DeflateGate

THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND PERHAPS NONE OF THE ABOVE

 

In an effort to provide total transparency, I admit to being a New England Patriots fan since we moved to Massachusetts in 1976.

In an attempt for further transparency, I let you know that I am a disciple of George Carlin, America’s greatest philosopher and social conscience. In his last performance, Mr. Carlin made it clear what should have always be obvious. “We need to focus at least as much on teaching children to question everything they read (see, hear) as we do on teaching them to read.”

Furthermore, I am by nature driven more by intellect than emotions. I will not pass on information unless I know where it came from, the sources of research and the objectivity of those who did the research and then those who interpreted the results.

Having said the above, I attest that the following information presented is objective and not influenced by “fandom.”

I was actually watching the playoff game between the Patriots and Colts when time was called by an official and the ball “confiscated.” I actually didn’t think anything about it.

In time, the issue of whether or not the ball had proper inflation and, if not, who was responsible, became an NFL and media subject.

Having some knowledge of Physics and reviewing the Ideal Gas Law, I had serious doubts about findings related to the multi-million-dollar Wells investigation. “Upon further review” I found there were many others who had the same misgivings. They included Dr. John J. Leonard, Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), scientists Ben Taylor, Nick Kistner, Stephen McIntyre, Thomas Healy (a graduate student in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA), Max Tegmark (Professor of Physics at MIT), Alan Nathan (nuclear physicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Professor Richard P. Benzel at MIT and SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation to name just a few.

Clearly, these individuals and entities are far more intelligent than I in their respective fields. According to all of them, THE PATRIOTS MAY HAVE SCIENCE ON THEIR SIDE, AFTER ALL! But I digress.

To begin with, both Logo and Non-Logo gauges are used by the NFL. Those two cost about $16.00 each. The ones used by scientists studying air pressure cost in excess of $300.00 each. The reason for the cost disparity is the need for consistent accuracy. That does not exist in the Logo and Non-Logo gauges. In addition, the referee who tested the balls could not recall if he used the same gauge to test the balls before and after the fact.

Dr. John Leonard points out that the NFL purpose was to catch cheaters and not understand how air pressure behaves in footballs during games. In fact, full readings of the PSI (pounds per square inch) for balls during the 333 preseason, regular-season and post season 2015 games quite possibly would have led to the conclusions different than Ted Wells and company presented in May: That the evidence as to whether the Patriots tampered with the footballs prior to the AFC title game is inconclusive at best.

Further, he stated that, “ basically, the league found a way to create the impression that it has created a system for checking footballs without creating evidence that could have exonerated the Patriots, or at worst shown that Wells and his investigators failed to parlay their multi-million-dollar fee into a cracking of the case. A full and complete analysis of the footballs in 2015 may have helped the league get to the truth. That may have prompted the league to restore New England’s draft-pick penalty and rescind the fine.” Of course, this could be the main reason why the NFL opted not to learn everything there was to learn about PSI behavior during the 2015 season.

Dr. Leonard produces experimental results and refers to the Gay-Lussac’s Law which are far beyond my level of understanding. For those of you who are interested and understand the true science involved, you can go on line and get all of his findings, as I did.

His assessment is, THERE WAS NO TAMPERING.

Thomas Healy, a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie-Mellon University (a private research institute in Pittsburgh, Pa), detailed experimental data on how atmospheric conditions might have reduced the air pressure in footballs used by the New England Patriots in their victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The main question was did the Patriots tamper with the balls or whether simply moving them from the warmth of a locker room to the chill and dampness of the field could account for the deflation. An advanced copy of his technical paper was presented to the New York Times. It concluded that most or all of the deflation could be explained by those experimental effects.

Dr. Max Tegmark, a professor of physics at MIT who reviewed Healy’s paper at The Time’s request stated, “The analysis looks solid to me. To me, their measurements mean that there’s no evidence of foul play.”

As a non-scientific addition, I point out that AFTER the balls were removed and tested at halftime, the Patriots scored 28 points compared to 17 scored in the first half.

Alan Nathan, a nuclear physicist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is also known for his work in the physics of baseball. Sammy Sosa, a Chicago Cubs outfielder, was caught with a corked bat in 2003. Nathan eventually concluded that corking a bat does not make much difference, especially for Sosa’s specialty, which was hitting home runs.

“It’s probably much ado about nothing,” Nathan said of the football controversy. “I would be pretty surprised if the NFL takes any serious action on this.”

The Ideal Gas Law applied to real situations can be surprisingly deceptive. When a gauge indicates that the ball contains 12.5 psi-the minimum allowed by the NFL- the actual pressure is more than twice that amount because the surrounding pressure of the atmosphere must be considered.

This roughly doubles how much a dip in temperature can lower the pressure. Even MIT professor Tegmark during a phone conversation, initially used the lower value until recognizing the mistake. “I stand corrected,” he said, before adding:  “It’s pretty funny that the ideal gas law is making headlines.”

SOLIDWORKS Simulation is a computer-aided engineering (CAE) program published by Dessault Systemes. As of 2013 over two million engineers and designers at more than 165,000 companies were using SolidWorks (Wikipedia). They stated that, “We in the world of simulation are aware of both the power and limitations of hand calculations. In this case, it does appear that the ideal gas law predicts at least some of the reported pressure drop, but using this equation makes one big assumption:  that the temperature of the air inside the ball actually would cool down to the same temperature as the air on the field. Luckily, a heat transfer problem like this is just the type of thing SOLIDWORKDS Flow Simulation, our embedded computational fluid dynamics tool, is designed to tackle.”

They go on to describe the technical aspects of their project, making sure that the key physical conditions assure an accurate simulation. They concluded having a final pressure of 11.45 psi, equal to a drop of 1.05 psi. It was a partial explanation, but didn’t account for the drop of two pounds reported by the officials at halftime. However, there is more and it is related to comments made by Coach Bill Belichick at a press conference. He claimed that in addition to the on-field cooling, the balls could have been affected by the team’s normal “conditioning” process, where they try to break in the leather to create a more pleasing grip for Brady. This is a similar process used every day by baseball umpires before games and by pitchers every time they get a new ball. It is also what is done by other football teams before games.

Once again, hand calculations are of no use here, but Flow Simulation can find the answer. The assumption, based on team information, was that the balls would be “conditioned,” i.e. rubbed for something like 5 minutes, or until the outside surface of the ball was roughly the temperature of someone’s hands. A bit of research led to the fact that in a 73 degree (F) room, the average temperature of a person’s hands is 86 degrees (F). To simulate the friction of the conditioning, heat generation of 10 Watts was applied to the outside of the ball. By comparison, the average human body at rest generates about 70 Watts of heat.

Since the balls were conditioned before the pressure was measured, the question becomes what would the footballs have measured at halftime if they were in fact filled to 12.5 psi when the air inside the ball was 85 degrees (F), rather than the assumed locker room temperature of 73 degrees (F)? The new numbers were plugged into the program and re-run to find out.

Behold, after 60 minutes of exposure, the air inside would still have cooled down significantly, albeit about 3 degrees above ambient (outside temperature). Still, the now-larger temperature change of 31 degrees results in a corresponding drop in pressure to 10.95 psi, aka “under-inflated” by 1.55 psi. Using the type of gauges the officials had, they would have rounded that number up to “two pounds.”

What does all this science prove? Can it be said with any degree of certainty that the balls were or were not intentionally deflated? The answer is that it depends on what you want to conclude. The above information was presented to Commissioner Roger Goodell and it was passed on to the Competion Committee (made up of team owners). Both entities refused to consider the science presented that showed the Wells investigation, for which they paid millions of dollars, was scientifically invalid. I leave it to conspiracy theorists to contemplate possible reasons.

The court hearings had nothing to do with the validity of the Wells investigation or if, in fact, the balls had been deflated. The decision involved only whether the Commissioner had the right to impose penalties against the New England Patriots and Tom Brady.

Those who know me well would confirm the fact that I would report if all the above mentioned studies conclusively showed that the footballs had been tampered with. Then again, there would be no reason to report on what was already known. That would be a waste of your time and mine.  As always, I ASK THAT YOU DON’T BELIEVE WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN. Please, if you wish, check out the facts I have presented and reach your own conclusions.

 

Dr. Leonard Rudnick (obviously, not fully retired)

 

 

Read More

Recipe For 50+ Years Of Marriage

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should NOT be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the previously mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE FOR 50+ YEARS OF MARRIAGE

 

In November, 1962 Sandra-Jo Moore and Leonard Rudnick were in the first semester of their senior year at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia (the best small liberal arts college in America-then and now). On the 13th, they eloped and were married in Oakland, MD.

Even though we have celebrated out 54th anniversary, both of us wish there had been a handbook or recipe for successful, long lasting relationships/marriages.

We made the majority of mistakes and somehow managed to remain married this long. The “secret” if forced to use only one word is the concept of commitment. Fortunately I am not forced to use only one word. What follows hopefully will make that concept easier to achieve.

People have often asked what the secret for a long lasting marriage is. It is certainly a reasonable question. Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates reached their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. They have been going down ever since. Some 70% of folks who got married in the 1990s made it 15 years together, a 5% increase from the previous two decades. Nearly 75% of marriages from the last decade are going to make it to death.

One of the interesting factors in these statistics is the fact that fewer people are getting married, overall. Another fact is that people are waiting longer to get married.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that all marriages should not be sustained. Consider the number of dead beat fathers, abusers of both genders (physically, mentally and emotionally) and there are good reasons for marriages to fail. Those of them who may read this will certainly not understand or believe what I have written and alluded to. While the statistics are better about marriage longevity, if you are in the negative percentage, it is 100% failure.

In spite of these upbeat statistics, those couples married 50+ years make up America’s smallest minority group. Being that my wife and I  are fortunate enough to be part of that minority group, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t get free health care, food stamps and education. In truth, we have very good health care (Medicare) and can afford our food expenses. I wouldn’t mind earning another degree or two.

The title of this diatribe uses the word “Recipe.” That is because I will be describing several ingredients necessary in order to blend two different people into a cohesive team that learns to play well with others for half a century or more.

I have long appreciated the difficulties faced by mixed marriages – Men and Women. This leads me to what I believe to be the first necessary ingredient, which is understanding how amazingly different men and women actually are (not just physically).

I STRONGLY recommend listening to an audio presentation of, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” by John Grey, PhD. It is the best way to get the information and understanding of how different the genders actually are and how those differences affect the thought processes and actions of both of them.

In Arizona, high school students cannot graduate unless they pass a class about the state constitution. Now, teaching cursive writing is required as well. I have been a proponent of using the above mentioned material for a class about relationships that should be required before high school graduation. That subject is far more essential and applicable for daily living than studying about a state constitution or learning cursive writing. It would be great if all three could be taught. Given time restraints, if there can be only one, understanding relationships is by far the most important of the three.

The next important ingredient is understanding and accepting that the marriage ceremony questions are NOT multiple choice. “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live” are not optional. The correct answer is, “I do” or “I will.” The answer, “better, richer, health” is absolutely unacceptable.

Another essential ingredient is that word commitment. In reality, it is not just a word. It is an essential concept. In ALL relationships, personal and business, there are highs and lows, good and bad, positives and negatives. In the human body this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A good visual would be looking at a heart monitor. There are highs above midline and lows below that line. This is normal. All peaks above or below midline would result in unstainable life. A flat line, with no ups and downs is death.

This is true with relationships of all kinds. A big difference is that with the human body, homeostasis is a natural occurrence. In relationships, BOTH parties must CONSTANTLY work at maintaining a normal balance between highs and lows. Unlike the body, longevity is best served when there are more highs than lows.

It is my observation that somehow, over an indefinite period of time, the very qualities that members of a “couple” found endearing during courtship and early marriage, suddenly pisses them off. The exact mechanisms involved are unclear and vary among individuals.

The best ways to deal with this natural phenomena is to 1. Prevent it from happening and 2. Communicate what you are feeling when the previous loved behavior, words, opinions, etc. now really piss you off. Then, TOGETHER work on how to deal with it. This WILL HAPPEN. Be prepared and willing to compromise. BOTH OF YOU.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved music/lyrics of songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. For the most part, the lyrics were kinder and sweeter and were able to express emotions I was too shy to verbalize (yes, believe it or not I was, and to some degree, still am, shy). In addition, the music did not drown out the lyrics.

When I became a family man and our children were old enough to care, they would have a choice of listening to “their music” either going or returning in our car. The other direction was spent listening to “my music.” I did the same with our grandchildren. I am proud to say that our children and grandchildren have an appreciation for the music I grew up with and still listen to.

As such, I will include lyrics to songs that express concepts and instructions that serve as “ingredients” for the longevity recipe. I present them in no particular order.

LOLLIPOPS AND ROSES written by Tony Velona and sung by Jack Jones in 1962:

We try acting grown up, but as a rule, we’re all little children fresh from school…….

So, carry her books, that’s how it starts. Fourteen to forty they’re kids in their hearts. Keep them handy, flowers and candy, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses…..

Tell her you care each time you speak. Make it her birthday each day of the week. Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things. Roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

One day she’ll smile, next day she’ll cry. Minute to minute you’ll never know why! Coax her, pet her, better yet get her, roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses.

Translation:  The concept of waiting for Valentine’s Day to get your spouse/significant other a gift or a card or flowers is just plain stupid and subtracts an essential ingredient in the recipe for long lasting marriages.

A kind word, a soft touch doing something you don’t want to do just because your spouse would like to do it, are all necessary ingredients.

That brings me to another song:

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Music by Stutz, Carl, Calisch, Lyrics by Edith Lindeman, sung by Kitty Kallen, 1953

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line/text/call a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

You don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

“cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, that’s now and forever

Little things mean a lot

Translation: Little signs of caring and respect do not have to cost thousands or hundreds of dollars. I realize this is contrary to television, newspaper and magazine ads which are designed to brain wash you into believing you have to spend a lot of money to show your love. Those signs should be every day, not just on special occasions. How about we have ONE DAY a year when we treat each other like crap and 364 Valentine’s Days?

WIVES AND LOVERS, Music by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hal David, sung by Vic Damone, 1963

Hey little girl comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more. For wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you, I’m warning you.

Day after day, there are girls at the office and the men will always be men. Don’t send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again. Wives should always be lovers too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. He’s almost there.

Hey little girl better wear something pretty. Something you’d wear to go to the city and dim the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love. Time to get ready for love.

Translation: The second paragraph is a perfect example of male/female double standards. However, the basic message is correct. Just because there are rings on fingers should not mean the process of “wooing” your spouse should stop. It takes work to keep adding to the recipe. The results are worth it.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS, Music and lyrics by Campbell, Connely and Woods, sung by Frank Sinatra, 1966

In the hustle of the day, we’re all inclined to miss little things that mean so much.

A word, a smile and a kiss.

When a woman loves a man, he’s a hero in her eyes

And a hero he can always be if he’ll just realize

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she’s weary, try a little tenderness

She may be waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess

While she’s without them, try a little tenderness

It’s not just sentimental

She has her grief and her care

But a word that’s soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

You won’t regret it

Women don’t forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it’s all so easy

Try a little tenderness

Translation: The expression of love does not have to be expensive. The key to lasting marriages is being able to be kind, gentle and tender when you don’t really feel like being so. Ego out and commitment in.

Another important element in long lasting marriage is “intimate relations” (forgive my attempt at creative expression). In other words, sex. While individuals rarely think about it when they are younger, this act is driven by chemicals (hormones), the nervous system, blood supply and emotions (which can also be related to hormones). It is a major initial attraction in the formation of relationships and essential in the early maintenance of them.

Those of you who had visited my office, or have read my Facebook posts or other writings will recognize what I am about to write. Please bear with me. There is a purpose.

Such things as time (age), pregnancies, surgeries (and the normal formation of scar tissue), diseases (such as diabetes and prostate issues) can, and more often than not do, interfere with intimacy.

As we got older, it became necessary for my wife and I to discuss our “intimate relations.” She suggested that we save it for special occasions. I said I would need to think about that idea. After much consideration, I realized that counting our birthdays, those of our children and grandchildren, national and religious holidays, our THREE anniversaries (eloped, married for my family a month later and then, near our 25th anniversary, renewed our vows at Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas), the total came to 26 times a year. That was once every two weeks. I explained this to her and said I was very much okay with that. My wife explained that she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected.

The important point of that story is that one or the other partner is more likely than the other to be effected by physical and chemical issues that relate directly to sex. Since it is still an important element, creativity is necessary to mutually meet each other’s needs.

Marriage for my wife and for me has been the hardest job we’ve ever loved. We continue to work at it.

This “recipe” is certainly not complete. There are, I am sure, many more ingredients that you could add. Feel free to do so.

I send this with my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day that’s at least 364 days long.

Dr. R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

A Time For Reflection

TIME FOR REFLECTION

A Personal Holiday Tradition

 

This is my 54th holiday season as a married man. Even as I write it, I am amazed and thankful. My wife Sandy and I eloped during the first semester of our senior year at Davis and Elkins College, the best small college in America. That was on November 13, 1962. On December 13, 1962 we were married again for our family.

November 13, 1962 was the 12th anniversary of my father having a heart attack and dying at the kitchen table. A great trauma for a 10 year old. When I realized our date for eloping was that anniversary, Sandy said to change the plan. I decided to change the memory. It was a great decision.

As with all married couples, we have had our ups and downs. We have struggled and flourished. We have had good and not so good health. We were/are blessed with three children who, I am proud to say, are wonderful people, which is more important than any other accomplishment. Our grandchildren are following the same tradition. They make us proud every day.

My favorite time was when our children were teenagers. Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t think I, we, they, ever laughed more. It was a time that all of us grew up.

In our married life, we have lived in West Virginia, New York, Arizona, Iowa, Massachusetts and then back to Arizona. I have been a teacher of children with learning disabilities, director of a program for “retarded children” (as they were called then) at New York Medical College/Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospitals, drove a big bus throughout New York City as part of that program, lectured at two international conferences on mental retardation in Europe, drove a truck for Seven-Up, sold insurance, graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic as one of four class valedictorians, was a student, teacher and administrator at Palmer College for nine months prior to graduation, had a professional office in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and then in Tucson, Arizona.

My experience as a student, faculty member and administrator at Palmer College taught me the importance of looking at all issues from different points of view. Therefore, I am more likely to intelligently evaluate issues rather than simply act/rant emotionally. One exception was the New England Patriots losing a perfect season in the last seconds to the New York Giants. That still pisses me off.

For about 20 years I was one of a few pioneers in the field of low intensity laser therapy (LILT) and lectured internationally on the clinical application of this marvelous technology. Most important of all, I had a positive impact on people’s lives for 54 years. I hope to continue that trend.

I have almost always had a wonderful sense of humor. At least I think so. In truth, my sense of humor exists to entertain myself. I think I am pretty successful at it. I learned my humor, for better or for worse, form Irving Katz, one of my many surrogate fathers.

For most of my life, I have lived with pain associated with a benign tumor on a nerve root in my lower spine. It was successfully operated on in 1971 and 1981. However, it appears I am so likeable that it keeps coming back. It prematurely ended my Chiropractic career.

In my lifetime I have had many people who have helped save an emotionally lost kid. One was James Tyson, a man of color from Raleigh, North Carolina and the janitor/handy man for the apartment in which I lived. He taught me to be on time, be pleasant about work even if you don’t love the chore, to always do the best quality work, to admit mistakes and, most importantly, that love is color blind.

A special teacher, Nathaniel Glass, saved my academic life during my senior year in high school. Another teacher told my mother, “If you are lucky your son will be a garbage man, but I don’t think he will pass the civil service exam.” I thank her because it was my goal to make her wrong.

Lee Morrone saved my adult life by being a remarkable role model at a time I desperately need one. She even “paid” for me to get accepted to college. It was there I met my wife and everything good happened since then.

There were many others. I can never repay them for how they saved this kid. I can, and have spent my life paying it forward.

My wife and I have discovered that the “Golden Years” is really “Fools Gold”. Nevertheless, I certainly can’t complain. My father died at age 42. I am sure, if given the choice of living longer but having arthritis, hearing problems, pain, and increasing maladies, I think he would have chosen all of them.

Speaking of the “Golden Years,” my wife and I had a discussion about our “intimate relationship.” Yes, even old people can occasionally be physically intimate (they are always mentally and emotionally intimate). She suggested that we save those moments for special occasions. I thought about it and calculated that, considering birthdays (ours, our kids and grand kids), anniversaries (we have two), national holidays, Valentine’s Day, Easter and Passover, Christmas and Hanukkah, New Year, Halloween and Thanksgiving, it came to about 25 special occasions. When I told her what I was thinking, she informed me she was thinking more like whenever a new Pope was elected. How could I not love that woman!

As we have gotten older, we have, more and more, realized that the best possible holiday present was good health for us, our children, grandchildren, relatives and friends.

I have also learned that the most valuable thing in our lives is time. We can lose our money and accumulate more, we can even lose our health and regain it. However, every second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, score and decade that passes can never be recovered. It is for this reason that I am especially grateful that you spend some of your time reading things that I write in my blogs. I never take my time or yours for granted.

I have been told for most of my life that I always see the “glass as half full.” That is not true. I am always happy that I have a glass. It is my wish for all of you that this holiday season and New Year bring you good health, prosperity and love. I also hope that you always have a glass.

Read More

A Day That Shall Live In Infamy/The Not So Sneak Attack

A DAY THAT SHALL LIVE IN INFAMY

The Not So Sneak Attack

 

In December, 1941 America had bases in Hawaii. They were Pearl Harbor, commanded by Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Hickam Field, under the command of Major General Walter C. Short.

On the 7th day of that month, the Japanese conducted a surprise attack on naval and army facilities located at and near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. At least that was what we learned in history class. The attack was real. The surprise part, not so much.

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) produced a documentary about the attack on Pearl Harbor. Living up to such a program’s purpose, they documented what really happened leading to that moment in history.

The documentary provided information indicating Admiral Kimmel and, therefore, General Short were purposefully excluded from receiving critical information that could possibly have prevented or, at least, reduced American loses.

Their information was corroborated by Rear Admiral Edwin T. Layton, who knew Kimmel best. Layton stated that, “Kimmel had not been provided with complete information and that he deployed the few reconnaissance resources at his disposal in the most logical way, given the available information.”

On February 18, 1941, Kimmel wrote to the Chief of Naval Operations: “I feel that a surprise attack (submarine, air or combined) on Pearl Harbor is a possibility and we are taking immediate practical steps to minimize the damage inflicted and to ensure that the attacking force will pay.”

Ten days after the Pearl Harbor attack, Kimmel was relieved of his command. The Roberts Commission, appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to investigate the attack, determined that Kimmel and his counterpart Army General Walter Short were guilty of errors of judgement and dereliction of duty in the events leading up to the attack. Kimmel defended his decisions at several hearings, testifying that important information had not been made available to him.

That commission was designed for fact-finding. There is generally no right to “due process,” right to counsel and cross examination of witnesses. Requests were made for court martial proceedings. They were denied.

Admiral William Harrison Standley, who served as a member of the Roberts Commission, maintained that “those two officers were martyred” and “if they had been brought to trial (court martial) both would have been cleared of the charge.”

The BBC documentary detailed events leading to that attack. The United States, 23 years after the end of World War One, was not interested in becoming involved in another war. In fact, Hitler received support from American businesses including trucks and parts from Henry Ford, Sr. This activity continued until the actual declaration of war.

Winston Churchill was literally pleading with President Roosevelt to help with the war in Europe, especially what he believed to be the impending attack on England. Public pressure was very strong to not get involved. Politically, Roosevelt’s hands were tied.

Several days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, a pilot from an American Aircraft Carrier reported seeing the Japanese armada moving in the direction of Pearl Harbor. That report was ignored by most of Washington and withheld from Admiral Kimmel.

President Roosevelt requested that reports of the Japanese fleet movement come to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to him. They were aware of what was going on. That was not the case with Admiral Kimmel or General Short.

As a result of Roberts Commission report and congressional hearings, four star Admiral Kimmel was reduced to two star Rear Admiral. He retired early in 1942 and died on May 24, 1968 at Groton, Connecticut. General Short was reduced in rank form Lieutenant General to Major General. He retired from active duty on February 28, 1942 and died in Dallas, Texas in 1949.

A 1995 Pentagon study concluded other high-ranking officers were also responsible for the failure at Pearl Harbor. On May 25, 1999, the United States Senate, by a vote of 52-47, passed a non-binding resolution to exonerate Kimmel and Short and requested the President of the United States posthumously restore both men to full rank.

“They were denied vital intelligence that was available in Washington,” according to Senator William V. Roth (R-DE), noting they had been made scapegoats by the Pentagon. Senator Strom Thrumond (R-SC), one of the sponsors of the resolution, called Kimmel and Short “the two final victims of Pearl Harbor.”

Robert Stinnett, in his 1999 book, “Day of Deceit” and a World War Two U.S. Navy veteran, also confirms the findings of that BBC documentary. He makes the case that President Roosevelt wanted the Pearl Harbor attack to happen so public opinion would be aroused to support America’s entry into the war and that Kimmel and Short were deliberately kept uninformed or not informed in a timely manner. Stinnett claimed to have information showing that the attacking fleet was detected through radio and intelligence intercepts, but the information was deliberately withheld from the base commanders.

Historians have rejected this assertion. However, the above mentioned documentation supports it.

Interestingly, in a 1964 interview, Admiral Chester Nimitz, who took over as commander of the Pacific Fleet three weeks after the attack, concluded that “it was God’s mercy that our fleet was in Pearl Harbor on December 7th. If Kimmel had advance notice that the Japanese were coming, he most probably would have tried to intercept them. With the difference in speed between Kimmel’s battleships and the faster Japanese carriers, the former could not have come within rifle range of the enemy’s flattops. As a result, we would have lost many ships in deep water and also thousands more in lives.”

Admiral Nimitz, besides making a case in military terms, also corroborates the fact that Admiral Kimmel did not have advance notice that the Japanese were coming.

In his famous speech about “the day of infamy” President Roosevelt announced that America had declared war on Japan and her ally Germany. The American public enthusiastically supported that decision.

All of the above information does not reduce the scope of loss experienced by American forces and families on December 7, 1941. It is meant to help people understand that all is rarely as it seems.

As a personal note, I add that Presidents Clinton, Bush, Jr. and Obama have all refused to act upon that resolution. In my opinion, as brothers in the very small PCIC Fraternity (President, Commander-In-Chief), to do so would be embarrassing to all Presidents and our nation. It would acknowledge the possibility exists that a President or Presidents would actually deceive our nation in a way that costs American lives in order ro involve us in a war.

All of this is an example of the words of America’s greatest philosopher and social conscience, George Carlin. We need to question everything we see, read and hear, even in school. Of course, you should question everything that I write. Always do your own research. The very concept of valid research means it should be done with no preconceived notions or expectations. It is amazing what can be learned that way.

 

Read More

Looking In The Mirror

LOOKING IN THE MIRROR

YES! SIZE DOES COUNT. TIMING TOO.

 

PREFACE

My mother lived until three days before her 104th birthday. For all but about 1 year, she was remarkably healthy and mentally sharp. She could name all the Supreme Court Justices and the presidents who appointed them.

For the last 15 years or so, she would look in the mirror and say, “Where’s Lilly?” “Where did she go?” No matter how remarkably well she was doing, including walking at least one mile every day, weather permitting, the mirror told the truth about her age and appearance.

I admit that I still picture myself as that skinny, young man who met a beautiful, skinny young woman and fell immediately in heat, then love, and married her.

Now being part of the “senior generation”, I am forced to admit that activities I never thought about are no longer possible without help. When I look in the mirror, I think, “Where’s Lenny?” “Where did he go?”

My solution is to avoid looking into the mirror. I can brush my teeth with my eyes closed. I hate a beard, so I still have to shave. I now do it only once or twice a week. For that, I at least need to peek at the mirror.

The point of this is that the mirror doesn’t lie. It has no political affiliation. It has no personal agenda or ingrained prejudice. It simply shows what is.

I hope that what I am writing provides that mirror for our nation’s citizens. Like me, it is natural to not want to look in the mirror, but there are times that it is absolutely necessary. In our nation’s history, now is the time.

 

BACKGROUND

I was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1940. When I was 10, my father suddenly died. He was 42. He and our family were not covered by Social Security because, at that time (1950), not all Americans could get coverage. Having heart valve damage from rheumatic fever, he could not get any insurance. He died with literally only change in his pocket. My mother, who had no formal training, had to go to work to support our family (mother, sister and myself).

I had a few health issues and was an angry kid about not having a father when everyone else I knew did. Mom needed someone to help look after me while she was at work and I was home from school. Sister was six years older and went to work as soon as she could to help out.

Enter James Tyson, a man of color from Raleigh, North Carolina, janitor of the apartment building in which we lived. In every way possible, James became my surrogate father. Everything I needed to know as a successful adult I learned from him. They included, being on time, keeping your word, admitting if you made a mistake, doing a good job no matter what it entailed, being respectful and, probably most important of all, that love was color blind.

During the summer months (1951 -1955), I lived with my aunt and uncle in North Little Rock, Arkansas. I had my first tastes of racism. Kroger stores had separate drinking fountains, bathrooms and checkout counters for Whites and Blacks.

I went to stand to give an elderly woman using a cane my seat on a bus. My aunt yanked me down and loudly whispered in my ear, I’ll explain later. She did.

While teaching children with learning disabilities in the Bay Shore, New York school system, I met a man who had an idea of starting an after school recreation program. I thought it was a great idea and the Marion Starks Memorial Youth Program was initiated. Marion Starks had been a local barber who did many good things for the youth of that community.

I will use only the initials SP because I have not gotten his permission to use his full name. He was also a person of color. Interestingly, the only kids who participated in that program were also of color. It was open to everyone. For the first time in my life, I became a glaring member of a minority group, White.

On one occasion, there were rumors of a gang from a neighboring town, Brentwood, coming to start trouble. I called the police but they could not be a presence unless a “clear and present danger” existed. They said to call as soon as gang members showed up. SP and the kids all insisted that I leave. I insisted that they were my family and I would never abandon my family. About 20 kids formed a circle around me. I could not move without being in the center of that circle. When the first gang car showed up, I called the police. In minutes three patrol cars showed up with four officers in each. The incident was quelled almost immediately.

While teaching in Bay Shore, I was asked to run a special program for Mentally Retarded (as they were called then) children in East Harlem, New York. I did that every Saturday and five days per week during the summers. To get to Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospitals/New York Medical College, I had to drive through Harlem. I also took the kids to St. Mary’s Recreation Center in the Bronx. Those areas looked similar to Berlin at the end of WW2, especially the Bronx.

At one meeting with the parents of those children, I commented to the medical director, Dr. Margaret Gianini, that the parents should save their money, buy gasoline and burn down the neighborhoods. She suggested that I don’t say that to the parents. I took heed of her suggestion.

For those of you who are grossly uninformed, the residents of those neighborhoods DID NOT cause them to deteriorate. Please allow me to elaborate. The owners of those very large apartment buildings (several dozens) came up with a brilliant plan. They would not pay any real estate taxes and would make absolutely no repairs of any kind. They did that for 20 or 30 years, getting away with it because their lawyers were smarter than those who represented the City or possibly payoffs to bureaucratic officials. When the City FINALLY took necessary action, the owners said, you can have the buildings in lieu of the tax dollars we owe you. On paper, since New York is an island, the real estate was very valuable. In reality, the cost of repair or demolition was far too great and the City did what the original owners did, NOTHING. The buildings crumbled, metal of all kinds stolen, window glass removed and, finally, bricks were taken away. People still lived in those buildings because they could not find or afford anywhere else to live.

I became a student of the Second World War after I found out that my uncle, Lenny Rubin, was killed during the landing in Normandy, France. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. I even visited his grave in the U.S. Military Cemetery in Normandy. As I walked among the rows and rows of grave sites, I kept repeating, “I am so sorry. We haven’t learned anything.”

 

PURPOSE

The reason for the background is to set the stage for what I really want to write about. Primarily that has to do with racism/oppression.

As I studied about Germany and Hitler and the Holocaust, I often asked myself why the Jews (Gypsies, homosexuals) did not stand up and fight against what was being done to them. I could also not understand why people of color, in the South, did not stand up and fight against the persecution they experienced.

Research and study helped me understand the reasons. In Germany, Jews made up just 0.86% of the total population. That amounted to about 500,000 individuals. There just weren’t enough of them. They also had no access to weapons or income to purchase them if available. There was no strength in numbers and no ability to physically resist. Perhaps they would have been just as well off dying while trying to resist instead of going to the death camps established as the “Final Solution” to the Jewish (Gypsy, homosexual) problems.

In the South, here in America, the only strong organization with weaponry was the KKK. Blacks had no organization ability, no access to guns and no money to purchase them if available. There just weren’t enough members of the Black community to take a stand. The prevailing laws also protected the KKK so it could act with impunity. They did.

CURRENT EVENTS

In the past few months, there has been a resurgence of overt racism. It has become fashionable to express hatred/anger with minorities (Black, Hispanic and Latino, homosexuals). Prior to our recent election process, a Jewish cemetery was desecrated, a Black church fire bombed and a Mosque destroyed. The day after the election, children in a Michigan elementary school chanted, “Build a wall, build a wall, etc.” to Hispanic classmates. A Muslim woman was attacked while in a car with her children saying she didn’t belong here. In Syracuse, New York, a group of pickup trucks, one draped with a Confederate flag drove through an anti-election rally. Locally a sixteen year old Hispanic girl with whom I have indirect connection (through a member of my family) attends high school on the North West side. There were never any issues until Wednesday, November 9th and Thursday, November 10th. When she tried to enter her class, three White boys, stood with arms crossed, preventing her from entering the room. She said to quit messing with her. They said, “try crossing this border and see what happens.” She had no teacher support. Thankfully, there was no school on Friday. She spent the weekend crying, trying to figure out what happened. She said she was the same person she was on Monday and Tuesday. What did she do wrong?  The KKK is planning a celebratory parade in North Carolina. There are planned political attacks on homosexuals.

When “Riots” broke out after the election results were announced, a female member of the prevailing party threatened to sue those who were against the President elect for, essentially, being subversive.

In my previous Blog about Kristallnacht/Crystal Night/Night of Broken Glass, I referred to a report by Hugh Green, correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. “….Racial hatred and hysteria seemed to have taken complete hold of otherwise decent people. I saw fashionably dressed women clapping their hands and screaming with glee, while respectable middle-class mothers held up their babies to see the ‘fun’.”

As it was aware that the German public did not support Kristallnacht, Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minister for the Nazi/Fascist  government, directed the German press to portray opponents of racist persecution as disloyal.

Does any of this sound familiar? It should.

According to the Census Bureau, America’s population is 325,002,489, give or take a few thousand depending on deaths and births. The same organization states that 13.2% of those are Black and 17% are Hispanic and Latino. That total comes to 98,150,752. That is a sizable number.

At the same time, our military has trained a few million members of those groups how to handle weapons and kill people. There is also unlimited access to weapons and ammunition of all kinds. There are no background checks required. Even mentally unstable individuals can and have purchased assault type weapons at local and regional gun shows. The economy, overall, is good enough that weapons of choice can be afforded by those who wish to purchase them.

Ever wonder what drove people to go “Postal” at work? Oppression, real, imagined, possibly deserved, can drive an individual to some pretty extreme actions. As we have seen with ISIS and Taliban, it is virtually impossible to defeat an enemy if they don’t care if they die. They even look forward to it.

CONCLUSION

I have looked into our nation’s mirror and see what happened about 80 years ago in another country. However, I realize I am looking at us.

I am concerned that what is happening in America today, is creating a perfect time for a non-civil war (only a fool would call any war civil). The numbers are there. The weapons are available. The only important factor that remains is the belief that dying is better than oppression. Will Christian churches be fire bombed each time a Black church or Mosque receives the same treatment?

If size and timing do matter, we, as Americans, have a great deal to be concerned about. While you are thinking about what I have written, please remember that there are a significant number of millions of White Americans who agree with those being oppressed. The Christian belief of “Turn the other cheek” may soon become the Old Testament philosophy of, “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.”

History has a way of repeating itself if we don’t pay attention to it. The outcomes could be different if the timing is right.

I would love to be wrong about my feelings. I fear I am right. Not history, but current events will determine which road we end up traveling.

As always, I welcome your comments, pro and con, about anything that I have researched and written. The facts are the facts. I make it obvious when I state my opinion. I respect the right of others to have different opinions. That’s because I support ALL Constitutional amendments.

 

 

 

Read More

Kristallnacht/Crystal Night/Night of Broken Glass

KRISTALLNACHT/CRYSTAL NIGHT/ NIGHT OF BROKEN GLASS

From Wikipedia, eyewitness accounts and reports from Holocaust survivers

 

While the initial purpose of Kristallnacht was the need of financing for the Nazi Party, there were underlying racial and social hatred. That hatred was expanded to include Gypsies, homosexuals and members/leaders of other religions. The international Evian Conference on July 6, 1938 addressed the issue of Jewish and Gypsy immigration to other countries. The overt expression of that racial and social hatred began in Germany on November 9 -10, 1938. Germany had entered a new radical phase in anti-Semitic activity.

In a 1997 interview, the German historian Hans Mommsen claimed that a major motive for the pogrom (an organized massacre of a particular ethnic group) was a desire to seize Jewish property and businesses. He stated:  The need for money by the party organization stemmed from the fact that Franz Xavier Schwartz, the party treasurer, kept local and regional organizations of the party short of money. In the fall of 1938, the increased pressure on Jewish property nourished the party’s ambition.

As a matter of background, Jews in Germany accounted for only 0.86% of the population. The actual number was approximately 500,000. In the 1920s, most German Jews were fully integrated into German society as German Citizens. They served in the German army and navy and contributed to every field of German business, science and culture. Conditions began to change after the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933, and the Enabling Act (March 23, 1933) allowing the assumption of power by Hitler. He quickly introduced anti-Jewish policies. Nazi propaganda singled out Jews and an enemy within, who were responsible for Germany’s defeat in the First World War and for its subsequent economic disasters.

Beginning in 1933, the German government enacted a series of anti-Jewish laws restricting the rights of German Jews to earn a living, to enjoy full citizenship and to gain education. On April 7, 1933, “The Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” forbade Jews to work in the civil service.

Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, delivered a speech for Hitler and said, “The Fuhrer has decided that…demonstrations should not be prepared or organized by the party, but insofar as they erupt spontaneously, they are not to be hampered.”

Kristallnacht resulted in the destruction of Jewish homes and hospitals. Schools were ransacked, as the attackers demolished buildings with sledgehammers. Over 1,000 synagogues, some 3 centuries old, were burned and over 7,000 Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged. Tombstones were uprooted and graves violated. Fires were lit and prayer books, scrolls, artwork and philosophy texts were thrown upon them, and precious buildings were either burned or smashed until unrecognizable.

Early reporting estimated that 91 Jewish people were murdered during the attack. Modern analysis by German scholars like Richard J. Evans, puts that number much higher. When deaths from post-arrest maltreatment and subsequent suicides are included, the death toll climbs to the hundreds. Additionally, 30,000 were arrested and incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps.

After this, the Jewish community was fined 10 billion reichsmarks. In addition, it cost 40 million marks to repair the windows.

The Daily Telegraph correspondent, Hugh Green, wrote of events in Berlin:  Mob law ruled in Berlin throughout the afternoon and evening and hordes of hooligans indulged in an orgy of destruction. I have seen several anti-Jewish outbreaks in Germany during the past five years, but never anything as nauseating as this. RACIAL HATRED AND HYSTERIA SEEMED TO HAVE TAKEN COMPLETE HOLD OF OTHERWISE DECENT PEOPLE. I SAW FASHIONABLY DRESSED WOMEN CLAPPING THEIR HANDS AND SCREAMING WITH GLEE, WHILE RESPECTABLE MIDDLE-CLASS MOTHERS HELD UP THEIR BABIES TO SEE THE “FUN.” (Capitalization was this author’s choice).

Kristallnacht was followed by additional economic and political persecution of Jews, and is viewed by historians a part of Nazi Germany’s broader racial policy, and the beginning of the Final Solution and The Holocaust.

Hermann Goring told a Chief of Police of Reich Main Security Office, Reinhard Heydrich immediately after the events: “I’d rather you guys had done in two-hundred Jews than destroy so many valuable assets!”

There was a meeting for Nazi leadership on November 12, 1938 to plan the next steps after the riot. In the transcript of the meeting, Goring said, “I have received a letter written on the Fuhrer’s orders requesting that the Jewish question be now, once and for all, coordinated and solved one way or another…I should not want to leave any doubt, gentlemen, as to the aim of today’s meeting. We have not come together merely to talk again, but to make decisions, and I implore competent agencies to take all measures for the elimination of the Jew from the German economy, and to submit them to me.”

In 1938, just after Kristallnacht, psychologist Muller-Claudius interviewed 41 randomly selected Nazi Party members on their attitudes toward racial persecution. Of the interviewed party-members 63% expressed extreme indignation against it, while only 5% expressed approval. The rest were noncommittal.

As it was aware that the German public did not support the Kristallnacht, the propaganda ministry directed the German press to portray opponents of racial persecution as disloyal.

There were many indications of Protestant and Catholic disapproval of racial persecution. For example the Catholic Church had already distributed Pastoral letters critical of racial ideology. The Catholic leadership however, just as the various Protestant churches, refrained from responding with organized action. Nevertheless, individuals continued to show courage. For example, a Parson paid medical bills of a Jewish cancer patient and was sentenced to a large fine and several months in prison in 1941. A Catholic nun was sentenced to death in 1945 for helping Jews. A Protestant parson spoke out in 1943 and was sent to Dachau concentration camp where he died a few days later.

Some leading Party officials disagreed with Goebbels’s actions, fearing diplomatic crisis it would provoke. Heinrich Himmler wrote, “I suppose that it is Goebbels’s megalomania…and stupidity which are responsible for starting this operation now, in a particularly difficult diplomatic situation.”

Martin Sasse, Nazi Party member and bishop of the evangelical Lutheran Church in Thuringia, leading member of the Nazi German Christians, published a compendium of Martin Luther’s writings shortly after the Kristallnacht:  Sasse “applauded the burning of the synagogues.”

There were few events in Germany that ever received such worldwide reporting. Most nations cut off diplomatic relations with the German government. The American government recalled their ambassador but continued to have diplomatic and business relationships with Germany until President Roosevelt declared, on December 7, 1941, that we are in a state of war with Japan and their ally Germany.

Kristallnacht changed the nature of persecution from economic, political and social to physical with beatings, incarceration and murder: the event is often referred to as the beginning of the Holocaust. In the words of historian Max Rein in 1988, “Kristallnacht came… and everything was changed.”

Many decades later, association with the Kristallnacht anniversary was cited as the main reason against choosing November 9 as the day the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. A different day was chosen (October 3, 1990) to celebrate German reunification.

On the 40th anniversary in 1978, members of two fraternities at the University of Florida gathered in front of the fraternity house of Tau Epsilon Phi and shouted expressions like, “Fuck the Jews” and “Your mother was bright but she was a lampshade (reference to the fact that human skin was used to make lampshades in German concentration camps).”

Sadly, there are more recent (as in current events) signs of resurgence of racial hatred. This time it is in America, not Germany. Desecration of  Jewish cemeteries, burning of black churches, destruction of Muslim mosques and persecution of homosexuals in spite of their constitutional rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

I write this to prove that knowledge of history is critical if we are to prevent making the same mistakes that have been in the past. Believing we could never be like Fascists and Nazis can only be true if we ignore history and human behavior. To say the least, I am very concerned. If you are also concerned, the time and research were worth it.

 

Read More

Affordable Health Care Act, designed to fail.

I realize I have written about a national health plan that could actually work. I am, perhaps out of sequence, writing why the Affordable Health Care Act (aka. ObamaCare) was designed and passed by Congress to fail.

As a reminder, Managed Care was modeled after Kaiser Permanente in California. It was formed by the Kaiser family for their employees and was/is not for profit. Some corporate suit saw an opportunity to make large profits by using that model and creating large profits. Hence, HMO’s were formed.

The Kaiser plan used about 10% of its income for corporate needs and 90% for patient care, facilities, staff, equipment, etc. The HMO’s needed an entire department for investor relations and profit management.

In case you are wondering if size matters, in the insurance business it absolutely does. The number of people who sign up for coverage is the Risk Pool. The larger that Risk Pool, the stronger the likelihood the company could make a profit. For the most part, people don’t use their insurance in a given year. Young children and the elderly use it a lot, but the idea of the large Risk Pool is to have many more people who don’t use the services than those who do.

When the for profit companies found that they just didn’t have enough income to keep investors happy, they became creative in ways to save money. Doctors were given financial incentives to not use extra testing like MRI and specialists. The groups were given a “budget” to work with for an entire year. If they were below budget, a portion of the money remaining was divided among the doctors. If they were above the budget, they were dropped from the plan. Another way was to reduce the reimbursements to doctors. At one time, MANY years ago, Pima Care paid surgeons $45.00 for appendectomy, tonsillectomy and cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal).

The primary problem with those plans was that the risk pool was too small. It is absolutely the same today with the Affordable Health Care Act. The current population in Arizona is about 6,927,347. There were eleven providers listed in the Arizona Health Insurance Exchange. IF everyone were included, that would leave an average enrollment of 629,759 per provider. In reality, all citizens are not covered. According to Arizona statistics, 203,066 people are covered by private health plans. That would be an average of 18,460 for each of the eleven providers. The number of those covered by group plans was not available. Remember, all the providers are FOR PROFIT corporations.

The population of California is estimated to be 38,000,000. One provider, Kaiser Permanente has 10,600,00 clients (more than the total population of Arizona). Clearly, there is a greater chance for health insurance providers to have a large enough risk pool to be profitable. Even there, the Affordable Health Care Act has made it difficult to be profitable. That is NOT a bad thing. Here is why.

Previously, for profit HMO’s would spend 50% or less on patient care, using the other half for corporate operations and profit. If the risk pool decreased, the amount spent on patient care also decreased. Nothing was allowed to interfere with profits.

Along came the Affordable Health Care Act. The providers were required to spend 80% of their income on patient care with the other 20% going to all other costs, including profit. If there were large groups, involving 50 or more employees, the percentages were 85 and 15. NOW YOU KNOW why companies are leaving the plan. That is not necessarily a bad thing. The fewer the number of companies in the Health Insurance Exchange, the more people in their risk pool. Sadly, as good as this could be, there is really no way a for profit health insurance company can make enough money to keep their investors happy.

To make things worse (better for the insured) health insurance companies are required to regularly submit data on the portion of premium revenues spent on clinical services and quality improvement. It is called Medical Loss Ratio (MLR). Those companies are required to issue rebates to policy holders if their MLR does not meet minimum standards.

All the requirements listed above are designed to improve the quality of care patients receive and improve availability for all citizens of America. It works and always had for Kaiser Permanente in California. The key to success is that health care providers cannot and must not be for profit.

I repeat, the basic design was intended to fail because it used for profit corporations. A much better idea would have been to include ALL American citizens in Medicare and demand all providers live within the Medical Loss Ratio. Of course, that would require that providers be not for profit corporations. Another option, for those who are afraid of government run programs (the best insurance coverage my wife and I have ever had is Medicare), is the one I sent to Washington more than 20 years ago. I wrote about it in my blog about a national health care plan.

The Affordable Health Care Act needs to be fixed. Even President Obama suggested that. Unfortunately, Congress refused to act in order to try to make it better. That is because when they passed the legislation, it was with the intention that it would fail. They were sure the Supreme Court would find it illegal. Amazingly, a conservative Court said it was legal. Having done so, Congress opted to do nothing, hoping for total collapse of that program. Yet, with all its faults, the Affordable Health Care Act made us the last of all industrialized nations of the world to have a national health plan.

We have the most expensive health care costs in the world. We have the most expensive drug costs in the world, yet we were ranked below Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, comparing health care spending, , supply, utilization, prices and health outcomes. 2013).

We need and deserve a high quality, affordable health care system like the countries listed above. It is possible. The Affordable Health Care Act was the first step in making that happen. It needs to be fixed or replaced. It should, under no circumstances, simply be eliminated.

 

Read More

Women As Second Class Citizens of the World

WOMEN AS SECOND CLASS CITIZENS OF THE WORLD

 

This Blog will share some thoughts and ponderings.

Women give up their name when they get married. Why? Who wrote that rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

Women have to wear a ring when they get married. For men, wearing a ring is optional. Why? Who wrote that rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

In great and not so great musical movies and shows and in normal social life, men lead and women follow by dancing backward. Almost always, they do so in high heels while men wear their regular shoes. Why? Who wrote that rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

Bathrooms are a current issue. Men just have to open a zipper or buttons and “whip it out.” Women have much more clothing to deal with in order to use such facilities and have to use stalls rather than stand up urinals. It takes women significantly longer to do their thing than it does men. So, with rare exceptions, why are there the same number of bathrooms for women as there are for men? In reality and fairness, there should be two or three times as many bathrooms for women as there are for men. This is why, when necessary, I have “stood guard” while my wife or daughters used the bathroom designated for men rather wait in an irrationally long line to get into bathroom designated for women. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

If a man has multiple sex partners, he is called a “Stud.” If a woman has multiple sex partners, she is called a “Whore.” I never understood that system of classification. I still don’t. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

Men have been circumcised for religious or health reasons. Women are still being circumcised in several countries to prevent them from enjoying the sexual experience. It’s okay for men to enjoy but not women? Why? Who wrote that rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

The Missionary position for sex (indicative of some religious connection) refers to women on the bottom and men on the top. In the greatest majority of cases, the man is much bigger and heavier than the woman. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

Many religions require that women walk behind their husband. During religious services, they are segregated so that they do not sit together even to worship the same GOD. Why? Who wrote that rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

The Catholic Church has spent centuries treating women as second class citizens. Priest, Bishop, Cardinal, Pope all men. The only official position for women is that of Nun. Interestingly, I have never read of Nuns being guilty of sexual abuse. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men. I can’t imagine that GOD made different rules for different religions.

Some religions require that women be completely covered, while others require that the women shave their head. No such requirement exists for the men. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men. I can’t believe that GOD had different attire and hair style requirements for women of different religions.

In some countries, associated with religious doctrines, women are not allowed to drive vehicles. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men. It could not be GOD. Cars didn’t exist when such regulations took place.

Several religions, past and present, recognized that their survival depended upon numbers. The more members, the better chance for survival. As a result, rules/religious laws required that women have as many babies as possible. The more the better. During the Third Reich, Hitler chose the women who he felt had the best genetic makeup to “breed” with men who he believed to have the best genetic makeup. His goal was to produce the “Master Race.” The women had no choice with whom they were matched. In neither case was the woman considered. The toll, physical and emotional, of having baby after baby after baby really was not as important as the survival of the religion or the master race. Effective birth control was out not allowed. To question was an affront to GOD or to Hitler. The importance of numbers is valid. The use of women as breeding machines, not so much. We know why. We know who. In all cases, it is men who made those rules/laws. It is unlikely that GOD made different “breeding rules” for different religions.

In the United States, the Constitution was officially ratified on 6/21/1788. The Second Amendment, dealing with Militias and the right to bear arms, was ratified on 12/15/1791. The emancipation of slaves was part of the 13th Amendment, and was ratified on 12/18/1865. The 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, was ratified on 8/18/1920. Clearly, from the very beginning of our nation, women were less important than guns and slaves. In fact, women’s rights were dealt with 129 years after guns and militias and 55 years after dealing with the issue of slavery.

In the judiciary, women are still treated as second class citizens. Recent rulings dealing with the rape of women are an example. The judges, mostly men, consciously or unconsciously, know that as a young man, under the same circumstances, they may have done the same thing as the defendant did. Having sex with an unconscious woman, according to them is at least as much the fault of the female and a young man’s life should not be ruined for one such act (or at least the one he was caught doing). That fact that there will be long term negative effects on the female are not really a consideration. Females are told they should not go to such parties or drink alcohol. Males get no such advice. After all, boys will be boys.

It only took about 200 years or so to get laws dealing with “Dead Beat Fathers.” Even though they exist, for the most part, judges are extremely lenient when dealing with the Dead Beat. In the meantime, the woman has to provide money, food, health care, love, help with homework, after school activities and staying up all night with a sick child or children. All this, while in most cases, working full time to provide for her family. If she is late or can’t provide for an assigned visitation for the Dead Beat, SHE is chastised more than he is for missing payments.

If the woman gets pregnant, it is considered to be her fault. If she gets pregnant or just has sex with a married man, she is called a home wrecker. The man is free to keep having sex and getting women pregnant. The woman carries that baby for about nine months and goes through all the agonies, physical and emotional, of the process alone. The man keeps “poking fun.” Why? Who made this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

If a man can show that he was fearful for his safety and/or life when he kills another person, it is considered self-defense. If a woman has called the police (often fearing for her life if she would press charges) or gone to the hospital multiple times because her husband or significant other has beaten her, and she claims fear for her life when she kills that person, she is charged with murder. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

Decisions about women’s health have become a hot topic. For the most part, those issues involve men and women who never walk in the shoes of the women whose lives are impacted by those rules. Planned Parenthood, which is MUCH more than an abortion site, is under constant attack. Those attacking have not had to deal with the exact same situations and circumstances as the women who need the help from that organization, but assume the role of GOD in determining what is right and wrong for all women. They claim to do this because GOD said so. Really? My best guess is that these rules/laws were made by men and women who believe they are acting on behalf of GOD. That authority was never expressly given to any individual human.

Sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse have existed for centuries. Hollywood has been famous for such activities involving little boys, young girls and women who want to get into that industry. Even recently, FOX news has been involved in such a scandal. It still goes on because women are afraid of what will happen if they tell the truth. For the most part they would not be believed, would be fired and ridiculed. Imagine trying to get another job to support your family. We have seen just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this subject.

Did you ever notice how many television commercials involve attractive, sexy women? This is done on purpose. The sponsor and the advertising agency know that this will get people, mostly, but not exclusively, men to focus on the ad. In advertising, it is not the message that counts. It is the repetition of the name and your focus on that commercial using the name.

A few other examples of women as second class citizens have come to my attention. I am now adding to the list above. Did you know that until 1972 unmarried women could not purchase birth control pills? Did you know that, while abortions had been done illegally in the U.S. and legally in other countries, it wasn’t legal in America until 1973. What it meant was that instead of just rich people who could afford to go to Europe, all women had legal access to that option. Did you know that until 1974 women could not get a credit card in their own name? How about the fact that until 1977 women could not sue for sexual harassment. Did you know that until 1987 women could not work while pregnant? It wasn’t until 1993 that women had the right to refuse to have sex with their spouse.

The United States Congress, in spite of having some women members, refuses to pass legislation that would require equal pay for women doing the same jobs as men. For this we know why. Big and small business (via Chambers of Commerce) don’t want the extra expenses associated with equality. They keep YOUR congressional representatives in office year after year after year after year, etc.

It is funny/ironic that there is an organization called PETA, which protects the welfare of animals. Why is there not such an organization that protects the welfare of women? The answer is that basically, in this country and throughout the world, women are still, consciously or subconsciously, considered to be second class citizens.

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

Women As Second Class Citizens of the World

WOMEN AS SECOND CLASS CITIZENS OF THE WORLD

 

This Blog will share some thoughts and ponderings.

Women give up their name when they get married. Why? Who wrote that rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

Women have to wear a ring when they get married. For men, wearing a ring is optional. Why? Who wrote that rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

In great and not so great musical movies and shows and in normal social life, men lead and women follow by dancing backward. Almost always, they do so in high heels while men wear their regular shoes. Why? Who wrote that rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

Bathrooms are a current issue. Men just have to open a zipper or buttons and “whip it out.” Women have much more clothing to deal with in order to use such facilities and have to use stalls rather than stand up urinals. It takes women significantly longer to do their thing than it does men. So, with rare exceptions, why are there the same number of bathrooms for women as there are for men? In reality and fairness, there should be two or three times as many bathrooms for women as there are for men. This is why, when necessary, I have “stood guard” while my wife or daughters used the bathroom designated for men rather wait in an irrationally long line to get into bathroom designated for women. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

If a man has multiple sex partners, he is called a “Stud.” If a woman has multiple sex partners, she is called a “Whore.” I never understood that system of classification. I still don’t. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

Men have been circumcised for religious or health reasons. Women are still being circumcised in several countries to prevent them from enjoying the sexual experience. It’s okay for men to enjoy but not women? Why? Who wrote that rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

The Missionary position for sex (indicative of some religious connection) refers to women on the bottom and men on the top. In the greatest majority of cases, the man is much bigger and heavier than the woman. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

Many religions require that women walk behind their husband. During religious services, they are segregated so that they do not sit together even to worship the same GOD. Why? Who wrote that rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

The Catholic Church has spent centuries treating women as second class citizens. Priest, Bishop, Cardinal, Pope all men. The only official position for women is that of Nun. Interestingly, I have never read of Nuns being guilty of sexual abuse. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men. I can’t imagine that GOD made different rules for different religions.

Some religions require that women be completely covered, while others require that the women shave their head. No such requirement exists for the men. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men. I can’t believe that GOD had different attire and hair style requirements for women of different religions.

In some countries, associated with religious doctrines, women are not allowed to drive vehicles. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men. It could not be GOD. Cars didn’t exist when such regulations took place.

Several religions, past and present, recognized that their survival depended upon numbers. The more members, the better chance for survival. As a result, rules/religious laws required that women have as many babies as possible. The more the better. During the Third Reich, Hitler chose the women who he felt had the best genetic makeup to “breed” with men who he believed to have the best genetic makeup. His goal was to produce the “Master Race.” The women had no choice with whom they were matched. In neither case was the woman considered. The toll, physical and emotional, of having baby after baby after baby really was not as important as the survival of the religion or the master race. Effective birth control was out not allowed. To question was an affront to GOD or to Hitler. The importance of numbers is valid. The use of women as breeding machines, not so much. We know why. We know who. In all cases, it is men who made those rules/laws. It is unlikely that GOD made different “breeding rules” for different religions.

In the United States, the Constitution was officially ratified on 6/21/1788. The Second Amendment, dealing with Militias and the right to bear arms, was ratified on 12/15/1791. The emancipation of slaves was part of the 13th Amendment, and was ratified on 12/18/1865. The 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, was ratified on 8/18/1920. Clearly, from the very beginning of our nation, women were less important than guns and slaves. In fact, women’s rights were dealt with 129 years after guns and militias and 55 years after dealing with the issue of slavery.

In the judiciary, women are still treated as second class citizens. Recent rulings dealing with the rape of women are an example. The judges, mostly men, consciously or unconsciously, know that as a young man, under the same circumstances, they may have done the same thing as the defendant did. Having sex with an unconscious woman, according to them is at least as much the fault of the female and a young man’s life should not be ruined for one such act (or at least the one he was caught doing). That fact that there will be long term negative effects on the female are not really a consideration. Females are told they should not go to such parties or drink alcohol. Males get no such advice. After all, boys will be boys.

It only took about 200 years or so to get laws dealing with “Dead Beat Fathers.” Even though they exist, for the most part, judges are extremely lenient when dealing with the Dead Beat. In the meantime, the woman has to provide money, food, health care, love, help with homework, after school activities and staying up all night with a sick child or children. All this, while in most cases, working full time to provide for her family. If she is late or can’t provide for an assigned visitation for the Dead Beat, SHE is chastised more than he is for missing payments.

If the woman gets pregnant, it is considered to be her fault. If she gets pregnant or just has sex with a married man, she is called a home wrecker. The man is free to keep having sex and getting women pregnant. The woman carries that baby for about nine months and goes through all the agonies, physical and emotional, of the process alone. The man keeps “poking fun.” Why? Who made this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

If a man can show that he was fearful for his safety and/or life when he kills another person, it is considered self-defense. If a woman has called the police (often fearing for her life if she would press charges) or gone to the hospital multiple times because her husband or significant other has beaten her, and she claims fear for her life when she kills that person, she is charged with murder. Why? Who wrote this rule/law? My best guess is that it was men.

Decisions about women’s health have become a hot topic. For the most part, those issues involve men and women who never walk in the shoes of the women whose lives are impacted by those rules. Planned Parenthood, which is MUCH more than an abortion site, is under constant attack. Those attacking have not had to deal with the exact same situations and circumstances as the women who need the help from that organization, but assume the role of GOD in determining what is right and wrong for all women. They claim to do this because GOD said so. Really? My best guess is that these rules/laws were made by men and women who believe they are acting on behalf of GOD. That authority was never expressly given to any individual human.

Sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse have existed for centuries. Hollywood has been famous for such activities involving little boys, young girls and women who want to get into that industry. Even recently, FOX news has been involved in such a scandal. It still goes on because women are afraid of what will happen if they tell the truth. For the most part they would not be believed, would be fired and ridiculed. Imagine trying to get another job to support your family. We have seen just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this subject.

Did you ever notice how many television commercials involve attractive, sexy women? This is done on purpose. The sponsor and the advertising agency know that this will get people, mostly, but not exclusively, men to focus on the ad. In advertising, it is not the message that counts. It is the repetition of the name and your focus on that commercial using the name.

The United States Congress, in spite of having some women members, refuses to pass legislation that would require equal pay for women doing the same jobs as men. For this we know why. Big and small business (via Chambers of Commerce) don’t want the extra expenses associated with equality. They keep YOUR congressional representatives in office year after year after year after year, etc.

It is funny/ironic that there is an organization called PETA, which protects the welfare of animals. Why is there not such an organization that protects the welfare of women? The answer is that basically, in this country and throughout the world, women are still, consciously or subconsciously, considered to be second class citizens.

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

We Pay for the Sins of Our Youth

WE PAY FOR THE SINS OF OUR YOUTH

 

The information presented here came from research by Marie Suszynski (reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD) and my 40 years of treating patients including professional and college athletes.

When you were younger, kid and young adult, did you sprain an ankle, knee, have back, wrist shoulder, foot pain after an activity? If so, like most of us, yes, including me, it was ignored without treatment or shortly after recovery with treatment.

According to Joshua Baker, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Philadelphia, you could end up with arthritis in the involved joint(s) several years later. From my professional experience, change the word COULD to PROBABLY.

As many as 15% of people who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis may have developed joint problems as a result of injury. Damaging a joint raises your chances of developing arthritis seven fold according to the Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Again, from my experience, that percentage is more like 75. The surgeons see only those who seek a surgical opinion/solution.

According to Louis Kwong, MD, chairman and program director of the department of orthopedic surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California, having a bone fracture, tendon or ligament injury makes you more likely to develop arthritis in that joint in the years to come.

A classic example of someone with post-traumatic arthritis is the high school athlete who tears a ligament (partial is a sprain) or cartilage in his or her knee and ends up with arthritis, sometimes decades later, according to Kwong.

He further stated that an injury sustained in a car accident is another type that could cause post traumatic arthritis. Your knee or ankles could be crushed, your wrist sprained, a hand broken or your back/neck would become strained as a result of a sudden jolt (whiplash). Even a relatively minor event could eventually lead to arthritis—an ankle sprained while hiking or a slip on ice that leads to a sprain or fracture.

According to Kwong, people can slow the progression of arthritis by keeping their body weight within a healthy range and exercising. He also encourages people to be conscious of the stress they put on their joints every day. If two men have high school football injuries and one goes on to have a desk job while the other is a construction worker, the construction worker is more likely to get early onset arthritis.

The arthritis could be osteoarthritis or an inflammatory arthritis such as gout, according to Anjali Casey, MD, rheumatologist with North Shore University Health System in Skokie, Illinois.

Even when doctors treat the injury immediately after it happens, treatment can’t make it as through the injury never happened.

Any sport can cause a fracture or injure a ligament or tendon. Quickly changing direction on a soccer field, stopping suddenly while playing tennis/hockey, landing the wrong way on a basketball court, crashing into another player, hyper-extending the spine or a joint in gymnastics resulting in pain can, and quite possibly will, lead to arthritis later on.

A 2010 study of nearly 2,500 people in Iceland, showed that men with strenuous occupations such as farming and fishing were more likely to need total knee replacement or total hip replacement surgery because of osteoarthritis, compared to managers and professionals in non-strenuous occupations.

An example in my practice was a woman in her late 20s who had bad neck pain, with some numbness and tingling in her hands. Her x-rays showed a reversal of her normal lordosis (forward curve) in her neck and significant osteoarthritis. The latter was far greater than one would expect in someone her age. When asked if she had a car accident or played varsity football in high school, she replied no to both. I was perplexed. The third time she came in for treatment, she said she remembered that age 16, she flew out of the windshield of a car, landing on the side of the road. I was no longer perplexed.

The same has been evident in teenagers and early twenties for those who were in gymnastics and cheer leading at an early age.

There are many good treatments. Medicines, as you will see on television ads, have many negative side effects. If you are suffering, you need to decide if the benefits are worth the risks. Chiropractic, Light therapy, diathermy, GENTLE physical therapy are good choices with virtually no negative side effects.

The title of this Blog is, “We Pay for the Sins of Our Youth.” In truth, we didn’t know or wouldn’t have believed that our activities could cause long term damage. I always cringe when I see young children carrying their younger siblings. The pressure on their incompletely developed joints and spine are far more than they should possibly bear. Even that common day occurrence is the precursor to early onset arthritis.

Now you know. What you do with this knowledge is up to you.

 

Read More