The lighter side of marriage

By Henrylito D. Tacio


Okay, marriage is a sacred institution.  In fact, it was God Himself who initiated it.  “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).


God, through His servant Paul, also instructed what husband and wife must do to have a successful marriage.  “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife…  Also, wives should submit to their husbands in everything…  Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies… Wives must respect their husbands.”


Despite its sanctity, people can’t help poke fun on marriage.  By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll be happy.  If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher,” said Socrates.  “Marriage is a great institution,” said bombshell Mae West, “but I’m not ready for an institution yet.”

“Marriage is a book of which the first chapter is written in poetry and the remaining chapters in prose,” says Beverley Nichols.  In other words, “All marriages are happy,” to quote the words of Raymond Hull.  But he added, “It’s the living together afterward that causes all the trouble.”


“Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel,” Leonardo da Vinci said.  James Holt McGavran sees marriage in a different manner: “There’s a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking.  It’s called marriage.”


Husbands look their wives in different perspectives. “In my house I’m the boss,” said Oscar-winning actor Woody Allen, “my wife is just the decision maker.” American president Lyndon B. Johnson shares this tip: “I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one’s wife happy.  First, let her think she’s having her own way.  And second, let her have it.”


Henry Youngman is one of the wittiest persons to ask when it comes to marriage.  When asked the success of their marriage, he replied: “We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week: a little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.”


Another: “I take my wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back.”  Still another: “We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.”  One more: “My wife and I went back to the hotel where we spent our wedding night. Only this time, I stayed in the bathroom and cried.”


Wives have so many things to say about their husbands.  A husband,” says book editor Helen Rowland, “is what is left of the lover after the nerve has been extracted.” On another occasion, she also wrote: “Before marriage, a man declares that he would lay down his life to serve you; after marriage, he won’t even lay down his newspaper to talk to you.”


Film star Zsa Zsa Gabor, who had been married several times, commented, “Husbands are like fires.  They go out when unattended.”  Marilyn Monroe has the same view: “Before marriage, a girl has to make love to a man to hold him.  After marriage, she has to hold him to make love to him.”


First love never dies, so the say.  And do you remember your first kiss? “I married the first man I ever kissed,” said ex-first lady Barbara Bush.  “When I tell this to my children, they just throw up.”


Advices about marriage abound.  Here’s one from Ogden Nash: “To keep your marriage brimming with love in the loving cup: Whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up.” 


Marriage is not marriage without the usual fights.  “In the early years, you fight because you don’t understand each other,” said Joan Didion.  “In the later years, you fight because you do.”  This statement may have impelled Phyllis Diller to suggest: “Never go to bed mad.  Stay up and fight.” 


In ‘The Neurotic’s Notebook,’ author Mignon McLaughlin wrote: “Many marriages are simply working partnerships between businessmen and housekeepers.”


Here’s another from S.T. Coleridge: “The happiest marriage I can imagine to myself would be the union of a deaf man to a blind woman.”  Benjamin Franklin advices: “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half-shut afterwards.”


Sounds funny?  George Burns shares this: “Do you know what it means to come home at night to a woman who’ll give you a little love, a little affection, a little tenderness?  It means you’re in the wrong house.”

There are people who abhor marriage at all.  Marie Corelli reasons out: “I never married because I have three pets at home that answer the same purpose as a husband. I have a dog that growls every morning, a parrot that swears all afternoon and a cat that comes home late at night.”


Carrie Snow has a sensible reason: “Why get married and make one man miserable when I can stay single and make thousands miserable?”


To which Katharine Hepburn added, “If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.”


Finally, here’s a timely thought from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in?”


For comments, write me at


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