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Marriage Quotes
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Marriage Quotes:

Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they
are always watching you.
Robert Fulghum
The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
Theodore Hesburgh
If the marriage ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
Scott Gardner
I didn't marry you because you were perfect. I didn't even
marry you because I loved you. I married you because you
gave me a promise. That promise made up for your faults.
And the promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect
people got married and it was the promise that made the marriage.
And when our children were growing up, it wasn't a house that
protected them; and it wasn't our love that protected them - it was that
Thornton Wilder, The Skin of Our Teeth
Marriage is a promise. Not just between the couple but to
the community at large, to generations past and to those yet to be born.

I was talking to a friend who said she wants her children to be able to look back and
say, "I want a great marriage like my Mom and Dad had." That struck me.
I think we have a good marriage but do we put each other down sometimes? Yup.  Do
I snap at him for silly reasons? Yup. Do we seem really happy to our kids?  Not sure.  I hope so.
3Peanuts Blog
To get the full value of joy
You must have someone to divide it with.
Mark Twain
One of the nicest things you can say to your partner, "If I had it to do
over again, I'd choose you. Again."
My dad always asks my wife, "Is he treating you right?" It reminds me of my responsibility
to be a good husband.
National Fatherhood Initiative /Why Knot? handbook
My dad told me on the day of my wedding, 'Never go in a place that you wouldn't take your wife.'
David Gibbs, Mt. Juliet, TN, married 51 years
Don't be a buzz kill. When your spouse shares something exiting, match their enthusiasm.
We heard this at a wedding: 'If you are going to argue, argue naked.'
Peg and Harry Williams, Nashville, TN

I want to be your favorite hello, and hardest goodbye. - Unknown


My wife’s actions are a mirror. The way that my wife is acting toward me says more about me than it does about her. It says something about her too, but if I can focus on my half of the equation, I’ll make way more progress in resolving conflict and building a healthy relationship.
Newlywed Darrel at
Marriage is survived just on the basis of ordinary etiquette, day in and day out. Also cooking together helps a lot. I've seen all these marriages that failed. Those people are always hollering at each other.  That doesn't work. Do you remember the '70s, they had all these 'empowering' groups where you tell everybody everything? That doesn't work in a marriage either. That's stupid."
Jim Harrison

Research has shown a child who sees his mother mistreated is more damaged than
if the child himself is abused.
Steven Stosny,

Isn't it time some real financial support was made available for the growth and
development of truly healthy and happy marriages?
David Mace, 1982
One dollar up front prevents the spending of many dollars down the road.
Marion Wright Edelman, Children's Defense Fund
You need only do three things in this country to avoid poverty - finish high school,
marry before having a child, and marry after the age of 20. Only 8 percent of the families
who do this are poor; 79 percent of those who fail to do this are poor.
William Galston, Clinton White House

You can't be value free when it comes to marriage.
Al Gore, June, 2001
The principal objective of American government at every level should be to
see that children are born into intact families and that they remain so.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Finally, preliminary research shows that marriage education workshops
can make a real difference in helping married couples stay together and
in encouraging unmarried couples who are living together to form a more
lasting bond. Expanding access to such services to low income couples,
perhaps in concert with job training and placement, medical coverage,
and other services already available, should be something everybody can agree on..."
Barack Obama, Audacity of Hope, 2006, p.334

As we work to strengthen marriage on a societal level, we must not neglect our
own marriages. What good will it be for a man if he strengthens all the marriages
in the community and loses his own way?"
Senator Bill Hardiman, chair, Greater Grand Rapids Community Marriage Policy
The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must
be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.
Frank Pittman
Optimism is America's birthright.... There is no social problem Americans
dare not attack. No problem, that is, except one: about marriage,
and marriage alone, we despair.
Maggie Gallagher
They say it takes a village to raise a child. That may be the case,
but the truth is that it takes a lot of solid, stable marriages to create a village.
Diane Sollee,
We took our time [preparing for marriage], we looked forward to it; didn’t
want to run into something and have nothing to count on but love...”
Aunt May, Spider-Man 3, 2007
Get Married
Stay Married
What a concept.
The Snipe
Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and
integrity, they think of you.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr
I got gaps; you got gaps; we fill each other's gaps.
What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how
compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.
Leo Tolstoy
Love is what you've been through with somebody.
James Thurber
The most important marriage skill is listening to your partner in a way that
they can't possibly doubt that you love them.
Diane Sollee,
When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.
Karl Menninger
Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.
David Augsburger
When asked his secret of love, being married fifty-four years to the same
person, he said, "Ruth and I are happily incompatible."
Billy Graham
Any fool can have a trophy wife.
It takes a real man to have a trophy marriage.
Diane Sollee,
One advantage of marriage, it seems to me, is that when you fall
out of love with each other, it keeps you together until maybe
you fall in love again.
Judith Viorst
We just say: the divorce didn't work out.
Joe, who remarried his wife after they divorced

Being married is like having someone permanently in your corner. It feels limitless; not limited. 

Gloria Steinem 


A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always
with the same person.
Mignon McLaughlin
Ann Meara of the comedy team Stiller and Meara observed awhile
ago in a New York Times interview of her 30-plus year marriage,
"Was it love at first sight? It wasn't then - but it sure is now."
Ann Meara, New York Times
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
Or, put another way, and 'borrowed' from Pittman:
Why is it that people get married?
Because we need a witness to our lives.
There’s a billion people on the planet.
What does any one life really mean?
But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything…
The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things,
All of it… all the time, every day.
You’re saying “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it.
Your life will not go unwitnessed - because I will be your witness.”
Wife in the movie, "Shall We Dance?" 2004
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"
The heart of marriage is memories.
Bill Cosby
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,
What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are
joined for life - to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each
other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with
each other in silent, unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting.
George Elliott (aka Mary Anne Evans), Adam Bede
I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail, poisoned in the bushes,
blown out on the trail; hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn,
"Come in," she said, "I'll give ya shelter from the storm."
Bob Dylan
Committing to staying calm is the first key to committing to staying married.
Hal Runkel founder of the Scream Free Institute
Commitment has kind eyes. He wears sturdy shoes.
Everything is vivid when he is around. It is wonderful to sit
and have lunch in his gardens around harvest time. You
can taste in the vegetables that the soil has been cared for.
J. Ruth Gendler
Marriage, like a submarine, is only safe if you get all the way inside.
Frank Pittman
Commitment is making a choice to give up other choices.
Scott Stanley
People stay married because they want to, not because the doors are locked.
Paul Newman
Don't just follow your heart because your heart can be deceived...
but LEAD your heart.
Fireproof, the movie
In the consumer culture of marriage, commitments last as long as the other
person is meeting our needs. We still believe in commitment, because we
know that committed relationships are good for us, but powerful voices
coming from inside and outside tell us that we are suckers if we settle for
less than we think we need and deserve in our marriage. Most baby boomers
and their offspring carry in our heads the internalized voice of the consumer
culture—to encourage us to stop working so hard or to get out of a marriage
that is not meeting our current emotional needs.
Bill Doherty,
Divorce to like an amputation. Sometimes it's necessary but it should be
avoided if at all possible because it brings about a permanent disability.
Bill Doherty,
Divorce is not healthy for children, or other living things.
Diane Sollee,

I've yet to meet a young person who says, "My parents had a divorce. I want one of those." 

Wade Horn


Marriage is the hardest thing you will ever do. The secret is removing divorce as an option. Anybody who gives themselves that option will get a divorce.

Will Smith (11 years into his second marriage) 

I'm not advocating for loveless marriages. But it's also the case that marriage
doesn't make us happy every day. No marriage does, but your marriage serves
as so much more than just a vehicle for immediate individual adult needs. It makes
one world for your child, and children will tell you that means everything to them.
Elizabeth Marquardt, Between Two Worlds
Money often costs too much.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Marriage, ultimately, is the practice of becoming passionate friends.
Harville Hendrix
I think a man and a woman should choose each other for life, for the
simple reason that a long life with all its accidents is barely enough time for
a man and a woman to understand each other and. . . to understand - is to love."
William Butler Yeats
Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship,
is conversation.
Oscar Wilde
There is such pleasure in long-term marriage that I really would hate to be
my age and not have had a long-term marriage. Remember, sustaining a pleasurable,
long-term marriage takes effort, deliberateness and an intention to learn about
one another. In other words, marriage is for grown-ups.
Cokie Roberts, From This Day Forward
Friends don't let friends get divorced.
Diane Sollee,
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
As for his secret to staying married: "My wife tells me that if I ever
decide to leave, she is coming with me."
Jon BonJovi
I like not only to be loved, but to be told that I am loved; the realm of
silence is large enough beyond the grave.
George Eliot
It's you I like,
It's not the things you wear.
It's not the way you do your hair,
But it's you I like.
The way you are right now
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you
Not your diplomas...
They're just beside you.
But it's you I like,
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings,
Whether old or new.
I hope that you'll remember
Even when you're feeling blue,
That it's you I like,
It's you yourself, it's you
It's you I like!
Mr Rogers
Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be - the last of life for
which the first was made.
Robert Browning
Dear Abby: Some months ago, you printed a letter from a reader
who was disturbed that the spark was gone from her marriage.
I asked my husband whether the spark is gone from our 18-year marriage.
His response: "A spark lasts only a second. It lights a fire. When
the flame burns down, we are left with the hottest part of the fire,
the embers, which burn the longest and keep the fire alive."
Betty in Cap May, N.J.
Society should try to help more children grow up with their two
biological, married parents in a reasonably healthy, stable relationship - not
to pay homage to a Victorian notion of propriety, but because the
overwhelming consensus of research shows that's the very best way to raise children.
Theodora Ooms, Center for Law and Social Policy
The tenor of a marriage – or divorce – creates a kind of “emotional ecology” for children.
Just as a tree is affected by the quality of the air, water and soil in its
environment, the emotional health of children is determined by the quality of the
intimate relationships that surround them.
John Gottman, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
Even with all its problems, I will support marriage as an institution
until something better comes along.
David Blankenhorn, Institute for American Values
If we were asked to design a system for making sure that children’s basic
needs were met, we would probably come up with something quite similar
to the two-parent ideal. Such a design, in theory, would not only ensure that
children had access to the time and money of two adults, it also would provide
a system of checks and balances that promoted quality parenting. The fact
that both parents have a biological connection to the child would increase the
likelihood that the parents would identify with the child and be willing to sacrifice
for that child, and it would reduce the likelihood that either parent would abuse the child.
Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur, Growing Up With a Single Parent (Harvard, 1994)
The United States Administration for Children and Families (ACF) spends $46 billion per year operating 65 different social programs. If one goes down the list of these programs… the need for each is either created or exacerbated by
the breakup of families and marriages.
Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families (ACF/HHS) 2004
Marriage, the family unit, was the “original Department of Health, Education and Welfare.”
Michael Novak
Marriage is a public good, not just a private relationship. We have a public stake
in healthy marriages and two-parent families. Our society suffers with the collapse
of the relationship of the couple who brings a child into the world.
Bill Doherty,
When men and women fail to form stable marriages, the result is a vast
expansion of government attempts to cope with the terrible social needs that result.
There is scarcely a dollar that the state and federal government spends on social
programs that is not driven, in large part, by family fragmentation: crime, poverty,
drug abuse, teen pregnancy, school failure, mental and physical health problems.
Maggie Gallagher
Each divorce is the death of a small civilization.
Pat Conroy
The First Bond of Society is Marriage.
When there is love in a marriage, there is harmony in the home; when there is harmony
in the home, there is contentment in the community; when there is contentment in the
community, there is prosperity in the nation; when there is prosperity in the nation,
there is peace in the world.
Chinese proverb frequently quoted by David and Vera Mace
There is nothing more admirable than two people who see eye-to-eye
keeping house as man and wife, confounding their enemies, and delighting
their friends.
Homer, 9th century BC
"Remember, you married her, you didn't hire her!" - said to critical, controlling husband.
Dr Phil
The happy State of Matrimony is, undoubtedly, the surest and most lasting Foundation
of Comfort and Love . . . the Cause of all good Order in the World, and what alone
preserves it from the utmost Confusion . . .
Benjamin Franklin, Rules and Maxims for Promoting Matrimonial Happiness, 1730
Love the family! Defend and promote it as the basic cell of human
society; nurture it as the prime sanctuary of life. Give great care to the
preparation of engaged couples and be close to young married couples, so
that they will be for their children and the whole community an eloquent
testimony of God's love.
Pope John Paul II, 2001
People get married without doing their homework. Too many people are getting married
at the infatuation level and when hard times come, it falls apart. We’ve fallen in love
with the wedding industry when what we need is a marriage industry.
Bridget Brennan, Director SLHMC
If we are serious about renewing fatherhood, we must be serious about
renewing marriage. . . . Healthy marriages are not always possible.
But we must remember, they are incredibly important for children.
Our hearts know this and our nation must recognize this.
None of us is perfect. And so no marriage and no family is perfect.
After all, we all are human. Yet, we need fathers and families precisely
because we are human. We all live, it is said, in the shelter of one
another. And our urgent hope is one of the oldest hopes of humanity,
to turn the hearts of children toward their parents, and the hearts of
parents toward their young.
George W Bush, June 7, 2001
There is a saying in social research, ‘A mother is a mother all of your life,
but a father is a father only when he has a wife,’ ”
Leah Ward Sears, chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court
President George W. Bush has proposed, as part of welfare reform
reauthorization, the creation of a pilot program to promote healthy and
stable marriage. Participation in the program would be strictly voluntary,
and funding would be small-scale: $300 million per year.
This sum represents one penny to promote healthy marriage for every five
dollars the government spends subsidizing single parenthood. . . . The collapse
of marriage is the principal cause of child poverty in the United States. . .
Overall, some 80% of long-term child poverty in the United States is found among
children from broken or never-formed families.
Robert Rector, 2003 (In 2006, Congress authorized $150 million a year for marriage
education pilot programs, so, for now, a 1/2 a penny will have to do.)
The effects of the decline of marriage on society are striking. The failure of
parents to marry and stay married leads to more crime, poverty, mental health
problems, welfare dependency, failed schools, blighted neighborhoods, bloated prisons,
and higher rates of single parenting and divorce in the next generation. Nearly every
major social problem has deep roots in the failure of adults to form and sustain healthy
marriages. There are other causes of these social problems, of course, such as economic
dislocations and the decline of civic life and social responsibility in the United States,
but the disconnection of childrearing from marriage ranks high on the list of what
ails our society and our communities.
Bill Doherty, Philanthropy Roundtable, 2006
As the family goes, so go the children.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Marriage orients men and women toward the future, asking them not just to commit to each
other but to plan, to earn, to save, and to devote themselves to advancing their children's prospects.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
When almost 70 percent of children in a given community are born outside of
marriage (as among African-Americans today) that's a tsunami blocking the
intergenerational accumulation of human and social capital. So far, the silence
about the issue among our leaders is deafening.
Maggie Gallagher, Nov 2007
All children have the right to live in a two-parent, married family. Talk about a
Head Start Program - it's the kids with married parents that get the real head start.
Diane Sollee, Head Start Conference, 2001
When the family collapses, it is the children that are usually damaged.
When it happens on a massive scale, the community itself is crippled.
President Lyndon B. Johnson in what he called his "greatest civil
rights speech," although he was just about the only one to see it that way.
Parents have this advantage over us. We want to believe in them. And even
when we don't believe in them, we want to be with them.
The King of California
We cannot renew our country when, within a decade, more than half of
our children will be born into families where there is no marriage.
President Bill Clinton who in 1996, signed the TANF welfare-reform
bill that included among its goals "increasing the number of children living
with their two married parents."
Eleven years as governor has not made me an expert in marriage nor has 30
years of marriage made me an expert. But 11 years as governor has made
me somewhat of an expert on what happens when families fail. If you are
married you are generally healthier, you have fewer emotional difficulties,
your children are more likely to graduate from school and less
likely to be involved in deviant behavior.
Gov Michael Leavitt, Utah
I think the gulf between liberals and conservatives on family issues is closing.
What we agree on is that there is a problem. Our children are not doing 'family'
in ways that are going to promote the well-being of our grandchildren. What's
not clear is what are we going to do about it?
Ron Mincy, 2002
The increase in single-parent families—mostly due to unwed motherhood
in the past few decades—accounts for virtually all of the increase in child
poverty since 1970.
Isabelle Sawhill, congressional testimony, 1999
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
Divorce has done little to lessen our veneration of marriage. Marriage is becoming
a symbol of living a successful personal life. It's as if marriage is the ultimate personal
badge, and everyone wants to wear it.
Andrew Cherlin, The Marriage-Go-Round, 2009
Getting married is a way to show family and friends that you have a successful personal life.  It's like the
ultimate merit badge.
Andrew Cherlin, The Marriage-Go-Round, 2009
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,
It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the
marriage that sustains your love.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writing to a young bride and groom from his prison cell in
Nazi Germany in 1943
I am convinced that if we as a society work diligently in every other area of life and neglect
the family, it would be analogous to straightening deck chairs on the Titanic.
Stephen Covey
Marriage is our last, best chance to grow up.
Joseph Barth
Marriage is one long conversation, checkered with disputes.
Robert Louis Stevenson
The goal is to have a conversation in a way so that you can have another
conversation tomorrow.
The first duty of love is to listen.
Paul Tillich
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
I'm tempted to go to all the buildings downtown and put up a sign, "DANGER
ZONE: Men and Women at Work." Today's workplace is the most common breeding ground
for affairs. It's the proximity and collegiality - the intimacy of working together,
not bad marriages, that is the slippery slope to infidelity.
Shirley Glass, NOT Just Friends
Men's affairs in particular are often the cause of troubled marriages
and not the effect. In my data, 56 percent of men who entered into affairs
said they had ''happy'' or ''very happy'' marriages, compared with 30
percent of women. For men, the strongest predictor for having an affair is
their attitudes and values about monogamy. For women, it's marital unhappiness.
Shirley Glass, NOT Just Friends
Interviewer: "For so long you were the poster boy for American
bachelorhood. Now that you've settled into a marriage, do you find
monogamy difficult?" Warren Beatty: "No. I would imagine that marriage
without it is difficult."
NY Times Sunday Magazine, Oct 1, 2006
Sex is a conversation carried out by other means. If you get on well out of bed,
half the problems of bed are solved.
Peter Ustinov
Monogamy is, most appealingly, an energy-saving device which prevents you
wasting time and effort on hunting new prey, deceiving a partner or curing a
broken heart or bruised ego.

Preserve trust in this essential area of your life and you can reap tremendous
rewards: the 100 per cent devotion of another human being fuels your ambition,
supports you in your mission and helps you to overcome obstacles.

Monogamy has much to offer. We should trumpet its benefits far more loudly in
sex-education classes and teen magazines. The chastity pledge 'Just say no'
has failed to catch on; 'Just with you' should be an easier sell.
Cristina Odone, The Observer
What we really need is a time machine so that people entering into an
affair could flash forward and see themselves, their kids, their lives at the other end
of this "tunnel of love" – at the end of the lust.
Diane Sollee,
New love is the brightest, and long love is the greatest, but revived
love is the tenderest thing known on earth.
Thomas Hardy

He who finds a wife finds what is good.
Proverbs 18:22
Union gives strength.
Between husband and wife friendship seems to exist by nature, for man is naturally disposed to pairing.
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
We have a group of very passionate, romantic couples.
They sort of enjoy the bickering and the arguing...
to them, it symbolizes real involvement and connection.
John Gottman, PhD, on observations at his U. of Washington "Love Lab"
In a good relationship, people get angry, but in a very different way. The Marriage Masters
see a problem a bit like a soccer ball. They kick it around. It's 'our' problem.
John Gottman, PhD, on observations at his U. of Washington "Love Lab"
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse predict an ailing marriage: Criticism, Defensiveness,
Stonewalling and Contempt. The worst of these is contempt.
John Gottman, PhD, on observations at his U. of Washington "Love Lab"
I talk and talk and talk, and I haven't taught people in 50 years what
my father taught by example in one week.
Mario Cuomo (on why it's important to have a father in the home.)
. . . in the end, there is nothing a man can do that a woman can’t, except be a father.
Frank Pittman
Parents used to have lots of children – now children have lots of parents.
Guro Hansen Helskog
Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny
threads, which sew people together through the years.
Simone Signoret
It is necessary but insufficient to stay married for the children's sake. It is also
necessary to stay happily married for the children's sake. I'm so glad someone
noticed that marriage doesn't have to make you miserable. It is just so easy to
be happy I don't understand why it isn't more popular.
Frank Pittman
Love is no assignment for cowards.
Love is not something people feel, but something people try to express no matter how they feel.
Frank Pittman
If you live to be a hundred, I want
To live to be a hundred minus one day,
So I never have to live without you.
Winnie the Pooh
Motto for the bride and groom:
We are a work in progress with a lifetime contract.
Phyllis Koss
I’m convinced marriage isn’t a natural state, but if you’re persistent you learn to
love the companionship and then you learn to love your companion.
Dan Harper
For a marriage to have any chance, every day at least six things should go unsaid.
When it comes to marriage, the more you focus on the bad stuff, the more you focus on the bad stuff.
Pat Love
Write a list of ways that you have benefited from being married to your spouse. Then write a
list of your spouses positive patterns and qualities. Keep adding to the lists and reread them
Rabbi Pliskin in Marriage
Marriage tip: Reread the cards sent to you on your wedding day.
FamilyMin Twitter
William James, the father of modern psychology, way back in 1890, said, "My experience is
what I agree to attend to." In other words, what we direct our attention to creates our
experience; sets our outlook, perspective, our mood, and behavior. Do we focus on how our partner
loves us, or how he/she fails to love us? On how our marriage fulfills, or fails us? Is the story we
present to ourselves and others,that our marriage is half empty, or half full?
Diane Sollee, Smart Marriages 
A happy wedlock is a long falling in love.
Theodore Parker
The divorce rate would be lower if instead of marrying for better or worse
people would marry for good.
Ruby Dee
People think they have to find their soulmate to have a good marriage. You're not going
to "find" your soulmate. Anyone you meet already has soulmates. Dozens of them. Their mother.
Their father. Their lifelong friends. You get married, and after 20 years of loving,
bearing and raising children, meeting challenges - then you'll have "created" soulmate status.
Diane Sollee,
A soulmate marriage does not at all mean that you have found someone you match up with on all the
cards – on all the issues, on everything. That would be the most deadly dull thing to even imagine.
Instead, it means you've found someone and they don't ever want to blow out that little light inside you.
And you feel the same way about them.
Diane Sollee,
We waste time looking for he perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.
Tom Robbins
It is sometimes essential for a husband and a wife to quarrel - they get to
know each other better.
The success of marriage comes not in finding the "right" person, but in the
ability of both partners to adjust to the real person they ineveitably realize they
John Fischer
I have no way of knowing whether or not you married the wrong person, but I
do know that many people have a lot of wrong ideas about marriage and what
it takes to make that marriage happy and successful. I'll be the first to
admit that it's possible that you did marry the wrong person. However, if
you treat the wrong person like the right person, you could well end up
having married the right person after all. On the other hand, if you marry
the right person, and treat that person wrong, you certainly will have ended
up marrying the wrong person. I also know that it is far more important to
be the right kind of person than it is to marry the right person. In short,
whether you married the right or wrong person is primarily up to you.
Zig Ziglar
Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly
understood that they are on the same side.
Zig Ziglar
My heart is ever at your service.
William Shakespeare
For wherever you go, I will go:
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge,
Your people will be my people,
And, your God, my God.
Ruth 1:16
Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each
other but in looking outward together in the same direction.
Antoine De Saint-Exupery
We learned how to love each other by loving together
good things wholly outside each other.
Donald Hall
Marriage isn't supposed to make you happy -
it's supposed to make you married.
Frank Pittman
Marriage isn't supposed to make you happy - and satisfied.
It's your job to make your marriage happy - and satisfying.
Same goes for sex. It isn't supposed to make you passionate and "hot".
It's up to you to make it passionate and "hot" - and intimate.
Diane Sollee,
The development of a really good marriage is not a natural process.
It is an achievement.
David and Vera Mace
Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths.
No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they
have been married a quarter of a century.
Mark Twain
A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers.
Ruth Bell Graham
Let there be spaces in your togetherness
Kahlil Gibran
The challenge is to help couples turn "I Do" into "We Can."
Scott Stanley,
If you didn't want to be improved, you shouldn't have gotten married.
Nancy (Mrs Scott) Stanley
It's true what they say – all the good men are married. But it's marriage that makes them good.
Gay Talese, Thy Neighbor's Wife
Be on the lookout for strain in each other, and with compassion and
understanding, lend a helping hand and a mature heart. Helping each other
manage emotional strain can yield creative alternatives and build a new
foundation for heart-based communication and hope.
Doc Childre
Empathy means resonating with the “not self”.   In empathy you know everything is
connected, so whatever you do to something else or someone else is done to you.
Harville Hendrix

They haven't found Mr. Right. Maybe there's just a Mr. OK or Mr. Pretty Good.
Linda Waite, coauthor, The Case for Marriage
And, on the case for finding Mr or Ms right, the case for pacing and a 2-year
There was a study about children, marshmallows and delayed
gratification. Researchers found that children who can delay
gratification by saving marshmallows until a later time turn out to be
happier and better adjusted later in life. We feel better when we are
in control of our desires and, particularly, our behaviors.

The temptation is to have it NOW. One man wrote to me and said:
I have learned that everything in life is instant gratification. I
just don't know the instant it will happen. So I just do what is
in front of me to do, be patient, and wait for that instant.
Steve Goodier's Life Support Blog
You can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three
things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.
Maya Angelou

In marriage, as in all things, the perfect can be the enemy of the good.
Getting married is the boldest and most idealistic thing that
most of us will ever do.
Maggie Gallagher, coauthor, The Case for Marriage
Both men and women live longer, happier, healthier and wealthier lives
when they are married. Unmarried co-habitation doesn't cut it. Cohabitation
does not bring the benefits - in physical health, wealth, and emotional wellbeing
- that marriage does. And, married people have both more and better sex
than do their unmarried counterparts.
Linda Waite, The Case for Marriage
Divorce causes a decrease in wealth that is larger than just splitting a
couple’s assets in half. By the same token, married people see an increase in
wealth that is more than just adding the assets of two single people.
On the other hand, divorce can devastate your wealth. Divorce drops a
person's wealth by an average of 77%. Contrary to popular belief,
the research shows that the wealth of divorced women wasn't significantly
worse than that of divorced men, in terms of real money. If you really
want to increase your wealth, get married and stay married.
Jay Zagorsky, Ohio State, Journal of Sociology, Jan 2006
Being married is like having somebody permanently in your corner,
it feels limitless, not limited.
Gloria Steinem, 2000, upon marrying for the first time at age 66
The sweetest love I ever had/I left aside
Because I did not want to be/ any man's bride . . .
Control your mind my girl/ and give your heart to one
For if you love all men/ you'll surely be left with none
Eve Cassidy, Tall Trees in Georga on having chosen independence over love
Love doesn't commit suicide. We have to kill it. Though it often simply
dies of our neglect.
Diane Sollee,

One of the great illusions of our time is that love is self-sustaining.
It is not. Love must be fed and nurtured, constantly renewed. That
demands ingenuity and consideration, but first and foremost, it demands time.
David Mace
What I realize as I get older is that Michelle is less concerned about me giving
her flowers than she is that “me doing things that are hard for me — carving out time.
That to her is proof, evidence that I’m thinking about her. She appreciates the flowers,
but to her romance is that I’m actually paying attention to things that she cares about,
and time is always an important factor.
Barack Obama, Ebony, 2/2007
It is easier thing to be a lover than a husband, for the same
reason that it is more difficult to be witty every day than now and then.
Why have a therapist get to know each of you better than you
know each other? Take a marriage education class. Learn to communicate.
No man is truly married until he understands every word his wife is NOT saying.
Why would a couple that lives and sleeps together every night
need dates and rituals? Precisely because they live and sleep
Bill Doherty, Take Back Your Marriage
If a married couple with children has fifteen minutes of uninterrupted,
nonlogistical, non-problem-solving talk every day, I would put them in
the top 5% of all married couples. It's an extraordinary achievement.
Bill Doherty, Take Back Your Marriage
Marriage is not just spiritual communion, it is also remembering to take out the trash.
Joyce Brothers
Do NOT do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may
not be the same.
George Bernard Shaw
The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only
their kind of love to give, not our kind.
Mignon McLauglin
Real giving is when we give to our spouses what's important to them,
whether we understand it, like it, agree with it, or not.
Michele Weiner-Davis, Divorce Busting
I often wonder when the wedding couple will realize just how much
hard work they've taken on by consecrating that quirky emotion
called love into the formal tie of marriage.
Lois Smith Brady, NY Times "Vows" columnist
What else is love but understanding and rejoicing in
the fact that another person lives, acts, and experiences otherwise
than we do?
Friedrich Nietzsche
Marriage tips:
Divorces run in families. If you didn't know marriages when you were growing up, find people who are married and find out how they do it.

Common courtesy plays a big role in happy marriages. People who are permanently married are polite to one another. They don't want to hurt one another's feelings, and they don't try to make the other one feel humiliated. People who are married for life are extremely kind to one another.

Arguments are a natural part of any relationship, but cruelty is not. Above all, happily married partners see each other as allies, not as adversaries.

You can't be right and married at the same time. If you're trying to be right and prove your partner wrong, you've stepped outside the marriage.

To go without sex is to endanger the relationship. It's very easy to build up an incest taboo in a marriage. If you go without sex, your instincts recognize this person as part of the family but cease to recognize the person as a sex partner. The response can kick in surprisingly quickly - in as little as six weeks. People make a terrible mistake in being angry with their marriage partner and cutting them off sexually as a way of arousing great passion. It used to work in the ninth grade. But it doesn't work in the ninth decade.

Caressing and contact is always a good thing. The great thing about sex at this age is it ceases to be great, and it becomes funny. It feels good, but you never know what's going to work and what's not. Which brings up another trait that long-lasting marriage partners often share: a sense of humor.

Humor is vital, but it is vital to be happy, too. A happy marriage is a marriage between two happy people.

You're not going to be in love all the time, but if you want to recapture that magic from when you were in love, be loving. Being loving to your partner makes you feel so good about yourself, it doesn't matter if you're in love or not. The marriage is making you feel good if you are loving in it.

There's no point battling age in yourself or in your partner. No one has ever won.

Always keep your pants zipped in public.
Frank Pittman, as quoted in the Marin Independent, Sept 23, 2007
Marriage is like a gas stove. Even if the burners aren't on all the time, you've
always got to keep the pilot light lit.
Brian, a husband giving advice on

The goal of sex is the big O…(and it ain’t orgasm). It’s Oneness. Loving the whole
person, not just the body parts. Connecting at a deeper level.
Tim Gardner, Sacred Sex

Which is more romantic? To say, “Beloved, I know the divorce rate for
first-time marriages is 50% and much higher for remarriages,
but I love you so much I want to marry you anyway. Our love is
SO special, I’m sure we’ll make it.” Or, is it more romantic to say, “Beloved,
I want to marry you and I love you so much that I want to learn everything
the experts know about creating and maintaining a smart, sexy, successful
marriage – to make SURE we can make it last.”
Diane Sollee,
A soulmate marriage does not at all mean that you have found someone
you match up with on all the cards – on all the issues, on everything. That
would be the most deadly dull thing to even imagine. Instead, it means you’re
with someone who wants to take care of your soul – they want to make sure
your soul continues to grow, they don’t ever want to blow out that little light
inside you. And you feel the same way about them.
Diane Sollee, NPR, The Real Life Survival Guide, April 2008
In actuality, all marriages are "arranged" marriages whether they're arranged
by some website matchmaker, our parents, or by Mother Nature and her magic. 
In each case you're matched up with someone you don't know and with whom
you need to – gradually and progressively – fall ever more deeply in love.
Diane Sollee, Smart Marriages Conference, 2001
They do not love who do not show their love.
William Shakespeare
Then there was the guy who loved his wife so much, he almost told her.
Gloria Steinem once said a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. That’s nonsense!
Isolation – not just physical isolation but emotional isolation – is traumatizing for human beings,
men and women.
Sue Johnson, Hold Me Tight 
Cannot be parted nor swept away
From one another once you are Agreed
That life is only life Forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar.
Robert Frost
As much as I would miss my wife if she were to die, I would miss what we are
together even more. Our "we-ness" our "us-ness."
Carl Whitaker, family therapy pioneer
When there are kids involved, there's no such thing as divorce.
Carl Whitaker
Once it's established that we are a team, I can demand of you and expect you to
demand of me. Life without pain is an addiction and the fantasy of perpetual happiness
is like the "delusion of fusion."
Carl Whitaker
There is a proverb. "As you have made your bed, so you must lie in
it, " which is simply a lie. If I have made my bed uncomfortable, please God, I
will make it again.
G.K. Chesterson
("after learning some marriage skills" - we assume he meant to add...)

Tell guys if they make the bed in the morning, they might benefit in that same bed in
the evening.
Bill Coffin (how's that for learning a useful marriage skill!)
When love and skill work together expect a masterpiece.
John Ruskin

The role of the female in every species is to pick the right mate. The wrong
males are supposed to be barred from mating and procreating. Nature didn't
intend human females or females from any other species to "fix" deficient
mates; we're just supposed to reject them so they don't pass on their bad
Elizabeth, thoughtsopinionsrants Blog
When it comes to marriage, we've been operating with good intentions,
but terrible information. All that's about to change: the research shows
anyone can learn how to have a Smart Marriage®. Welcome the new era: the
Marriage Renaissance.
Diane Sollee,
My grandmother had three sayings on her kitchen wall:
"It could be worse."
"It's a great life - if you don't weaken."
"We get too soon oldt, and too late schmardt."
I think this last one is where I got the idea for "Smart" Marriages®. The hope is to
help our youth get schmardt without having to learn the hard way - through
their own terrible marriage mistakes.
Diane Sollee,
When people tell me they've learned from experience, I tell them the trick is
to learn from other people's experience.
Warren Buffett
So many people have the will to have a strong marriage but don't have the skill.
Kathy Beirne, Portland Coalition for Marriage Education
We must remember that we're not teaching skills to equip me to get what I want
and you to get what you want. Instead we must focus on teaching skills that will equip
us to keep our relationship, our "us-ness", and our marriage alive.
Terry Hargrave, The Essential Humility of Marriage
The heart of the issue is that marriage is a relationship. A living breathing relationship
that is as real as the two individuals that form the bond. It is, if you will, a separate
entity - a third person - that is created when two individuals give themselves in a
bonding manner. It is not just that two individuals participate together in an exchange
for each other's good, it is that they create a whole new being when they marry. What
is exciting about this concept of 'us-ness' is that it is not quite one spouse, and not
quite the other. 'Us' is what they are together. 'Us' is created by two individuals in a
committed relationship; it takes on a personality with characteristics of its own. It is
not just two individuals who share, it is two individuals who give up part of themselves
to create a oneness - an 'us.'"

Terry Hargrave, Smart Marriages conference keynote, July 2000
You did the best that you knew how. Now that you know better,
you'll do better.
Maya Angelou
For you see, each day I love you more.
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.
Rosemonde Gerard
We loved with a love that was more than love.
Edgar Allan Poe
Love is a feeling, Marriage is a contract, and a Relationship is work.
Lori Gordon,
All those "and they lived happily ever after" fairy tale endings need to be
changed to "and they began the very hard work of making their marriages happy."
Linda Miles, The New Marriage
Stephen Covey was asked after a speech about how to fogive someone who
has committed adultery. He said the question made him think of the old prayer,
"Oh Lord, let me forgive those who sin differently than I do."
Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
If mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
A happy wife equals a happy life.
What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?
George Eliot
To get divorced because love has died, is like selling your car
because it's run out of gas.
Diane Sollee,
Be presidents of each other's fan clubs.
Tony Heath
A good marriage is a contest of generosity.
Diane Sawyer
My wife, the star I steer by.
David McCullough
In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce.
The trick is to find, and continue to find, the grounds for marriage.
Robert Anderson

Some pray to marry the man they love,
My prayer will somewhat vary;
I humbly pray to Heaven above
That I love the man I marry.
Rose Pastor Stokes (1879–1933), U.S. social worker. My Prayer.
Do not pray to marry the one that you love,
but to love the one that you marry.
Spencer Kimball
Choose your love, then love your choice.
Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they
blossom when we love the ones we marry.
Tom Mullen
If you made a list of reasons why any couple got married, and
another list of the reasons for their divorce, you'd have a lot of overlap.
Mignon McLauglin

If you want peace, work for justice. That's true for marriage, or for any other
human endeavor.
Love is a four-letter word spelled T-I-M-E.
People change and forget to tell each other.
Lillian Hellman
Marriage is a career which brings about more benefits than many others.
Simone de Beauvoir
As a country, we need to find a way to fund marriage-rescue help with 'insurance'
or something. Marriage Insurance - what a concept! Marriage license fees could
triple and they might cover such a thing! It could pay for the help couples need
when their marriage is ailing or has crashed - pay for a Marriage Hospital.
Judy Parejko,
Advocates of easy divorce say: How cruel it is to keep people tied
together when they are not happy! It's true that all restraints are in
a sense cruel, but without the sturdy fence, the bawling cattle in the
pasture would be destroying themselves in the green corn and damp
alfalfa. And so it is with the restraints on divorce.
Fred Hanson, Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, commissioner expressing
disapproval of changing from a 'fault-based' to a 'no-fault' system of divorce, 1970
Saying divorce is normal is like saying polio is normal, so let's just focus all our resources
on building a better iron lung – instead of spending money to develop a vaccine.
Diane Sollee - USA Today, July 29, 2002
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through
every circumstance.
I Corinthians 13:7
No matter how free divorce, how frequently marriages break up, in most societies there
is the assumption of permanent mating, of the idea that the marriage should last as
long as both live. . . . No known society has ever invented a form of marriage strong
enough to stick that did not contain the ’till death us do part’ assumption.
Margaret Mead

Being in a long marriage is a little bit like that nice cup of coffee every morning -
I might have it every day, but I still enjoy it.
Stephen Gaines, documentary filmmaker

Our research estimates that 55-60% of marriages that end in divorce fall into the category of "good enough marriages". These marriages appear to be functioning well only a year or so prior to the divorce. From a child's perspective, these divorce are unexpected, inexplicable, and unwelcome and are thus most likely to harm children. These marriages are significantly more likely to divorce because of infidelity, citing explanations of "drifting apart" or "communication problems". They are unlikely to mention abuse because these were not highly conflicted marriages.
Paul Amato, Smart Marriages keynote

It is dangerous for women to romanticize the typical alternatives to marriage. Most unmarried
parents do not live together and most nonresident fathers pay little child support. Women are
providing a much higher proportion of the financial support of children than previously. Thus,
in the new low-marriage regime, compared to the old regime, women are still providing most
of the labor inputs to children and are providing much more of the financial support for children.
Paul England, Marriage, the Costs of Children and Gender Inequality
Marriage is the foundation of the family and the family is the foundation of society: if we
strengthen marriage, we strengthen the family, we strengthen the children and we
strengthen the community. If your goal is to help improve the world, marriage is as good
a place as any to start.
Diane Sollee,, Grand Rapids Family Summit, 1998
Marriage, families, all relationships are more a process of learning
the dance rather than finding the right dancer.
Paul Pearsall
Coming together is the beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.
Henry Ford
Sheila and I just celebrated our thirtieth wedding anniversary.
Somebody asked her, what was our secret? She answered, “On my wedding
day, I decided to make a list of ten of Tim’s faults which, for the
sake of our marriage, I would always overlook. I figured I could live
with at least ten!” When she was asked which faults she had listed, Shelia replied, “I
never did get around to listing them. Instead, every time he does
something that makes me mad, I simply say to myself, ‘Lucky for him,
it’s one of the ten!’”
Tim Hudson, Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul, 2002
Investment Banker's Advice (click to read, too long to print here, but well worth the click)
One of the Secrets of a Great Marriage: The Best Gift I Ever Received
by Bob Burg - (click to read, too long to print here, but worth the click)
ACCEPT - the secret of a good marriage.
The Beauty of Love:
The question is asked, "Is there anything more
beautiful in life than a young couple clasping hands
and pure hearts in the path of marriage? Can there be
anything more beautiful than young love?"
And the answer is given. "Yes, there is a more
beautiful thing. It is the spectacle of an old man and an
old woman finishing their journey together on that path.
Their hands are gnarled, but still clasped; their faces are
seamed, but still radiant; their hearts are physically
bowed and tired, but still strong with love and devotion for
one another. Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than
young love. Old love."
There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a
door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side
of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.
Ronald Reagan

When all the world is young, lad,
And all the trees are green;
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen;
Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away;
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog his day.

When all the world is old, lad,
And all the trees are brown;
And all the sport is stale, lad,
And all the wheels run down;
Creep home, and take your place there,
The spent and maimed among:
God grant you find one face there,
You loved when all was young.

"Young and Old" by Charles Kingsley


Having someone wonder where you are when you don't come home
at night is a very old human need.
Margaret Mead
When a guy is happily married, no matter what happens at work,
no matter what happens [during] the rest of the day, there's a shelter
when you get home. There's a knowledge, knowing that you can
hug somebody without them throwing you downstairs and saying,
'Get your hands off me.'"
Danny Perosa, NPR "Story Corps" Morning Edition
Being married is like having a color television set. You never want
to go back to black and white.
Danny Perosa, NPR "Story Corps" Morning Edition
In one of his famous Lake Woebegon monologues, humorist Garrison
Keillor described a long married couple. Every night the husband
consumed a generous portion of the same menu offering. (Breaded
veal cutlets as I recall). Every night over the course of four
decades, the husband devoured the cutlets, wiped his face with a
napkin, pushed his chair away from the table and looked his wife in
the eye. He smiled at her and spoke in a tender voice, "That's the
best you've ever done." It may sound monotonous to you, but to her
his words of appreciation sounded like sweet music.
Norm Bales, All About Families
If that thy bent of love be honourable / Thy purpose marriage, send me word
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, scene II
To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the
wedding cup, whenever you're wrong, admit it;
whenever you're right, shut up.
Ogden Nash
The man who puts into the marriage only half
of what he owns will get that out.
Ronald Reagan
Love doesn't sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread;
re-made everyday, made new.
A good marriage at age 50 predicted positive aging at 80. But,
surprisingly, low cholesterol levels did not.
George Valliant, MD, Harvard Medical School
Find the good -- and praise it.
Alex Haley
When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you
believe that you will be able to converse well with
this person into your old age? Everything else in
marriage is transitory.
Friedrich Nietzsche
There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or
company than a good marriage.
Martin Luther
No road is long with good company.
Turkish proverb
A problem shared is a problem halved.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed
is always to try just one more time.
Thomas Edison

You win or the relationship wins.
Terry Hargrave, The Essential Humility of Marriage
Lust fades, so you'd better be with someone who can stand you.
The Story of Us

People are often enamored with my Super Bowl ring. But it's my wedding ring
that I'm most proud of. And having a good marriage takes even more work
than winning a Super Bowl.
Trent Dilfer, Seattle Seahawks quarterback
The Marriage Edge: As my daughter Elizabeth's wedding approaches, a thought has
come over me: their entire convoy of family and friends would not be
trekking from all over the country to Minnesota for the celebration if they
were simply moving in together. The launching of a marriage is light years
different than launching a cohabitation.
Bill Doherty,
Let the wife make her husband glad to come home and let him make her sorry to see him leave.
Martin Luther
Marriage is our society's most pro-child institution. If you want kids to do well,
then you want marriage to do well.
David Blankenhorn
. . .even as parents obsessively strap bike helmets on their kids'
heads and squirt antiseptic gels on their hands, the adults themselves
cavalierly break up families with divorce and tolerate the rampant
sexualization of prepubescent girls. In short, we're focusing on the wrong risks.
Hara Marano, Nation of Wimps
How did I decide to get involved with Smart Marriages?
We started asking young couples at our clinic, "Who's marriage
would you like yours to be like?" They'd answer, "We don't know any."
Jennifer Baker

A Step Parenting Rule: Generally, a woman can never love a man anymore than
her husband loves her children.
Kevin Leman
Stepparents, remember this: Your partner will react to an act of kindness directed toward
their child as if you had extended two acts of kindness directly towards them (your partner). The
same applies for an unkind act, but your partner is likely to react as if you had acted unkindly
towards them (your partner) five times.
Stepfamily Foundation of Alberta, research study 2006
And when the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
and down will come baby,
cradle and all.......
I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
underneath the Mistletoe last night....
The Time is Now
If you are ever going to love me,
Love me now, while I can know
The sweet and tender feelings
Which from true affection flow.
Love me now
While I am living.
Do not wait until I'm gone
And then have it chiseled in marble,
Sweet words on ice-cold stone.
If you have tender thoughts of me,
Please tell me now.
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love's day;. . .
. . . An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate. . . .
But at my back I always hear
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
. . . . The grave's a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.
. . . Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am'rous birds of prey,
. . . Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
Clips from "To His Coy Mistress," Andrew Marvell
And if not now, when?
The Talmud
How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved.
A bell is no bell 'til you ring it,
A song is no song 'til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn’t put there to stay -
Love isn’t love
'Til you give it away.
The Sound of Music
Don't talk of stars burning above, If you're in love,
show me!
My Fair Lady
Let it be a dance we do.
May I have this dance with you?
Through the good times
And the bad times, too.
Let it be a dance.

Learn to follow, learn to lead,
Feel the rhythm, fill the need.
To reap the harvest, plant the seed.
And let it be a dance.

Morning star comes out at night,
Without the dark there is no light.
If nothing's wrong, then nothing's right.
Let it be a dance.
Ric Masten, in Looking Out/Looking In, Proctor & Towne
And You Wonder *Why* It Didn't Last
She married him because he was such a "strong man"
She divorced him because he was such a "dominating male."

He married her because she was so "fragile and cute."
He divorced her because she was so "weak and helpless."

She married him because "he is a good provider."
She divorced him because "all he thinks about is business."

He married her because "she reminds me of my mother."
He divorced her because "she's getting more like her mother every day."

She married him because he was "happy and romantic."
She divorced him because he was "shiftless and fun-loving."

He married her because she was "steady and sensible."
He divorced her because she was "boring and dull."

She married him because he was "the life of the party."
She divorced him because "he's a party boy."
The Policy of Joint Agreement: Never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse.
This policy helps men take their wives' feelings into account whenever they make a decision - avoid thoughtless habits,
learn to meet emotional needs with mutual enjoyment and resolve conflicts. This creates marital compatibility and
emotional bonding. Whenever he follows it, he learns to think about his wife's reaction to everything he does. Some
argue that just an agreement would be a big help, why insist on enthusiastic agreement? It's because couples need to
avoid agreements that are coerced or self-sacrificing. Couples need to learn how to come to agreements that take
both of their interests into account at once. I have encouraged couples to continue to negotiate until they arrive
at an enthusiastic agreement because they're the ones that stand the test of time. Joint agreement means that both
must be enthusiastic together, and no one risks losing their identity or subjecting themselves to slavery or control
when they themselves must be enthusiastic about each decision. The goal is to become united in purpose and spirit, not to
overpower or control each other. Think of it as creating a mutually enjoyable lifestyle.
Willard Harley,
On Valentine's Day

An old man got on a bus one February 14th, carrying a dozen
roses. He sat beside a young man. The young man looked at
the roses and said, "Somebody's going to get a beautiful
Valentine's Day gift."

"Yes," said the old man.

A few minutes went by and the old man noticed that his young
companion was staring at the roses. "Do you have a
girlfriend?" the old man asked.

"I do," said the young man. "I'm going to see her right
now, and I'm going to give her this Valentine's Day card."

They rode in silence for another 10 minutes, and then the
old man got up to get off the bus. As he stepped out into
the aisle, he suddenly placed the roses on the young man's
lap and said, "I think my wife would want you to have these.
I'll tell her that I gave them to you."

He left the bus quickly. As the bus pulled away, the young
man turned to see the old man enter the gates of a cemetery.
I'm very neat. My wife is messy - never picks anything up.
Doesn't even notice the mess - it's below her radar. I cured
myself from my annoyance with her by imagining that she had died
and then asking myself, "If you could bring her back to life but she'd
still be messy, leave clutter all over the house - 5 pairs of shoes in the
living room, would you still want her back?" "Yes, for sure!"
And, it cured me. Whenever I get annoyed with her mess, I rerun the script.
Sam Bradley, "Marriage Makeover" workshop Smart Marriages Conference


Click on the link for this one: Husband's Funeral


Writers say that love is concerned only with young people, and the excitement and
glamour of romance end at the altar. How blind they are. The best romance
is inside marriage; the finest love stories come after the wedding, not before.
Irving Stone

When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most
insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required
to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal and exhausting
condition continuously until death do them part.
George Bernard Shaw
A grandfather talking at his granddaughter’s
wedding about the experience of losing a spouse:
People imagine that losing a loved one works kind of like missing cigarettes.
The first day is really hard and the next day is less hard and so forth, easier and
easier the longer you go on. But instead it’s like missing water. Every day, you notice
the person’s absence more.
Anne Tyler, Back When We Were Grownups
The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how
much they love them while they're still alive.
Olando Battista

A psychiatrist asks a lot of expensive questions your wife asks for nothing.
Joey Adams

The RealAge web site recommends finding a "reminder buddy" to improve your health, one
with whom to exercise, eat right, etc. "Reminder Buddy" - such a nice term for the role of a spouse,
sounds so much better than "nagging".
Diane Sollee,
The sad truth, Janine had to admit as she drove over to the Empire Grill,
was that she'd gone and divorced a man she could talk to and married
one she couldn't.
Richard Russo, Empire Falls
Eight-Cow Wife:
Johnny Lingo lived in the South Pacific. The islanders all spoke highly
of this man, but when it came time for him to find a wife the people shook
their heads in disbelief. In order to obtain a wife you paid for her by giving
her father cows. Four to six cows was considered a high price. But the woman
Johnny Lingo chose was plain, skinny and walked with her shoulders hunched
and her head down. She was very hesitant and shy. What surprised everyone
was Johnny's offer -- he gave eight cows for her! Everyone chuckled about it,
since they believed his father-in-law put one over on him.

Several months after the wedding, a visitor from the U.S. came to
the islands to trade and heard the story about Johnny Lingo and his
eight-cow wife. Upon meeting Johnny and his wife the visitor was totally
taken back, since this wasn't a shy, plain and hesitant woman but one who
was beautiful, poised and confident. The visitor asked about the
transformation, and Johnny Lingo's response was very simple. "I wanted an
eight-cow woman, and when I paid that for her and treated her in that
fashion, she began to believe that she was an eight-cow woman. She
discovered she was worth more than any other woman in the islands. And
what matters most is what a woman thinks about herself."
Reader's Digest
Spoil your spouse.....not your children.
William Morris wrote a poem called 'Love is Enough' and someone is said to
have reviewed it briefly with the words 'It isn't.' . . . , To say this is not to belittle
the natural loves but to indicate where their real glory lies. It is no disparagement
to a garden to say that it will not fence and weed itself, nor prune its own fruit
trees, nor roll and cut its own lawns. A garden is a good thing but that is not the
sort of goodness it has. It will remain a garden, as distinct from a wilderness, only if
someone does all these things to it."
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
"What I've Learned" is about friendship, but clearly
applies as well to marriage:

I've learned -
that there are people who love you dearly,
but just don't know how to show it.

I've learned -
that just because someone
doesn't love you the way you want
them to, doesn't mean they don't love
you all they can.

I've learned -
that we don't have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

I've learned -
that two people can look
at the exact same thing
and see something totally different

I've learned -
that just because two people argue,
it doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue,
it doesn't mean they do.
Beloved, let us love so well,
Our work shall still be better for our love,
And still our love be sweeter for our work,
And both commended for the sake of each,
By all true workers and true lovers born.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How Do I Love Thee?
Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right:
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
No one has ever measured (not even poets) how
much love the heart can hold.
Zelda Fitzgerald

We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception.
We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a
child--it's the courage to raise one.
Barack Obama, Fathers Day 2008
A good father helps his daughter find her prince without kissing all the frogs.
Roland Warren, National Fatherhood Initiative
Daddies do matter:
Last night (1/20/99) 60 Minutes featured a show about elephants.

Several decades ago there was a problem with overpopulation
on an African game preserve - too many elephants. Limited by the technology
available at the time, the solution arrived at was to move the babies to new preserves.
Everyone watched, gravely concerned, but the babies thrived.

However, unintended consequences emerged. At the new locations, a decade
or so after the transfer, someone was killing off rhinoceros which are an endangered species.
It turned out the killers were young male elephants. At first the game wardens
couldn't believe it, this was uncharacteristic behavior never before seen in elephants.

They deduced that the young males had grown up without fathers - without
male role models. New technology had made it possible to transport into these
locations some large mature bull elephants. There was concern that it would be too late, that
the adolescent males had to have grown up with their elders, that
bringing "daddies" in now would do no good. But they tried it anyway.

It worked like a charm. The mature bulls arrived and set things
straight. The young males immediately stopped their precocious, rampant sexuality,
killing and violence.

The conclusion drawn on 60 Minutes was that we had no idea that the social system of
the elephants was so complex, interconnected, and so elegant.
And so it goes. Daddies do matter, even in elephants.
Diane Sollee,
- - - - - - - -
And, apparently it works both ways:
Our experience with nearly 4,000 court-ordered clients suggests that when fathers are
more involved in the lives of their children, they are unlikely to hurt any woman. While
developing our intervention for domestic violence, we took a group of young men (mean age 22),
all of whom had at least two children from previous relationships and who were court-ordered
for abuse of their current partners. As is too often the case with young fathers, none of these
guys had a relationship with his children. We gave them a brief course called Compassionate
Parenting which raised their awareness of the emotional worlds of their children, particularly
their need to have fathers who cared about them and looked out for them. Without direct
intervention for domestic violence, these young men got more involved in the lives of their
children and completely stopped abuse of their current partners. (The normal recidivism rate
for unmarried men of this age group was over 60 percent, after domestic violence intervention.)
Compassionate Parenting is now a crucial part of our domestic violence programs.
Steven Stosny,
Crime goes up when the sense of community goes down. People feel disconnected.
Steven Stosny,
It is instructive that 87 percent of those incarcerated in American prisons either
don't know who their father is or have not had any contact with their fathers in years.
Herbert London, Hudson Institute
Involved, responsible and committed fathering, like real estate, is about location,
location, location. A healthy marriage to the mother of one's children has a way
of making sure a father is in the location where his kids desperately need him most - in their home.
Roland Warren, National Fatherhood Initiative
Healthy marriages are the best way to protect children from abuse.
Joe Bennett, Mississippi YMCA
A woman in my online group was being very negative about her husband and the
group leader told her to try to think of some positives, even if it were
difficult. This is what she came up with. I thought it was touching. I
just wanted you to see it.
- - - - - - - - -
H was very helpful in the kitchen. He usually got home from work around 3
PM, and he usually made dinner for the family. I don't get home until around
5 PM. He did all the yard work, took care of all car maintenance, always
called me if he was going to be late, instilled complete trust, did the
lion's share of bill paying because I hate to write due to carpal tunnel
syndrome, balanced the checkbook, fixed the toilet when it would break
(regularly), painted the outside of the house.

He usually remembered to put the toilet seat and lid down. He vacuumed
occasionally. He spent lots of time with the kids. He bought advent
calendars with chocolate behind each day for the kids every Christmas
season. He laughed and joked a lot, and didn't like to be serious. He told
me when I looked good. He learned to enjoy horses because our girls and I
loved to ride.

He was willing to try new dishes I prepared. He loved my lasagna. He went to
church with the family every Sunday, even though he had trouble staying
awake during preaching. Although he doesn't like classical music, he went to
almost every concert our daughters played in when they were in youth
symphony (4 years for one and 6 years for the other).

He held my hand through 3 labors and deliveries, and whispered in my ear to
encourage me. He lovingly dressed an open wound for me after surgery for a
breast abscess after the birth of our 3rd. Four years later, he stood beside
my bed as I was being wheeled to surgery to remove a breast due to cancer,
and tears filled his eyes as they did mine. That was in 1989.

He walked the floor for hours at night with a sleepless, cranky child. He
spooned cereal and baby food into little mouths, and endured spit-up and
baby poop on his clothing. He helped me take care of my mother as she was
dying of cancer.

Is this what you mean, JJ? It was difficult to get started, but look what I
accomplished! I also have a huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes
right now. He was a fantastic husband! My sister told me he "adored" me, and
I guess that's correct for a lot of the 26 years we have been married.
I asked my husband one day how he felt he showed me he loved me - he told me that he did it by making sure I was safe.  That meant fixing my car or truck, checking tires, changing oil, filling it with gas, etc.  Also making sure that the house was safe as well and fixing things there.
Lorraine Hover

We've been dating for six months......

Click the link for Dave Berry's most perfect rendition of gender differences and misunderstandings in relationships.


Perhaps the most unfortunate, damaging phrase ever to catch hold regarding women and children's
well being is Gloria Steinem's "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." Who can blame men
– waving and whistling as they peddle off for more fishing? We need desperately to correct that. We need
to say "I want you and I need you here by my side raising these kids. Get off the damn
bike and stay right here."
Diane Sollee,
Playing is Serious Business

Hall of Fame baseball player Willie Mays was born in a grimy steel-mill town near Birmingham. Even before he was old enough to walk, his father, Willie Sr., rolled a baseball back and forth with him. When dad stopped, Willie cried. His father had hooked him on baseball, and we’ve been hooked on the The Say Hey Kid and The Catch ever since.
Dads, the best way to raise champion children is to take the time to play with them. Researchers have found a strong correlation between fathers and children having fun together and their overall well-being. Play is serious business.

For couples, too...
We realize that we enjoy working together so much that it feels like play. We've taken to calling it Plurk.
Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, CoupleHood as a Spiritual Path keynote, Smart Marriages keynote

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
On Marriage
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
Kahlil Gibran

The institution of marriage itself strikes me as being in no trouble at all.
How many things do 95% of people do? They should have a Defense of Voting Act.
Robert Lang, demographer at Virginia Tech, USA Today, 2/26/2004

The happiest times in my life were when my relationships were going well --
when I was in love with someone, and someone was loving me. But in my whole
life, I haven't met the person I can sustain a relationship with yet. So I'm
discontented about that. I'm angry with myself. I have regrets. You don't get
hugged by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and you don't have children with
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I want what everybody else wants: to love and
to be loved, and to have a family.
Billy Joel, The New York Times Magazine 9/02
What does love mean?

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her
toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when
his hands got arthritis too. That's love." Rebecca - age 8

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries
without making them give you any of theirs." Chrissy - age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." Terri - age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before
giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." Danny - age 7

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
Noelle - age 7

"Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken." Elaine - age 5

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all
day." Mary Ann - age 4
I love "folded" potato chips. When John and I eat chips together, he never says
a word. He just smiles and hands the folded chips from his bag to me as he comes
to them. Each one of those potato chips is a love note to me.
Linda Gilden, South Carolina
Because my husband understand that my monthly cycle affects me both
emotionally and physically, he now plans for it. Using his Daytimer, he marks off
in seven-day increments the dates of different stages in my cycle. If we need to
plan a vacation or discuss an important issue, he will do so during the first week
when I'm the most positive and have the most energy. On the other hand, he'll back
off from discussing hot topics or scheduling activities during the third week,
when I tend to be emotionally and physically drained. Of course my body
doesn't operate like clockwork on a perfect 28 day schedule. But his
sensitivity to my needs not only minimizes stress between us, but shows me how much
he loves me.
Teryl Hegel, Illinois
Presidential Marriage Trivia:

George Herbert Walker Bush has been married longer than any other president.

"I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children they just about throw up."
- Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Harry Truman first met his future wife, Bess, at Sunday School when he was six years old.

The partnership between John Adams and his wife, Abigail, well known for speaking out on
women's rights, is one of the most famous in American history.
While drawn to each other as "steel and the magnet," they also went through the trials of
extended separation of as much as nearly 5 years at a time, political upheavals, and personal
tragedies. During their extensive separations, they relied on letters to keep the bond of their compelling
and equal partnership and marriage alive. They met at ages 23 & 14 and their friendship marriage
blossomed into a steadfast, passionate and intellectually stimulating 54 year union that lasted until her

Love Magazine
Some Things We Keep
I grew up in the forties and fifties with practical parents - a Mother who washed
aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. A Father who was happier
getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. Their marriage was good,
their dreams focused. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat
and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, dishtowel in the other. It
was the time for fixing things - a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the
oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes
it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just once to be
wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant there'd always be
more. But then my Mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth
of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there
isn't any 'more'. Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes
away.....never to return. So, while we have it, it's best we love it and care for it.....
and fix it when it's broken.....and heal it when it's sick. This is true for old cars.....
and children with bad report cards.....and dogs with bad hips.....and aging parents
.....and grandparents...and marriage. We keep them because they are worth it,
because we are worth it. Some things we keep.
Moonlight and roses are bound to fade for every lover and every maid
but the bond that holds in any weather is learning how to laugh.
Ask yourself, "What difference will this thing we're fighting about make in ten years?
In one year? In a month?"
What makes a relationship work is having things in common.
What makes a relationship passionate are our differences.
She said there are three words that save a marriage, and they're not, 'I love
you.' They're, 'Maybe you're right.' And Marcus, her husband said, 'Maybe,
gives you some wiggle room there'.
Long As We Both Shall Live a book of photos and wisdom from long-married couples by Robert Fass
More marriages might survive if the partners realized that
sometimes the better comes after the worse.
Doug Larson
The three stages of love and marriage:
You don't know em, but you love em.
You know em, and don't love em.
You know em and you love em.
You don't marry one person; you marry three:
the person you think they are,
the person they are, and
the person they are going to become
as a result of being married to you.
Richard Needham
Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
Victor Borge
Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly.
Rose Franken
In our house we don't take ourselves too seriously, and laughter is the best form of unity, I think, in a marriage.
Michele Obama, Feb 2011
Sexiness wears thin after a while, and beauty fades. But to
be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah,
now that's a real treat.
Joanne Woodward
A woman laughing is a woman conquered.
Me Tarzan, you Jane.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes
A career is a wonderful thing, but you can't snuggle up to it at night.
Marilyn Monroe
My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.
Oprah Winfrey
The more things we can laugh about, the more alive we become: The more
things we can laugh about together, the more connected we become.
Frank Pittman
More than yesterday, less than tomorrow.
The American poet Anne Bradstreet immigrated with her husband to America
in 1630. Her husband was a magistrate for the Massachusetts colony,
and spent long periods away from home. Anne missed him terribly, and
wrote many love poems to him while he was away, including "To My Dear
and Loving Husband" (1678). She wrote:
"If ever two were one then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife were happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold
My love is such that rivers cannot quench
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense"
Anne Bradstreet

The entire sum of existence is the magic of being needed by just one person.
Vi Putnam
Love is seeking to act for the other person's highest good.
Jerry Cook
It's not for what you are, yourself, that I love you as I do, but for what I am, when I am,
with you.
The Michelangelo phenomenon refers to the way
we influence and 'sculpt' each other in a manner
that is as close as possible to each of us achieving our ideal selves.

Leo Tolstoy got married in 1862, and it was the best thing that
ever happened to him. He wrote, "Domestic happiness has swallowed me
completely." His wife had 13 children, and she helped him copy out and edit
all his manuscripts. She copied by hand the huge manuscript for War and Peace
(1868) four times. During the first years of his marriage, free love was
becoming fashionable among the Russian upper classes, and everyone started to
think of marriage as old fashioned and silly. Tolstoy was disgusted. In 1872,
he heard about a woman who had thrown herself in front of a train after the
end of an affair, and it gave him an idea for a novel about a woman whose life
is destroyed by adultery. That novel was Anna Karenina (1875). He wrote it as
a defense of marriage as the most important foundation of society. When it was
published, most critics said it was inferior to War and Peace, but it is now
considered one of the greatest novels ever written.
Garrison Keillor
Gold Medal Marriages: marriages that exhibit longevity, resilience, loyalty, support,
service and durability in the face of challenges and trials.
Utah Governor's Commission on Marriage
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.
Be my heart's prop.
In the waste places be a shade-giving tree.
Be good to me!
The night is long, the dawn is far away.
Be a small light, be a sudden joy,
be my daily bread.
Frank Pittman is an ardent defender of the concept of marriage. His
insights are unique and valuable. These thoughts got our attention.
"Marriage is not supposed to make you happy. It is supposed to make you
married, and once you are safely and totally married then you have a
structure of security and support from which you are free to make yourself
happy, rather than wasting your adulthood looking for a structure."
We think his comments are right on target. We've seen many people bail
out on marriage because it failed to make them happy. Pittman thinks they
have their priorities reversed. You work on building the marriage first
and happiness comes after that. It's only when we are fully committed to
one another in the marriage relationship that we can have hope of
happiness. That will take place despite obstacles that must be overcome.
Pittman believes "It must withstand change, aging, loss of youth, loss of
beauty, loss of youthful hopes, and an expectable lifetime full of
Norman and Ann Bales,
One last point about how talking to your man is different from talking to your girlfriend.
By and large, a man wants the bottom line. Cut the amount of prelude by approximately
ninety percent, and you’ll get it just about right. Instead of saying, “Honey, my mom
went in and the doctor diagnosed varicose veins. She’s going to have to get them
stripped, which will make it very difficult for her to walk for a couple of weeks. As you
know, she lives all alone now, and the only person who can help her is Mrs. Jenkins,
who just visits twice a week, on Thursdays and Fridays. Mom’s going to need more
help than that.” Trust me, you’ve probably lost him by that point. Instead, try this:
“Honey, my mom is having surgery next week and needs some time to recover.
Do you mind if she stays with us for a few days?” If he wants more information,
he’ll ask for it. Keep it short.
Kevin Leman, Making Sense of the Men in Your Life
Some of the most important words in marriage are "maybe you are right" and "let's try it
your way." As a good friend of mine (a bachelor until he was 38) said to me after
his first year of marriage: "I finally learned that the sun will come up tomorrow if we try it her way."
Jeff Herring
Hold Me
Some close friends filed for divorce. When we explained the situation to our
boys, they were confused and declared, “We don’t understand. They were
so happy whenever we were with them.” I asked what they would
do if they were married and their wife got upset and mad and even
treated them mean. Without hesitation, my youngest, declared, “I would hold
her.” How could a four year old know the security a woman feels when a
pair of strong arms gently wrap around her!? When I am stressed or worried,
my heart immediately softens if my husband simply holds me. I asked Philip
WHY he would hold her. He explained that that’s what Dad always says in the
ceremony. Philip had witnessed several of the vow renewal services that conclude
our marriage conference weekends. As in a wedding ceremony, Sam leads
couples to repeat their vows, “To have and to hold from this day forward”.
Unlike many married couples, Philip took these vows literally.
Marriage - The Foundation newsletter
A bell is no bell 'til you ring it,
A song is no song 'til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn’t put there to stay -
Love isn’t love
'Til you give it away.
Oscar Hammerstein
The first year of marriage is like wet cement - the impressions made in it are
much harder to change once it has set.
Robert Wolgemuth

For all the talk of love, it often seems that what Winterson is really talking about is
desire - the longing, the pursuit, the potent combination of erotic encounter and
absence, all of which she is very good at evoking. What we don't tend to get in her
novels is the messy complication of a relationship stretched and tested by daily
proximity over time - lived love.
Catherine Bush, 2004, bookreview of Lighthousekeeping
One member of a couple says (as if this is an excuse for leaving), "I love
him (or her), but I am no longer in love." Love is an action word, I want
to say. When was the last time you "loved" him (or her) by your actions?
Love is not just a feeling. Love is a verb. We have control over what we
do, not what we feel. Similarly, I only have control over what I do – not
what my partner does. If I do not like what is happening or how I feel,
what can I do differently? As I behave differently, many times I get a
different response. How many times do I take for granted those thoughtful
actions or tasks a partner may complete? Do I say thank you? Do I show my
appreciation? Do I care enough about my partner to do something they like,
just as a love gift – not as a should? Do I do these things without
expecting something in return? If I expect something in return and do not
get it, I will feel resentment, which is poison in a relationship. A gift
is only a gift if it has no expectations attached.
Riette Smith
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not promises of
eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the
day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every
cranny of your body. No, don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. That is
just being “in love,” which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left
over when being in love has burned away….Your mother and I had it, we had
roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty
blossoms had fallen from the branches, we found that we were one tree and
not two.
De Bernières, a widowed father to his daughter in the novel Corelli’s Mandolin (1994)
We call upon you to let your "happily-married" light shine.
Happily marrieds are not "perfect marrieds," but they have learned some of
what it takes to create happiness in marriage. We encourage you to find ways to let
people know that you love being married! Let those who are not yet married
know that the adventure of marriage is worth the effort - that the rewards
are worth the price!
Laura Brotherson,
Couples are like fingerprints. My goal in the Loveseats project photos is to
get these couples see their uniqueness.
Randy Bacon, photographer
Who wouldn't want to be in a love-filled, life-long marriage?
Steve Beirne,

Marriage provides the solace of worked-on friendship and
the joy of being known profoundly.
Imogene Stubbs
Don’t discuss sensitive subjects before dinner — eat first. My husband is
very irritable when hungry."
Renee Flager happily married for 50 yrs, New York City - Everlasting Matrimony
A happy marriage is the world's best bargain.
O.A. Battista

When it's right you can't say
Who is kissing whom.
Gregory Orr

There are a hundred paths through the
world that are easier than loving.
But who wants easier?
Mary Oliver
. . . stunned by the lungs' longing for
more and more breath in the presence of that friend.
Grace Paley
The way you make love
is the way God will be with you.
It was accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding
the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a
honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month
– which we know today as the honeymoon.
It takes many solid marriages to create a strong village and a village
to support and sustain strong marriages.
Diane Sollee,
Marriage is a case of "Unite and Conquer "
Diane Sollee,
Send in your quotes. The more the 'marrier'!
Diane Sollee,

CARTOONS and Funnies:

Married Lions (click for photo)

How Men Ruin Romance (click for photo)

The Glory of Getting Married
Toddler in pajamas standing at the door waving goodbye to his dad.
caption reads: "Bye, Daddy! Be a good boy!"
The Family Circus by Bill Keane, 10-5-01
Charlie Brown kicks a football while saying, "my grampa and gramma have
been married for 50 years...." To which his playmate replies "They're lucky,
aren't they?" Charlie says, "Grampa says it isn't's skill."
Classic Peanuts - 9/26/01
My wife uses fabric softener. I never knew what that stuff was for. Then
I noticed women coming up to me, sniffing, then saying under their
breath, "Married!" and walking away. Fabric Softeners are how our wives
mark their territory. We can take off the ring, but it's hard to get
that April fresh scent out of your clothes.
Andy Rooney
Try praising your wife, even if it does frighten her at first.
Billy Sunday
Be tolerant of the human race. Your whole family belongs to it -- and some
of your spouse's family does too.
Adam and Eve had an ideal marriage. He didn't have to hear about all the
men she could have married... and she didn't have to hear about how well his Mother cooked.
My wife says I never listen to her. At least I think that's what she said.
We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.
Married life teaches one invaluable lesson: to think of things far
enough ahead not to say them.
Jefferson Machamer
A friend recently told us about a twenty-fifth-anniversary party where the
husband gave a toast and said, "The key to our success is very simple.
Within minutes after every fight, one of us says, 'I'm sorry, Sally'."
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Although a bright and able man, my husband is almost completely helpless when
faced with even the simplest domestic chore. One day, in exasperation, I
pointed out to him that our friend, Beaa, had taught her husband, Frank, to
cook, sew and do laundry, and that if anything ever happened to Beaa, Frank
would be able to care for himself. Then I asked, "What would YOU do if
anything happened to me?" After considering that possibility for a moment,
my husband said happily, "I'd move in with Frank."
LaVonne Kincaid, Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul, 2002
If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
Marty wakes up with a killer hangover. He forces himself to open his
eyes, and the first things he sees are a couple of aspirin and a glass of
water on the side table. He sits up and sees his clothes in front of him,
clean and pressed. He takes the aspirin and notices a note on the table:
"Honey, breakfast is on the stove. I left early to go shopping. Love you."
He goes to the kitchen and sure enough, there is a hot breakfast and the
morning newspaper. His son is also at the table, eating.

Marty asks, "Son, what happened last night?"

His son says, "Well, you came home at 3 A.M., drunk and delirious. Broke
some furniture, puked in the hallway, and gave yourself a black eye when you
stumbled into the door."

Confused, Marty asks, "So, why is everything in order and so clean, and
breakfast is on the table waiting for me?"

His son replies, "Oh that! Mom dragged you to the bedroom, and when she
tried to take your pants off, you said, "Lady, leave me alone, I'm married'!"
A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each
other the silent treatment. The next week the man realized that he would
need his wife to wake him at 5.00 am for an early morning business flight to Chicago.
Not wanting to be the first to break the silence, he finally wrote on a piece of paper,
"Please wake me at 5.00 am."
The next morning the man woke up, only to discover it was 9.00am, and that he
had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't
woken him when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed ... it said... "It is 5.00am; wake up."

Husband sits at his computer screen. Wife stands, holding a pistol with
both hands and aims it at him, saying, "Step away from the screen, and
hold up your end of the conversation."
Jan 28, 2002 New Yorker Magazine

Man and women sitting in restaurant. Women looking angry and incredulous.
Man is saying, "I never said 'I love you.' I said 'I love ya.' Big difference!"
Jan 28, 2002 New Yorker Magazine

Two women sitting in a restaurant, one is saying to the other: "Sometimes I wonder if it
would've been better having one big marriage instead of a lot of little ones."
Nov 28, 2005 New Yorker Magazine

Two women sitting in a restaurant, one is saying to the other: "This time, I'm skipping
love and looking for value."
2008, The New Yorker Magazine

Cave-era couple stand looking at the hindquarters of huge dead beast that
towers over them with four spears stuck into it. Wife, with arms folded, says
to the husband. "This is mastodon. I told you to get mammoth."
Sept 2007, The New Yorker Magazine

A woman, hand on doorknob of her apartment, turns to date and says:
“I had a nice time, Steve. Would you like to come in, settle down, and raise a family?”
Feb 4, 2008, New Yorker Magazine

Do You Know Your Spouse?
While attending a marriage seminar on communication, David and his wife
listened to the instructor declare, "It is essential that husbands and wives
know the things that are important to each other."

He addressed the man, "Can you describe your wife's favorite flower?"

David leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "Pillsbury
All-Purpose, isn't it?"

Why it's good to have a genie or speaker/listner skills....

A man walking along a beach stumbled upon an old
lamp. He rubbed it and out popped a genie. The genie
said, "OK, OK. You released me from the lamp, blah blah blah. But
I'm getting sick of this so you can forget about three wishes.
You only get one wish!"

The man thought about it and said, "I've always wanted
to go to Hawaii but I'm scared to fly and I get very seasick. Could you
build a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over there to visit?"

The genie laughed, "That's impossible. Think of the logistics!
How would the supports ever reach the bottom of the Pacific?
Think of how much much steel!! No, think of another

The man said OK and tried to think of a really good wish. Finally, he
said, "I've been married and divorced four times. My wives always said
that I don't care and that I'm insensitive. So, I wish that I could
understand women....know how they feel inside and what they're thinking
when they give me the silent treatment....know why they're crying, know
what they really want when they say nothing....know how to make them truly happy...."

The genie said, "You want that bridge two lanes or four?"

Unknown - and to think we can grant that wish with a simple 8-hr course
An elderly man in Phoenix calls his son in New York and says, "I hate to
ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing;
forty-five years of misery is enough."

"Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams.
"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the old man says.
"We're sick and tired of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so
you call your sister in Chicago and tell her." And he hangs up.

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. "Like Heck
they're getting a divorce," she shouts. "I'll take care of this." She
calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at the old man, "You are NOT getting
divorced! Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my
brother back and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then don't do a thing,
DO YOU HEAR ME?" And she hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "They're coming for
Thanksgiving and paying their own way."

Two Sides Of The Story


My husband was in an odd mood Saturday night. We planned to meet at a cafe for a drink
spent the afternoon shopping with the girls and I thought it might have been my
I was a bit later than I promised but he didn't say anything about it. I don't remember
doing anything to make him upset, but I could tell there was something wrong.

The conversation was quite slow going so I thought we should go off to someplace
intimate so we could talk more privately. We went to this restaurant and he was STILL
acting a bit funny. I was getting really worried, what did I do? What was bothering him?
Was he mad at me?

I tried to cheer him up, but started to wonder what was bothering him. Was it me or
something else? I asked him if he was upset with me, he said no. But I wasn't really sure.
In the car on the way back home, I said that I loved him deeply and he just put his arm
around me. I didn't know what the heck that meant because, you know, he didn't say it
back or anything. We finally got back home and I was wondering if he was going to
leave me! So I tried to get him to talk but he just switched on the TV.

Reluctantly, I said I was going to go to bed. Then after about 10 minutes, he joined
me and to my surprise, we made love. But, he still seemed really distracted, so afterwards
I wanted to confront him but didn't, so I just cried myself to sleep. I just don't know what
to do anymore. I mean, I really think he's seeing someone else.


Played badly today – shot 97 – can't putt for crap! Felt kind of tired.
Got laid though.

How to Know if you've been married too long:

Three women: one engaged, one married and one a mistress, are
chatting about their relationships and decided to amaze their men. That
night all three will wear black leather bras, stiletto heels and a mask
over their eyes. After a few days they meet up for lunch.

The engaged woman: The other night when my fiance came over he found
me with a black leather bodice, tall stilettos and a mask. He saw me and
said, 'You are the woman of my life. I love you.' Then we made love all
night long.

The mistress: Me too! The other night I met my lover at his office
and I was wearing the leather bodice, heels, mask over my eyes and a
raincoat. When I opened the raincoat he didn't say a word, but we had wild
sex all night.

The married woman: I sent the kids to stay at my mother's house for
the night. When my husband came home I was wearing the leather bodice,
black stockings, stilettos and a mask over my eyes. As soon as he came in
the door and saw me he said, 'What's for dinner, Batman?'

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht
oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is tahtthe frist and
lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can
sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed
ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Amzanig huh?

Guess that means I don't have to feel so bad about my spelling.
Also makes me think we should be able to apply this principle to marital
communication. Try to listen for the meaning instead of nit-picking at the
fine points. - Diane Sollee

Signs of the Times - Or, what is the world coming to?

When HBO premiered The Bridges of Madison County they touted it as
‘the love story of the century.’ The first time I heard that ad I thought to myself:
This is great job security. As long as our society believes that Bridges of Madison County
is the love story of the century, I will have a job! If a brief, clandestine encounter is
equated with true love, no wonder marriage is in trouble.
Pat Love, The Truth About Love
My husband's parents are both many times divorced and remarried. At our wedding
banquet he made a toast: "We'd like to thank our parents, too numerous to mention."
One of my favorite stories about couples who want vows "as long as love shall
last," is about then Education Secretary William Bennett who heard such a
wedding vow from a junior colleague & spouse. He sent paper plates as his wedding gift!
Mike McManus


In an interview in today's USA Today with the child co-star in Ben Affleck
and Jennifer Lopez's new movie "Jersey Girl" - she defends the couple,
saying: "I don't think they are telling the truth about Jen and Ben. I think they
are still going to get married. Ben just got nervous. Sometimes, when it's
your first wedding, that happens." Yes, she is only 9. What is the world
coming to when 9-year-old girls casually refer to someone's "FIRST wedding"
- rather than just their "wedding."
Peggy Vaughan, Oct 2003
A comment to my daughter from an eight-year-old classmate stopped me in my
tracks and made me wonder what is the world coming to. The little boy asked my
daughter, "So who do you live with -- your Mom or your Dad?" That says it all, doesn't it?
Carol Brethour Stephens, Oct 2003
DEAR ANN LANDERS: Please advise your readers before they send a wedding gift
to check and make sure the couple is still married. I wish I had.
"Mary" and "Jerry" were high-school sweethearts. They went together five
years before they married. Everyone thought they were the perfect couple.
The wedding was one of the most beautiful this town has ever seen -
bridesmaids, ushers, a flower-laden canopy, a string quartet, a harp - the
whole nine yards.
I spent a lot more on my dress and the gift than I had a right to, but I was
so sure the relationship was rock-solid and that this would be the social
event of the year, I went all out.
I sent the gift 10 days after the wedding.
Guess what? Five weeks after the extravaganza, the couple split.
They were divorced the following month. No wedding gifts were returned.
What do you think of this, Ann Landers?
- Skunked Somewhere East of the Rockies

DEAR SKUNKED: Back in 1993, the Bureau of the Census predicted that four out
of 10 first marriages would end in divorce. Many couples split up within the
first two years of marriage, although a growing number of divorces are
occurring among the elderly.

A recent issue of a magazine featured on its cover a photo of actress
Courtney Thorne-Smith, radiant and smiling, wearing her elegant bridal gown.
There was a six-page spread with Courtney's firsthand account of how she was
planning her wedding. Seven months later, the couple separated. Is this a
sign of the times? I'm afraid the answer is yes.
Ann Landers, Dec 2001
OSLO - With a free Saturday on his hands and a new downtown apartment to
fill, the affable 27-year-old man known simply as Haakon put on jeans,
sweater and sneakers, bundled himself against the Nordic winter in a gray
duffel coat and went to check out some sounds in a record store and shop at
discount houses.
Hours later, he returned home with his purchases and was greeted by his
lover, Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby, 27, and her 3-year-old son, Marius.
So far, this is nothing out of the ordinary for Oslo, where even the most
urbane people dress informally, more than half of children are born out of
wedlock and cohabiting is common.
But just how common this particular pair are permitted to be has become a
test for the famously tolerant Norwegians.
Haakon is the country's hereditary prince, a man who one day will quite
likely have to trade his earphones for a king's crown.
March, 2001

Like Cohabitation, Prenups are a sign of the times. Just as the divorce rate of modern
marriages has risen to nearly 50 percent, the "just in case" practice of signing prenuptial contracts has
also grown. "We live in an age of realism. We live in an age of contracts," says
Linda Elrod, law professor.
Christian Science Monitor, June 2000
An explanation for today's ostentatious weddings:

May I suggest another reason for ostentatious weddings? Many of today's
couples live together before they are married. Thus the thrills of
yesteryear's weddings are gone. No longer is there the fun of decorating the
love nest. Why get excited about the honeymoon destination when they've
traveled all over already? Who cares about their first dance, first toast,
first anything -- they've been there, done that. So to create a sense of
excitement, today's couples have to beef up the wedding day with fancy cakes,
elaborate favors and over-the-top gowns to get guests fired up for a wedding
that has nothing to do with beginning a life together, but is more like a
salute to themselves with the added bonus of gifts.
Carol Macken, New York Times, Letters to the Editor, June 6, 2004
It helps to compare a wedding and marriage to building a building. The wedding
is the first shovel ceremony with the President of the Chamber of Commerce
and the Mayor and City Fathers all present and then the senator makes a
speech and turns the first shovel full of dirt and everyone present shakes hands
and rejoices at the future of this building…but the empty lot still sits there.  You
have to build the building yet.  Then you have to use the building.  Then you
have to pay for the building and keep the building maintained.  And furnish it. 
And decorate it.  A dedication is a nice thing and gets everyone pumped,
but the work is just beginning.
Bing Wall, ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Wedding Readings, Wedding Toasts, Vows, Rituals, oh, and Stamps
While there are dozens above that could – and often do – serve as wedding toasts,
here are a few submitted for this section. 

Can see showing this at the reception and letting everyone try it:
Why the wedding ring is worn on the 4th finger - ancient Chinese wisdom
Ah, the Glory of getting married.
Marriage Flag
When you get married, create your Marriage Flag. Fly it at your wedding. Think 
of it as akin to establishing a country with its own mission statement and 
constitution. Talk about what it stands for, what it represents. You can add 
amendments from time to time, but establish the entity, and then protect it. 
Put it first. Do this for your kids. Where would they be without a country? 

Make love as often as you can and pay off your credit card debt every month.
Put up a little sign somewhere where you will both see it everyday
that says, "Make love, not debt." 
Bill Doherty


We can't do ourselves justice by letting our tribute end in the wedding ceremony.
You have to move from ceremony to sacrament. Sacrament takes up where ceremony
leaves off. Ceremony is like putting a ring on her finger at the wedding, but sacrament
is ringing her life with love and joy every day and every hour.
Rev. Joseph Lowery 

- A Toast from Father of the Groom

We can all see that you’re madly in love. That’s definitely the first
challenge - to find someone with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.

But the trick and challenge I want to propose to you is that you set out
with the goal of falling a little more in love every day. So that by the time
you’re eighty, you’re so in love that you wobble when you walk. To do
this, you have to have a plan and you have to be deliberate.

So here’s to falling a little more in love each day—and to Jim and Jenny.

- A Toast from Father of the Bride

I wish for you (and for me) many beautiful babies.

I wish for you ever stronger collaborations, team work
and partnerships.

I wish for you long conversations - and short fights - which
inexorably and successfully move the whole mass forward.

I wish for you that you always laugh at each other’s jokes and
understand each other’s prose.

I wish for you good health in each other’s arms.

I wish for you fidelity – especially in trying times. It’s the crucial
link that holds it all together.

I wish for you romantic marriage vacations – time away for just
the two of you. During which I promise to babysit all those beautiful babies.

And I wish for you, finally, the full joy of reaching the end together – that
bittersweet moment when in death you shall part.


Dear Sue, Dear Karl,
Dear Karl, Dear Sue,

It's your story to write
from this precious moment on ...


This could be a simple toast, or use it on a blank card.
I used one with a time-lapse photo of white flowers blooming
on the front. J. S.

Now you will feel no rain for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold for each of you will be warmth for the other.
Now there is no loneliness for you, now you are two persons but there
is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your togetherness,
and may your days be good and long together.
Apache Blessing
Take a lump of clay, wet it, pat it,
And make an image of me, and an image of you.
Then smash them, crash them, and add a little water.
Break them and remake them into an image of you
And an image of me.
Then in my clay, there's a little of you.
And in your clay, there's a little of me.
And nothing ever shall us sever;
Living, we'll sleep in the same quilt,
And dead, we'll be buried together.
Madame Kuan
.....Really I began the day
Not with a man's wish: "May this day be different":
But with the bird's wish: "May this day
Be the same day, the day of my life."
Randall Jarrell, from "A Man Meets a Woman in the Street"
Woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.
- Ecclesiastes 4:10

Wedding Vows for the Parents
I have done a number of weddings over the past 25 years and have included vows
not only for the couple, but for the parents of the couple. In my premarital
counseling I usually meet and talk with parents and stress their important role in
strengthening their children's marriage. In my remarks during the wedding I
say that this is marriage is not just a union of two individuals, but of two
families and stress the importance of the merging of the two family groups
together to help provide part of the "glue" for this new marriage. Then,
after the couple recites their vows, I turn to the bride's parents and say,
"Will you, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, take Bob to be your son-in-law, will you love
him, care for him, treat him as your own son, and do all you can to
strengthen and encourage his marriage to your daughter? (They answer "I
do.") "Will you, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, take Jennie to be your
daughter-in-law, will you love her, care for her, treat her as your own
daughter, and do all you can to strengthen and encourage her marriage to
your son?"(They answer "I do.")
Bill Beahm, National Center for Fathering,

My Dearest Friend,
... should I draw you the picture of my heart it would be what I hope you would still love though it contained nothing new. The early possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have obtained over it, leaves not the smallest space unoccupied.

I look back to the early days of our acquaintance and friendship as to the days of love and innocence, and, with an indescribable pleasure, I have seen near a score of years roll over our heads with an affection heightened and improved by time, nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my heart.”
Abigail Adams to John Adams, December, 1782 

Dance me to the End of Love

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

- lyrics by Leonard Cohen. I think of this as "dance me until death us do part"


New marriage-strengthening twists on tradditional rituals: 

The only wedding gift I give is a marriage education class. I don't want to have to wonder who
got the china or crystal after the divorce.
Diane Sollee - click for gift certificate ideas
At my niece's wedding, instead of throwing the bouquet to the single women
at the reception the DJ asked all the married couples to get on the dance floor. He
played the Anniversary waltz and he started by asking for anyone married one day
to leave the dance floor -- which was the bride and groom. And then couples
married one year, two years, five years, eight years, and so on were asked
to leave. The last couple standing were married 56 years and the wife was
given the bridal bouquet by the bride.
Bill Doherty,
The DJ at my son's wedding did something similar. As the longest
married couple was left standing (my aunt and uncle who have been married 62
years) - he asked them what advice they might give as to the secret of what
makes a good, lasting marriage. My uncle did a wonderful job and included the
ability to admit when one is wrong and say "I'm sorry" even when you think you
were only 10% wrong; learning to laugh at ourselves and not take life too
seriously. It was a wonderful tribute to them and an affirmation of marriage for us all.
And, at the rehearsal dinner we took few moments of silence and then as a part
of a prayer of blessing we called out the names of those that could not be in
attendance (either deceased or for some other reason not able to attend). It
reminded us of the importance those persons and the influence they have had
and will continue to have on us and on the newlyweds as they begin their lives
Bea Haledjian
When my daughter was married a couple of years ago, at the end of the evening
the MC asked everyone to form a circle around the bride and groom. He then
gave a speech about how “marriage will have its ups and downs and all the people
surrounding you right now are here to support you through whatever happens.”
Then he asked everyone to hold hands and walk slowly around them in a circle
as the band played, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” (There wasn’t a dry eye.)
Pat Ennis, Syracuse New York.
My stepdaughter, who will be 18 in January, is getting married next August. Since
she has experienced the divorce of her parents and is marrying young, I wanted
to do more than just throw a bridal shower. I decided to have a marriage party
instead at which we will have several happily married couples--some of which
married in their teens--share their stories and give advice. Instead of towels
and spatulas, I will be asking the couples to give gifts of marriage books,
videos, and classes to help this young couple have a successful marriage.
Lynn Corcoran Roberts

When my husband and I got married 47 years ago, we
felt that the tossing of the bouquet and the garter were mindless
rituals that people did only because of tradition. Somewhere in an
etiquette book I read that it was perfectly proper to select someone to
receive the bouquet as a gift (and today I wouldn't worry about whether the
etiquette book said so or not). I then thought of my groom's elderly, sweet
grandmother who was too frail to travel 500 miles to our wedding. At the
reception, I gave my bouquet to my new mother-in-law, to take home to her
mother. Later I learned that Grandma B, as we called her, had dried that
bouquet and treasured it till her death several years later. More recently,
my daughters did something similar. It makes much more sense.
Madeline Johnston

Anniversary Gifts

Dear Diane,
I would like to share with you the gift my husband, Tom, and I received
for our 34th anniversary. What we got in the mail was a pretty wrapped box.
Inside were 50+ small rolls of paper each tied with a colored ribbon. On the
card was a message from our four grown sons, who had collaborated on the gift.
This is what went on behind the gift. All four of them sent a list of
memories that they had from growing up in our family during those 34 years
to our oldest son (whose idea it was). He printed them on separate
pieces of paper, rolled them in mini-scrolls and ribboned each one. The
card instructed us to open them over time - when we were lonely, when we
missed them, or when we just wanted to smile.
We have opened one each day - that's all my sentimental heart can take.
We have been amazed and touched by the joyous, heartwarming, funny, and
various (no duplications) memories each of them recalled. We have been
gifted with each and every memory.
The "boys" (ages 23 to 33) also enjoyed getting a list of the memories
they contributed in order to share in each others.
I hope Tom and I have many more years of marriage ahead, but I
can't think of a gift that will mean more than this year's.
Beverly Hartberg

On Celebrating Wedding Anniversaries:
I've long proposed that we celebrate the wedding anniversaries of our
family members, friends, and colleagues – that we celebrate
WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES with at least as much, if not more, fanfare
than we celebrate birthdays.  Before antibiotics and by-pass, birthdays
were something to celebrate.  Now, after no-fault divorce, wedding
anniversaries should get the big hurrah.  They're the big achievement
– against the odds. There are so many ways we can help create a
marriage-supporting, marriage-celebrating culture.
Diane Sollee,


50th Anniversary Tribute

Hi – I’m Margie, and my sisters, Georgia and Jaime, and I want to welcome you all and thank you for coming today.  We realize there are two very important football games going on right now; and we are happy you chose to spend the afternoon with us to celebrate our parents' 50th wedding anniversary.

I’ll start by stealing a quote from my mother-in-law, Diane Sollee, sitting right over there: “Any fool can have a trophy wife, but it takes a real man to have a trophy marriage.”  I think my dad lucked out and got both – a trophy wife and a trophy marriage.  50 years – holy cow.  That’s really hard to imagine.

Most of you probably don’t know that not only have my parents been married 50 years, but they have been together since they were 13 and 15 years old.  My mother has never had another boyfriend besides my dad.  When my sisters and I were younger, that fact really grossed us out – and we still find it a little suspect.  I mean “Mom, really? – No other boyfriend?”  I look at my son and daughter who are almost 16 and my niece who is 14, and I cannot imagine them pairing up for life.  It’s even difficult to imagine for my 20-year-old nephew.  But, I suppose things were different then; and when you find the love of your life you stick with that person.  I guess we should all be that lucky. 

Way back 50 years ago, everyone got married.  It’s what you did.  No questions asked.  Today, not so much.  So you might ask, why do we get married?  What’s the use?  Because, we need a witness to our lives.  There are a billion people on this planet.  What does any one life really mean?  But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything.  The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things.  All of it.  All the time, every day.  You are saying, “Your life will not go unnoticed, because I will notice it.  Your life will not go unwitnessed, because I will be your witness.”

So how do you make it to 50 years?  Well in our household the answer to that question was hunting and fishing.  Every weekend while we were growing up, our dad would leave on Saturday morning for a hunting or fishing trip.  The four girls would get up and watch Style with Elsa Klensch on CNN.  Then we would clean house, take showers and go shopping for the day – a little female bonding.  On Sunday afternoon, dad would return, and the family would be whole again.  So, my tip to all you newly-marrieds is – find something you enjoy doing apart.  Do that thing, then come back together.  It certainly worked for my parents.

We often hear people say, “Is there anything more beautiful than a young couple clasping hands, in love on the path of marriage? Can there be
anything more beautiful than young love?”  And the answer is, "Yes, there is a more
beautiful thing. It is the spectacle of an old man and an
old woman finishing their journey together on that path.  Their hands are gnarled, but still clasped; their faces are
seamed, but still radiant.  Their hearts are physically
bowed and tired, but still strong with love and devotion for
one another. Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than
young love. That thing is old love."

Let’s welcome my parents, Jim and Liz.



LEADER:   A vow is a covenant commitment, a promise made in love.  It lays a claim on tomorrow and all the tomorrows that follow.  With a vow we assure each other that, come what may, we will be there for each other . . . as long as we both shall live. When we stated our vows on our wedding day, we each made promises to our spouse.  That may have been recently; it may have been decades ago.  No matter how much water has passed under the bridge, no matter how we may have fallen short of the ideal or let each other down, tonight is an opportunity to state in a new and fresh way our promises to each other.

I promise to love you and cherish you, for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.

HUSBAND: I promise to trust you with my deepest feelings and to share with you my dreams and aspirations, my hurts and disappointments. I promise to provide a safe place for you to do the same.

WIFE:  I promise to accept you for who you are and for who you will become. I promise to refrain from criticism that tears down, focusing instead on support that builds up.

We will listen to each other with open minds and open hearts.  We will deal with hurts that hold us apart, admitting our faults, processing our pain, and forgiving each other for the sake of new and better possibilities. We will respect the ways we are different and celebrate the ways we complement each other.  We will strike a balance between our togetherness and our separateness, expressing our "oneness" without losing our individuality.

LEADER: Marriage is a living thing, with limitless potential for growth.  Unfolding as it does over time, marriage invites us to keep building on the foundation of our love, exercising our strengths and adding new strengths, day by day.  A commitment to growth invites us to deal honestly and creatively with our shortcomings, letting go of habits that hinder and replacing them with new habits that make our love flourish.

I commit myself to ongoing growth, in my personal life and in our relationship.

HUSBAND:   I will view our relationship as an ever-evolving blend of the familiar and the new.  I will honor our traditions while looking for opportunities to explore uncharted territory.

WIFE:  I will nurture a curiosity to learn new things about you and to know you better every day.  I will cultivate my ability to learn from you and to bring out your best.

We will pay attention to the natural rhythms and seasons of life and nourish the kind of adaptability that makes time an ally in our love.  We will learn from our difficulties and challenges and allow them to become avenues for growth that can strengthen us.  

HUSBAND:  I love you, and always will.

WIFE:  I love you, and always will.

LEADER: Nothing compares to the strength of a relationship woven with the gentle cords of a covenant.

ALL:  We celebrate the power and joy of lifetime love!



Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland asked a simple question
of 10,000 married men with no history of chest pains (angina): "Does your wife
show you her love?" Those men answering yes were found to experience significantly
less angina in the next five years than husbands responding no - despite such negative
indicators as elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes or electrocardiogram abnormalities.
Bob Condor, Knight Ridder
"There's plenty of evidence that both human sexuality and intimacy and love and marriage
are very, very good for our health," Dr. Stephen Bogdewic, vice chair of family medicine at
Indiana University School of Medicine told Indianapolis Star reporter Shari Rudavsky.
"If a new drug had the same impact, virtually every doctor in the country would be
recommending it."
Happy Marriage May Counter Work Stress, Judy Monchuk, The London Free Press, October 26, 2004
"A study of nearly 6,000 Americans with bladder cancer found that those who were
married had better survival rates than single patients. Compared with their married peers,
single patients were 26 percent more likely to die during the study period - even when
researchers factored in patients' age, race and severity of their cancer."
Reuters Health, September 30, 2005,
"Researchers found men and women in unhappy marriages suffered from increased
stress levels throughout the day at home and at work as well as higher blood pressure
at midday at the office, which could raise the risk of heart attack or stroke."
Barnett, R. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 2005; vol 30: pp36-43. News release, Brandeis University
Poor social relationships are as damaging to physical health as cigarette smoking .
The mortality rates of individuals with poor social relationships are higher than those
who smoke cigarettes for many years.
House et al, 1988. Social relationships and health. Science, 241 , 540-544
For adults, a stable, happy marriage is the best protector against illness and
premature death, and for children, such a marriage is the best source of emotional stability
and good physical health
. Decades of research have clearly established these links.
Burman & Margolin, 1992; Dawson, 1991; Verbrugge, 1979
Marital distress is an important health hazard for adults and children.
Marital distress
leads to depression and reduces immune system functioning in adults. In addition,
chronic marital conflict harms the emotional and physical well-being of children.
Emery, 1982; Gottman & Katz, 1989; Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 1993
Divorce is a major health risk for American adults and children.
In addition to
well-established links between divorce and mental health problems, adults who
experience divorce more than double their risk of earlier mortality. And children
who experience a parental divorce have their life expectancy shortened by an
average of four years, according to a fifty-year longitudinal study. These effects
are comparable to those of cigarette smoking.
Dawson, 1991; Cherlin et al., 1991; Doherty & Needle, 1991; Tucker et al., 1996; Schwartz et al., 1995.


"We started talking about the idea of this film four or five years ago. A film
about marriage -- what it really is to be married. There are a lot of films about
meeting and falling in love and quite a few about the pain and suffering of
divorce. But we could recall few, if any, about the ins and outs, the day-to-day
wear and tear, of being married." - Rob Reiner, director, The Story of Us

Closing monologue from "The Story of Us"
Katie is played by Michele Pfieffer and Ben is played by Bruce Willis. They are
picking up their kids from summer camp and had agreed they'd tell them together
that they have decided to get a divorce.

KATIE: I think we should go to Chow Fun's.

Ben stops.

BEN (sotto): Chow Fun's? I thought we agreed we couldn't really talk at Chow Fun's.

Katie looking deep into his eyes, responds:

KATIE: I know.

Ben crosses over to her.

BEN: What are you saying?

KATIE (with resolve): I'm saying Chow Fun's.

BEN: Are you saying Chow Fun's because you don't want to face telling the kids?
Because if that's why you're saying Chow Fun's, don't say Chow Fun's.

KATIE: That's not why I'm saying Chow Fun's.
I'm saying Chow Fun's because we're an "us".

There's a history and histories don't happen overnight. In Mesopotamia or
Ancient Troy or somewhere back there, there were cities built on top of other cities,
but I don't want to build another city. I like this city. I know where we keep the Bactine,
and what kind of mood you're in when you wake up by which eyebrow is higher. And you always
know that I'm a little quiet in the morning and compensate accordingly. That's a
dance you perfect over time.

And it's hard, it's much harder than I thought it would be, but there's more good than bad.
And you don't just give up. And it's not for the sake of the children, but they're great kids
aren't they? And we made them - I
mean think about that - there were no people there and then there were people - two
of them. And they grew. And I won't be able to say to some stranger, "Josh has
your hands" or "Remember how Erin threw up at the Lincoln Memorial?"

So what if that stranger listens to me? I mean, Lucas Adler listens but then he always says
"between you and I" and it should be "between you and me" because "between" is
a preposition. And it's not that there's not a charming part about you not remembering
the washerfluid - which I don't understand why you can't - but that's not ultimately
important. I'll try to remember that those things can be mildly endearing at times and
really not worth not having sex over. And I'll try to relax.

I mean is it the end of the world to have sex when you don't totally feel like it?
There are all kinds of sex, aren't there?
Comfort sex, tender sex, relief sex, 'I'm not in the mood, but you are" sex...And let's
face it, anybody is going to have traits that get on your nerves, why shouldn't it be
your annoying traits? I'm no day at the beach, but I do have a good sense of direction
so at least I can find the beach, but that's not a criticism of you, it's just a strength of mine.

And you're a good friend and good
are hard to find. Charlotte in "Charlotte's Web"
said that and I love the way you read that to Erin - when you take on the voice of Wilbur the
pig with such commitment even when you're bone tired. It speaks volumes about character.
And ultimately isn't that what it comes down to? What a person's made of at the end of the
day? Because that pith helmet girl is still in here - "BEE-BOO, BEE-BOO!" And I didn't even
know she existed until I met you. And if you leave, I may never see her again - even though I
said at times you beat her out of me - Isn't that the paradox? Haven't we hit the essential
paradox? Give and take, push and pull, yin and yang, the best of times, the worst of times.
I think Dickens said it best. It's the Jack Sprat of it, he could eat no fat, his wife could eat no
lean, but that doesn't really apply here. Does it? I mean I guess what I'm trying to say is - I'm
saying Chow Fun's because I love you.

After a beat, Ben explodes with sheer joy, grabs Katie and kisses her passionately. We see
Josh and Erin watching their parents stunned at their behavior.

Ben and Katie start getting into the car, as do the kids.

For more on "The Story of Us".


 When my husband's uncle was 95 he called his daughter in Michigan and said to get him an apartment, he had enough of this marriage and was leaving his wife and their home in Florida.  His daughter dutifully got him an apartment and he moved in.  Both he and his wife seemed happy with the arrangement.  Then, after six weeks went by he decided to go back home.  They lived together and continued to happily annoy each other for another seven years until his death at 102.  ~ Syble Solomon, Money Habitudes
LYRICS - Marriage and Wedding Songs

These first three are so good and so capture the Smart Marriages® is all about,
that we've adopted them as our anthems.....our rowing/marching music.
The first, All is Right, captures the importance of a solid, stable
marriage from a child's perspective - one that they can learn from and, as Terry Hargrave puts it,
one they can count on and relax into....sums up the sentiments in our favorite quotes:
The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. - Hesburgh;
Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they
are always watching you.
- Fulghum;
Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.- Schweitzer.
The second, I Get That All the Time, puts marital and family love up there where it belongs - as
the only kind of drug we need. 
The third, If I Should Fall Behind, by Springsteen, captures the importance of remembering that
we're two individuals, each who "steps so differently", and that we need to
learn to communicate and learn marriage education skills so that "we can each make our
steps clear, so the other can see". - diane

All is Right
Last night I saw you kiss her on the porch
I watched you from the window
Just before I turned my covers down
Now I can go to sleep and know
That everything is right
With the world, with the night
All is right.

I listen to you laugh outside my room
You're whispering your nothings,
And you don't think I can hear you
But when I go to sleep I know
That everything is right
With the world, with the night
All is right.

And I can rest my head upon
The thought of you still going strong
And I can dream of days I know will be
When a love like yours will find me

Tonight I watched you dancing in the dark
To music from a stereo you set beneath the stars
Now I can go to sleep and know
That everything is right
With the world, with the night
All is right.

All is right.

Music and lyrics by Erika Chambers; performed by Erika Chambers at:
All is Right - our Smart Marriages® anthem

He stopped me on the street,
he was wearing a backwards baseball hat.
I'd never seen the devil smile
but I bet it looks a lot like that.
From his coat of worn out rags,
he flashed me a plastic bag and said,
Hey, this will get you high tonight,
and I said,
No thanks, I get that all the time.

When I walk into my kitchen,
kids are screaming, dinner's burning,
and I'm reminded we've got PTA tonight.
When I'm kneeling down
and feeling all those little arms around me
and my wife has got the bedroom in her eyes,
Yeah, Buddy, when you get that kind of love,
it's the world best kind of drug,
and I get that all the time.

She wore a cotton dress
so thin the sunlight came right through.
I've been a man for long enough
to know that come on look she used.
She sat down next to me,
brushed her hand across my knee
and said,
I'll give you the best night of your life,
and I said,
No thanks, you see, I get that all the time.

When I walk into my kitchen,
kids are screaming, dinner's burning,
and I'm reminded we've got PTA tonight.
When I'm kneeling down
and feeling all those little arms around me
and my wife has got the bedroom in her eyes.
Yeah, Buddy, when you get that kind of love,
it's the world's best kind of drug,
and, man, I get that all the time.

When I'm kneeling down
and feeling all those little arms around me
and my wife has got the bedroom in her eyes.
Yeah, Buddy, when you get that kind of love,
it's the only kind of drug,
that gives peace of mind in this crazy life of mine.
I get that all the time.
Yeah, I get that all the time.

Due West - listen on You Tube



We said we'd walk together baby come what may
That come the twilight should we lose our way
And, if as were walkin, a hand should slip free
I'll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me

We swore we'd travel darlin side by side
We'd help each other stay in stride
But each lover's steps fall so differently
But I'll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me

Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
So lets make our steps clear, that the other may see
And I'll wait for you
If I should fall behind
Wait for me

Now there's a beautiful river in the valley ahead
There neath the oaks bough soon we will be wed
Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees
I'll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Will you wait for me
Darlin Ill wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me

LYRCIS by Bruce Springsteen listen on YouTube:


Last Night I Put My Ring Back On 

Who knows where faith comes from
But last night I put my ring back on
'Cause here with you is where I belong
Last night I put my ring back on

No life's without uncertainty
We both know how hard this love can be
It's just this hurting inside of me that threw it down,
Down down down

Who knows where hope comes from
But last night I put my ring back on
'Cause here with you is where I belong
Last night I put my ring back on

We can't speak like lovers we used to be
We can't change ancient history
And love wounds with such simplicity
And I threw it down, down down down, down

Your heart is all I want to see
Your hand reaching out to me
And your kiss remembers the mystery

Time was, I'd be as good as gone
But last night I didn't want to run
'Cause here with you is where I belong
Last night I put my ring back on
Last night I put my ring back on
Last night I put my ring back on

Mary Chapin Carpenter

This song is credited by many couples with pulling them back from the brink:
Every Other Weekend
Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney

Here's a classic that perfectly illustrates the Walk-Away-Wife Syndrome:
To Daddy
Emmylou Harris
Dance me to the End of Love

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

- lyrics by Leonard Cohen. I think of this as "dance me until death us do part"

Our Love is Here to Stay
In time, the Rockies will crumble, Gibralta may tumble, but our love....
George & Ira Gerswhin - sung by Sinatra:
You're in my heart,
You're in my soul,
You'll be my breath should I grow old,
You are my lover, you're my best friend,
You're in my soul.
Grow Old With Me

Grow old along with me -- the best is yet to be
When our time has come -- we will be as one

God bless our love -- God bless our love

Grow old along with me -- two branches of one tree
Face the setting sun -- when the day is done

God bless our love -- God bless our love

Spending our lives together -- man and wife together
World without end -- world without end

Grow old along with me -- whatever fate decrees
We will see it through -- for our love is true

God bless our love -- God bless our love

God bless our love -- God bless our love

-- lyrics by John Lennon
performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter:

Old Love
I met you beneath the willow
You were young and a little shy
We would sit and talk for hours
Watch the river flowing by.
You would laugh at all my stories
Then at dusk I'd walk you home.
Who would guess we'd walk a lifetime,
Growin' up and growin' old.

Chourus: We've got an old love, one we never will get tired of,
One that fits us like an old glove, one to warm the winter day.
We don't have to say I love you, quite as often as we used to
Old love just goes without saying, we still say it anyway

We may not leave this town we live in
Life's not as easy as we planned.
I always meant to give you diamonds,
You still wear a plain gold band
That old river keeps on rolling,
We don't know just what's in store.
But in spite of all of this, I don't love you like I did,
I love you so much more.

Neal Hagberg & Leandra Peak, 1992 Uncle Gus Music

Listen at:


Little Things Mean a Lot
Send me a kiss from across the room
Say I look nice when I'm not
Touch my hair as you pass my chair
Little things mean a lot.

Give me your arm as we cross the street
Call me at six on the dot
A line a day when you're far away
Little things mean a lot.

Don't have to buy me diamonds or pearls
Champagne, sables, and such
I never cared much for diamonds and pearls
'cause honestly, honey, they just cost money.

Give me a hand when I've lost the way
Give me your shoulder to cry on
Whether the day is bright or gray
Give me your heart to rely on.

Send me the warmth of a secret smile
To show me you haven't forgot
For now and forever, that's always and ever
Little things mean a lot.

Listen on YouTube:


Forever and Ever, Amen

You may think that I'm talking foolish
You've heard that I'm wild and I'm free
You may wonder how I can promise you now
This love that I feel for you always will be.

Your not just time that I'm killing
I'm no longer one of those guys
As sure as I live this love that I give
Is gonna be yours until the day that I die, oh baby.

I'm gonna love you forever, forever and ever, amen
As long as old men sit and talk about the weather
As long as old women sit and talk about old men
If you wonder how long I'll be faithful
I'll be happy to tell you again.
I'm gonna love you, forever and ever,
Forever and ever, amen.

They say that time takes it's toll on the body
Makes the young girls brown hair turn gray
But honey, I dont care, I ain't in love with your hair
And if it all fell out, well, I'd love you anyway.

They say time can play tricks on a memory
Make people forget things they knew
But it's easy to see, it's happenin' to me
I've already forgotten every woman but you, oh darlin'.

I'm gonna love you forever, forever and ever, amen
As long as old men sit and talk about the weather
As long as old women sit and talk about old men
If you wonder how long I'll be faithful

Just listen to how this song ends,
I'm gonna love you, forever and ever,
Forever and ever, amen.

I'm gonna love you forever and ever, forever and ever,
Forever and ever, forever and ever, amen...

Written by Craig Overstreet
Performed by Randy Travis
Listen here:


Claire had all but given up
When she and Edwin fell in love
She touched his face and shook her head
In disbelief she sighed and said
In many dreams I've held you near
Now at last you're really here

Where've you been?
I've looked for you forever and a day
Where've you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away

He asked her for her hand for life
Then she became a salesman's wife
He was home each night by 8
But one stormy evening he was late
Her frightened tears fell to the floor
Until his key turned in the door


They'd never spent a night apart
For 60 yrs she heard him snore
Now they're in a hospital
In separate beds on different floors

Claire soon lost her memory, forgot the names of family
She never spoke a word again
Then one day they wheeled him in
He held her hand and stroked her head
In a fragile voice she said

Where've you been?
I've looked for you forever and a day
Where've you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away
I'm just not myself when you're away

Performed by Kathy Mattea:

Grow Old With You
Adam Sandler sang this as the character Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer

I wanna make you smile whenever you're sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I wanna do is grow old with you

Ill get your medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh it could be so nice, growing old with you

Ill miss you
Ill kiss you
Give you my coat when you are cold

Ill need you
Ill feed you
Even let ya hold the remote control

So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
Put you to bed if you've had too much to drink
I could be the man who grows old with you
I wanna grow old with you

"Still The One" by Orleans:

We've been together since way back when
Sometimes I never want to see you again
But I want you to know
After all these years
You're still the one
I want whisperin' in my ear

You're still the one
I want to talk to in bed
Still the one
That turns my head
We're still having fun
And you're still the one

You're still the one
That makes me laugh
Still the one
That's my better half
We're still having fun
And you're still the one

You're still the one
That makes me strong
Still the one
I want to take along
We're still having fun
And you're still the one (yes you are)

Changing, our love is going gold
Even though we grow old, it grows new

You're still the one
That I love to touch
Still the one
And I can't get enough
We're still having fun
And you're still the one

You're still the one
Who can scratch my itch
Still the one
And I wouldn't switch
We're still having fun
And you're still the one

You are still the one
That makes me shout
Still the one
That I dream about
We're still having fun
And you're still the one

You're still the one
Yeah, still the one
We're still having fun
And you're still the one



You're My Best Friend - Don Williams

I am a sailor and you’re my first mate
We signed on together, we coupled our fate
We hauled up our anchor determined not to fail
For the heart’s treasure together we set sail
Withnomaps to guide us we steered our own course
We rode out the storms when the winds were gale force
We sat out the doldrums in patience and hope
Working together we learned how to cope

Life is an ocean, love is a boat
In troubled waters it keeps us afloat
When we started the voyage
There was just me and you
Now gathered around us we have our own crew

Together we’re in this relationship
We’ve built it with care to last the whole trip
Our true destination is not marked on any chart
We’re navigating for the shores of the heart

Life is an ocean, love is a boat
In troubled waters it keeps us afloat
When we started the voyage
There was just me and you
Now gathered around us we have our own crew

Life is an ocean, love is a boat
In troubled waters it keeps us afloat
When we started the voyage
There was just me and you
Now gathered around us we have our own crew

Listen on YouTube performed by George Donaldson of Celtic Thunder

Maybe this one is the most important marriage message of the times,
Beyonce's call to *all the single ladies*:

If You Like It Then You Shoulda Put a Ring On It

Excerpts from the lyrics:
> Cause if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
> If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
> Don't be mad once you see that he want it
> If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it . . .

> Cause you had your turn (turn)
> And now you're gonna learn (learn)
> What it really feels like to miss me . . .

> Pull me into your arms
> Say I'm the one you want
> If you don’t, you’ll be alone
> And like a ghost I’ll be gone . . .
On You Tube:
MEN AND MARRIAGE AND DADDIES SECTION: (all also above, but filed here for easier searching).

We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception.
We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a
child--it's the courage to raise one.
Barack Obama, Fathers Day 2008

One night a father overheard his son pray: Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is. Later that night, the Father prayed, Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be.

If a son is uneducated, his dad is to blame.
Chinese proverb

He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
Clarence Kelland

My father died many years ago, and yet when something special happens to me, I talk to him secretly not really knowing whether he hears, but it makes me feel better to half believe it.

It is much easier to become a father than to be one.

Kent Nerburn

A father has to be a provider a teacher, a role model, but most importantly, a distant authority figure who can never be pleased.  Otherwise, how will children ever understand the concept of God?
Stephen Colbert, "I Am American (And So Can You!) 

> The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their
> mother.
> Theodore Hesburgh
> ***************
> Research has shown a child who sees his mother mistreated is more damaged than
> if the child himself is abused.
> Steven Stosny
> ****************
> I think the gulf between liberals and conservatives on family issues is
> closing.
> What we agree on is that there is a problem. Our children are not doing
> 'family'
> in ways that are going to promote the well-being of our grandchildren. What's
> not clear is what are we going to do about it?
> Ron Mincy, 2002
> *****************
> Marriage is our last, best chance to grow up.
> Joseph Barth
> ****************
> 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
> ****************
> Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they
> are always watching you.
> Robert Fulghum
> ****************
> I talk and talk and talk, and I haven't taught people in 50 years what
> my father taught by example in one week.
> Mario Cuomo (on why it's important to have a father in the home.)
> ****************
> . . . in the end, there is nothing a man can do that a woman can’t, except be
> a father.
> Frank Pittman
> ****************
> Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and
> integrity, they think of you.
> H. Jackson Brown, Jr
> ****************
> Any fool can have a trophy wife.
> It takes a real man to have a trophy family.
> Diane Sollee,
> ***************
> Love is no assignment for cowards.
> Ovid
> ****************
> Friends don't let friends get divorced.
> Diane Sollee,
> ***************
> If we are serious about renewing fatherhood, we must be serious about
> renewing marriage. . . . Healthy marriages are not always possible.
> But we must remember, they are incredibly important for children.
> Our hearts know this and our nation must recognize this.
> None of us is perfect. And so no marriage and no family is perfect.
> After all, we all are human. Yet, we need fathers and families precisely
> because we are human. We all live, it is said, in the shelter of one
> another. And our urgent hope is one of the oldest hopes of humanity,
> to turn the hearts of children toward their parents, and the hearts of
> pa


Collection of Mother's Day quotes and ideas

It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day.  If you could keep awake (but of course you can't) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her.  It is quite like tidying up drawers.....When you wake up in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.
 J.M. Barrie, "Peter Pan". 

As you make your plans to celebrate Mother's Day, remember MOM is just
WOW upside down and plan accordingly. 

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to
have your heart go walking around outside your body. - Elizabeth Stone

Who is getting more pleasure from this rocking, the baby or me? - Nancy Thayer

No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs
of improvement. - Florida Scott-Maxwell
All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother. - Abraham Lincoln

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed
before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something
absolutely new.  - Rajneesh

On Mother's Day I have written a poem for you.  In the interest of poetic
economy and truth, I have succeeded in concentrating my deepest feelings and
beliefs into two perfectly crafted lines:  You're my mother, I would have no
other!  - Forest Houtenschil

Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother. - Lin Yutang,

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their
mother. – Henry Ward Beecher

For those who have lost your mother  - and I know many of you have just this
year, I love this by Christopher Buckley in last Sunday's NY Times on the
grief of it all:

One moment you¹re doing fine, living your life..... Then in the next instant,
boom, there it is. It (grief) has various ways of presenting, as doctors say of

Sometimes it comes in the form of a black hole inside you, sucking the rest of
you into it; at other times it is a sense of disconnection, as if you had been
holding your mother’s hand in a crowd and suddenly she let go.

Terry Hargrave introduced us to the Terry Munsch book, I'll Love You
Forever, I'll Like You For Always
, at a keynote. I wish I could send his
version - his reading brought the whole audience to tears, but this You Tube
version is good, too. If your mother doesn't have it, the book is the
perfect Mother's Day gift. The You Tube version is 8 minutes. I challenge
you to watch the whole thing dry-eyed. Or, buy the book and try reading it
to your kids and/or your mother. I can never get through it.

Another wonderful way to celebrate the day with your mom, rent the movie Babies and watch it togehter.
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