your spouse's schedule, your ex's schedule, his ex-s schedule, and any future children that may arise from these new unions.

7. Have sex...lots and lots of sex.
Hilarious! And definitely worth reading. Far too many couples, even those who choose to be as I call it, "child-free"(child-less sounds like we're "less than") let themselves go.
I agree:
Take Pride in Yourself, and stay involved and stay interesting. For yourself, and your partner. Peace.
Sex and a sense of humor---that's been the key. . .(of course that's a third marriage talking---but this one is now twice as long as the other two put together.

Nice post! Thanks!
Not long after my now wife and I met 11 years ago I asked her what she was looking for in a partner. Her response was that she wanted someone who would always be her best boyfriend. She asked, "What do you want in a partner?" I replied "I want someone who'll kiss me like you just did, everyday."
Our marriage is incredible. People we know always say "Yáll seem like newlweds." It's true. I've been her best boyfriend ever since and she kisses me like that everyday.
I THINK YOU NEED SEX AND A LOT OF SEX AND I THINK MANY GUYS ARE READY FOR HELP
Yeah unfortunately I see the the mistakes some of the older women in my family have made. And # 1 on the list is Letting Themselves Go. This became quite apparent to me when I recently flipped through old family photo albums. And I couldn't believe how beautiful 1 aunt was in the 70's. She had it all, luxurious long black hair, hourglass curves, full plump lips, alluring Filipina eyes, and a sexily positioned face mole.
Now I look at her today. Recently divorced after 25+ yrs. and she openly enjoys engorging herself with fried, fatty foods (so that hourglass is now an m&m) ONLY wears monochromatic sweat suit outfits (and not the "cute" velour/terry, or sporty Nike ones) the ones from Walmart that are sweatshirt material-- head to toe, and she wears her hair considerably short compared to her days in the 70's -- which is when her and ex-uncle 1st met.

So the part that you say take care of yourself for yourself really makses sense. She's all pisssed and bitter at men b/c ex-uncle ended the marraige by cheating on her with a younger, more attractive lady. He wasn't ever a looker himself, but comparitively he's kept up a little better than she over the 25+yr marriage.

So I feel like, why are you bitter at men? For being attracted to an attractive lady? I'm sure there were other reasons for the divorce like they'd grown apart, what have you. But I just feel if she would've kept herself up a bit, he might've kept interest in her enough not to cheat with some other woman.
That's just my thought..... and she's a nag.
I very much enjoyed this piece. You have a wonderful way of hinting at the negatives but always bringing out the positives through an objective eye/voice. I enjoy your blog and do truly find your advice to be helpful