Things Actively Attempting To Murder Your Marriage, Ranked

Damon Young/VSB
Damon Young/VSB

A Million Ways to Die in the West is a terrible, terrible movie. Admittedly, there are some chuckle-worthy parts. But even saying that is misleading, because you're hit with so many gags and jokes per minute that a few of them are bound to land. It's humor diarrhea. From the ass of a mid-air hawk. Which is unfortunate, because the premise itself isn't bad. The Old West probably was a terrible place to be; a fact Seth MacFarlane's "Albert" rants on during the movie, as he names a few of those million things that can kill you.


It's apropos that the Wife Person and I watched this over the weekend, as Sunday was the date of our first anniversary. Which means we've survived a year of marriage despite multiple factors actively trying to end it. As great and awesome and shit as marriage is, I'm learning that its success largely depends on how well you kill — or, at least, neutralize — the stuff attempting to kill it. There are too many of them to list, so I've decided to just rank the top 10.

10. Married Strangers With Shitty Unsolicited Advice

A sneakily terrible biproduct of being married is the fact that, once other married people learn that you're married, some of them will give you unsolicited and absolutely horrible advice. And sometimes these people will be waiting in an omelet line with you. And sometimes they'll say shit like "I'm not saying hit her. But your wife needs to fear you. Like Jackie and JFK" that'll make you want to switch omelet lines.

9. Toilet Paper

Regardless of how much you have, you will never have enough of it. But you can always find it if you really need it. Or if you're willing to be creative.

Basically "toilet paper" = "happiness."

8. Bitches

Relax. By "bitches" I don't mean "women." Instead, bitches are any and every person in your life who you're forced to interact with even though they don't bring many positive vibes to it. This could be work bitches. School bitches. Bitches at the Post Office. Facebook bitches. Next-door neighbor bitches. Citizen Bank bitches. Bitches at the gym. And Don Lemon.


7. The Person You Were Before You Got Married

And not the person you were a month before you got married, but the person you were in 2009. Because you still remember that person and that year. And you remember the freedom; the all-nighters with your boys; the random shit you used to fall into because your life was a perpetual scavenger hunt for more random shit to fall into. The problem is when you stop treating that person like college — a great experience you have no desire of repeating — and start allowing him to inch back into your life.


6. Friends And Family Members With Shitty Advice

Because when Aunt Jackie advises you to "let a man be a man sometimes" and to "love unconditionally, even if it hurts" it sounds great…until you remember she stayed with Uncle Ralph through four stints of rehab, three bouts of prison, two bouts of syphilis, and that 29 month period when he randomly decided to walk the Earth like Kane in "Kung Fu."


5. Car Trips Where At Least One Of You Is Not Completely Sure How To Get There

Is a silent but effective killer. Like hypertension. Or being Black in America.

4. Gone Girl

I will never not be convinced that this book and movie were specifically created to make every married man and woman wonder if their spouse was secretly a sociopath.


(Closer also works too.)

3. Bed Bath & Beyond

There are two types of people in every relationship. The person who doesn't actively hate every moment spent in Bed Bath & Beyond. And the person who, when asked "What kind of towels should we get?" will respond "Some…fluffy shit? I don't know" while his/her eyes never leave his/her iPhone. How happy your marriage will be largely depends on how quickly you learn to not make those trips together anymore.


2. Pride

Along with being the number one killer of Black men between the ages of 5 and 105 (ht to Panama), it's on some Hannibal shit when it comes to relationships. And not the Anthony Hopkins Hannibal, but the Mads Mikkelsen one. (The difference? As great as Hopkins was as Hannibal, he never looked like he could kick any and everyone's ass if he needed to. Mikkelsen does. Hopkins was creepy. Mikkelsen is scary.)

An accurate representation of pride
An accurate representation of the murderousness of pride

1. You

Because, if you're in a relationship long enough, you will actively do things to sabotage it. With no warning and no provocation. It won't — well, it shouldn't — be intentional. But you will do and say certain things that you know will not be helpful in any way whatsoever; shit that'll make you say "I really just did/said that, huh? What the fuck is wrong with me?" But you'll do it anyway.


You can't kill this part of you. Because, duh, you'll be dead. But what you can do is neutralize it. My advice? Carry a taser on your hip, and grip it whenever you feel the urge to do/say some sabotaging shit. Or just go and buy some more toilet paper.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


Congrats good sir..
Not married yet, but id like to add the "getting ready together." Not so much a killer but it can cause some pain and suffering lol, especially if yall havent ate yet. To quote something i saw last week,

"You can be waiting like 2 hours for your girl to get ready, but if you dont have your shoes on soon as she ready, somehow you the problem"