Jokes are supposed to be funny, to both parties. This is just thinly-veiled verbal abuse.
For our anniversary, the hardest part of the day wasn't deciding what to get each other or where to go for dinner — the hardest part, for both of us, was picking out a greeting card. It's not that we didn't have choices; we could have each chosen from hundreds at the local stores.
The problem was the content of the cards. They weren't sweet or funny; they were downright insulting. Here's a sampling of what I found:
"You're my favorite husband as long as you leave the seat down and don't fart in your sleep."
"Love is one long sweet dream and marriage is the alarm clock."
"Holy sh*t, we're still married."
And this one with a comic on it: "It's another sympathy card; our anniversary is next week."
I get it, really I do. People want to be funny. They want to make their spouse laugh, to brighten their day, to make them realize how much they're loved. But when did cards and jokes like this become synonymous with love? When did it become a sign of affection to disrespect the most important person in your life?
I'm not saying funny cards are a bad thing. In fact, I think the really "romantic" ones are awful and cheesy. But call me crazy: on my anniversary I don't want to tell my husband that I only love him under certain circumstances, or there's an end-point looming on our marriage, or I never had faith we'd last, or marriage really screwed up my life. Because none of that is true.
There's a way to be funny without being mean, and that's the thing that most people don't get. Here are a few great (real) examples:
"Marriage is not always easy, but I'm so glad we're figuring this sh*t out together."
"Thanks for being the kind of man who will carry my purse."
"You warm my cold, black heart."
"You're kinda cute and I kinda like you a little. (OK, a lot.)"
See? Funny without being a jerk. Marriage isn't easy, but while poking fun at it can make things easier, it shouldn't be a route to insult one of the most cherished people in your life.
Your spouse should be your best friend, the person you can talk to about anything, the one you go to for support and whom you support as well, the one you love unconditionally. Why tear them down when you can build them up instead?
It extends to more than just greeting cards, too. People constantly make jokes in public about their spouses — maybe they can't cook, or drive poorly, or talk a lot. The jokes may not be meant as hateful, but if it's something you would say to spite someone while you're angry, that's not playfulness. That's meanness and it isn't fair to your spouse.
Jokes are supposed to be funny, to both parties. But to me, this is just thinly-veiled verbal abuse, a way to say something nasty and not get in trouble.
Quit making bad jokes about your marriage; instead, reinforce that you love your spouse and want to be together. They deserve that much.