Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How to Have a Terrible Marriage

The Barna Research Group recently released new marriage and divorce statistics. I was particularly intrigued by one of George Barna’s summary observations: “There no longer seems to be much of a stigma attached to divorce; it is now seen as an unavoidable rite of passage. Interviews with young adults suggest that they want their initial marriage to last, but are not particularly optimistic about that possibility” (3/31/08).

I have written essays and preached sermons on how to have a good marriage that lasts. Herewith, my top recommendations for having a bad marriage that fails. Keep in mind that the apostle Paul, too, used sarcasm on a few occasions for effect (see I Corinthians 4:8-10).

1. Be sure to keep score. Don’t ever get more than a few favors or expressions of appreciation ahead of your spouse. They MUST reciprocate! Otherwise they could get …the upper hand. Of course, there’s a chance they could respond in kind and you would end up serving each other in love, but you can’t know that for sure, and why take the risk?! Better to keep things on a transactional level. Put the transactions on a spreadsheet and wave it wildly during arguments to show how much your account is in the red. That’s not only effective, it’s charming.

2. Keep secrets and lie. Start with little white lies just to warm up. Their content isn’t significant at this point; the point is to get used to doing it. Then when you no longer feel a pang of conscience, graduate to bigger deceits. Hide certain spending habits. Develop good alibis. Always remember this: your spouse wants to hold you back, keep you chained down, and limit your freedom and fun. That’s why she married you! Who could blame you for evading direct and truthful answers? You’re an adult, not a child! Trust is such an important factor in a good marriage that this alone could torpedo the whole thing. Way to go!

3. Talk about your marriage frustrations with someone of the opposite sex. Preferably someone younger and attractive. This one’s effectiveness has a way of creeping up on you. It meanders along harmfully, not affecting your marriage negatively until… whoosh -- you’ve got a crush on them! At this point be careful not to end the relationship – that would be prudent! Now that your spouse is looking even less desirable in comparison, you must push ahead and get more intimate with this new confidant. Pretty soon your mate will have grounds for divorce and you’ll be free. Custody battles and piles of legal fees are quite the adventure too.

4. Think of marriage as relational leisure, not work. You work hard at your profession, why should you have to work at your marriage? Marital happiness is over-rated. Watching lots of TV and not talking, now that’s fulfilling! Listen, if you really wanted to be a soul mate and not a roommate, you would have meant those vows when you recited them.

5. Believe that the problem is your spouse. You’ve got some annoying habits, but he’s got character issues. You mean well, but he doesn’t. He needs to make changes, but you don’t. Stick to this one and don’t budge. The important thing is to avoid personal responsibility.

There are many more ways to have a terrible marriage, of course, but these five will get the job done pretty well. And if all else fails, try lots of sarcasm. It’s ugly and off-putting, which is the point.


Blogger MysTery said...

good post!!

5:58 PM  

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