credit blake snow
A happy wife is a happy life. Or so goes a popular adage.
This goes both ways, of course. But I suspect the saying is written primarily for men because we probably fail as spouses more often than women.
Either way, what’s the key to successful marriage?
First and foremost, always pretend you’re still courting your spouse, writes popular Quora author and Cal physicist Richard Muller. “Seduce. Entertain. Be nice,” he says. “Do all those things you did when you were trying to win her over.”
That means taking a sexual interest in them (not just maintenance, mind you—that’s not love-making), making them laugh, smile, and feel good about themselves, and respecting them no matter what (as opposed to misjudging, resenting, or objectifying them).
Lastly, “Don’t take them for granted, ever,” Muller says. Do this long enough and you’ll probably get divorced.
In other words, surprise them. Marriage is not a given. Do all you can to earn your keep. Contribute. Give. Don’t just take. Be the spouse you’d like to have.
Sage advice, Mr. Muller.
This woman’s reply to what it’s like to never get married and live alone for 56 years breaks my heart:
Life was great and fun and exciting until I hit 40. I looked back on my life and realized the wonderful experiences I had, but something nagged at me.
By 50, I understood that life may have been richer if I had shared those experiences with someone. By 53, it became alarmingly clear to me, that I had no one to tell my stories to. And more importantly, I had no one to tell me their stories.
I had some health scares. I had to hire people to help me as I had no one in my life to help me. That was a huge wake up call. Going into middle to old age with no one by my side.
Sure, it is great to spend time alone and be at ease in your own skin. But after 56 years, I realize humans are “herd” animals. We want to share. We want to feel love. We want to feel like we are a part of something greater than our own thoughts.
For me, I have a very lonely life. I personally would not recommend it. Loneliness is unbearably painful at times.
If I had to do it again, I would not have chosen this lifestyle.
This is precisely why everyone should be extra kind to the lonely.
I recently sampled a book in which the author said such-and-such was the “second most enchanting thing” he’d ever seen, save only seeing his wife for the first time. The line made me reflect upon the first time I met my wife:
In a hot tub. Continue reading…
My wife and I recently borrowed a large sum of money to buy a highly illiquid asset. To secure the loan, we disclosed more of our financial behavior to the bank than we’ve admitted to anyone else, including God. And rightfully so—again we were borrowing a large sum of money, and they wanted to make sure we’d pay it back.
In addition to scouring our personal finances, the lender took a fine tooth comb to our business finances. I’m self-employed. But my wife owns 50% of “the company.” I generate and service all the income. She gets half. Many would call her—as my lender often did—a “silent partner.” But she is anything but. Continue reading…
For me, 2013 is a year of tens. Ten years of marriage. Ten years of taking care of business. Continue reading…
This formula, from the ’70s of all decades, is elegantly simple:
frequency of lovemaking – frequency of quarrels = marriage success
Not sure if it’s causation or correlation, but it certainly mirrors the ups and downs of my marriage. Oh, la la!
Saying “I love you” for the first time is always a crap shoot.
It’s easier to do when the other one says it first. Difficult to do when you’re the emotional, head-over-heals, and “want to lay it on the line” type like me.
That was the case when I first expressed my love to Lindsey. If I remember right, the conversation went something like this (probably after one of our legendary make-out sessions):
Me: “I love you.”
Lindsey: “Thank you.”
Crash and burn.
Not to worry, though. I was flying high again a few months later, after hot stuff reciprocated. And we lived happily ever after.
Thank you, Lindsey.
Since first subscribing to the daily paper this summer, I’ve been exposed to more Dear Abby columns than a 1950s trophy wife. The last one I read was horribly political, so I decided to guide the advice-seeker myself. Here goes:
Dear Smooth Harold: My husband wanted to postpone having children until we were more financially secure. But I really wanted a baby, so he agreed, though only after I promised to return to work once the baby was born. That was a year ago. We now have a wonderful 2-month-old, and since “Avery” cam along, I realize how important it is for me to be at home with her. My husband disagrees. he says we need my salary in order to meet our financial obligations, and he is angry and upset that I won’t return to work. But I think there’s nothing as important as the nurturing a mother give her child. Who’s right?—R.F., Southern California
Dear R.F.: Why on Earth would you ask me, a complete stranger, such an important question without knowing my background first? I could be a baby-snatcher for all you know, or completely against everything you believe in! But alas, perhaps you’re at your wits end and have no one to confide in. If that’s the case and you don’t feel comfortable anonymously researching different opinions online or posting to a message board, then I’ll indulge you. And I assure you I’m neither a baby-snatcher nor a posturing moral hypocrite. Continue reading…