the daily doyle

On Marriage
May 1, 2011, 1:27 am
Filed under: Smart stuff

“Marriage is a great institution; but who wants to live in an institution?” -Groucho Marx.

As far as marriage and relationships go, I’m an expert. I’ve been successfully married three times. Subsequently I had three successful divorces as well. Hey, whoever said marriages are supposed to last forever? I guess it’s in the vows but maybe “til death do us part” could refer to the death of the marriage, not one of the participants. Or maybe I had my fingers crossed during that part. Somehow it just didn’t work out.

So maybe nobody wants relationship advice from me. Fine. I’m not giving any. But I will tell some stories and give my viewpoint on some things and, well, if it sounds like advice, follow it at your peril.

I was married to three of the best, more beautiful, most exciting, most interesting women on the planet. My standards are high. There is nothing wrong with any of them. I still care for them and am in communication with all three of them.

W1 (oh, I don’t call them by their names anymore, too many of them, they’re just W1, W2 and W3), anyway, W1 is a world famous, world CHAMPION ballroom dancer, and has many other talents.

W2 is a firery and beautiful Venezuelan girl (more Miss Universe winners come from Venezuela than any other country). She’s a lot of fun, a great dancer too, and I still speak with her often. We have two children and two grandchilden together so there is always something to talk about.

And W3, well, she holds a special place in my heart for a number of reasons. One because we were married for 8 years. That’s a long time. Counting a year-long courtship, we were together for a full third of my adult life! It really didn’t seem like 8 years. She, by the way, had been a ballet dancer earlier in life and is still an excellent dancer.

What’s up with all this dancing? Honestly, I’m not a good dancer. I should have learned. I had the opportunity and three very good teachers and I just didn’t.

But that’s not the point of this article. The point is, why didn’t I stay married to one of them, if they are all such great women. That’s an easy answer, I just never had the commitment to stick with it through thick and thin, richer or poorer, making love or throwing frying pans at each other. It really is almost that simple. I guess they didn’t have that commitment either, can’t speak for them. I can only say that when the going got tough, I was happy to accept a way out rather than confront it, and keep putting the love there to keep it together. I know it can be done; I’ve seen others do it. I’ve even helped others do it.

The first thing about keeping a marriage together is that commitment. I’m not giving advice; I said I wouldn’t. So I’m not saying that you should have that undying, unkillable commitment. I am saying – if you don’t have it, your chances of a long marriage are slim.

The other thing I want to say about marriage is – don’t be so damned afraid of it. I roll my eyes when I hear one of my fellow divorced persons say, “oh, I’ll never get married again”. I don’t want to call those folks losers but it has the tone of saying “I lost in the marriage game and I don’t want to play anymore”. I understand marriages can be tough and divorces tougher. But come on, it’s life, get back in the game. What are you afraid of really? Yes, you could fail, so what. I suppose it’s a matter of whether you are buried under the scars and baggage from your previous marriages or whether you are on top of them. My advice (take it or leave it) is don’t continue to be a victim of past failures and tough times. Yes, you failed. Yes it was painful. Now get over it and get back to life. My further advice is that if you are burdened by past pain and loss, you should read the book Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard. Look it up at

So, I’m out of here, have to go find my next wife. W4, here I come!



6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I have something to say about that.
In all my many years and many relationships, I was always the one to walk except in one. And every time I left, the man in question never fought to keep me. I thought that was a poor measure of the men. In a couple of cases, it was good because the situation was too destructive and my survival dictated departure. But I would think a man who really loved me would move heaven and earth to use what he knew to resolve the problems and keep me around. It doesn’t damage my idea of value that they didn’t. It just reflects poorly on their cause level and ability to confront that they didn’t.

I can’t say these these apply to you. I just feel that, in general, a man who is really willing to move heaven and earth for a good woman (to the benefit of both, not trying to fix something that should not be fixed) constitutes the nobility of man. Women need care. And gentle guidance sometimes. We get our panties in a twist and calm help to untwist them to we don’t take precipitate action if a positive thing. A good woman, a really good woman is gold. I think of myself that way. There are many of my goodest friends who are also gold. And like real gold out in the world, some of us have a little lesser minerals included in our matrices that should be loved, cherished and protected right along with the gold.

Comment by KarenH

Correction: The sentence above should read “I can’t say these comments apply to you.”

Comment by KarenH

W1 weighing in … Brilliant observations Doyle.
Hugs and happy writing!

Comment by BH

W3 here! Love it. You were always such a good writer! And able to see the good in everyone.

Comment by Kelly

Thank you for the kind words, I’m really touched. I am truly fortunate to have known you both and shared part of your lives.

Comment by doylemills

And Karen, that’s a nice disclaimer that those comments may not apply to me. But they do! I am that guy, the one who hasn’t keep on fighting and untwisting panties and whatever else it takes. But I’m striving to do better.

Comment by doylemills

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