In a bit of irony, perhaps, my mother sent me the following humorous piece during this very week while I am celebrating my thirtieth wedding anniversary. I thought it was worth posting.
I am writing you this letter to tell you that I'm leaving you forever. I've been a good man to you for seven years and yet I have nothing to show for it.
These last two weeks have been horrible. Then, your boss called to tell me that you quit your job today, and that was the last straw.
Last week you came home and didn't even notice I had a new haircut, that I had cooked your favorite meal, or even that I was wearing a brand new pair of silk boxers.
All you did was to eat in two minutes flat, and then go straight to sleep after watching all of your soap operas.
You don't ever tell me you love me anymore. Neither do you seem to want anything that connects us as husband and wife. So, either you are cheating on me, or you don't love me anymore. But, whatever the case, I am now gone!
Your soon to be Ex-Husband
P.S. Your sister and I are moving away to West Virginia together! My lawyer will be in touch! Have a nice day.
Nothing could have made my day more than receiving your letter. Yes, it is true you and I have been married for seven years now. But, I assure you that a good man is a far cry from what you have been.
I watch my soaps a lot. I do so because I hope they will drown out your constant whining and griping. Too bad that does not appear to work.
I did notice your haircut last week; but honestly, the first thing that came to mind was, 'You look just like a girl!' Since my mother raised me not to say anything if you cannot say something nice, I decided not to comment.
When you cooked my favorite meal, you must have gotten me confused with my sister, because I stopped eating pork seven years ago.
And regarding those new silk boxers, I turned away from you because the $49.99 price tag was still on them. I can only pray that it was a coincidence that my sister had borrowed $50 from me earlier that same morning.
Yet, after all of this, I still loved you and felt we could work things out. So, when I hit the Lotto for $10 million this morning, I quit my job and went and bought us two tickets to Jamaica.
However, when I got home, I discovered your note after you had left. Oh well, I guess everything happens for a reason. I really do hope that you will now have the fulfilling life you have always wanted.
However, my lawyer said that the letter you left me ensures you will not get a dime from me. So take care, and have a good life.
Your Loving Ex-Wife
P.S. One last thing, I do not know if I ever told you this, but my sister Carla was actually born Carl and then had an operation. I hope that's not a problem.
Yikes! I can only hope this exchange was all fictional! All jokes aside, though, one reasonably accurate indicator of a healthy, happy marriage is longevity. This was underscored for me recently at my son’s wedding. During the reception, the DJ called for a married couple’s slow dance. My wife and I participated.
After a moment, he started weeding couples out, first asking those married less than five years, then a little later those less than ten years, then fifteen years, etc…, each in turn to be seated. My wife and were seated at less than thirty. Eventually one couple was left. Turns out they had been married 52 years.
After the applause, someone asked them what the secret to a long marriage was. The man replied, “Learn to say ‘Yes’ a lot!” How true! Marriage is about commitment, and also sacrifice. In the area of giving and sacrifice, it has been said, marriage is less 50/50 and more 100/100.
For my part, I’m thankful for thirty wonderful years of marriage. I look forward to another thirty. I trust my wife does as well. Together, we’ll keep saying “Yes” a lot. And maybe, in the process, we’ll be an example to our children and grandchildren of what staying power is all about in a world where marriages all too often don’t stand the test of time.