A Happy Wife Is A Happy Life

I’ve heard this saying several times now from a bunch of buddies who’ve been married for over 5 years.  There’s a truth to every saying, just as there’s a truth to every joke.  Hence, I’m wondering if the reason why guys say this phrase so much is because as soon as the wife is not happy, she’s plotting to cut off your nuts, divorce you and take half!

Some view marriage as an outdated tradition that has lost its relevance in today’s society.  Does a couple need to get married if they are happily living together and making things work?  Not really, but it’s nice to do to show one’s commitment towards each other.  On the other hand, being a faithful, loving husband is also a great way to show commitment too.

Why Are There So Many Jokes About Marriage?

The threat of financial punishment due to infidelity is very serious.  The threat makes guys think twice about cheating on their wives.  However, financial punishment also makes boyfriends delay their marriage proposals forever unless of course she is loaded.  Have you ever wondered why a guy who has been with his girlfriend for over 5 years still hasn’t proposed?  Well, now you know.  He’s afraid he won’t be able to stay faithful, so as a buffer, he doesn’t propose and lauds the importance of a great relationship over marriage.  Sorry guys, you know it’s true.

The other great joke is when married guys say they are “MBAs”, you know “Married But Available.”  What a smart acronym, coined undoubtedly by a married guy who was traveling on a business trip somewhere and wanted to have some fun.  In many cultures, there’s a don’t ask don’t tell type of policy in relationships where husbands have to go out and entertain their clients often.  In Japan, for example, if a husband comes home before 7pm, the wife will scold him for not working harder and taking out clients or senior colleagues!

Another constant issue that continues to get thrown around is the statistic that 50% of all marriages end in divorce.  If you had a 50% chance of dying if you ate the red pill, but also a 50% chance of becoming a billionaire, you still probably won’t take the risk.  So why is it that marriage is such big business that happens over and over again?

The answer lies in the desire for companionship.

Women Are Convinced By Men Who Then Convince Other Men To Get Married

There’s a romantic side to every man, whether a woman knows it or not.  That romantic side culminates in the proposal and perhaps even the honeymoon, but goes down hill from there.  Why else do you see men let themselves go after marriage with beer guts an all?  Their romance already hit their peak and they’re tapped out!  If a man were truly romantic, he’d stay in shape, groom meticulously, and take you out on a real date at least once a week, not just to Olive Garden.  But, let’s be honest, your man doesn’t do that, and it’s not his fault because of his genetic makeup and ……. you!

Despite many pleas to their wives to not chop off their hair after marriage, wives still do.  This is where things start going downhill.  Men believe the choppage of hair is a signal for war and start retaliating by turning into Shrekalikes.  Women retaliate more and then fast forward 10 years, and BAM, you’ve got a sure case for wanting out!

A Happy Stud Is A Happy Bud

Maybe there’s no truth to anything I’ve written at all.  Every single marriage is blissful, nobody starts getting lazy with their bodies, and men are hopeless romantics who never cheat.  Of course your marriage is like that.  Or maybe you see some truths to what I’ve written, and decide maybe marriage isn’t the best thing to do if you’re already happily co-habitating.  Whatever the case may be, nothing is worse than being alone, so have a grand old time being together!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  May we all have long lasting and loving relationships!

Know any guys or gals out there that are afraid to commit?  What do you think their reasons are?  Do some people actually prefer being single?

Regards,

Sam

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. Dr Dean says

    I have been married for thirty years. It only works if both are committed to it. Both have to be willing to give a little, to get a little.

    If you have to have your way all the time, don’t tie the knot!

  2. Squirrelers says

    Great observation with the red pill, and 50% chance of billionaire vs. 50% of a big price paid. From an odds perspective, it relates. Of course, the downside is far less with a relationship, though many might disagree:)

    Really thought, I have to agree – most of us need companionship. When it’s a great marriage, that’s the jackpot.

  3. Jason@LiveRealNow says

    The “50% of marriages end in divorce” statistic is only part of a fact. 50% of all marriages DO end in divorce–or did in the late 70s(the rate has been steadily declining since)–, but the number of FIRST marriages that end in divorce is far lower. Serial monogamists skew the averages for everyone.

  4. atxguy says

    It cracks me up that single people of a certain age are described as “afraid to commit”.

    I’m not afraid to commit but I’d prefer not to. Frankly, I get everything I need without having to. Our society spends a lot of time and money convincing us that marriage and kids are the reason for being. If you buy that and it works for you, great. Doesn’t work for me and I’m honestly glad it doesn’t.

    Are you afraid to “splurge” because you don’t spend your money like Madison Avenue tells you to?

      • atxguy says

        lol…this is why i read your blog. I like your opinions but you always seem open to allowing for others to have theirs as well. You are right. I don’t hear men using that phrase. It’s always women.

  5. krantcents says

    You can’t apply logic to an emotional decision! Faced with the statistics, no one should get married. We pair off, start relationships or marriages for a variety of reasons. People get married to have a companion, deeper relationship, sexual relationship or start a family. We don’t pick a spouse using a check list, because it is an emotional decision. A good marriage is heaven and a bad marriage is hell. Is this enough to keep people from getting married? No, because too many people keep getting married and at least 50% to the wrong people. I don’t think anyone can explain this, because there is no way to explain our emotions.

  6. Jeff Kosola says

    Single Sam,

    I’ve been married for many years and I use the Happy Wife Happy Life phrase all the time. It’s true, if your wife is happy and enjoying herself then we as Men have done our jobs. If she is crabby and b*tchy all the time then there is a problem. The same applies in reverse. You have to work together to make it work (just as in a co-habituating relationship).

    I went to the bar for a drink on Friday after delivering pizzas, I’m so glad that I’m married because I don’t miss the dating game one bit. Too many people trying to up-sell themselves, I wanted to vomit in my mouth :-)

  7. Mike Hunt says

    It’s funny how the sexes work in different countries. Sam, you mention Japan but how about Thailand where even the language has shades of connotation:

    Mia Luang: Main (Primary) wife
    Mia Noi: Mistress (not uncommon for men to have an additional family with a mistress that the main wife may or may not know about)
    Mia Noi Tee Song: Second mistress
    Gig: F**k buddy who you spoil and buy stuff for, no limit on the number of these I guess.

    Interestingly enough if you see a colleague out with a woman he will refer to her as his Fan. Fan can be used for any type of significant other (Mia Luang, Mia Noi, Gig) so it’s on you to guess what is going on!

    Not very PC but it’s reality in other parts of the world.

    -Mike

  8. First Gen American says

    I’m glad I don’t live in Thailand. I personally think people should wait a few years to see what a person is like in thick or thin. Not everyone shows their true self right away. I sometimes have been a horrible judge of character so for me time is a good thing.

    • Mike Hunt says

      Why are you glad you don’t live in Thailand? It’s a pretty agreeable place to live.

      The vast majority of people are with one partner for life, but there is another set of people who follow the above lifestyle.

      I agree with your idea of taking it slow though, My wife and I were engaged for two years (one of them living together) before we tied the knot.

  9. Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog says

    Great stuff sam.
    I think the people who are “MBA”s really need to step up and make some hard choices – it seems like it’s difficult but in the end everyone would be better off if they just did that.
    I think you’re right – as long as the people around you are happy, then you’ve done a good job at being a friend/spouse/whatever. Unfortunately, it seems like people think that one good deed can last the whole year. I dont really care for valentines day (or other holidays) because I feel like we should love each other everyday – not just 1 day of the year.

  10. Miss T says

    Great post Sam. One of my really good friends didn’t always have the best of luck with love when we were younger and now that she has been on her own for so long, she has a hard time finding someone that she wants to date. It is hard not to get set in your ways once you have been by yourself for a while. Finding someone you are willing to give that up for gets harder and harder. I don’t know if it is a fear of commitment or the fear of not being able to or willing to adjust one’s self.
    And yes, I agree, as long as those you care about are happy, that is all that matters. You should treat each other nice with sweet gestures all year long, not just on one day.

    • Financial Samurai says

      I wonder how it’s like for women sometimes…… let’s say they wait for Mr. Right to come alone, and reject the “good enough” guys… at some point, say 40 or so, the pot of men gets that much narrower, and the “good enough” guys have all moved on. Then what?

      • Miss T says

        I have often wondered about that too. I have talked to her about this and she doesn’t want that to happen but there is a fine line between compromising and giving up on one’s self. A relationship is not going to last if you aren’t yourself in it.

        In my opinion it seems a lot harder for women now than it used to be. We are expected by society to get careers, look after ourselves financially, and be strong. A lot of guys find this intimidating and yet they shy away from a woman who is dependent. It gets really hard to know what to do sometimes.

  11. Deidre @ TransFormX says

    Great post Sam. I preferred to be single for a long time after I was divorced. Being married and then single again seems to changes one’s perspective on things and affords an opportunity to take a longer view but maybe thats just me :)

  12. Money Reasons says

    I remember once that a built cougar where I worked at told me that it’s not natural to stay with one person their entire life (she flirted with me often). I can now see where she is right, but society is not structured that way so we mostly do the right thing? Media is making this an outdated concept though… I can imagine that the number of marriages (except for the gay community) is decreasing.

    My wife and I are good friends though, so if I were to cheat on her, it would be like cheating on two people… not to mention my kids.

    Young people don’t have the pressure of commiting, TV almost makes it uncool…

  13. Little House says

    I once read an article about the chemistry of love (through National Geographic, of course.) In the beginning of a relationship your brain is going through chemical changes similar to that of an insane person (I’m not quite wording it the way NG did). So eventually and thankfully, that wears off or you wouldn’t be able to function in everyday life. Love then becomes more of a companionship where two people truly care for each other. The writer compared it to a person’s favorite fuzzy slippers; comforting.

    But, yes, a happy wife (or husband) is a happy life.

  14. DoNotWait says

    “Happy Wife, Happy Life” is a phrase we do sometimes hear in my house too. It is a bit true I guess, but it is always said with humor. I can’t remember any phrase for the husbands, but I think there should be one too. Let’s admit it. Men need some freedom once in a while, meaning spending time eating junk food, drinking beer and watching sports. A happy marriage is one in which both man and woman accepts each other needs. It can’t always be the wife’s way, nor the opposite. Balance, just like everything else, is always the key!

  15. Invest It Wisely says

    LOL, funny post. I think it’s normal biology that love goes through different phases — the butterflies aren’t always around but it doesn’t mean they can’t come back from time to time.

    Before agriculture, did people stay monogamous their whole lives? I’ve read this interesting blog Overcoming Bias where the author often mentions that many of the trends today such as the tendency of people to change partners often are not really a degradation of society so much as it is about a return to our roots… but who knows. I can see the points for both sides of the argument but so far I lean toward the traditional side.

  16. Invest It Wisely says

    Little House :
    I once read an article about the chemistry of love (through National Geographic, of course.) In the beginning of a relationship your brain is going through chemical changes similar to that of an insane person (I’m not quite wording it the way NG did). So eventually and thankfully, that wears off or you wouldn’t be able to function in everyday life. Love then becomes more of a companionship where two people truly care for each other. The writer compared it to a person’s favorite fuzzy slippers; comforting.
    But, yes, a happy wife (or husband) is a happy life.
    [Reply]

    Yeah that’s a good way of putting it! And the longer you have the slippers the less likely you’ll want to throw them away even if they get worn out. To somebody else they’re just a pair of old slippers, but to you they’re your slippers. I think that is where some of the people who change partners often don’t really understand the people who stay in longer-term relationships and vice-versa.

  17. Sydney at Untemplater says

    Hmm. I thought this was going to be a positive post on marriage but I’m not so sure. So should I be bothered that my hubbie took more than 5 years to propose & was recently quite over zealously networking (aka flirting) with an attractive woman on the train in front of me last week? Harmless? Yes, because I trust him completely & I know he’s a very social, friendly guy. It sure makes me think though that even happily married guys have a need to feel macho talking to other women. Haha

  18. youngandthrifty says

    Sam,

    Great post. My boyfriend and I have both been dating for more than 5 years. Though I am only 27. I guess it depends on how old you are when you start dating. If I started dating someone when I am 27 and it lasts for 5 years before he proposes, then I guess I would start worrying.

    Sometimes, you have a SMB (Super Motivated Boyfriend- love that post of yours) and sometimes you have a SMG (super motivated girl- like me) and people like to get their priorities down before they settle down and have kids.

    To me, marriage= time for kids (I know that’s not the case for most people) and I ain’t ready yet. :)

  19. 101 Centavos says

    Hmm, I’d have to agree, when Mama’s happy, ain’t nobody unhappy (triple negative). Mrs. 101 still looks the same to me as when we got married, but maybe I got permanent love goggles on.

  20. Darwin's Money says

    I use that line all the time. It comes down to me being happy when she stops complaining…so I keep her happy! Kidding, there’s more to it; but life is grand with a partner and we make each other happy. But that often comes down to compromising on money, spending, travel, engagements and such.

  21. Barb Friedberg says

    Although I am really happily married, it’s not for everyone. My sis has a steady guy, plenty of chances to get married, & is quite happy not being married. I think it’s all about living the best life for you!

  22. Romeo says

    Sucks that I am a week late on this great post. Great diction to minimize offending too many people. Marriage…Ahh. I can talk all day about how our society has created an acceptance of commitment lacking and temptations, but life is what it is. Then there is the societal pressure to remain married whether one is happy or not. Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t. :(

  23. Concerned Citizen says

    There is a better saying out there, and it will ensure EVERYONE is happy. It is “HAPPY MAN, HAPPY CLAN”, and it is true. If you keep your man happy, then your whole family will be happy beacuse it will be a priority for the man. If a man needs a moment before he opens the door to come in the house, then you have a problem, and you need to fix it fast. If your man is not happy, then he will look elsewhere to find happiness.

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