A happy marriage is easy to achieve if you know what you're doing. I discovered early in mine that a pot-roast can greatly improve your marital bliss.
Hubby never wants anything fancy. His idea of spice is salt and pepper. He's a meat and potato kind of guy. We take turns cooking. He BBQ's like a pro and I do my cooking in the kitchen.
First thing every morning for over twenty years he asks "What's for supper?" Then he'll call me at some point during the day, make small-talk and slip in "What's for supper?" He'll call when he leaves the office to ask how my day was and ask nonchalantly "What's for supper?"
About ten years into the marriage I started to notice a pattern. In the morning when he asked "What's for supper?" If I told him "Spaghetti" He'd be in a bad mood. He'd call during the day and ask "What's for supper?" and I'd repeat "Spaghetti" and he'd go on about what a bad day he had. Then he'd call on his way home and ask "What's for supper?" and I'd say "Spaghetti" and he'd say how exhausted he was and how he wasn't even that hungry.
Then I noticed when he asked in the morning "What's for supper?" and I said "Fried cod" he'd be a little happier. He'd call during the day to ask "What's for supper?" and I'd say "Fried cod." He'd say his day was ok and we'd hang up. Then he'd call on his way home and ask "What's for supper?" and I would repeat "Fried cod."Then he'd say he was tired but hungry.
One morning he asked "What's for supper?" I said "Pot roast." He jumped out of bed and skipped to the shower. He was all smiles and jokes and before he left he asked "What kind of pot roast?" "Pork" I told him. He skipped out to his truck and went to work. He called me half way through the day and asked "What's for supper?" "Pork roast" I assured him. He went on and on about how great his day was and how much he loved his job. Then he called when he left work and asked "Are we still having pork roast for supper?" He sounded like a kid asking "Is Santa coming tonight?"
So I decided to experiment on him and started changing around some variables. In the mornings when asked "What's for supper?" I'd say "Pot roast." He'd skip to the shower as usual. Then when he called during the day to ask "What's for supper" I'd say "Pot roast" then wait a few seconds and say "With salt meat." I could hear him jumping up and down with happiness. Then he'd phone on his way home and ask "How much salt meat did you put on?" I felt like a dominatrix at this point and say "The whole bucket." It would take his breath away. I thought he would pass out with happiness.
Then I'd change it around and say "Chicken." Chicken just got a yawn and an "OK kind of day" out of him. Pasta ruined his day completely. Taking out anything for him to BBQ would make him happy, but nothing had the effect that pot-roast had on him.
Our marriage is into the second decade and I have used three full bottles of gravy browning making gravy for pot-roasts. I have friends whose marriage never made it through one full bottle of gravy browning. Maybe that was the problem.
Over the years I have learned to shake it up a bit. When he'd call half way through the day I would say "...and I picked up a chocolate brownie cake at Sobey's for dessert." He run around his office giving everyone high-fives. Pull the car over on the way home and help elderly ladies cross the street. He'd be giddy as a school-girl.
Then there would be days when I was pissed at him for something. I would take the pot-roast out of the freezer in the morning to thaw. He would phone halfway through the day and ask, "What's for supper?" and I'd say "McDonalds!" Then he whines and says, "But you took out a pot-roast!" So I'd go in for the kill and say "I am too tired to cook it." I could hear the let-down in his voice. I'd feel empowered like the Soup-Nazi" on Seinfeld saying, "No pot-roast for you!" The power would be all mine.
I am thinking of applying for a government grant to do an actual study on "The affects of pot-roast on men." I think it's a stupid enough idea to qualify for thousands in grant money. Then I could round up a room full of husbands and feed them pasta one night, chicken the next, then pot-roast. I'd get them to fill out "Happiness charts" and measure their endorphins. I'd become famous and write a book called "Saving Your Marriage with Pot-Roast!" I'd be on Dr. Phil and probably get my own reality TV show.
My Mother always said, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach." Although my sister Rose says, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach then you have to pull up on the knife, go through the rib-cage and then you'll get to his heart."
It's the simple things that make marriages work. He brings up my coffee every morning. I cook him a pot-roast. It's all good. It comes down to trying to figure out what makes each other happy.
For me, it's shoes. For him it's pot-roast. It works for us.