Art of Manliness’ Take On A Simple Marriage

Brett and Kate McKay of The Art of Manliness have rocketed up the blog-o-sphere this year. In an effort to learn more about the people behind the blogs, here is a brief interview Simple Marriages conducted with them recently.

The hope for these interviews are for the rest of us to get a glimpse of life behind the blog scenes and perhaps a few nuggets of information we can apply to our lives and marriages.

First a bit of biographical info.
Brett and Kate have been married 3 blissful years. Kids are only a twinkle in their eyes at this point. Brett is a full-time law student going into his third and final year. This summer he is interning at two law firms. Kate is an instructor of US history and an English tutor at a community college.

Q: How have you and your spouse simplified marriage effectively?

For us marriage is really simple, so we’re not sure how to answer this one. Basically marriage is getting to hang out with your best friend all the time. And what can be simpler than that? Of course we don’t have kids yet, so with their arrival I’m sure things could take a turn for the complicated.

Q: How do you find harmony in marriage, parenting, work, blogging, fun?

Finding balance between all of those things takes a little work. Our schedules have been less than ideal for the last couple of years. During the school year, Kate drops me off at law school 9AM , and then teaches and then goes to her tutoring job. She gets off at 9PM and then picks me up. So we don’t get to spend very much time together.

What helps is the fact that we share a car. The ride is 30 minutes each way, so we at least get an hour alone each day to simply talk to each other. We also try to be in a good mood when we see each other. We both have long days, so it’s easy to be cranky, but we realize our time together is limited and so we try to put have fun whenever we’re together. We also make time for a “date night” each week. This usually consists merely of going out to eat and perhaps to Borders, but it’s a valuable time to connect and be romantic.

We do the blog in any of the free time we have remaining. Since it’s something we share, it brings us together instead of separating us. Of course we fight about it sometimes, but in general it’s totally fun to bounce ideas off each other and brainstorm and share in successes. Sometimes Kate writes a post and I edit it, or I write a post and she edits it, or sometimes we each write a little and both edit it. This naturally requires a lot of communication and a lot of humility. You have to learn to not be prideful and respect each other’s opinions.

Q: What can other couples learn from your marriage?

The biggest thing to do is to keep your love and passion alive. Everything else goes smoothly if you are still crazy about each other. We hardly ever fight and when we do, we end up laughing and hugging soon after. We’re so nuts about each other we both find it nearly impossible to stay mad. If you keep the level of your love high, then the little annoyances seem like just that instead of huge emotionally charged issues. And keep a sense of humor. We just have a lot of fun and don’t take things so seriously. Laugh a lot.

And of course a big part of keeping the love alive means keeping intimacy alive. This need not involved wacky positions and dress-up role playing. Instead, if one partner is in the mood then the other partner is there for them, no questions asked.

Q: What are your marriage dreams?

We’d like to be as happy and in love when we’re 90 as we are now. We’d like to have a few kids, have success in our careers and with the blog. In our fondest dreams we’d like to have a cabin in Vermont we could visit whenever we want. We always say that we don’t want our lives to be ordinary. So basically that’s the dream-to make our lives extraordinary.

Q: Any other thing Simple Marriage readers would benefit from knowing?

Well, I guess this is not that helpful to already married couples, but really the big secret to a happy marriage is simply to marry the right person. We’re two absolute peas in a pod. We’re best friends and soul mates and as Kate says, “Marriage is like a party every day.”

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