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The secret to a happy marriage - Part two

I got such great response to last week’s column (high five to GS for her corrections to my obvious misunderstand of the facts) that I simply must further expound on this important subject. I owe it to every man out there that desires to make their marriage work. I cannot and will not attempt to council a single woman, so if you are of the gentler persuasion, put down the paper and work on your honey-do list.  By the way, I’m not proficient at cat-herding either.

Men, pay attention to what I write next.  Contrary to popular myth, we really do want to be the ideal husband and be that imaginary knight in shining armor. We just fail because we bulldoze our way through life. We are men and frankly, I personally am not disposed to apologizing because I am.

Our idea of what is expected in a marriage is pretty much what we’ve learned watching our parents, neighbors, and the television. On all counts a lot of it is wrong. Add in two or three step parents and the infighting that goes on with ex’s, and you pretty much enter marriage with all the wrong info and as soon as the gushiness wears off, the flaws in your thinking are pointed out.

The real secret here is finding a woman who wants you to be this awesome guy and is willing to hang with you while they help you develop. This can take the patience of Job by the way. You see, what she sees in marriage is nothing more than a prototype (full-scale working model of something built for study, testing or display); a block of malleable clay soft enough to mold into that perfect shape of a husband.  Most – no all men believe the girl/woman they wed is the woman of their dreams. They fully expect her to be what they married ten years down the road.

Surprise! Women have endurance and can be exceedingly difficult to read. They rarely are honest when it comes to revealing what they really expect and fully expect you to clairvoyantly see this. Tomes have been written on this phenomenon and I won’t repeat it.

“She attracts him like a bee to a flower and her allure is in her affection and sole commitment to him as her everything,” one fellow opined. Oh my goodness is he in for a major surprise. This is true of course; she is all of that, but the total package is elusive and must be earned again and again at her discretion. If he can endure, as she is surely worth it, he will get rewarded, albeit in carefully scripted measure.

It is a fact written in stone that wives meter out affection as a reward for jobs well done and this is one thing that can be a major contention in marriage. The sooner the husband understands that this is simply the way it is, the quicker he can begin playing the game for the prize. Any other way in, makes him as a burglar and a bumbler and doomed to be a thug or a joke.

I love my Bride. I married her when she was 17 and me?  25. I was a worldly man with experience – or so I thought. I give her my all; my soul, my heart and after all these years, she still guards her inner sanctum. I tell her she is my soul mate and she won’t commit. It took a long time for me to figure out this intricate puzzle to a reasonable conclusion.

Vulnerability. In my clumsy man-ways, I have no problem exposing my underbelly to her. She’s worth it to me to expose my weaknesses. She plays her cards closer to her heart. There’s a bit of her she reserves for herself and maybe Jesus, but even after all these years, I am still held at half length.

That’s women for you. I understand and that is one of the secrets of a happy marriage. As a man, you can’t give 50, 60, or even 80% to her. You have to give all. What you get in return is what she will is willing to give you. Now I’m not talking about being walked on; not even a little bit. I am talking about two people in a committed relationship who are faithful to each other and actually love each other.

My commitment to my Bride has always been one of a provider of security.  This goes far further than having a shiny car, or cool walk. I have provided a safe avenue for my Bride to raise our children and not worry about where the next meal will come from. I have been there for her during times of stress and worry. I have enjoyed her company more than being with my friends. She is my best friend and that my friends, is the real secret to a happy marriage.


Anonymous said…
Allyce Lankford: Your last sentence is the only true solution to a good marriage!
Anonymous said…
Deb Hearn: A blessed man to know you have a friend in your wife
Anonymous said…
Buddy D. Casto: Thanks BB!!! Good stuff!!!
Anonymous said…
Stan Roby: Bert, I'd like to think that she is just as perplexed about you, as you are of her. Stay thirsty, my friend!
Anonymous said…
Dandy Don Cunningham: I sure did enjoy the second part to your column on marriage. Another great example of experience and wisdom. Thank you for sharing this.

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