Today marks twenty years for the marriage to which this man and I committed ourselves.


Twenty years. Crikey.

You know what? In twenty years of marriage, I’ve read a lot of relationship books.

You know what else? In twenty years of marriage, my husband has read exactly zero relationship books.

And another thing. Out of all of those relationship books, I don’t think a single one of them was written by a woman. Nope. And to save you the trouble of reading them all, I’ll sum them up for you here. In one sentence, this is what they say:

Women are complicated and men are dense.

There might be ten or twenty chapters explaining why this is the case and how to overcome this dilemma. There may be exercises to try, and assignments to carry out. But really, this is the main point of every marriage/relationship book I’ve ever read or seminar I’ve ever attended.

And I have to wonder. Why are men writing books that only women are reading?

So here is my contribution to the marriage book industry.

If I wrote a marriage book, it would contain only one sentence:

Be nice to each other.

I wouldn’t spend time explaining that men and women are different (duh!) or that sometimes men don’t understand women (duh!) or that men have needs (we know, already!) or that women like to talk about things. I wouldn’t spend time making jokes about these differences or explaining how men can overcome their manliness to be better or how women can overcome their womanliness to be better. I wouldn’t spend any time at all on brain research or historical research or the newest and most up-to-date social research. I wouldn’t even spend time digging out all the relationship scripture references.

In fact, I’d make this a One Year Guide to a Great Relationship book. It would have 365 pages and at the top of each page it would say… Be nice to each other. And on the rest of the page, if you wanted, you could write how you plan to be nice that day. Or better yet, write all the ways your partner was nice to you that day. I won’t even ask you to buy it. Just grab a notebook and write it out yourself. One for you, and one for that special person to whom you’ve committed yourself.


A marriage book written by a woman, that even a man will read.