Visit the Shop at

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sex and Marriage Advice from a Newlywed

Today is my 23rd wedding anniversary.  It's a short time, compared to my parent's 50th, which we will celebrate next year.  Nevertheless, although we are newlyweds in the grand scheme of things, twenty three years of marriage is a lot, these days.  So then, here are a few things that this newlywed has learned:

There will be happy times, and there will be times that you think you made a mistake.  Keep going.  It wouldn't matter whom you had chosen, this would still be the case.  As I have said before, your commitment to your marriage must be even stronger than your commitment to the person that you chose to share it with.  It takes time, many years in fact, to find solid joy in marriage.  Keep going.  You'll be glad you did.  (This does not apply to the three As: Abuse, Adultery, and Addiction.)

My husband and I have each had one sexual partner.  That relationship began on our wedding night.  I hear a lot of banter about "sexual compatibility".  Hogwash.  If wait for your spouse, you and your lifelong partner will figure it out.  Together.  And then, you will not spend one bit of time struggling to break off ties to your heart from others that you have shared this closest of bonds with.

It's not you and him anymore.  It's the two of you.  Retain your individuality, but never abuse or berate your spouse for mistakes.  You will make them.  He will make them.  If you take out your anger on your partner, or, use the opportunity to "one up" him, you're next.

There are hoards of people who believe that their personal happiness is the main point of living.  It's a subjective evaluation to be sure, but my observations suggest that they are not, generally, so happy.  Life is not about you.  Life is about family. It's about marriage and children and grandchildren and ties to those who have gone before us. It's about the sacred business of raising up a family to God.  You are raising generations, even before you have begun. Focus on the happiness of your family.  Yours will follow.

I have a graduate degree and a six figure income.  It doesn't make a bit of difference in the quality of my life. Our lives would have been happier if we hadn't spent so much time struggling to arrange work schedules so that one of us was always be home with our daughter.  We would have been much happier with regularly cooked meals on the table at 6 pm, and a constant flow of clean laundry, than we were with a second paycheck. If we had it to do over again, I would have spent the seven years I dedicated to college and graduate school keeping the home fires burning and learning to make an exquisite pie crust.

When a child chooses a spouse, that spouse is now part of your family.  It's not your choice to make.  You raised that child to set goals, and make plans, and live a life.  You did not raise that child to be an extension of your own identity, or worse, to live the life that you wish you had.  My parents treat my husband as a son.  It made us smile years back to learn that people at my mother's workplace did not know which one of us was her biological child. We have been blessed by this approach.  Rejection by an in-law family is deeply painful. Suck it up and support your child. You have two children now.

Buy a nice house in a nice area, even if it has to be small, and stay there.  Buying and selling homes costs money.  Children need roots. The constant pulling up of roots is costly on multiple fronts.

You can make more money by buying frequently purchased items in bulk, than you can by spending hours monitoring the stock market.  Save for your retirement.  It's essential.  But when the coffee that you ordinarily buy goes on sale for half price, buy twenty packages.  I'm not kidding.  You've just made $100 on a $100 dollar purchase. You're going to by all that coffee eventually.  You might as well buy it now and save $100.  Don't whine to me about storage. You've got space under your bed.  Use it.

Go for walks.  It's awfully easy to get caught up in the stresses of living.  But if you do, you're going to look back in 20 years and realize that you could have spent 20 minutes together every day, just walking.  That's a lot of missed hand holding.

I hear an awful lot of talk these days about not getting married until you're "at least twenty-eight". If I were a young person these days, I'd be absolutely convinced that marriage is a black hole that one must avoid entering until the last possible minute, because it is sure to bring sorrow.  I suppose that if marriage is about your selfish little piece of personal happiness, then you ought to hold out as long as possible, because you're taking a big risk.  But marriage isn't about you.  It's about marriage.    It's about two people joining together and setting out to share a life of dedication to the sacred business of building a family and serving God. True happiness is the natural outgrowth of that focus. If you want life to be all about you, get a puppy.

And to the young people, it's not about the wedding.  It's about the marriage.  The success of your marriage will not be based upon the location of your destination wedding.  We were married in the local church.  Kids from the congregation volunteered to serve the food, and we showed our gratitude with a ticket to Disneyland for each of them.  They served frozen lasagna from a warehouse store. (Okay, they cooked it first, but you knew that.)  The reception was in the hall of the church.  My dress was the "try on" sample from a discontinued design.  I paid five hundred dollars for it.  We were 21 and 23, and we wanted to be married. We loved that wedding.  But, these 23 years later, we love each other even more.

And, from my husband: "You'd best have common values.  You've got to be on the same track, or you're likely to end up at different destinations." If you're not yet married, set about making a short list of must-haves.  Common religion, political views, moral stands..all of these are  pretty important.  I suppose that differences can be overcome, but it's got to be a pretty hard row to hoe.  Decide which ones are essential to you, and don't compromise.  It's tough to make those decisions in the heat of first attraction.  Go into the search process with them in place, and then be pretty flexible on all the rest.  I suppose that if you're already married, and have differences in important areas, you might best make a joint plan about which direction you are headed in terms of those areas, and be true to that plan. You are a permanent team.  Never forget it.

Make a good choice and stick to it.  There is no magic way to lose weight. You have to eat less and move more.  There is no magic way to stay married, either.  You have to make a suitable choice, get married, and stay that way.  That's it folks.

Blessings, Dear Ones,
May your lives together be filled to overflowing with peace and joy,
and, when the dog pees on the carpet because your spouse forgot to unlock the doggie door,

May you just smile and get the Spotbot.

Don't miss a post:

Want free delivery to your email box?  Enter your email address to subscribe:


  1. Wonderful advice. Congratulations on 23 years :). Next spring we celebrate our 20th and I can echo much of what you say here. I especially love your advice to take walks. *sigh*. It makes me happy thinking about it :)>

  2. I'll celebrate my 20th in a week and we still feel like newlyweds but with a lot more experience. :-) Being selfless is definitely a factor in being happy. Thanks for sharing your advice. It's good for any marriage.

  3. Happy Anniversary.
    We passed 21 in March, and I wholeheartedly agree.

  4. Love your great advice mixed in with your humor! Good stuff here!


Welcome! We love to hear from you. You are embraced here in Christian charity.Your comment will not show up immediately. Rest assured that is has been received and will be published soon.

Pax Christi!