Love and Marriage

Love and marriage, love and marriage,
Go together like a horse and carriage.
This I tell ya, brother, you can’t have one without the other.

Love and Marriage, written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen and sung by Ol’ Blue Eyes himself. Frank Sinatra made the song so popular it was used as the theme song for the sitcom Married with Children. Quite a catchy tune, but it doesn’t quite ring true.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to accompany my wife and kids to a wedding in Santa Fe. A more relaxed wedding, it was held at Hyde Park Lodge. The drive itself was both provoking and exciting. The severe rains from the night before had washed some of the mountainside onto the winding mountain road, provoking my wife to suggest that we were obviously on the wrong road. I stopped the car twice to ask directions to ensure that we were, indeed, on the correct road and arrived in time to see the bride walk down the aisle. (Yes, guys CAN ask for directions). My comments to my lovely navigator of the past nine years were also apparently provoking, as it took some time for both of us to cool off after the ride. Santa Fe is a great place to cool off!

The wedding vows were a bit different from the classic vows, and included a bit about her duty to excuse him from household chores during football season and his duty to protect her during possible zombie attacks. I had to refrain from letting the audience know that I just narrowly escaped an attack from a crazed zombie on the way to the wedding. How did she get in the car? She looked like my wife when we started out, but her mindless lack of navigation skills (she was holding the iPad) and violent motions toward me and my comments convinced me of my narrow escape.

My kids both enjoyed the wedding (mainly due to it’s brevity) and we all enjoyed the dancing and family reunion atmosphere afterwards. I’ve had an opportunity to reflect on both my marriage as well as marriage in general since the wedding and have come to a few conclusions.

Love and marriage don’t necessarily go together like a horse and carriage (unless you factor in the horse pulling the carriage off the road into a bar ditch during a heavy rain). Marriage can exist long after the love is gone. Most people get married because they truly love each other; keeping the love healthy requires work. Failure to effectively communicate with your spouse is the number one reason for failed marriages (my own anecdotal observation, but think about it…).

There are many ways to communicate with your spouse. Men communicate better in the physical plane (sex), while women lean toward the emotional aspect (body language and words). Marriage is a compromise! We start out speaking two different languages and if we aren’t attentive to the message received it is easy to miscommunicate. Miscommunication has to be effectively addressed to move forward in the relationship. Guys- hold your wife’s hand and walk beside her when you are out on a date (make sure you take her out on dates). Gals- a massage unencumbered by clothing is almost impossible to resist (think happy ending).

Don’t think that my marriage is without pitfalls and compromises. (The horse and carriage in a flooded ditch comes to mind). We both make mistakes, but we are committed to staying in love with each other despite the amount of work required. This article is a love letter to my wife (I have to say that so she won’t try to eat my brain)- try writing one yourself! Love and marriage requires work to stay out of the ditch. I always encourage my readers to work on improving their personal health. Work on improving the health of your marriage this month!

Disclaimer: Dr Stephen Rath, MD, DABA is a board certified anesthesiologist, Air Force flight surgeon, paramedic, and pilot as well as the owner and medical director of Fusion Medical Spa located in Ruidoso, NM. He has vowed to protect his wife from the attacks of other zombies as long as she doesn’t attack him. Comments or questions? His email address is: