Marriage: Advice for Young Men

 

Kinda special to have two great posts on the same day on such an important topic. Susan and Terri delivered for us so I was inspired to offer some thoughts of my own (and maybe help lower the tone to keep Ricochet’s quality expectations in check.) Here is my encapsulated wisdom for young guys based on 43 years of largely undeserved happiness:

I believe a man can travel two paths to marital success. The high road begins with a reflection on Adam’s job before he met Eve. He woke up each day free of resentment, insecurity, or egoism, and experienced life, intellect, and the entire universe as a gift. His mission was to understand, accept and say “Thank you!” for everything. He was an affirmation specialist. Imagine how an affirmation specialist must have responded to the first woman, to know her in detail and live as if gratitude for her very existence defined his life.

If approximating that level of devotion seems too daunting, there is the second path:  Find a woman with flexible expectations and a great sense of humor and try hard not to do anything to prevent laughter. The second path by no means precludes bringing some higher path moments into the mix.  It is strongly encouraged that one do so.

The capacity of a woman to love disproportionately in response to your affirmative inputs is a thing of wonder. And just noticing and acknowledging the phenomenon makes it happen even more. Go figure. You won’t ever really understand how that works but that’s OK.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 27 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Old Bathos:

    …and maybe help lower the tone to keep Ricochet quality expectations in check.

    You’ll be glad to hear that you failed.

    • #1
  2. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    My daughter accepted the ring pictured here yesterday.  I’ll be sure to pass your advice on to my future son-in-law!

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    A terrific perspective, OB, and a wise addition to the conversation on marriage. And so true! And thanks for the kind words.

    • #3
  4. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Sense of humor the best thing to look for. No doubt.  Cause we do screw up a lot. 

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Sense of humor the best thing to look for. No doubt. Cause we do screw up a lot.

    Sometimes I wonder if we women are just too darn picky about stuff you guys do? Know what I mean?

    • #5
  6. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Like spending too much time watching football?

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Like spending too much time watching football?

    When we were Denver Bronco fans, we watched together. But not all the other games!

    • #7
  8. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Sense of humor the best thing to look for. No doubt. Cause we do screw up a lot.

    Sometimes I wonder if we women are just too darn picky about stuff you guys do? Know what I mean?

    Gosh, Susan.

    No, I can’t imagine that ever happening.

    Kate has been saying something like that more and more over the past couple years.  I always tell her the same thing, except I end the sentence with

    “…, Dear!”

    • #8
  9. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Like spending too much time watching football?

    When we were Denver Bronco fans, we watched together. But not all the other games!

    Youngest son and his wife live in Denver and do to Broncho games.  So similar.  But I am a college Fball fanatic. Need my  4 games for 13 hours on Sat. So deal is I can’t watch anything on Sunday.  Only get 49er info on the net. 

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Gosh, Susan.

    No, I can’t imagine that ever happening.

    I couldn’t help snorting at this comment, Mark. Good thing I wasn’t drinking hot coffee . . . 

    • #10
  11. Terri Mauro Coolidge
    Terri Mauro
    @TerriMauro

    Thanks for the affirmation! :)

    Of all the types of compatibility couples need, sense of humor is way up there, and doesn’t get enough credit. If you can make each other laugh, if you can laugh at yourself when your spouse laughs at you, if you can laugh together at the same ridiculous things, there’s not a lot you can’t handle. Lack those abilities, and it’s going to be a rough road.

    • #11
  12. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    I took the second path. Ended too damn early.

    • #12
  13. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    I took the second path. Ended too damn early.

    You say it well, Seawriter.  For yourselves, and for other Ricochet friends that we know of and others we don’t.

    • #13
  14. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Years ago, a young guy came into my office and asked if I could explain women to him. Seems he was having trouble with his girlfriend. Of course, my answer was “No, but I can offer an observation or two.” After he said to lay it on him, I offered. 

    In one way, men and women are alike. We both have a gauge that runs from “I’m lucky to have this person in my life”, to “Cut your losses and move on.” Between those two extremes are a few gradations, and the demarcations my vary between the sexes, but then there’s the main difference. Women seem to have a secondary gauge. Any significant reading on that gauge automatically zeros the other. 

    He said, “So I have to keep the first in the good range and not trigger the other?”  I replied, “Now you know everything I know on the subject. Good luck.” 

    • #14
  15. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Django (View Comment):

    Years ago, a young guy came into my office and asked if I could explain women to him. Seems he was having trouble with his girlfriend. Of course, my answer was “No, but I can offer an observation or two.” After he said to lay it on him, I offered.

    In one way, men and women are alike. We both have a gauge that runs from “I’m lucky to have this person in my life”, to “Cut your losses and move on.” Between those two extremes are a few gradations, and the demarcations my vary between the sexes, but then there’s the main difference. Women seem to have a secondary gauge. Any significant reading on that gauge automatically zeros the other.

    He said, “So I have to keep the first in the good range and not trigger the other?” I replied, “Now you know everything I know on the subject. Good luck.”

    Good advice. Did it work out?

    • #15
  16. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Years ago, a young guy came into my office and asked if I could explain women to him. Seems he was having trouble with his girlfriend. Of course, my answer was “No, but I can offer an observation or two.” After he said to lay it on him, I offered.

    In one way, men and women are alike. We both have a gauge that runs from “I’m lucky to have this person in my life”, to “Cut your losses and move on.” Between those two extremes are a few gradations, and the demarcations my vary between the sexes, but then there’s the main difference. Women seem to have a secondary gauge. Any significant reading on that gauge automatically zeros the other.

    He said, “So I have to keep the first in the good range and not trigger the other?” I replied, “Now you know everything I know on the subject. Good luck.”

    Good advice. Did it work out?

    We lost touch along the way, so I don’t know for certain. The last bit of information that I had no reason to hear but did hear anyway was that she was getting herself cosmetically enhanced. Whether so she would be better equipped to move on or to please him I don’t know. 

    • #16
  17. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Like spending too much time watching football?

    Impossible!  I watch college almost all day.  Used to watch pros, but the whole social justice aspect of the game has ruined it for me.  But I still watch the playoffs . . .

    I have several football-related tee shirts.  My favorite says “We interrupt this marriage to bring you football season.”

    • #17
  18. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Stad (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Like spending too much time watching football?

    Impossible! I watch college almost all day. Used to watch pros, but the whole social justice aspect of the game has ruined it for me. But I still watch the playoffs . . .

    I have several football-related tee shirts. My favorite says “We interrupt this marriage to bring you football season.”

    And only 49 days to go. 

    • #18
  19. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    This is a great post!

    • #19
  20. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Old Bathos: The capacity of a woman to love disproportionately in response to your affirmative inputs is a thing of wonder.

    Beautifully noted and put.

    Love itself is such a beautiful mystery, such a “thing of wonder” indeed.  To be blessed with a loving wife makes any man the luckiest in the world.

    • #20
  21. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Like spending too much time watching football?

    When we were Denver Bronco fans, we watched together. But not all the other games!

    One of the selling points for me for Mr. CowGirl is that he didn’t care about watching sports on T.V. either! And I could go on and on about other things I liked about him…48 years and still ticking.

     

    • #21
  22. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN
    • #22
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Like spending too much time watching football?

    My wife spends too much time  watching football (mostly Big Ten Eleven Fourteen Sixteen) football, but I don’t complain because she often comes to get me after my long, one-way bicycle rides.  It’s best for me to be careful about what I do for a Saturday ride.  Occasionally I’ll help her watch a game if the weather is no good for a ride.

    She doesn’t think highly of the recent additions to the Big Ten Eleven Fourteen, but I doubt she will stop watching. 

    It’s only rarely that she will watch a pro football game, and then only to follow what one of MSU’s former players is doing, so I can be thankful for that much.

    • #23
  24. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Advice from a former psychologist.  Intermittent reinforcement creates the strongest behavior.  Constant positive reinforcement creates boredom.  

    • #24
  25. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Advice from a former psychologist. Intermittent reinforcement creates the strongest behavior. Constant positive reinforcement creates boredom.

    Good to know–and a relief.  Constant positive reinforcement was never gonna be a thing.

    • #25
  26. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Advice from a former psychologist. Intermittent reinforcement creates the strongest behavior. Constant positive reinforcement creates boredom.

    Good to know–and a relief. Constant positive reinforcement was never gonna be a thing.

    Intermittent reinforcement is what keeps gamblers betting. They only have to win one time in 25 to keep gambling. 

    • #26
  27. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Advice from a former psychologist. Intermittent reinforcement creates the strongest behavior. Constant positive reinforcement creates boredom.

    Good to know–and a relief. Constant positive reinforcement was never gonna be a thing.

    Intermittent reinforcement is what keeps gamblers betting. They only have to win one time in 25 to keep gambling.

    It’s like golf.  You can have a lousy round overall, but there’s always that one great shot that makes you come back to the course . . .

    • #27
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.