Wasn't marriage, like life, unstimulating and unprofitable and somewhat empty when too well ordered and protected and guarded? Wasn't it finer, more splendid, more nourishing, when it was, like life itself, a mixture of the sordid and the magnificent; of mud and stars; of earth and flowers; of love and hate and laughter and tears and ugliness and beauty and hurt.
Deceive not thyself by over-expecting happiness in the married estate. Remember the nightingales which sing only some months in the spring, but commonly are silent when they have hatched their eggs, as if their mirth were turned into care for their young ones.
In taking out an insurance policy one pays for it in dollars and cents, always at liberty to discontinue payments. If, however, woman's premium is a husband, she pays for it with her name, her privacy, her self-respect, her very life, until death doth part.
Only one marriage I regret. I remember after I got that marriage license I went across from the license bureau to a bar for a drink. The bartender said, What will you have, sir? And I said, A glass of hemlock.
Americans, who make more of marrying for love than any other people, also break up more or their marriages, but the figure reflects not so much the failure of love as the determination not to live without it.
There is a rhythm to the ending of a marriage just like the rhythm of a courtship--only backward. You try to start again but get into blaming over and over. Finally you are both worn out, exhausted, hopeless. Then lawyers are called in to pick clean the corpses. The death has occurred much earlier.
My whole working philosophy is that the only stable happiness for mankind is that it shall live married in blessed union to woman-kind --intimacy, physical and psychical between a man and his wife. I wish to add that my state of bliss is by no means perfect.
Say what you will, making marriage work is a woman's business. The institution was invented to do her homage; it was contrived for her protection. Unless she accepts it as such --as a beautiful, bountiful, but quite unequal association --the going will be hard indeed.