Rules for a Happy Marriage:
- The day after the honeymoon, wives must present a Happy Marriage Contract to their beloved. He signs immediately, if happiness is to continue. The contract states the husband promises to never complain. He won’t say, “It’s too hot, it’s too cold, or the soft water system is broken and we don’t have water.” Or make any other complaints like these. He must especially, (and this is big), not complain about money. This means he will not come home shouting, “That So-and So Hardware store just robbed me blind. They want five cents for one nail and I can get them for two cents a nail at the Such-and-Such Hardware store.” (Such-and-Such store is sixty miles from your residence and the cost of gas to get there to save three-cents a nail is not factored into the husband’s rant.) The Happy Marriage Contract requires husbands to never ask their wives how much something she purchased cost. Therefore, when his wife (you) come home with shopping bags full of new shoes and new purse and new Michael Kors earrings, he must never ever ask, “How much did that cost?” This is a ploy husbands use to figure how much they can equally spend on a new golf club, fishing pole, or welder. If you say, “The Michael Kors earrings cost fifty-eight dollars,” he’ll exhale a whistle and blurt, “Boy, they’re proud of those!” Then he’ll think to himself, “Aha, now I can drive back to the hardware store and shop ’till I drop with armloads of tools and a shiny new drill.”
- The Happy Marriage Contract must also include a ban on hobbies for husbands. For some reason unbeknownst to me, husbands can become addicted to hobbies. I don’t know of any twelve-step recovery programs for the husband-hobby addiction. If the hobby is photography, the husband might start out with one camera and one camera bag. But then he must have the best and most expensive cameras and lenses and tripods and the addiction takes over. Or if it’s tropical fish, the husband begins with goldfish in a bowl and then suddenly must have a two-thousand gallon aquarium that stretches from the living room down the hallway into the bathroom where expensive Lion Fish gawk through the glass while you apply your mascara. The spiny-finned fish try to kiss you with smoochy lips. It’s unnerving. If the hobby involves building things, husbands must have screwdrivers with names like Phillips and Flathead. They need wrenches and files and hundreds of pliers and tool chests to put it all in. Then comes a lathe, a mill, a cold saw, hot saw and every imaginable kind of saw. Therefore, a happy marriage allows wives only to have hobbies, as we can exercise restraint. Husbands, sadly, must abstain.
Husbands can never have enough pliers.
- Another ingredient for the happy marriage is this: husbands must learn to laugh at their wives’ jokes. Perhaps husbands could take a seminar or two and practice how to express amusement at their wife’s humor. Sons could probably help husbands out with a tip or two because sons always laugh at their moms’ jokes. “Heh, heh, heh, that’s funny, Mom,” sons say. However, the marriage wanders into dangerous territory when the husband not only fails to exhibit hilarity at the wife’s punch line, but then shoots a quizzical look and says, “I don’t get it. Something was lost in the translation.” You (the wife) say to yourself, “Harrumph! He can wait until the moon drops out of the sky before I will ever laugh at one of his jokes.” A few days later, he tells you one of his jokes and darn if you don’t laugh. You feel guilty that you have betrayed all womankind.
- Now a discussion about the real marriage killer. Think theme from Jaws as I explain. You and your husband cruise down the highway when suddenly (hear the Jaws music?…too doo, doo, doo…) the GPS interrupts like a shark attack and brazenly gives directions. Oh how men hate this. They want to be in control. They don’t like a woman compressed inside a tiny box telling them what to do. They know perfectly well they need to turn off at the next exit. Your husband’s face grows beet red and he hollers and pummels his fist on the steering wheel. “I know where I’m going!” he bellows at Ms. GPS. “How do you turn this thing off,” he shrieks as if in pain, ripping out cords from under the dash. My suggestion is for wives to ride a bicycle behind the car their husband is driving. As you merrily peddle your bicycle behind him amid the serenity of exhaust fumes, you will avoid the indignant fury hurled at the GPS as he tells her, “Stop telling me how to drive, you Hussy, you Jezebel!” It’s no use reprogramming the GPS to a man’s voice because a man would never give directions to another man. It’s against the “man code.” Women love the GPS. I invite mine inside to have tea. My advice for a happy marriage is to get a bicycle if you don’t have one.
Teatime with my GPS provides a time for her to lament her unhappy life dealing with husbands who don’t listen to her.
- Here are a few other suggestions for blissful matrimony. Husbands, please refrain from giving your wife a gift if it comes with a cord and plug. Unless it’s one of those cute Dickens Village houses that you place on the fireplace mantle at Christmas, that’s the only exception. Remember, husbands, if your gift has bling, then it’s her thing, and if it fits, you must acquit. Okay, that didn’t sound right. You get the idea, though. Also husbands, understand women don’t know that changing the oil in her car means, “I love you.”
- One last thing. Husbands, we don’t “gallivant with our girlfriends.” We have girl time. That’s when we get together and laugh at each other’s jokes and congratulate each other on the things we bought on our shopping spree. Best of all, girlfriends realize we’re all in the men/women relationship journey together, and that for us to have a happy marriage, girlfriends need each other so we can remain amused by you, our husbands. We love you for changing the oil in our car. And for washing the car, and making won ton soup that time we were sick. We’ll forgive all infractions if you remember us at Valentine’s Day. Besides, we women know the secret to true happiness because we have a backup plan. We laugh at our own jokes, buy our own bling, and love you, our husbands, even when you ask if we were out “gallivanting” with our girlfriends. And by the way, yes we were.