Cell Mates Make the Best Soul Mates
By Guy Shepherd
PlannedMan

Both will be better served if you see the other as a “cell mate.” When you say, “I do” say it to your soulmate.

Cell Mates Make the Best Soul Mates
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Highlights


Funny thing is the words “happy” and “happiness” don’t show up in marital vows.

Vows themselves might make no mention of happiness, but they are central to the best recipe.

Marriage is about doing time with each other in tight quarters—for life—and no time off for good behavior.

A good cell mate is a haven in a heartless world.

I have made a study of marital bliss and would like to share with you some of my key findings:

When a man gets down on bended knee, proposes and the woman says, “yes,” it’s because both believe they will be happier bonded to each other than facing the world alone. Pursuits of happiness and the pursuit of love are easily conflated in the Planned Man’s mind.

Yet the words “happy” and “happiness” don’t show up in marital vows. Of course, you give the nod to love—but with a single vow, it’s no longer conditional; it’s an unconditional part of a sacred contract.

The serious words follow: “honor,” “cherish” then you step around all the contingencies and say adios to wiggle-room—“in good times and bad,” “in sickness and health” and finally, “until death do us part”—because this is solemn, sobering stuff.

Lesson One: keep your promises.

Vows themselves might make no mention of happiness, but they are central to the best recipe—say and mean them, live by them, obey your vows. Honor each other.

Lesson Two: lock all the doors.

Both will be better served if you see the other as a “cell mate,” when you say, “I do” to your soulmate. Take heed my words, all you young lovers and divorced romantics. Marriage is about doing time with each other in tight quarters—for life—and no time off for good behavior.

Everyone with a Y-chromosome by now ought to have seen Shawshank Redemption. (If not, it’s a classic.) You’ll want to have someone like Morgan Freeman’s or Tim Robbins’ character as your cell mate, if you find yourself in jail—not like younger Mike Tyson. Life will be a steel-cage living hell if you’re locked up with the wrong person. You’ll never even see the lock, with the right person.

A good cell mate is a haven in a heartless world. Life in “the yard,” the lunch line and the showers of life can be aggressive enough.

Three, simple rules of proper, cell etiquette:

  1. Clean up your own messes.
  2. Back each other up.
  3. Make the best of whatever life throws your way.

Some words on the whole Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus thing:

Venusians tend to differ on the “left alone” point. Women seemingly think they can change their man because they were courted—therein lies the problem. (When we look at our women, we see our soulmate for life.) Women often see us as a project—everyman as a fixer-upper—but marriage is not an episode HGTV’s Gut Job.

An aside to women: you can and ought to change your man—but work your remodeling magic at the margins only (unless you married a real mess). Yes, we men can and should drink a little less, eat a bit better, exercise more often and genuinely listen rather than just nod our heads—we know we should. But the guy you marry is not going away—he shouldn’t. For you ought to be sure you’re marrying a good man—a guy who will love and honor you (husband material).

If you both follow these simple rules—keep a smile on each other’s face and laughter in your lives—your marriage will last.

Best Wishes,

Guy

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