50 Shades of Marriage
1) I have never read or watched, nor intend to read or watch "50 Shades of Grey" - a novel which delights in glamorising the breaking of the 6th Commandment. I am shocked that some friends of mine have read and even seen the film. I wonder why?
2) So why am I writing a blog on marriage? Well - I am pretty qualified. You see, we are about to celebrate our Pearl wedding anniversary and I am even more besotted with my husband than the day we got engaged 32 years ago, at the age of 20.
3) But I also feel the institution of marriage has never been so under attack as it is now. Successive governments have made it practically impossible for a husband to support his wife and children, by penalising marriage in the tax system. This has forced many mothers out to work, many of whom would rather look after their children (many surveys confirm this). This has indirectly affected marriage and led to many break-ups. The consequences are self-evident - many children now grow up in broken homes - making them feel insecure, not to mention other problems associated with marital break-up.
4) Shockingly - marriage is even under attack from within the Catholic Church - with the up-coming Synod on the Family in October. A cardinal by name of Kasper has decided that the term "adultery" is now offensive and he thinks it an out-dated Commandment. His nasty 'agenda' is to allow divorce and re-marriage in the Catholic Church. He appears to have a legion of cardinals following him. We have a God-given duty to resist this agenda. More on this in another blog soon.
5) Marriage is the oldest institution in the world. God instituted it through our first parents - Adam and Eve. Adam was made before Eve. Eve was made to help Adam and St Paul confirms this in one of his letters to the Corinthians - woman was made for man.
6) Marriage was instituted primarily for the procreation and upbringing of children. Studies show children brought up in traditional marriages thrive more than those who are in single parent families or broken homes.
7) Nowadays many men no longer know what their role in life is - the genders are so blurred that they have lost sight of their masculinity. Women have fuelled this by their demands for equality - making them strident and harsh feminists - who have lost sight of their femininity or their natural role in life.
8) Many women now swear like troopers. They have lost sight of their soft nature.
9) Many women now drink like men - making themselves so drunk they end up sleeping with any man who takes their fancy. Their availability makes them unattractive, and they are unlikely to find a decent man who will marry them. That is very sad.
10) Of course men and women are equal - BUT they are different. They are complementary.
11) My Catholic granny taught me a lot, and on marriage she said it was for life - end of story! You see - if you go into a marriage thinking that if it goes wrong you can just get divorced, I guarantee you will divorce. You have to go into marriage with the right mentality.
12) Don't be unfaithful to your husband before you meet him. Keep yourself pure and your marriage is more likely to last. Statistics bear this out. The more bed-partners you have, the more your eventual marriage is likely to fail. By contrast, those couples who waited - generally do not divorce. Again - statistics bear this out. I think the charity, "Family and Youth Concern" have the figures.
13) Don't let yourself 'go' when you get married. Your appearance is still important. Men are visual creatures - women are not so influenced by what they see - they are more affected by emotions. St Paul says married women should adorn themselves for their husbands - lest the husband runs off with another woman.
14) But he exhorts single girls not to adorn themselves, but to dress in modest attire, so as not to tempt men to sin. If only young girls of today would take his advice! Look at what some girls wear - nothing left to the imagination at all!
15) Artificial birth control has arguably done more to contribute to divorce than any other factor. If you remove the procreative element from the marital act, any behaviour is permissible, such as adultery. Adultery usually results in divorce. Divorce is bad for society and costs the taxpayer millions.
16) Artificial birth control is a passion killer - literally. The pill and other hormonal devices reduce a woman's libido - giving her the classic, "I have a headache tonight dear" excuse. If the woman is not carrying out her marital duties, the husband could be tempted to look elsewhere for it - leading to adultery - divorce etc.
17) Artificial birth control is a spiritual killer too. The person contracepting, is telling his or her spouse - "you can have me, but not my fertility". Pope John Paul II taught that fertility is part of our personhood. It is part of who we are. The Catholic Church teaches that, if there is truly a grave reason to avoid having a child, the natural method is allowed. A woman is only fertile for 24 hours per month at the most. It isn't difficult to spot the fertile signs.
18) Artificial birth control has many dangerous physical side-effects - which often don't get pointed out. The physical barriers are bad for the cervix - sperm actually helps prevent cervical cancer, so if you have a barrier in the way, you won't get the benefits.
19) Keep yourself trim - best to weigh yourself once a week - the pounds can so easily pile on - and after age 35 the metabolism slows down drastically! I know!
20) Keep the flame of romance alive by going on 'dates'. This is very important. Join a babysitting club if babysitters are unaffordable. When you eat in - light a candle and turn the lights down. Put on nice music.
21) Keep up to date with your wardrobe - have an evaluation of your clothes twice a year - chucking out anything which doesn't suit you, or fit you. A very good tip - John Lewis do a personal shopping service, which includes having your colours 'done' by a qualified person. The service is free if you spend a modest amount. It is a good investment as it should stop more 'mistakes'. Look on their website for details. They are brutally honest, and will tell you if an item of clothing suits you or not. You can always donate old clothes to charity or sell them on eBay.
22) Nothing is more unfeminine than seeing swathes of women of all ages in these awful black leggings/jeggings/trousers whatever you like to call this hideous fashion! The fabric leaves nothing to the imagination at all - showing every lump and bump (in the private regions). The same for all trousers (in my opinion). My spiritual father St Padre Pio would not give absolution to a shop lady until she got rid of all the trousers in her shop! This is true, and recounted in his biography. Out of deference to Padre Pio, I don't own a single pair.
23) A woman generally has nice legs below the knee - a wife should not cover them up.
24) Nothing is more of a passion killer than a wife wearing a hideous 'onesie' - golly how on earth do husbands put up with this awful piece of clothing, which is nothing other than a giant babygro! Usually in garish colours and patterns. BIN THEM NOW!
25) Another passion killer is thick pyjamas in hideous colours and patterns. BIN THEM NOW! They are also terribly uncomfortable.
26) Nightwear is very important - a nightdress or long nightshirt in a soft material like mercerised cotton is much more romantic. Keep the colour simple with maybe a self-stripe.
27) Make sure you don't have a grannyish quilted dressing gown in a garish colour and/or pattern. There are some very nice soft ones in velvety and satiny materials.
28) Underwear is terribly important - bin any out-of-shape grey pants, vests and bras. Get yourself measured every 6 months and a good supportive bra is very important -otherwise your chest can droop to the knees! I went to Rigby and Pelier recently to be measured properly. Marks and Spencer's also offer a bra measuring service. Don't be afraid to wear coloured bras. Best have a variety of colours and neutrals.
29) Wear nice pants - Marks and Spencer do a nice French range in tasteful colours - in silky and lace materials. Don't go to Ann Summers or Agent Provocateur. These tasteless shops only fuel the porn industry - the scourge of society. If you are a man reading this, pornography causes impotence! Bin pornography!
30) The sun causes 90% of skin ageing. If you go into the sun - at least wear a 30 factor sunscreen. A wide-brimmed hat also helps, and sunglasses with thick sides. You don't want to look like a wrinkled lady, if you can help it! Sunscreen factor 30 should be worn all year round according to dermatologists. Also sugar ages skin, causing wrinkles. Wean yourself off sweets and sugar products. Honey is a great substitute and called a 'miracle' food.
31) Wear a nice perfume - if you have been changing nappies and doing household chores all day, you won't like to smell of baby vomit etc.
32) Lipstick is pretty essential - and cheap. Go to Boots and get a free personalised service which photographs your skin tone to tell you which colour lipsticks will suit you. It is the biggest 'pick-me-up' and quick as a flash to apply.
33) When you start going grey - unless it suits your skin tone, you will want to dye it. You may need to go a couple of shades lighter than the colour you were born with. The downside - the more grey you go, the more often you have to have the roots done - every 2-3 weeks. You can always go home with wet hair and dry it yourself if the costs get too much. Some women use home kits - but this is not recommended if you have a light coloured carpet in the bathroom!
34) Keep your hair washed as often as needed for your type of hair. Lank hair is a turn-off.
35) Apparently there was a news item recently which said many women no longer bathe daily. Don't they care if they smell?!
36) A few drops of bath oil in the bath is as good as a body moisturiser. And it makes the water smell nice.
37) It is probably a good idea to keep hair at bay from legs and under-arms. Facial hair can be problematic and needs dealing with.
38) Buy your husband little treats every now and then.
39) Don't expect your husband to wash and iron his shirts! This is so emasculating.
40) Have your hair cut or trimmed every 6-8 weeks - or you will look unkempt like Mrs Havisham in Great Expectations.
41) Don't let the children just leave their toys all over the house. If you have to - just bung them in a cupboard somewhere, so they are out of sight.
42) Evaluate your weekly menu-planning. Learn new recipes. Plan your menus for the week ahead, and only buy the ingredients necessary. Otherwise you end up buying a hotch potch of ingredients with no advance planning. You end up having to go back and get more groceries if there is no plan.
43) Don't chew your finger nails. Nothing is more unsightly. Keep nails filed and shine them with a buffer.
44) Use hand cream every day, or you will get prune-like hands!
45) Keep abreast of news from a variety of sources, so you have something intelligent to say.
46) Don't forget your husband's parents' birthday and Christmas presents. Men are not particularly good at these little tasks.
47) My granny taught me that the husband is the head of the house.
48) Don't row in front of the children. It sets a bad example. Also, don't use coarse language in front of your husband and children. It is a turn-off.
49) Flirting is a NO NO. It can give the wrong idea and lead to unintended consequences. It is dangerous and unkind to your spouse.
50) And finally - tell your husband that you love him - as often as needed. And promise me - you won't go to bed in curlers!