Most of us are aware of the depressing divorce rate statistics. While the exact percentage may be up for debate, the general consensus is that as many as 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce. That’s not a very uplifting statistic; however, if half of marriages fail, then that means half succeed. For whatever reason, you don’t usually hear men – even happy ones – bragging about the virtues of marriage. I attribute this to two main reasons: 1) It’s not “cool” to brag about how happy your wife makes you; and 2) Happy people are usually too busy being happy to bother complaining. This is why they have customer complaint lines not customer compliment lines. With this in mind, I decided to poll some of my self-proclaimed happily married male friends for their thoughts, advice, and insider tips on finding and maintaining happiness in their marriages.
To gain a better insight on the male perspective of marriage than the usual “give him more head and more sex,” I asked the fellas to provide tips that had nothing to do with sex. Although this restriction forced them to take a bit longer to respond, here is a compilation list of what they told me in no particular order…
1. Don’t rush! Surprisingly, despite having almost 30 years of marriage under his belt, one of my friend’s simple advice was “don’t rush.” He didn’t say this to suggest he wasn’t happily married. He merely meant that when the time is right, the time is right and “forever is a long time.” He’s looking forward to spending the rest of his life with his wife; however, he can do so comfortably knowing he had a fulfilling single life before meeting the woman he loves. He doesn’t sit up late at night wondering, “what if” because he knows he met his wife and committed to her at the right time in his life.
2. No kids in bed. Married seven years, another friend said he had to learn this lesson through trial and error. The proud father of two girls, he let his first daughter sleep in the bed with him and his wife every time she asked. This exception soon became the rule. Eventually, as you might expect, their love life suffered, because it’s a little difficult to have sex with your wife when your child is constantly in your bed. When his wife became pregnant again, they decided that the baby would not sleep with them. Establishing this from the beginning, their younger daughter accepted it as normal routine and became more independent sooner than their oldest daughter. I’ll spare you the details, but he says their love life greatly improved. In the end, he said the parents should work together to set the expectations and not be driven solely by the children’s wants. In other words, it’s important to remember that “adults have needs too.”