Mitt Romney endorses and Barack Obama now opposes the Defense of Marriage Act that limits marriage to a man and a woman. I'm with Obama, but this doesn't address the real problem: the Defense of Marriage Act does nothing to help marriages work. Half of all American marriages continue to end in divorce.
Congress should pass legislation to protect marriage by suppressing the causes of marital strife. Here is one area where we might expect bipartisan action. Fair and reasonable people should be able to easily agree on ways to accomplish this. Unfortunately Congress comprises only 14 fair and reasonable people, so I offer my assistance.
Enactment of the Effective Defense of Marriage Act would reduce the nation's divorce rate by four-fifths. It should also apply to gay marriages once they are legalized everywhere. That's why I distilled my 43 years of marriage experience into a simple set of rules that can serve as the foundation for an Effective Defense of Marriage Act:
- Both parties to a marriage must acknowledge that they live in alternate universes. Things happen in one universe that do not happen in the other. No further explanations are required.
- At least once a year, the wife must ask the husband, "Please drive faster." In return, at least three times a year, a husband must listen.
- A wife may not request that her husband ask for directions. However, she may ask for directions herself provided the husband is at least 50 feet away and not looking in her direction.
- If asked, "Does this dress make my butt look big?", a husband must respond, "You look great." Fines and criminal penalties will apply if husband answers:
- There's only so much a dress can do.
- Your butt looks as big as it is.
- Not fat for your age.
- No. Your butt makes the dress look small.
- Arguments about facts are prohibited. Each party is entitled to his or her own facts.
- When asked for his opinion on a subject, a husband may not render an opinion prior to ascertaining the answer his wife wants to hear.
- Human beings are stubborn. Blame evolution, not your spouse. Similarly if "all he cares about is sex," blame Darwin. An Intelligent Designer would have allotted males less testosterone.
- The following phrases are strictly forbidden:
- So everything is my fault. Nothing's ever your fault.
- Why can't you ever...(say anything positive, pick up your socks, remember my birthday, etc.)?
- Can't I watch ESPN Sportscenter in peace?
- I'm not complaining. I merely stated that you always complain. That's not a complaint and you know it.
- I did not raise my voice. You raised your voice!
- Why do you always... (complain, park too far from the curb, have to have the last word, etc.)?
- Is pilates your new career?
- I'm not yelling. You're the one who is yelling.
- I didn't start it. You're started it!
- Only positive references to a spouse's relatives and family traits are allowed.
- "Reasonable," "fair" and "realistic" are judgments reserved for the Gods. Mortals must stick to "I want."
- Both parties must always try to compromise with the understanding that no compromise has been reached unless both feel aggrieved,
- A husband who thinks he does half the work does, does, at best, one quarter to one third, and must recalculate.
- The statute of limitations for all but capital crimes is two weeks. After two weeks, it never happened.
- Everyone gets a vote but the wife decides all ties so long as the sex-to-fight ratio remains above 3:1.