Become One

one-unity-marriage

Under normal conditions, when a baby is born most everyone recognizes that they are going to have to share.  Before the baby there were 24 hours in the day and none of them were dedicated to the baby.  After the baby is born, most everyone recognizes that there are not any more hours in the day and some of them will be taken up by the new baby. Space will have to be shared.  A new item or two will certainly appear in the budget.  No surprises.

Some people miss, however, that the same thing happens in a new marriage.  Two people come together in a marriage and “become one.”  This “One” is a new creature and, like the baby, requires consistent rearranging of time, money and other resources (emotional, physical, and such).  To the degree there is scarcity of any of these, it requires sacrifice.

It is practice of unity, of oneness, that feeds the marriage relationship so that it can be healthy.  A good father does not eat all of the food in the house so that his children are hungry.  A good mother does not spend everything on her clothes leaving her children naked.  Likewise, a good husband is always mindful of his marriage.  Likewise a good wife is always mindful of her marriage.

Picture your marriage like an infant.  Is it fed?  Is it clothed?  Is it safe?  Making this small change in how you think changes how much time you give your marriage, how much money you spend on it and every other decision.

What Can I Do?

1.  Collaborate on how you spend your time.  Consider questions like, “Do you think we can carve some time out next Saturday to …?”

2. Have regular budget discussions.  Consider planning how to accomplish financial goals for your marriage as well as individually.

 

Source:  Genesis 2

©2014 All Rights Reserved Brandon L. Blankenship (Source excluded) Alabama Birmingham Hoover Pelham

 

 

A Little Thing That Means So Much

From Time immemorial, flowers have been considered the language of love. They don’t cost much, especially in season, and often they’re for sale on the street corners. Yet, considering the rarity with which the average husband takes home a bunch of daffodils, you might suppose them to be as expensive as orchids and as hard to come by as the edelweiss which flowers on the cloud-swept cliffs of the Alps.

Why wait until your wife goes to the hospital to give her a few flowers? Why not bring her a few roses tomorrow night? You like to experiment. Try it. See what happens.

George M. Cohan, busy as he was on Broadway, used to telephone his mother twice a day up to the time of her death. Do you suppose he had startling news for her each time? No, the meaning of little attentions is this: it shows the person you love that you are thinking of her, that you want to please her, and that her happiness and welfare are very dear, and very near, to your heart. Women attach a lot of importance to birthdays and anniversaries- just why, will forever remain one of those feminine mysteries. The average man can blunder through life without memorizing many dates, but there are a few which are indispensable: 1492, 1776, the date of his wife’s birthday, and the year and date of his own marriage. If need be, he can even get along without the first two- but not the last!

“Saying good bye to her husband when he goes to work in the morning would avert a good many divorces.” Robert Browning, whose life with Elizabeth Barrett Browning was perhaps the most idyllic on record, was never too busy to keep love alive with little, tributes and attentions. He treated his invalid wife with such consideration that she once wrote to her sisters: “And now I begin to wonder naturally whether I may not be some sort of real angel after all.” Too many men underestimate the value of these small, everyday attentions. As Gaynor Maddox said in an article in the Pictorial Review: “The American home really needs a few new vices. Breakfast in bed, for instance, is one of those amiable dissipations a greater number of women should be indulged in. Breakfast in bed to a woman does much the same thing as a private club for a man.” That’s what marriage is in the long run-a series of trivial incidents. And woe to the couple who overlook that fact.

Edna St. Vincent Millay summed it all up once in one of her concise little rhymes: ” ‘Tis not love’s going hurts my days, But that it went in little ways.” That’s a good verse to memorize. Out in Reno, the courts grant divorces six days a week, at the rate of one every ten marriages. How many of these marriages do you suppose were wrecked upon the reef of real tragedy? Mighty few, I’ll warrant. If you could sit there day in, day out, listening to the testimony of those unhappy husbands and wives, you’d know love “went in little ways.”

Take your pocket knife now and cut out this quotation. Paste it inside your hat or paste it on the mirror, where you will see it every morning when you shave:

“I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

So, if you want to keep your home life happy, pay little attentions.

 

 

 

(c)Dale Carnegie quoted material.  (c)2014 Brandon Blankenship Alabama Birmingham Hoover Pelham

A Tricky Thing: Marriage

Marriage may be the closest thing to Heaven or Hell  any of us will know on this earth. –Edwin Louis Cole

Marriage is a tricky thing.  A mystery.  A real-life roller coaster.  God created man without a wife, and saw that it was not good.  He then gave man the perfect companion, but she upset the apple cart and got them kicked out of paradise.  Tricky.  God knew Adam needed a companion, yet he waited before delivering.  God knew that Eve would choose unwisely and that ultimate redemption would come from the perfect sacrifice of His son.  God knew that this marital journey would have ups and downs when Adam woke up and met his wife for the very first time.  Imagine that.  Adam was like, “Whoa!  Cool.”  And God knew what was coming.  But he did it anyway and said, “It is very good.”

So when God led me to my husband, He knew we would get married, He knew we would have great days and He knew that some days we would want to quit.  Some days would seem unbearable.  But He put us together anyway.  He knew.  I have to believe He said, “It is very good.”  Together we are able to do so much more than what we can apart.  Together a world of possibilities are open to us.  We are a team.  Together we have an incredible daughter that would not be were it not for us.  It IS good.  It is very good.

The trick is learning to hang on to hope and work, really WORK, through the difficult times.  Learn to readjust to new situations and the new person your husband is becoming.  The new person YOU are becoming.  Hang on.  Pray fervently.  Read scripture.  Find couples with strong marriages to mentor you and hold you accountable.  Seek help if you are overwhelmed.  Stay together.  Marriage is a tricky thing.  Marriage is a blessing.  It is both and the blessing is so worth it.  Hang in there friend.  We will pray for you.

Death Without Hope?

grieving

It hit me today that I have four friends that have all lost their husbands at an early age.  One died just yesterday and the heartbreak is fresh and raw.  They were all in their 20’s or 30’s when they passed. All by different causes.  Such anguish.  So sad.

And so tough these women are!  What would I do or feel were the roles reversed?  I can’t even imagine.  When I become ‘one’ with my husband, how can I go on without him?  How could I pick myself up from the slobbering puddle on the floor and go on?  We have an inexplicable connection where he completes me.  Who would I be without him?  We are always identified together.

I have the greatest respect for any widow.  The overwhelming emotion they must endure in the beginning, the slow journey that grief takes them on, the re-learning of daily life without their husband/confidant/partner-in-crime/lover/laugher/best friend/fixer/superman.

In my heartbreak for them, I have to wonder, how could ANYONE go through this without the confidence in a loving God who died and rose again so that they would have eternal life with Him.  Where is the hope worth living for…worth dying for?  How can anyone face death without hope?  Without faith?  We know that we are eternal beings.  This life is temporary…a whisper of smoke.  We will step out of this life into eternity.  How can we face death if we have not chosen eternal life with our Creator, the one who paid our debt?hope future

I love my Savior.  I love my husband.  I love my dear friends who are hurting.  I pray for peace beyond all understanding and will hug my husband a little tighter tonight when he comes home.  I am grateful for whatever time we have together.  God bless.

A Blessed Connection

hand holding

“Little Bit,” our youngest, went home after school with friends and is spending the night.  At first she was clingy and conflicted about going.  She would miss us too much.  I didn’t tell her that I would probably miss her more.  I just assured her that I was only a phone call away and she would be having too much fun to even stop and call.

She went anyway and the other mom sent me a text confirming that she is, of course, giggling constantly and having a ball.  She has, however, snuck in a few texts to let me know she’s OK and to ask a couple of questions.  I’m glad to know she has found a way to balance the fun and staying connected.

Since dropping her off at school this morning, I had the whole day ahead of me and some decisions to make on how to spend it.  There was the ever popular but unwelcome “cleaning” option.  I could have gone the “organization” route.  I briefly lingered over the “day of pampering” option, but decided that should wait for another day.  I quickly landed on “spend the day with my husband.”  I am so glad I did.

Tagging along with him today, I realized that I am so focused on being a mom and homemaker.  I rarely spend much of my focus or time being a wife.  I work to squeeze in a little alone time with him when he gets in at night and on weekends.  We both make the effort to email, text or talk by phone daily, but the truth is we are rarely together.  His career calls for more than the 8 hour work day and we’re never sure when we will actually see him.  I’ve always felt like we were very close and we work on our marriage.   It’s better than the average marriage, I think.  Of course, 1/2 of marriages these days end in divorce, so I guess it’s much better than average.

We spent the morning at his office and I brought a few things to work on while I sat out of the way in his office.  I am amazed at his abilities, listening to him on the phone and watching him with his coworkers.  A sense of pride wells up and I am so glad to be his wife.  I’m certainly getting the better end of the deal.

For the afternoon, we drove and hour and a half to a special meeting where he was one of several chosen to work with others from around the state on behalf of their profession for some upcoming event that I don’t really understand yet.  Again, very cool.  Getting to talk with him for that long on the way there and back was a rarity and a joy.  He was running ideas by me and I was able to get some advice on several things I am struggling with.  We really connected. No kids.  No phone.

Immediately after his meeting he took me to a nice restaurant for lunch.  “Nice” being better than a drive through but not quite as fancy as say, a full service white tablecloth meal.  He told the waitress we were in no hurry, that he was spending the day with his wife.  Big grin from me.  Maybe even a little blush and eye flutter.  I felt a little like a school girl again with my big crush on him.

He makes me laugh everyday.  Even if I don’t want to.  I love that.  I loved that today.  That is so important in a marriage.  We set some goals today and made some plans.  We laughed and teased.  We held hands a lot.  We smooched some, too.  I love this amazing man.

Sitting back at his office now, I’m writing this and watching him work on his computer.  I love wearing the mom “hat,” but realize that “wife” really comes first.  It’s through our connection that we model to our daughter how to have her own life outside our home one day.  God gives it  priority over our relationship with our children.  I realize that I need to look outside the immediate needs of the kids and spend more of my focus where it should be…on my husband and his needs.

My daughter texts to tell me she’s going out with her friends to the school play.  I’m very grateful for that connection, that bond of love between us.  I am even more grateful for the bond I share with my husband.  I am truly blessed.

Want to be Happy? Do This:

early couple marriage blog

Walter Damrosch married the daughter of James G. Blaine, one of America’s greatest orators and one-time candidate for President.  Ever since they met many years ago at Andrew Carnegie’s home in Scotland, the Damroschs have led a conspicuously happy life.

The secret?

“Next to care in choosing a partner,” says Mrs Damrosch, “‘I should place courtesy after marriage. If young wives would only be as courteous to their husbands as to strangers! Any man will run from a shrewish tongue.”  Rudeness is the cancer that devours love. Everyone knows this, yet it’s notorious that we are more polite to strangers than we are to our own relatives. We wouldn’t dream of interrupting strangers to say,

“Good heavens, are you going to tell that old story again!” We wouldn’t dream of opening our friends’ mail without permission, or prying into their personal secrets. And it’s only the members of our own family, those who are nearest and dearest to us, that we dare insult for their trivial faults.

Again to quote Dorothy Dix: “It is an amazing but true thing that practically the only people who ever say mean, insulting, wounding things to us are those of our own households.”

“Courtesy,” says Henry Clay Risner, “is that quality of heart that overlooks the broken gate and calls attention to the flowers in the yard beyond the gate.” Courtesy is just as important to marriage as oil is to your motor.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, the beloved ‘Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,’ was anything but an autocrat in his own home. In fact, he carried his consideration so far that when he felt melancholy and depressed, he tried to conceal his blues from the rest of his family. It was bad enough for him to have to bear them himself, he said, without inflicting them on the others as well.

That is what Oliver Wendell Holmes did. But what about the average mortal? Things go wrong at the office; he loses a sale or gets called on the carpet by the boss. He develops a devastating headache or misses the five-fifteen; and he can hardly wait till he gets home-to take it out on the family.  In Holland you leave your shoes outside on the doorstep before you enter the house. By the Lord Harry, we could learn a lesson from the Dutch and shed our workaday troubles before we enter our homes.

William James once wrote an essay called ‘On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings.’ It would be worth a special trip to your nearest library to get that essay and read it. “Now the blindness in human beings of which this discourse will treat,’ he wrote, ‘is the blindness with which we all are afflicted in regard to the feelings of creatures and people different from ourselves.”

‘The blindness with which we all are afflicted.” Many men who wouldn’t dream of speaking sharply to a customer, or even to their partners in business, think nothing of barking at their wives. Yet, for their personal happiness, marriage is far more important to them, far more vital, than business.  The average man who is happily married is happier by far than the genius who lives in solitude. Turgenev, the great Russian novelist, was acclaimed all over the civilized world. Yet he said: “I would give up all my genius, and all my books, if there were only some woman, somewhere, who cared whether or not I came home late for dinner.”

What are the chances of happiness in marriage anyway? Dorothy Dix, as we have already said, believes that more than half of them are failures; but Dr Paul Popenoe thinks otherwise. He says: “A man has a better chance of succeeding in marriage than in any other enterprise he may go into. Of all the men that go into the grocery business, 70 per cent fail. Of the men and women who enter matrimony, 70 per cent succeed.”

Dorothy Dix sums the whole thing up like this:

“Compared with marriage,” she says, “being born is a mere episode in our careers, and dying a trivial incident.  No woman can ever understand why a man doesn’t put forth the same effort to make his home a going concern as he does to make his business or profession a success. But, although to have a contented wife and a peaceful and happy home means more to a man than to make a million dollars, not one man in a hundred ever gives any real serious thought or makes any honest effort to make his marriage a success. He leaves the most important thing in his life to chance, and he wins out or loses, according to whether fortune is with him or not. Women can never understand why their husbands refuse to handle them diplomatically, when it would be money in their pockets to use the velvet glove instead of the strong-arm method.”

“Every man knows that he can jolly his wife into doing anything, and doing without anything. He knows that if he hands her a few cheap compliments about what a wonderful manager she is, and how she helps him, she will squeeze every nickel. Every man knows that if he tells his wife how beautiful and lovely she looks in her last year’s dress, she wouldn’t trade it for the latest Paris importation. Every man knows that he can kiss his wife’s eyes shut until she will be blind as a bat, and that he has only to give her a warm smack on the lips to make her dumb as an oyster.”

“And every wife knows that her husband knows these things about her, because she has furnished him with a complete diagram about how to work her. And she never knows whether to be mad at him or disgusted with him, because he would rather fight with her and pay for it in having to eat bad meals, and have his money wasted, and buy her new frocks and limousines and pearls, than to take the trouble to flatter her a little and treat her the way she is begging to be treated.”

So, if you want to keep your home life happy. Be courteous.

 

(c) Dale Carnegie quoted matter. Balance of material (c) Brandon L. Blankenship, Alabama, Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham

Read Marriage for Dummies

marriage for dummies

Dr Katherine Bement Davis, general secretary of the Bureau of Social Hygiene, once induced a thousand married women to reply very frankly to a set of intimate questions. The result was shocking-an incredibly shocking comment upon the sexual unhappiness of the average American adult. After perusing the answers she received from these thousand married women, Dr Davis published without hesitation her conviction that one of the chief causes of divorce in this country is physical mismating.

Dr G. V. Hamilton’s survey verifies this finding. Dr Hamilton spent four years studying the marriages of one hundred men and one hundred women. He asked these men and women individually something like four hundred questions concerning their married lives, and discussed their problems exhaustively-so exhaustively that the whole investigation took four years. This work was considered so important sociologically that it was financed by a group of leading philanthropists. You can read the results of the experiment in What’s Wrong with Marriage? by Dr G.V. Hamilton and Kenneth Macgowan.

Well, what is wrong with marriage? “It would take a very prejudiced and very reckless psychiatrist,” says Dr Hamilton, “to say that most married friction doesn’t find its source in sexual maladjustment. At any rate, the frictions which arise from other difficulties would be ignored in many, many cases if the sexual relation itself were satisfactory.”

Dr Paul Popenoe, as head of the Institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles, has reviewed thousands of marriages and he is one of America’s foremost authorities on home life. According to Dr Popenoe, failure in marriage is usually due to four causes. He lists them in this order: • 1. Sexual maladjustment. • 2. Difference of opinion as to the way of spending leisure time. • 3. Financial difficulties. • 4. Mental, physical, or emotional abnormalities.

Notice that sex comes first; and that, strangely enough, money difficulties come only third on the list.

All authorities on divorce agree upon the absolute necessity for sexual compatibility. For example, a few years ago Judge Hoffman of the Domestic Relations Court of Cincinnati-a man who has listened to thousands of domestic tragedies-announced: “Nine out of ten divorces are caused by sexual troubles.”

“Sex,” says the famous psychologist, John B. Watson, “is admittedly the most important subject in life. It is admittedly the thing which causes the most ship-wrecks in the happiness of men and women.”

And I have heard a number of practicing physicians in speeches before my own classes say practically the same thing. Isn’t it pitiful, then, that in the twentieth century, with all of our books and all of our education, marriages should be destroyed and lives wrecked by ignorance concerning this most primal and natural instinct?

The Rev. Oliver M. Butterfield after eighteen years as a Methodist minister gave up his pulpit to direct the Family Guidance Service in New York City, and he has probably married as many young people as any man living. He says:

“Early in my experience as a minister I discovered that, in spite of romance and good intentions, many couples who come to the marriage altar are matrimonial illiterates.” Matrimonial illiterates!

And he continues: “When you consider that we leave the highly difficult adjustment of marriage so largely to chance, the marvel is that our divorce rate is only 16 per cent. An appalling number of husbands and wives are not really married but simply undivorced: they live in a sort of purgatory.”

“Happy marriages,” says Dr Butterfield, “are rarely the product of chance: they are architectural in that they are intelligently and deliberately planned.”

To assist in this planning, Dr Butterfield has for years insisted that any couple he marries must discuss with him frankly their plans for the future. And it was as a result of these discussions that he came to the conclusion that so many of the high contracting parties were ‘matrimonial illiterates.’

“Sex,” says Dr Butterfield, “is but one of the many satisfactions in married life, but unless this relationship is right, nothing else can be right.”

But how to get it right? “Sentimental reticence”-I’m still quoting Dr Butterfield-“must be replaced by an ability to discuss objectively and with detachment attitudes and practices of married life. There is no way in which this ability can be better acquired than through a book of sound learning and good taste. I keep on hand several of these books in addition to a supply of my own booklet, Marriage and Sexual Harmony.”

“Of all the books that are available, the three that seem to me most satisfactory for general reading are: The Sex Technique in Marriage by Isabel E. Hutton; The Sexual Side of Marriage by Max Exner; The Sex Factor in Marriage by Helena Wright.”

So, … Read a good book on the sexual side of marriage.

 

(c) Dale Carnegie quoted material.   Balance of copyright (c)2014 Brandon L. Blankenship Alabama, Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham

One Quick Step to Happy Relationship

“‘Most Men when seeking wives,’ says Paul Popenoe, Director of the Institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles, ‘are not looking for executives but for someone with allure and willingness to flatter their vanity and make them feel superior. Hence the woman office manager may be invited to luncheon, once. But she quite possibly dishes out warmed-over remnants of her college courses on ‘main currents in contemporary philosophy,’ and may even insist on paying her own bill. Result: she thereafter lunches alone.

‘In contrast, the noncollegiate typist, when invited to luncheon, fixes an incandescent gaze on her escort and says yearningly, ‘Now tell me some more about yourself.’ Result: he tells the other fellows that ‘she’s no raving beauty, but I have never met a better talker.’

Men should express their appreciation of a woman’s effort to look well and dress becomingly. All men forget, if they have ever realized it, how profoundly women are interested in clothes. For example, if a man and woman meet another man and woman on the street, the woman seldom looks at the other man; she usually looks to see how well the other woman is dressed.

My grandmother died a few years ago at the age of ninety-eight.

Shortly before her death, we showed her a photograph of herself that had been taken a third of a century earlier. Her failing eyes couldn’t see the picture very well, and the only question she asked was: ‘What dress did I have on?’ Think of it! An old woman in her last December, bedridden, weary with age as she lay within the shadow of the century mark, her memory fading so fast that she was no longer able to recognize even her own daughters, still interested in knowing what dress she had worn a third of a century before! I was at her bedside when she asked that question. It left an impression on me that will never fade.

The men who are reading these lines can’t remember what suits or shirts they wore five years ago, and they haven’t the remotest desire to remember them. But women-they are different, and we American men ought to recognize it. French boys of the upper class are trained to express their admiration of a woman’s frock and chapeau, not only once but many times during an evening. And fifty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong!

I have among my clippings a story that I know never happened, but it illustrates a truth, so I’ll repeat it:

According to this silly story, a farm woman, at the end of a heavy day’s work, set before her men folks a heaping pile of hay. And when they indignantly demanded whether she’d gone crazy, she replied:

Why, how did I know you’d notice? I’ve been cooking for you men for the last twenty years, and in all that time I ain’t heard no word to let me know you wasn’t just eating hay!’

The pampered aristocrats of Moscow and St Petersburg used to have better manners; in the Russia of the Czars, it was the custom of the upper classes, when they had enjoyed a fine dinner, to insist on having the cook brought into the dining room to receive their congratulations.

Why not have as much consideration for your wife? The next time the fried chicken is done to a tender turn, tell her so. Let her know that you appreciate the fact that you’re not just eating hay. Or, as Texas Guinan used to say, ‘Give the little girl a great big hand.’

And while you’re about it, don’t be afraid to let her know how important she is to your happiness. Disraeli was as great a statesman as England ever produced; yet, as we’ve seen, he wasn’t ashamed to let the world know how much he ‘owed to the little woman.’

Just the other day, while perusing a magazine, I came across this.

It’s from an interview with Eddie Cantor.

‘I owe more to my wife,’ says Eddie Cantor, ‘than to anyone else in the world. She was my best pal as a boy; she helped me to go straight. And after we married she saved every dollar, and invested it, and reinvested it. She built up a fortune for me. We have five lovely children. And she’s made a wonderful home for me always. If I’ve gotten anywhere, give her the credit.’

Out in Hollywood, where marriage is a risk that even Lloyd’s of London wouldn’t take a gamble on, one of the few outstandingly happy marriages is that of the Warner Baxters. Mrs Baxter, the former Winifred Bryson, gave up a brilliant stage career when she married. Yet her sacrifice has never been permitted to mar their happiness. ‘She missed the applause of stage success,’ Warner Baxter says, ‘but I have tried to see that she is entirely aware of my applause. If a woman is to find happiness at all in her husband, she is to find it in his appreciation, and devotion. If that appreciation and devotion is actual, there is the answer to his happiness also.’

There you are. So, if you want to keep your home life happy, one of the most important rules is: Give honest appreciation.”

 

(c) Dale Carnegie quoted material.  Balance of material (c) Brandon L. Blankenship Alabama Birmingham Hoover Pelham

Do This for an Unhappy Ending

Don't Criticize Brandon Blankenship Alabama Birmingham Hoover Pelham

“William and Catherine Gladstone lived together for fifty-nine years, almost three score years glorified with an abiding devotion. ….

Gladstone, a formidable enemy in public, never criticized at home.

When he came down to breakfast in the morning, only to discover that the rest of his family was still sleeping, he had a gentle way of registering his reproach. He raised his voice and filled the house with a mysterious chant that reminded the other members that England’s busiest man was waiting downstairs for his breakfast, all alone.

Diplomatic, considerate, he rigorously refrained from domestic criticism.

And so, often, did Catherine the Great. Catherine ruled one of the largest empires the world has ever known. Over millions of her subjects she held the power of life and death. Politically, she was often a cruel tyrant, waging useless wars and sentencing scores of her enemies to be cut down by firing squads. Yet if the cook burned the meat, she said nothing. She smiled and ate it with a tolerance that the average American husband would do well to emulate.

Dorothy Dix, America’s premier authority on the causes of marital unhappiness, declares that more than fifty per cent of all marriages are failures; and she knows that one of the reasons why so many romantic dreams break up on the rocks of Reno is criticism-futile, heartbreaking criticism.

So, if you want to keep your home life happy, remember: Don’t criticize.”

 

(c) Dale Carnegie quoted material.  Balance of copyright (c) Brandon L. Blankenship Alabama Birmingham Hoover Pelham

 

Destroy Love In One Easy Step

think before you speak

Imagine having all the ingredients for a great marriage:  health, wealth, power, fame, beauty, love and adoration.  If you had all that, what could destroy your marriage?

“Seventy-Five years ago, Napoleon III of France, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, fell in love with Marie Eugenic Ignace Augustine de Montijo, Countess of Teba, the most beautiful woman in the world- and married her. His advisers pointed out that she was only the daughter of an insignificant Spanish count. But Napoleon retorted:

“What of it?” Her grace, her youth, her charm, her beauty filled him with divine felicity. In a speech hurled from the throne, he defied an entire nation: “I have preferred a woman I love and respect,” he proclaimed, “to a woman unknown to me.”

Napoleon and his bride had health, wealth, power, fame, beauty, love, adoration-all the requirements for a perfect romance. Never did the sacred fire of marriage glow with a brighter incandescence.

But, alas, the holy flame soon flickered and the incandescence cooled-and turned to embers. Napoleon could make Eugenic an empress; but nothing in all la belle France, neither the power of his love nor the might of his throne, could keep her from nagging.

Bedeviled by jealousy, devoured by suspicion, she flouted his orders, she denied him even a show of privacy. She broke into his office while he was engaged in affairs of state. She interrupted his most important discussions. She refused to leave him alone, always fearing that he might be consorting with another woman.

Often she ran to her sister, complaining of her husband, complaining, weeping, nagging, and threatening. Forcing her way into his study, she stormed at him and abused him. Napoleon, master of a dozen sumptuous palaces, Emperor of France, could not find a cupboard in which he could call his soul his own.

And what did Eugenic accomplish by all this? Here is the answer. I am quoting now from E.A. Rheinhardt’s engrossing book, Napoleon and Eugenie: The Tragicomedy of an Empire: “So it came about that Napoleon frequently would steal out by a little side door at night, with a soft hat pulled over his eyes, and, accompanied by one of his intimates, really betake himself to some fair lady who was expecting him, or else stroll about the great city as of old, passing through streets of the kind which an Emperor hardly sees outside a fairy tale, and breathing the atmosphere of might-have-beens.”

That is what nagging accomplished for Eugenie. True, she sat on the throne of France. True, she was the most beautiful woman in the world. But neither royalty nor beauty can keep love alive amidst the poisonous fumes of nagging. Eugenie could have raised her voice like Job of old and have wailed: “The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me.” Come upon her? She brought it upon herself, poor woman, by her jealousy and her nagging. Of all the sure-fire, infernal devices ever invented by all the devils in hell for destroying love, nagging is the deadliest. It never fails. Like the bite of the king cobra, it always destroys, always kills.”

(c)2014 Neywa
15 A constant dripping on a day of steady rain
And a contentious woman are alike; 16 He who would restrain her restrains the wind.
And grasps oil with his right hand.
Proverbs 27

Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright© 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation may terminate this permission at any time.

Quote copyright of Dale Carnegie, Seven Rules For Making Your Home Life Happier, How to Dig Your Marital Grave.  Balance of material (c)2014 Brandon L. Blankenship Alabama Birmingham Hoover Pelham