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Quotations about Marriage

What a happy and holy fashion it is that those who love one another should rest on the same pillow. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

A happy marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short. ~André Maurois, I Remember, I Remember, 1942, translated from the French by Denver and Jane Lindley

The older I get, the less time I want to spend with the part of the human race that didn't marry me. ~Robert Brault,

What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life — to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting? ~George Eliot (1819–1880), Adam Bede, 1859

I know that marriage is a legal and religious alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut and a woman who can't sleep with the window open. ~Ogden Nash, "A Definition of Marriage," 1948

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966, © Thomas Paine McLaughlin

But — above all, to know that your soul and my soul were blended in one eternal union and that no power could separate us! The thought intoxicates me. ~Kate Stephens, A Woman's Heart, 1906

Two things are owed to truthfulness — lasting marriages and short friendships. ~Robert Brault,

l love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner, I Still Have It… I Just Can't Remember Where I Put It: Confessions of a Fiftysomething, 2008,

Consider the standard two-person married couple, and consider them, for a moment, not as a bastion of heterosexuality or a living witness to Jesus or any other such high-minded abstraction. Rather, consider them in relation to what Karl Marx would have called the "realm of commodities" and George Carlin would call "their stuff." They will possess, at least if they are affluent enough to matter to the economy at all, one VCR, one microwave oven, one electric knife sharpener, one stationary bicycle, and, of course, one house or apartment. Among other things too numerous to mention. The point is, they will share a VCR, a microwave oven, etc. This is not a matter of ideology or even personal inclination. It is practically the definition of marriage: marriage is socialism among two people. ~Barbara Ehrenreich, "Socialism In One Household," Mother Jones, January 1987

If you made a list of the reasons why any couple got married, and another list of the reasons for their divorce, you'd have a hell of a lot of overlapping. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

There are two kinds of people that keep diaries, married ones and single ones. The single ones fill theirs full of poetry; the married ones tell how much it costs to keep house. ~Kate Trimble Sharber (b.1883), The Annals of Ann, 1910

If you come to look at it, there's no such cozy combination... as is Man and Wife. ~Menander (c.342–c.292 BCE), translated by Francis G. Allinson, 1921

After the chills and fever of love, how nice is the 98.6° of marriage! ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

Her reception of me was sweet and tender... Now that I was assured of her love for me, and since I had called her my wife, my love lost its element of anxiety. It is this security which marks the difference of a husband's love from that of a lover; doubt is an element of passion, but not of true conjugal love. ~Bram Stoker, The Mystery of the Sea, 1902

...the two biggest little words in the English language, "I DO!" ~James Vincent, Space Traveler: A Musician's Odyssey, 2003

Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward, and you will have the truth about him in a very handy form. ~H. L. Mencken, A Little Book in C Major, 1916

Ah, dearest, we have poured our love at each other's feet, and the incense of our sacred happiness must have arisen to the throne of God. What perfect companionship has been ours! What glorious sport in surmounting each difficulty as it arose together. You are mine, and I love you. ~Laura L. Livingstone (Herbert Dickinson Ward), Lauriel: The Love Letters of an American Girl, 1901

The highest happiness on earth is marriage. ~William Lyon Phelps

Love seems the swiftest but is the slowest of all growths. No man and woman really know what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century. ~Mark Twain

Matrimony — the high sea for which no compass has yet been invented. ~Heinrich Heine, "Musical Notes from Paris," translated from German by John Snodgrass

Successful marriage: The union of two good forgivers. ~Robert Quillen, c.1935

Marriage is the means by which two people who share the same fundamental values discover how many other subjects are open to discussion. ~Robert Brault,

The union of hearts and hands in holy wedlock has given birth to many luminous poetic effusions. The briefest exposition we remember to have seen, is the following, which was doubtless intended merely as a love-missive between two ardent souls, whose elective affinities — if spirits may commingle — resolved themselves into a perfect spiritual amalgamation. Says our love-sick swain:
"My heart to you is given,
Oh, do give yours to me;
We'll lock them up together,
And throw away the key."
~Frederick Saunders, Salad for the Solitary, 1853

Just as Amy and Jay had for decades slept nude together, inhaling each other's odors, her hands familiar with the man's body hair. Even her face creams and his night grunts would have entered into it. And shared cakes of soap and clothes closets and dinners — such a complex of intimacies. ~Saul Bellow (1915–2005), The Actual, 1997

You have to treat your wife like you treated her when you first met her and were trying to get her in bed. ~Alice Cooper, interview with Cal Fussman, 2008 August 2nd, for Esquire's January 2009 eighth annual Meaning of Life issue

Life was intended to be lived in twos... Would the bird sing half as sweetly did he not have his mate listening to him? A man's life is only half lived till he finds his mate to listen to his song of love. ~Etta Merrick Graves, The Castle Builder, 1916

A billion love stories are being enacted into matrimony during each generation... ~George Fitch, "Cupid vs. Geography," 1915

It's a nasty divorce when they can't agree on how to divvy up the His and Hers towels. ~Robert Brault,

Pity all newlyweds. She cooks something nice for him, and he brings her flowers, and they kiss and think: How easy marriage is. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

A perfect marriage is one in which "I'm sorry" is said just often enough. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

Whoever strikes at marriage... whoever, either by word or act, undermines this, the foundation of all moral society, that man has to settle with me... Marriage is the beginning and end of all culture... The condition of man is pitched so high, in its joys and in its sorrows, that the sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation. It is an infinite debt, which can only be discharged through all eternity. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities, translated

Many marriages are simply working partnerships between businessmen and housekeepers. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

It is not for the fresh cheek, the full lip, the fair forehead, the parted sweeps of sunny hair, and the girlish charm of form and features, that we love the wives who have walked hand in hand with us for years, but for new graces, opening each morning like flowers in the parterre, their predecessors having accomplished their beautiful mission and gone to seed. Old love renewed again, through new motives to love, is certainly a thing lovely in itself, and desirable by all whose ambition and happiness it is to sit supreme in a single heart... ~Timothy Titcomb (Josiah Gilbert Holland), Gold-foil: Hammered from Popular Proverbs

To be many-years married is to have a partner who can finish your sentences, although not usually the way you would. ~Robert Brault,

I think we both want to be as nearly one as a man and a woman can be — flesh of each other's flesh, and bone of bone, and soul of soul. ~Bram Stoker, The Mystery of the Sea, 1902

To keep the fire burning brightly there's one easy rule: Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm, and far enough apart — about a finger's breadth — for breathing room. Good fire, good marriage, same rule. ~Marnie Reed Crowell, Greener Pastures, 1973

Marriage requires the fuel of mature love to get it off the launching pad, trust to give it thrust, and patience to keep it in orbit. ~William Arthur Ward, Thoughts of a Christian Optimist, 1968

Husbands are things that wives have to get used to putting up with,
And with whom they breakfast with and sup with...
And when it's a question of walking five miles to play golf they are very energetic but if it's doing anything useful around the house they are very lethargic,
And then they tell you that women are unreasonable and don't know anything about logic...
And they never want to get up or go to bed at the same time as you do...
~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "What Almost Every Woman Knows Sooner or Later"

So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about as numb as a slave in a totalitarian state. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, 1963

We have so few years.
Let us make them doubly sweet, these years we have—
Be gracious with each other—sway a little
To left or right if we must to stay together—
Never distrust each other... Let us make this our pact
Now... the very gods envy this happiness...
If two stand shoulder to shoulder against the gods,
Happy together, the gods themselves are helpless
Against them, while they stand so.
~Maxwell Anderson, Elizabeth the Queen, 1930

Getting a husband is easy enough; keeping one is what requires genius. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor

I cannot stretch my imagination to believe that [he] is the most beautiful person in the world. I know him to be compounded of bad habits, weaknesses, irritabilities, irritancies. But he pleases me. He is a superb comrade. He amuses me: the first requirement of a husband. He heightens my sense of life. He opens a future for me, so that for the first time in years, I dream of tomorrow, as well as enjoy today. Thus, he gives me back a gift of youth. I like him, enormously, amusedly. I admire him, immensely and impersonally. I am absurdly happy in a quite head-on-my-shoulders sort of way. ~Dorothy Thompson, letter to Rose Wilder Lane, 1928, edited by William V. Holtz  ["He" being her second husband, Sinclair Lewis. —tg]

A dog is much like a married man, obeying his master's voice for the sake of his master's touch. ~Robert Brault,

Our Sweethearts
Our Wives
~Herbert Dickinson Ward, Lauriel: The Love Letters of an American Girl, 1901

It is easy to mistake being ready for a wedding with being ready for marriage. ~Robert Brault,

Marriage isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Let me tell you, honestly. Marriage is probably the chief cause of divorce. ~Larry Gelbart, M*A*S*H, "Bulletin Board," original airdate 14 January 1975, spoken by the character Frank Burns

We went to a couples therapist. He told her that she had too much contempt. He said contempt is one of the four horsemen of the marital apocalypse. ~Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Fleishman Is in Trouble, 2019,

Marry someone who looks sexy while disappointed. ~"Phil's-osophy" by Phil Dunphy (Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan, and Dan O'Shannon, Modern Family, "Schooled," original airdate 2012 Oct 10)

HUSBAND  From Eng. hussy, woman, and bone, tie. Tied to a woman. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904

One thing you learn in a long marriage is how many sneezes to wait before saying, "Bless you." ~Robert Brault,

Before marriage figures of speech and real flowers will do; after marriage real figures and flowers of speech are the thing. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1904, George Horace Lorimer, editor

Like my vodka, my marriage is on the rocks. ~Craig D. Slovak

A woman ought to look up to her husband, if only a half-inch. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

Men never know how tired they are till their wives sit them down for a nice long talk. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

[M]en are April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives. ~William Shakespeare, As You Like It, c.1599  [IV, 1, Rosalind]

Most marriages can survive "better or worse." The tester is all the years of "exactly the same." ~Robert Brault,

The primeval feud between a man's mother and his wife surged up in her. ~Rupert Hughes

As a general guideline, never marry anyone that you can't picture helping you go to the bathroom. ~Robert Brault,

Even Grief hath its glory, since you, Love, and I,
Have been Husband and Wife together.
~Gerald Massey (1828–1907), "Husband and Wife"

...setting aside popular twaddle on the eternal sanctity of the marriage-tie and all that... ~John Hill, The Waters of Marah, 1883

The marriage of convenience has this to recommend it: we are better judges of convenience than we are of love. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

What we love about love is the fever, which marriage puts to bed and cures. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

Marriage is nature's way of ensuring that a woman picks up some mothering experience before she has her first child. ~Robert Brault,

He was doubtless an understanding Fellow that said, there was no happy Marriage but betwixt a blind Wife and a deaf Husband. ~Michel de Montaigne, "Upon Some Verses of Virgil"

Let's be a comfortable couple and take care of each other... how glad we shall be that we have somebody we are fond of always to talk to and sit with! ~Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby, 1839

Thank God I'm a bachelor, and no ministering angel ever smoothes my pillow when I particularly want to be left alone. ~W. Somerset Maugham, Lady Frederick, 1907

People make mistakes, — that's why God invented divorce. ~Mistresses, "Lean In," 2016, written by Rina Mimoun  [S4, E5]

      Divorce eases more useless suffering, breaks more irksome bondage than any other institution in existence. Take away divorce and there will be more unholy alliances lived out by weary, heart-sick men and women than can be chronicled... If women find that their husbands have vices which they cannot tolerate, brutish tendencies that are obnoxious to refined womanhood, do you think they ought to be forced to drag out a loveless existence by the side of these men? Where two people have not one thought in common, do you think that life together holds for them any happiness? I tell you no, and that marriage of that kind is unholy and should be dissolved.
      But, you ask, do I not think these things ought to be considered before the leap is made into matrimony? Most certainly I do, as far as possible. But there is no judging a man or woman before your marriage. It takes the little frets and jars of dally life to bring out different phases of character. Before marriage the curl papers are taken down carefully and the hair arranged in a soft, crinkly coiffure. After marriage the curl papers are as often as not left up, and the greater details of life are neglected in the same ratio. It takes some people longer than others to find out whether or not they have made a mistake, but when they do make the discovery I think they ought to rectify It at once. I do not mean that they should cry quits at the first quarrel, but after time to gather a full realization of the hopelessness of trying to get along together.
      People come to me and ask me how I have preserved my good looks. (One would think me as old as Methuselah to hear some of them.) I will tell you the secret; it was no hygienic feats performed by beauty experts. I got a divorce: that's what has kept me free from worry, wrinkles, and — look, you don't see a single crow's-foot! Well, just think of those I would have had if I had not been divorced.
      The woman who continues to live with a man simply for the looks of the thing and to be supported by him, is a coward... It is no easy matter to brave public opinion, but life is a fight of one kind or another. And divorce is far better than wrinkles and crow's feet. ~Lillian Russell, 1899

As a man, I've learned that there is nothing easier in married life than pleasing your wife with your cooking. ~Robert Brault,

The music at a marriage procession always reminds me of the music of soldiers entering on a battle. ~Heinrich Heine, "Thoughts and Fancies," translated from German by John Snodgrass

ADULTERY.  Democracy applied to love. ~H. L. Mencken may interest those who wish to marry to know that the luckiest day and month for marriages is by superstitious people held to be the thirty-first of December. ~"All the Year Round: December," All the Year Round: A Weekly Journal Conducted by Charles Dickens, 1887

There's an old superstition that it's bad luck to be married in May; why not include the other eleven months? ~Helen Rowland, Reflections of a Bachelor Girl, 1909

A woman who loses her lover suffers, yet she is free to forget her pain; but a woman, whose husband wearies of her, is brought face to face with an insoluble problem, an unceasing agony. ~Mabel Collins, In the Flower of Her Youth, 1883

LOVE, n.  A temporary insanity curable by marriage... ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

The Delights of Wisdom concerning Conjugial Love: After Which Follow the Pleasures of Insanity... ~Emanuel Swedenborg, title of 1768 book, translated from the Latin  [Just a little truncated silliness. Please note this is not used as intended, and I chopped off the end of the title ("concerning scortatory love"). And 'conjugial' means marriage. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

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