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In which John and his wife, Sarah, talk about how to have a good marriage. The Wimbly Womblys play Dagenham.

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John: Hello and welcome to Hankgames without Hank. My name is John Green, I'm the manager of the AFC Wimbledon Wimbly Womblys. Today we're taking on Dag-and-Red, which is apparently a real thing! We're gonna talk about how to have a good marriage today, that was- someone requested that. So I thought I would bring in a very special guest.

Sarah: Me, Sarah Green.

John: What is your relationship to me?

Sarah: I'm your wife.

John: So we're gonna talk about how to have a good marriage...

Sarah: I think that's awfully presumptuous.

John: (laughing) I know right, it's a little presumptuous.

Sarah: How do they know we have a good marriage?

John: I don't know. Well, but I think we do.

Sarah: Well we are sitting in a (laughing) single lazy-boy together.

John: We are sharing the lazy-boy today, for today's uh video. We'll see if that, the restriction of my right arm might affect my play.

Sarah: Okay.

John: Umm, by the way we're still top of the league.

Sarah: Okay, there you go.

John: Are you proud?

Sarah: Yes.

John: Yeah. Umm- oh look at the- it's a great steal to start the game. So Sarah, what do you think is the key to a great marriage?

Sarah: Well the first tip is that when your husband says that he wants to play video games as his job, to suspend your disbelief and go along with it. 

John: (laughs) I mean, do you really think that's part of a marriage though? Like, like being willing to- because like... It must- you must of thought- OH GET IN, GET IN, GET IN, GET IN! AW-HAH! You must of thought it was a little weird- when... Not so much this, but in 2007 when I was like I'm going to do a video blog project with Hank...

Sarah: Yeah, well I mean I was very supportive of that... Um... Or at least, you know, I wasn't in the videos but I was very supportive of it. Um... I think, I think in general if your spouse comes to you with an idea for something they want to do, even if, even if you have your doubts, unless it's like dangerous for them (John chuckles) um... I think that it's probably better to let them give it a try and figure it out for themselves, umm... if it's a bad idea, you know?

John: And occasionally um, both of us have had ideas that the other thought was bad but turned out to be really good ideas.

Sarah: Like what?

John: Umm, well... like, I don't know. Like I think I've- I think I've had ideas for books that... That you were dubious about at first, that turned out to be okay.

Sarah: Yes, and- and-

John: And you've had ideas for- for shows that I was a little dubious about at first that turned out to be really good.

Sarah: Yeah, well... yeah!

John: Like uh, like Sarah curated- oh, you're offside! You are a cheater! You broke the rules! Sarah umm, curated the uh- an exhibition called graphite that was about sort of non-traditional uses of graphite umm and I was-

Sarah: That's kind of, that's kind of a dumb idea.

John: I started out dubious but it turned out that was, I thought that was the best show you ever did actually.

Sarah: Yeah.

John: So far.

Sarah: Yeah.

John: I'm sure there's better ones ahead. Umm, so okay... that's a good- that's a good like, first starting point. By the way it's nil - nil here. I think I am being a little bit, I am a little bit worse off because of my inability to move my right elbow, but to be fair, I've always been terrible. Umm no no no come back!

Sarah: What, that's okay.

John: No, its good, its good- I'm going to score right now! Don't worry- ahhh, Bald John Green! His positional sense is not what it used to be.

Sarah: Oh, Bald John Green is on this team?

John: Get it! Get it! Get it! Ohhh! He's doing the Macarena.

Sarah: Ahhh!

John: Is that what that is?

Sarah: I don't know. I'm proud to say I don't- I don't think I know what the Macarena is.

John: Anyway, that pass went from Bald John Green to Other John Green so you know what we sing?

Sarah: What?

John: Sings: "John Greens, John Greens, Bald and Other John Greens! They're the best forwards that Wimbledon has ever seen." Except it-

Sarah: So wait-

John: didn't go from Bald John Green to Other John Green. (laughs)

Sarah: So the-

John: My bad.

Sarah: So the Wimbly Womblys have the same players as the Swoodilypoopers?

John: No, Sarah! They're not all of the same players but they have Bald John Green and Other John Green because they are both Time Lords so they can travel through time and space. And so they can travel from FIFA to FIFA. And Bald John Green had actually already signed for AFC Wimbledon. Sometimes I feel like you don't necessarily watch ALL of the HankGames videos. (Sarah laughs) Umm, Bald John Green had already signed for AFC Wimbledon because he-

Sarah: See, that's a good point.

John: He started-

Sarah: That's another part of having a good marriage, is having um, separate interests.

John: You have to have separate interests.

Sarah: Yes.

John: That's true.

Sarah: Yes. Its important to share a lot but it's also important- it's also important to cultivate your own things.

John: You got to have a little bit, I do- I actually really agree with that. It's important to have your own life because you don't want to be... Yeah, and also to encourage your partner in their, in their lives, you know?

Sarah: Yes.

John: So like... You- you are not a huge Liverpool football club supporter.

Sarah: That's- that's a fair characterization.

John: But you, um, totally support me watching Liverpool on Saturdays as long as I'm taking care of the kids.

Sarah: That's true, that's true. 

John: And even occasionally if I'm not taking care of the kids!

Sarah: Yeah.

John: But not usually. Oh, this is a great opportunity! And it comes to nothing, like so much effort in this world. (Sarah chuckles) Umm...

Sarah: So what are other things-

John: I think-

Sarah: -other aspects of a good marriage?

John: Well I think that like, we've been- we've been talking around what I was going to say, which is, uh, like... Mutual generosity.

Sarah: Mmm hmm.

John: It's really easy to assume the worst of someone? Um, or to assume that like... You know, to- so... It's really easy to be like, oh I assume that what you meant was worst possible thing you could have meant.

Sarah: Mmm hmm.

John: But I think in general, like... Things go well, in all relationships, but especially in like, the really central ones like a marriage, when you assume the best.

Sarah: Right.

John: You know?

Sarah: Right.

John: When you don't go to that place of like, mutual resentment and... Just try to do generous things for each other, so like... I think different people experience that differently. Like, like, what you would find to be a generous gift and what I would find to be a generous gift might be quite different?

Sarah: Right.

John: But if we can, um, you know... Speak our different love languages or whatever... It's good.

Sarah: Oh, John.

John: Sorry! I- I- I haven't even read that book actually. (Sarah laughs) But I think that's an interesting idea.

Sarah: It is.

John: I can't-

Sarah: I haven't read it either, but it is interesting. Like, like... I feel love when you do household chores. (laughs)

John: Right, yeah. I know you do! And I feel love when I don't have to do those household chores. (John and Sarah laugh) Um, so... That's just- I guess that's just a competing interest.

Sarah: It is!

John: I don't know what we're gonna do about that! Um-

Sarah: Yeah. I don't think- I don't think it's gonna work out, John. (John laughs)

John: We've really let the foot off the gas here, toward the end of the first half. Um, since we got the goal. Just because... We're winning!

Sarah: Yeah.

John: And then it's- you know...

Sarah: You don't wanna make the other team feel bad!

John: Well, you kinda do! Um... Because goal difference matters, but also because... I've been thinking about this a lot. Like, what is the ultimate point of soccer? Like, it's ultimately meaningless, right?

Sarah: Right.

John: But also, all of human- all human endeavours are ultimately meaningless.

Sarah. Right. Everything we do is meaningless.

John: Ultimately! And not- maybe not every single thing, but certainly if you zoom out enough, and you consider like, the temporariness of humanity itself...

Sarah: Right.

John: Like, a lot of stuff becomes meaningless. A lot of the stuff that we care about-

Sarah: Okay. So that's-

John: -is empty of meaning.

Sarah: Yes.

John: So I think like, ultimately, you play for love and glory. (Sarah laughs) You know? Like-

Sarah: Glory is a terrible thing- uh, to do anything for!

John: No, I don't think so!

Sarah: Glory?

John: Yeah! Because it's all- well, it's all- it's all removed from- it's all removed of meaning, right? Like, so-

Sarah: Well, glory has built-in like, vanity and-

John: No, no, no. Not for glory of self, but for glory of club! For glory of shared endeavour.

Sarah: Mmm.

John: You know? So it's the diff- that's exactly the difference between say, like... Playing tennis and playing soccer. Because it's not even- it's not even about- it's not just about you, and it's not even just about the boys and one woman who are on the field!

Sarah: Right.

John: It's also about um... It's about the club, the 100 year history of football in Wimbledon, and then having that all taken away, and then bringing it back-

Sarah: Right.

John: -um, the way that they have. So I think like-

Sarah: That's-

John: That's-

Sarah: That's why I liked playing soccer in high school, versus the other sports, is because- because of the team endeavour.

John: Right!

Sarah: And also because the spectators were very far away (John laughs) so, um... (Sarah laughs) You didn't- you didn't feel their like, beady little eyes on you all the time (John laughs) like I did, and uh-

John: Did you see that pass? Did you see that pass?!

Sarah: I did!

John: That was glorious!

Sarah: And when I played goalie, um-

John: Oh, then a terrible pass to follow it up.

Sarah: When I played goalie, the coach would always say "if the opposing team scored, that it had to get by every other player before it got by you" (John laughs) which is a little bit like, um... I know that I also was not a good goalie (Sarah and John laugh) so that was also the problem... Like-

John: Well you're not- no offense, but you're not really-

Sarah: But there's truth to it!

John: You're not really tall enough to be a good goalie.

Sarah: Well that's when I stopped being goalie, is when my coach said that "Urist, you're not getting any taller, you're not gonna-

John: Gahhhhhh!

Sarah: -you're not gonna be goalie next season."

John: Well, it's true. You weren't-

Sarah: And I was fine with that.

John: You weren't getting any taller. Um. That- that is a disappointing finish from other John Green.

Sarah: Yeah.

John: He's gotta get that ball on target! Don't you agree?

Sarah: I agree.

John: He's supposed to be a finisher!

Sarah: Mmm hmm.

John: I hired him to be my striker, not to be the guy who heads the ball slightly out of bounds.

Sarah: But marriage - to bring it back around-

John: Oh, right!

Sarah: -is about shared endeavour.

John: Yeah! I totally agree with you. Like, shared- because, uh- like, there is the like, romantic, um... Googly-eyed part of marriage, which is awesome, but like, there's a lot of um... Basically like, running- running a family together!

Sarah: Right.

John: Which is essentially like similar to a small business. You have to pay your bills, you have to, you know-

Sarah: Yeah.

John: It's just like, you-

Sarah: And then children...

John: Yeah. And- yeah. Who are your, kind of, quasi-employees... (Sarah laughs) Um... When you get-

Sarah: I like this analogy.

John: When you get married, you basically agree to (laughing) start a business together that will never- oohoh! Oh, show me your cart-wheels!

Sarah: Oh! That was kind of a weak cart-wheel!

John: Oh! That's a beautiful cart-wheel! Look at Other John Green, proving that he, too, can be a great player for AFC Wimbledon. Bald John Green has gotten the bulk of the goals so far, but that was a fantastic finish.

Sarah: That was very good.

John: You know what- he responded Sarah, he responded to my comment that I hired him to be a finisher-

Sarah: Mmm hmm.

John: -not to um, not to uh, head the ball out of bounds. Can I sing you a song?

Sarah: Sure.

John: Sings: "He's big, he's tough, he has a brilliant puff, other John Green, other John Green!" He just got caught up there. He almost had a break-away again! AFC Wimbledon dominating the play! Dag-and-Red suffering under our mighty strength! (Sarah chuckles) Um... So...

Sarah: So...

John: Yeah, I agree. It should be about shared endeavour-

Sarah: Mmm hmm.

John: -and that's when it's most fulfilling, is like, when you feel like you're on the same page, and-

Sarah: Right.

John: -you feel like you're doing something that you both- like, yeah, you're like, making stuff together. Whether that's like, kids or dinner, or whatever it is.

Sarah: Yeah! And uh, you know, the- back, back to the generosity thing... Like, um... You know, it is satisfying to make someone else's life easier and better.

John: It is!

Sarah: Like, generosity is helpful for the giver-

John: Generosity... Yeah, it feels good. It feels good to be generous. It always- um-

Sarah: Sometimes! (laughing) Not always!

John: That said, there does come a point at which it starts to be replaced by resentment. (Sarah laughs) Um... (John laughs) So you can't- you can't- I got fouled! You can't always be, sort of, merely- um, merely jealous, you know?

Sarah: Right.

John: Like, um. There is that feeling of like, "I give and I give and I give and I never get anything back." But sometimes you have that feeling because you aren't-

Sarah: You don't have that, though?

John: No, do you?!

Sarah: (laughing and hesitating) No.

John: PAUSE?! (Sarah laughs) Pause, pause, pause! Um... Yeah. I mean, that feeling of like, giving and giving and giving and never getting back can be very frustrating. But I think... Largely that's a result of seeing how your partner gives, you know?

Sarah: Yeah.

John: Like, understanding what giving looks like to them, and then kind of how they know- being able to have a conversation about that.

Sarah: Mmm hmm.

John: And the last thing that I- on that topic, the last thing that I would say, is communication. Like-

Sarah: Mmm!

John: -I know that that's an obvious thing, but like... It's when you stop talking in any- in any important relationship- it's when you stop talking openly, that the problems really start, because then it can become kind of like a cycle of not talking...

Sarah: Not expressing yourself.

John: Not expressing.

John and Sarah together: Right.

Sarah: But again, fine line between communicating and nagging.

John: Well, yeah, I mean... But there's a difference between like, communicating feelings about trash pick-up (Sarah laughs) and communicating larger feelings about, you know... Feeling disconnected or-

Sarah: Right.

John: -being afraid of abandonment or whatever, you know?

Sarah: Right.

John: Like, to me, like... You don't ever- yeah. Yeah. I- I- I definitely understand what you're saying though. Like, you don't wanna be naggy. Even about like- and you don't wanna appear- it's difficult, 'cause like, even- even- even- ooooh, no!

Sarah: ooooh.

John: Everything worked out better than expected.

Sarah: Good.

John: Um, yeah, you never wanna appear merely- we did it!

Sarah: We did it!

John: We won the game!

Sarah: Hooray!

John: High five! (Sarah and John high-five) Hey, thanks for being uh, a special guest on Hankgames. I thought you did a great job.

Sarah: You're welcome!

John: Yeah.

Sarah: It was fun.

John: I'm just trying to be really generous.

Sarah: (laughs) Congratulations.

John: Thank you!

Sarah: You're welcome.

John: Mutual generosity!

Sarah: Mmm hmm!

John: Best wishes!