For most people, a life lived alone, with passing strangers or passing
lovers, is incoherent and ultimately unbearable. Someone must be
there to know what we have done for those we love.
Frank Pittman
I knew couples who’d been married almost forever – forty, fifty, sixty years.
Seventy-two, in one case. They’d be tending each other’s illnesses, filling
in each other’s faulty memories, dealing with the money troubles or the
daughter’s suicide, or the grandson’s drug addiction. And I was beginning
to suspect that it made no difference whether they’d married the right person.
Finally, you’re just with who you’re with. You’ve signed on with her, put in a half
century with her, grown to know her as well as you know yourself or even better,
and she’s become the right person. Or the only person, might be more to the point.
I wish someone had told me that earlier. I’d have hung on then; I swear I would.”
Anne Tyler, "A Patchwork Planet"
I now think of marriage like I think about living in my home state of Minnesota.
You move into marriage in the springtime of hope, but eventually arrive at the
Minnesota winter, with its cold and darkness. Many of us are tempted to give up
and move south at this point, not realizing that maybe we’ve hit a rough spot
in a marriage that’s actually above average. The problem with giving up, of course,
is that our next marriage will enter its own winter at some point. So do we just
keep moving on, or do we make our stand now – with this person, in this season?
That’s the moral, existential question we face when our marriage is in trouble.
Bill Doherty,
The grass looks greener . . . but it's Astroturf.
From the report, "Does Divorce Make People Happy?"
If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it's because
they take better care of it.
Cecil Selig

Each divorce is the death of a small civilization.
Pat Conroy
Successful treatment of domestic violence must restore the sense of father
as protector for the well being of women, children, and society-at-large. Children
do not need fathers to fight and die for them; they need fathers to live for them,
to value them, and to value what they most value - their mothers. A father who
truly protects his children cannot possibly hurt their mother.
Steven Stosny,
According to an internationally known market research company, Iconoculture,
a long time first marriage say, 25 years or more, has become a status symbol
in corporate America.
The Wall Street Journal, March, 1999
Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.
Albert Schweitzer
More things are caught than taught. By which I mean that one of the greatest
challenges we face in the marriage education movement is people trying to
teach without example. I need to show my son that my wife is my queen. I make it clear
that my kids don't have to worry – I don't need a girlfriend, I have my queen. We must
show our sons that we don't have to go to every party.
Rozario Slack, Message to Our Sons - 2006 Smart Marriages keynote,
The goal is to have a conversation in a way so that you can have another
conversation tomorrow.
Bad marriages don't cause infidelity; infidelity causes bad marriages.
Frank Pittman
Infidelity flows from a belief that women have the power to make you feel like
a man if you only find a woman that thinks you're perfect; if you can only
find a woman that you haven't hurt or disappointed yet.
Frank Pittman
Fidelity is the single most important element in solidly enduring marriages.
Frank Pittman
Marriage isn't supposed to make you happy -
it's supposed to make you married.
Frank Pittman
Commenting on paternity establishment programs: What these millions of children
want and need is not a name on a form or a promise that the sheriff will arrest these
guys if they don't pay child support. What they want and need is in-the-home,
love-the-mother fathers,. . .
David Blankenhorn, Family Scholars BLOG,
Ever wonder why people are so determined to reach for white picket fences,
supposed normalcy, a nuclear family? Well, try growing up without one.
Chuck Eddy, The Village Voice, 1/03
Bachelor's Ill Luck
It seems so dreadful to stay a bachelor, to become an old man struggling
to keep one's dignity while begging for an invitation whenever one wants
to spend an evening in company, to lie ill gazing for weeks into an empty
room from the corner where one's bed is, always having to say good night
at the front door, never to run up a stairway beside one's wife, to have only
side doors in one's room leading into other people's living rooms, having to
carry one's supper home in one's hand, having to admire other people's
children and not even being allowed to go on saying: "I have none myself,"
modeling oneself in appearance and behavior on one or two bachelors
remembered from one's youth.

That's how it will be, except that in reality, both today and later, one will
stand there with a palpable body and a real head, a real forehead, that is,
for smiting on with one's hand.
Franz Kafka

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