Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

How To Be Happily Married Without Her Knowing It

A Letter to my Brother-in-law

Rick Quick


This weekend, you will do the unspeakable. You will in one moment go from being a happy-go-lucky bachelor to sharing your closet with 44 pairs of shoes and 68 things that are unmentionable. If you took the time to read the license, you now know that you are getting married.

When someone gets married, there is usually a festive spirit in the air. Family members cry, the dogs howl, and the guests wish their best to the new bride and groom. No one ever really gets into how to make the marriage work, as such discussion might actually depress the wedding party and cause the cake to deflate on the spot.

Since you are my brother-in-law, and my wife is sort of fond of you for some reason, I have decided to give you the real-world scoop on things. As I have lots of marriage experience, I am sure that you will gladly accept my advice and take it to heart.

The first rule of marriage is “Never go to bed angry.” I know from personal experience just how important this rule is. It keeps peace in the house and allows everyone to sleep better. When you are angry, and it is bedtime, volunteer to sleep on the couch. Incidentally, volunteering her to sleep on the couch can be detrimental to your health.

Say good-bye to your checkbook. This isn’t really so bad. It means that someone will finally figure out what to do with all of those bank statements that they send you at the end of each month. It also keeps you from figuring out just how much the monthly shoe bill is, and a guy really doesn’t want to know things like that.

If you are ever caught looking at another woman, make remarks about how badly her clothes match. This is an “A-1” way to weasel out of a sticky situation. Adding in the statement “It’s a shame that she doesn’t have your fashion sense” is totally unnecessary and will lead your spouse to believe that you are just trying to weasel out of a sticky situation.

Learn to cry. As any Redbook reader will tell you, your wife will need to see some tears at times, particularly if she breaks a fingernail. Though most guys fail miserably at flowing tears, I find that if I go into the shop and hit my thumb with a hammer, I can make this happen easily. If you break your nail in the process, do not even attempt to mention it.

Never ask family for advice on marital issues. If you go to your mother, your wife will call you a “mama’s boy.” If you go to her mother, she will accuse you of plotting against her. Instead, get your advice from a complete stranger that she does not know. This will ensure that it never gets back to her that you have been discussing your married life all over town. Hint: make sure the stranger is NOT in the hair-care industry.

While this information will not cover every situation that arises, it will at least give you a foundation to hide behind. It will keep you from making horrible faux pas (that’s French for “Uh oh”), and also keep your new bride happy and content with the fact that she could have chosen Tom Cruise, but instead just chose to be stuck with you. Now you can go about your life like all of us married men, and do whatever she tells you to.

Oh, and there is one last piece of advice: If you tell any of this to your sister, I am gonna tell your wife what really went on at that bachelor party.

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Rick Quick lives in Louisiana and is an engineer by day. He has been a columnist for The Inquisitor for two years.

© Rick Quick

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012