It was a slightly strange morning when I received the phone call. I was in a field taking a photograph of a stuffed toy at the time (I told you it was a strange morning). The call was from a journalist wanting to know if I thought the secret to a happy marriage was for the wife to pick up her husband’s socks from the floor.
I really didn’t know how to respond to that question. While laced with misogyny, it was such a ridiculous idea I couldn’t help laughing.
Having done a quick search online, I discovered this was a passing comment made by the author Barbara Taylor Bradford. It would probably have gone completely under the radar but for the fact self-styled media bad boy Piers Morgan picked up on the remarks and rambled on about them on Good Morning Britain.
When off the phone, I gave this some thought. I couldn’t take this too seriously, but I thought I’d put a few tips together for anyone wanting a happy, long-lasting marriage.
Sex and the City isn’t that bad
Appreciate that Sex in the City isn’t that bad. No, I’m not talking about the films, they are atrocious, so atrocious they should be outlawed. The television series, that’s can be quite good entertainment. Moving swiftly on…..
‘Clean’ becomes a relative concept
If you have children, simply accept that your domestic standards are going to slip. Clean will take on a whole new meaning. It becomes a relative concept: “You’ve got to wear this jumper to school because it has less toothpaste down the front than that one.”
Do not ever say “yes dear”
If you’re male and marrying a woman (….this is the 21st century) you probably received so-called advice from older, male family members. The words may differ slightly but it will have gone along the lines of: “For a quiet life, do as you’re told and just say ‘yes dear.'”
This is possibly the worst marital advice given to anyone. Ever, in the history of marriage. If you’re being told what to do and not respectfully asked, something has gone wrong.
Gifts: Give them some thought
If it’s your other half’s birthday, do not pay their car tax as a birthday present. To be clear, this is not something I have done, but I do know someone who did. Figure out for yourself how well received it was.
When I said give some thought to gifts, I really meant it
If it’s your other half’s birthday, say a significant one like, say, his/her fortieth, do not buy him/her a glider flight, especially if they have expressly said they don’t want one. I have done this. I don’t think you’ll be able to figure out quite how badly it was received.
And the ironic thing is. . .
Those a are a few ideas for you, although there’s a real irony here. Later on in the day I spent time tidying up the house. What did I end up doing? Yeah, that’s right, I ended up picking up my wife’s discarded socks and placing them in the washing basket!
I shall leave it there, but do leave a comment below if you’d like to share your own thoughts on how to have a long, happy marriage. I am sure you can probably come up with some better ideas than mine!