Thursday, March 03, 2016
[You may have seen this already -OR- you may not have seen this already. According to figures from Google, there were TWO views from 2/28 until now. I am re-publishing to see if those numbers change. If not, I guess I've just become horribly unpopular. In any case, if you've seen this already, my apologies for inflicting it upon you again.]
Before I tell you how to be happily married, here's something completely different. I'm in the Boston Herald today (if today is Sunday in your neck of the woods; if not, I'll still be there, but I'll be looking at my watch and wondering where the hell you've been.) I'm pre-scheduling this post, so I'm unable to give you a direct link. However, if you go to the Boston Herald Op-Ed page, I'm sure you'll be able to find me (and then make a wonderful comment, as you sometimes are wont to do.).
Now on to what the title of this piece promises - handy tips for a happy marriage.
[photo by Daryl Singer Edelstein]
Recently, a story made the news about the longest-married couple in America, John and Ann Betar. Providing – and God willing - they’re both still alive as you read this, he’s 104 and she’s a relative child bride at 100. They’ve been married 83 years. Of course, they were asked about ways to keep such a long marriage happy. They replied, “It’s just important to be content with what you have”, and other similar statements.
Theirs is a sweet story, but my wife and I will be celebrating our sixth anniversary on Monday and I think we have more concrete advice to offer. For us, the less conventional married stuff we do, the more successful our marriage is.
First off, we have separate bedrooms. This may make you think we don’t do that thing most married couples do as often as some other married couples do it, and that may or may not be true – I haven’t taken a survey – but I’ll tell you the advantage: We both get a good night’s sleep. She doesn’t listen to me snoring like an asthmatic lion and I don’t have to contend with her using a television set as a night light. Maybe you have a mate who hogs the covers or you like the air conditioner on while she wants to turn up the heat. There are no two people in the world who enjoy exactly the same way of sleeping and one of you is getting a worse night’s sleep if you share a bed. Keep the beds in different rooms. You can always get together when the urge strikes.
When one of us wants to watch something dreadful on TV – my wife likes Judge Judy and Dance Moms; for me, it’s The Three Stooges and boxing matches – instead of arguing, one of us goes to our very own separate bedroom and reads until something we both like comes on. We maintain our love and, despite our hideous tastes in television programming, we’ve also become more erudite.
It’s nice to share mealtime, but there’s no rule saying you have to eat the same things. I can count on the fingers of one greasy hand the number of times I’ve had to share my lobster sauce, fried rice and chicken wings, while my wife has never been compelled to give me a bite of her liver (and I mean that in a non-Silence of the Lambs way.)
We have hobbies that take us out of the house and give our partner some alone time. I’ve played fast-pitch softball at least twice a week since we’ve been married; sometimes it’s been twenty games a month. My wife has been more civic-minded in her solo efforts, as a member of various public committees and such, but it’s all good. We do something we love, which the other person doesn’t, and we love each other more when we’re together as a result.
Finally, we make it easy to remember special occasions. For instance, I never forget our anniversary. As I said earlier, it’s our sixth on Monday. We’ve been married twenty-four years, though. That's Leap Day.
And before you accuse me of being a cheapskate on anniversary presents, it was my wife who suggested we be married on that day. Therefore, maybe the most important tip of all is to marry someone whose serendipity matches your own general sloth.
Soon, with more better stuff.