I wrote this essay in 1984 for a college honours comp class.
HOW TO HAVE A TRULY MISERABLE MARRIAGE
As the national divorce rate increases and the average life span of a marriage decreases, today's couples are facing a lot of pressure to break up as early as possible in order to keep up with their friends and relatives. If you are one of those unfortunate people who seem to be stuck in a happy, successful marriage, here are some things you can do to remedy the situation. No longer will you have to suffer the taunts and warnings of your divorced friends.
The first and most important thing to keep in mind is never, under any circumstances, think of yourselves as a team or as a single unit. You and your spouse are two separate individuals, with your own lives, your own worlds, your own careers and your own possessions. If you slip and start to think of the two of you as partners, you're doomed to a life of togetherness and sharing.
Always place yourself first. Your decisions, your wishes, and your priorities are the only ones that count. Your spouse can fend for him or herself.
When you come home from work, always be prepared with something mean to say. Insult your wife's cooking and house-keeping skills, or tell your husband he's a fat slob who'll never amount to anything.
Remember to swear loudly and frequently when talking to each other.
Learn your spouse's fears and weaknesses and bring them up often in conversation, preferably in front of other people. If your husband is touchy about his low-paying job, make sure the neighbors know about it. If your wife is sensitive about her appearance, make jokes at parties about her weight and her skin, even if you think she looks good.
Husbands, belittle your wives' interests and responsibilities. She's only a ball-and-chain. Wives, don't feel you have to do anything he says just because he's your husband. This is the 1980's.
Never compliment your spouse. He or she might start to expect it from you.
Don't bother spending time with your spouse or your children. As mentioned, they can fend for themselves. You have more important things to do.
Don't slip into the trap of showing any kind of respect for your husband or wife. Call them names, insult their heritage and their integrity, so they won't forget how unimportant they are.
Violence is always a good way to tear down a marriage. If you and your spouse don't slap each other around from time to time, you must not be communicating properly.
Don't think of your marriage as a commitment. Think of it as a temporary arrangement until something more interesting comes along. After all, most marriages today don't last more than a few years, so why bother trying to make yours work?
Remember that you are a constant example to your children. If you want them to have poor social and relationship skills, make sure they learn it at home!
Don't even try to understand your mate. It's a well-known fact that all husbands are worms and all wives are shrews, and none of them have a legitimate point of view.
Keep these things in mind and you too can have your marriage dissolve overnight. With any luck, we'll see you in divorce court!
The content on this page was written in 1984
Last updated: June 11, 2016