The not-so-secret secret to a happy marriage


The men keep coming and going and going and coming–and always too soon


I have to thank my friend Shirley for this.  She told me the secret many years ago, and it has made a difference in my marriage.  It’s really not a secret at all; I had heard this advice before, but somehow when she explained it, it made sense to me. 

Here’s what she said.  Sex is a physical need for men.    The desire builds up and must be released.  So, she advised me, have sex with your husband when he asks.  Even if you don’t feel like it.  That’s it.  That’s all she said.  She didn’t say it was my “wifely duty” or anything like that. 

Now, before I am accused of telling woman to be subservient to men, believe me I’m not.  I’m a card-carrying, Gloria Steinham, Ms. Magazine feminist.  I grew up in the era of burning bras and “I am Woman, hear me roar.”  I’m no doormat.

I’m just saying that sex is a big part of a successful marriage.  It’s not the only thing of course. Having good sex does not guarantee  a good marriage.  If there are other issues, sex won’t fix them.  No, good sex does not guarantee a good marriage, but I’ll bet every happy marriage includes a good sex life.  

But there’s another side to this coin.  Men, if you want your woman to enjoy sex, you have to do it right.  It’s not all about you.  She needs to have a good time.  And that means one thing, and it starts with a “C”.  If you don’t know how to do it, learn.  Google it or buy a book.  Don’t try to learn from porn; they don’t do it right.  Don’t slap the kitty.  If you can learn to keep the kitty purring, your wife will chase you into the bedroom, I promise you.

Why is this so important?  Because men love sex.   As Shirley told me, it’s a physical thing for them.  So,  if you are not having sex with your spouse, someone else probably is. 

I understand that when the kids come along, we get tired and don’t feel like it.  A marriage goes through peaks and valleys in this way.   It doesn’t take very long, however, and if done correctly, both parties feel better afterwards. 

If you think this does not apply to your marriage, then you are wearing blinders.  I can hear the excuses and rationalizations.  No, your marriage is not an exception. 

I had a good friend who pretty much stopped having regular sex with her husband after her daughter was born. (Her daughter is now 20).   She said her husband didn’t mind.  Perhaps he didn’t.  Every Sunday he went to the club to get a steam.

I do not mean to say that I condone adultery; not at all.  I’m just saying that you should not neglect this part of your marriage.

Years ago I worked with a young, attractive blonde woman, who was probably in her twenties at the time.  She had married her high school sweetheart.  She seemed pretty confident that she had a good marriage.  I had no reason to doubt her until she made an off-hand comment that sent a red flag shooting up the flagpole.   

She was talking about her husband’s upcoming birthday and was describing the plans she had made to celebrate.  Then she said:   “Of course, there’s the obligatory birthday sex.”

What?  Obligatory sex?  There’s something wrong in this marriage.  And indeed there was.  He left her for another woman just a couple of years later.  I ran into her ex and his new wife.  He was beaming and she looked at him with the most adoring eyes.  You could tell she thought he hung the moon. (No pun intended.)

If you are not willing to have sex with your spouse, someone else probably is.  And it’s not just the sex—it’s the intimacy that grows from it that’s important too.  Sex brings you closer together, both literally and figuratively. 
Another time,  I was talking to a different friend.  She had been married a long time.  She was telling me about her recent vacation and how great it was.  And then she said:
“X was bugging me so I had sex first thing to get it out of the way so I could enjoy myself.” 

Another red flag.  A couple of years later I ran into her after not having seen her for about a year.  She told me she was divorced.  She said her husband just up and served her with divorce papers right out of the blue.

“Were you surprised?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.

I wasn’t.   And sure enough, he had another woman waiting in the wings.

This is all just my opinion, mind you.  I’m not an expert on marriage.  But I do know a thing or two about happiness, if you get my drift.


Why Laughter is almost as good as an Orgasm

I have to keep this blog PG rated, so I’ll try to describe this as delicately as I can.  You know how an orgasm feels like a release of energy that courses through your body?   And how it releases stress?  Don’t you always feel better afterwards?  I know I do.  This has been the silver lining for Billy, if you know what I mean.

The same goes for a good belly laugh.  I always feel better afterwards.  An article in today’s Wall Street Journal claims that humor increases intelligence, creativity and stress tolerance.  “It’s Funny How Humor Actually Works.”   Ok, I’ll buy that but I don’t need to dissect humor like that.  I just need to laugh. 

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a smiler and I love to laugh.  I love all kinds of humor– from sophisticated to sophomoric. I love droll British humor and slapstick.  Any movie with Steve Buscemi in a comedy role will have me hooked. The Wedding Singer?  Hysterical.  Some of my favorite comedies include Local Hero, Napolean Dynamite and Airheads.   Oh, and What’s Up Doc.  It was Madeline Kahn’s movie debut.  She was brilliant. 

When I’m feeling blue I don’t look for raindrops or roses.  I look for a movie with lots of laughs.  No apocalyptic dramas for me.  Hunger Games?  No thanks.  I’d rather watch even a lame comedy like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, although if you watch the unrated and uncut version its much funnier.  But really, a little Russell Brand goes a long way.  

Sheldon Cooper and his merry band of nerds, on the other hand, never gets tiresome to me.  Perhaps its because I see much of myself in Amy Farrah Fowler. 

My sense of humor may not be the same as yours, but it doesn’t need to be.  Whatever makes you laugh makes you laugh.  It doesn’t matter.  Just find it and watch it. You’ll feel better, I promise.