Skip to main content

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.
.

Comments

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.

Popular posts from this blog

Camp fires, wood smoke, and burning leaves.

When I was a kid, everyone burned leaves in the fall. I always enjoyed it so much.It was a happy time. Man, that smell was amazing and you couldn’t go anywhere without smelling it. Of course now I know that it is a major source of air pollution and those of us that live inside the city limits are restricted from doing it. I don’t think I would burn them anyway, choosing to compost instead.
The whole family would engage in raking the yard and the reward was burning the leaves. The thick gray smoke would pour out like liquid clouds and we would run through it. Afterward, we smelled like smoke, but we didn’t care. I would wager that most people under the age of 30 have never even raked leaves into a pile, let alone burn them.
Growing up in north Georgia in the late 60’s, my 3 brothers and I would camp out most of the summer and burn anything and everything on our campfire. At the end of summer there wouldn’t be a stick, pine cone, or needle on the ground. We smelled like mountain men a…

Riding the waves

Back in 1974, after coming back to the USA from the unpleasant conflict in Southeast Asia, I was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. Vandenberg has 20 miles of coastline that is basically closed to the public and people in residence, regardless if you are in the military or not. This rule didn’t seem to affect my fellow airmen and I from going body surfing on a lonely stretch of beach, far from controlling authorities. There was a submerged shelf that ran out a couple three hundred yards from the beach that was flat and about 6 feet deep.You could swim way out there and as the ocean waves came in, they would hit that shelf and make 5 feet high waves that white-capped all the way in. Now mind you, this was pre-Jaws and none of us had ever heard of a Great White shark. Year later I read where this stretch of beach was prime habitat and a couple years ago, an airman was killed right there.
We had been in the 65 degree water for about an hour and I was turning …

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

I wish I could remember who it was that said you can get a basic education in three years, but let us take a look at Ben Franklin as an example of that. We have a family joke that the answer to almost any Jeopardy clue is almost always “Who was Ben Franklin?”
When I am asked who I would most likely enjoy an afternoon with, it is always Ol’ Ben, the only President of the United States, who was never the President of the United States. Did you know he was the master of self-promotion and a man I admire? Even as a young lad, if he spotted a person of higher station, he would grab a shovel or some tool and begin to work diligently. The person would see him and remark, “What a fine worker that young man is!”
I’ve read a couple of books on the man and it still amazes me that he did so much with so little organized education. “From 1714-1716, Franklin attended Boston Grammar School and George Brownell's English School (for one year each) but he was withdrawn due to the expense of formal…