Just in case you missed my recent blogs (like, yeah, your life revolves around my blogs), the days of daily rhyme are over. And while I’m at it, the days of nothingness are over too. I will not abandon them entirely, but for now they are dead dead dead. Long live rhyming nothingness. If there are any first-time readers to my blog today I know none of this makes sense to you. It is best to simply say “you had to be there” and let it go at that.
Okay, I feel cleansed all over. I thought I’d jump right back into the fire and talk about something really substantive…marriage. Yep, that beautiful state of union between two people. Hey, this is funny already. If I were writing this, say ten years ago, I would have said “between a man and woman,” not “between two people.” Gotta roll with the times. I’m cool.
Every time someone hears how long my wife and I have been married I get a “Wow!” This is usually followed by something like, “Well, those days are certainly over,” meaning folks don’t stay married too long nowadays. I have given this some thought and I think some adjustments need to be made to accommodate this new marital posture. Some of the changes can start right out of the gate—at the wedding ceremony.
First, we have to stop this separate seating arrangement that always exists for the wedding guests. You know, friends and family of the bride sit on the left, groom on the right. To me, this automatically sets a precedent that there is already a division between the two sides of the marriage. I propose there should be both open seating and some forced seating. The latter dictates that the mothers sit next to each other, likewise the fathers. This will be a good test of future behavior at family gatherings and may provide some warning signs to heed.
Next, comes the official language of the agreement made between bride and groom. The script needs to be changed. We can still keep the “D” word, but its interpretation must be modified. Hence the line “until Death do us part” will now become “until Divorce do we part.” This is more appropriate to the times and will take the ugly presence of death totally out of the ceremony.
Now we need to make a slight adjustment to the good “times/bad times” section of the wedding vows. “For better or for worse” should be changed to “assume the worst.” “In sickness and in health” should be changed to “until the medical insurance runs out.” Those two changes will probably be enough for now. Once these become established and accepted, then I would add things about dealing with the children and who empties the dishwasher and whether or not the husband has to watch Dancing with the Stars.
As I mentioned, I’ve been married a long time to the same person. When you are married this long you need to double up. This means when you are asked if you are married your response should be, “Yes, I am married married.” See, you say it twice to emphasize the degree of unionship and the longevity involved. Oh, I forgot…I’ve been married married 45 years. We actually started a serious relationship 50 years ago, but we each agreed we’d get through school, get jobs, get a refrigerator and get a bed first–then we’d get married. Imagine, our marriage outlasted the fridge, the bed and all the other household goods and we were the only thing not under warranty.
As you can guess, I am often asked, “What is the secret to a long successful marriage?” This is a complex subject. Of course it goes without saying that the husband must have the stamina of a stallion and be a legend in bed. Then, it is very—oh, wait…we’re talking about my marriage in particular, aren’t we? Gee…then forget what I said about the stallion and legend stuff. Nevertheless, if you have to narrow down what makes a good marriage, it actually narrows down to two words any husband must embed within himself body and soul. And, those two words are: “Yes Dear.” Okay, I’m being a little facetious. The truth be told, the wife needs to master the same two words. If each person has “yes dear” as their primary response, then any conflict that comes up is at least starting off with a positive attitude on both sides.
Next comes the very sensitive issue of children. Most marriages involve children. Even today’s same-sex marriages are involving children. If you wish the marriage to stay together until at least the last child is out of high school, then it is a matter of a simple agreement. You can hand-shake on it, or have your lawyer formalize it, as long are each spouse commits to the agreement. Here it is:
Whosoever is the first person in the relationship to mention the mere word “divorce” then that person will automatically assume full custody of all children and will be their primary caregiver and financial supporter.
My wife and I found that this agreement early on in our marriage was a key to our staying together. The thought of being stuck alone with the kids was enough to ensure our relationship was rock-solid.
There are many other fascinating elements involved in maintaining a long successful marriage. There are inside-out laundry issues, who ate the last whatever, thermostat settings, lace (obviously meant for lingerie and not bed sheets) and stuff like that. Perhaps, we can rejoin and discuss these items in another blog down the aisle. I think I have given you enough information to digest for now. Besides, I have to go…got an appointment with the attorney. The bitch wants to even take my stamp collection. Can you imagine? In 50 years I’ve never once seen her mail anything!
Books by Marc Kuhn: THE POPE’S STONE, an historical novel that follows two descendants of a Virginia family who, despite living a century apart, share uncanny similarities in their lives; NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE, a collection of whimsical verse featuring thought-provoking “never-do’s” that children should beware of; and ABOUT A FARM, a children’s book about challenges we all face every day, regardless of where we live. All three books are available at amazon.com and each has its own .com website under its title.
Intimate details about Marc Kuhn and other exhilarating stuff at marckuhn.com
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