No. 28

It's been said that "marriage is a deal in which a man gives away half of his groceries in order to get the other half cooked." While there may be some truth in this humorous definition, the institution of marriage is very important to the success of our nation, and a good marriage is certainly to be treasured.
If you are a married person or planning to get married, I believe you will enjoy this little story I discovered some time ago. It's called, "The Seven Stages Of A Marriage Cold." This story has been around for some time and I'm not sure where it came from originally, but it illustrates the fact that in most cases the happy, blissful state of marriage goes downhill with the passing of time.
While it certainly doesn't have to be this way, and there are exceptions to the rule, the first few days, weeks and even months of marriage are usually very happy times. As you read this story, just keep in mind that each stage of the cold represents one more year of marriage, by the way the wife's cold is handled by the husband.
Seven Stages of a Marriage Cold
First year: The husband says, "Sugar Dumplin', I'm worried about my baby girl. You've got a bad sniffle and I'm putting you in the hospital for a general check-up and a good rest. I know the food is lousy, but I'll have your meals brought in from the deli. I've already got it arranged."
Second year: "Listen, Darling, I don't like the sound of your cough. I've called Dr. Miller to rush over here. Now go to bed like a good girl, please, just for your old dear papa."
Third year: "Honey, maybe you had better lie down. Nothing like a little rest when you feel puny. I'll bring you something to eat. Do we have any soup in the house?"
Fourth year: "Look, Dear, be sensible! After you feed the kids and get all the dishes washed, maybe you'd better hit the sack for a while."
Fifth year: "Why don't you get up and get yourself an aspirin? And stop complaining so much!"
Sixth year: "If you would gargle or something, instead of sitting around and barking in my face like a seal, I would appreciate it!"
Seventh year: "For Pete's sake, stop sneezing! What are you trying to do? Give me pneumonia?"
If you are a married person, I hope you have one of the happiest marriages to be found anywhere, whether you have been married for three days or fifty years. I'm sure you know, marriage is one of the most basic and most important institutions in our society.
Let's keep in mind that a successful marriage is built on mutual trust, love and a lifetime commitment to each other. I believe someone said it best with these words: "Marriage is not looking at each other, it is looking in the same direction together." (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)