The Toilet Seat Must Go Down

A Blog by Judi Schindler
Relationship Advice From the Author of “Husbands: An Owner’s Manual”

Judi Schindler, actor, author, speaker, offers humorous marriage advice through her one-woman show, “Husbands: An Owner’s Manual.” Since 2012, she has been entertaining audiences of both men and women (well mostly women) with her witty and candid views on marriage. She recently published a book of the same title. Both explain how to select a husband and how to maintain him in good working order, including replacement parts, warranties, and exchanges. It is dedicated to her husband of 50+ years, Jack Schindler, without whom the manual would not be possible (or much else).

Smile: You’re On Candid Camera

As many a criminal has discovered, you can’t get away with anything these days.  There are cameras everywhere – on lampposts, mailboxes and in every stranger’s pocket. But it’s not just lawbreakers who have to be careful.  Cheaters, looking for extra-curricular dalliances, should also beware. In Lima Peru, a husband caught his wife with another man when he looked up directions on Google Maps.  As it happened, a Google street cam had recorded his wife canoodling with another man in the neighborhood he was searching. Similar Google Map “gotchas” were reported in England and Russia. In addition to cameras, digital tracking also can catch a culprit in the act. [...]

By |August 20th, 2020|


Painting by Jean Baptiste Santerre. In my last blog entry, I revealed what Jack and I have been doing during quarantine (baking cookies, sewing masks and walking). A cursory glance at the internet reveals how the rest of you are spending your time. According to the Los Angeles Times, retailers of sex toys are enjoying a 30% jump in Internet sales. And one luxury brand in Stockholm has had a 60% jump. The Jerusalem Post reports that sales of sex toys in Denmark more than doubled after Danes were told to stay home. "It makes me happy that we are doing something good during this difficult time, [...]

By |May 6th, 2020|

The Up Side of Down Time

Madelbrot made from scratch by Judi and Jack Schindler. In spite of 55 years of marriage, Jack Schindler and I have almost nothing in common.  We don’t like the same movies, television programs, books, music, food, etc. For example, he likes movies where things blow up, while I like movies where people talk to each other. I often say the multiplex saved our marriage.  We each go to the movie of our choice then meet up afterwards. You might think that the past four weeks of our captivity would have resulted in an escalating battle of will. But the opposite is true. The quarantine has actually [...]

By |April 15th, 2020|

Have you seen my glasses? My phone? My head?

Does your husband forget: your birthday? where he put his keys? dinner plans with friends? the couple you met in Puerta Vallarta? Turns out, it may not be his fault.  Numerous studies show that women, in general, have better memories -- particularly when it comes to names, faces and events. A 2008 study in Sweden indicated that women excel in “verbal episodic memory tasks” such as words, pictures and everyday occurrences. That’s why we outperform men when it comes to  remembering the trivial (what we wore to our grammar school graduation) as well as the not so trivial (the necessity to stop at the cleaners on the way [...]

By |March 6th, 2020|

Netflix Film Sheds Realistic Light on Divorce

Have you seen “Marriage Story” yet?  The Scarlett Johansson/Adam Driver film, currently streaming on Netflix, demonstrates how an amicable divorce between caring partners can quickly disintegrate into vindictive hostilities, which strip the couple of their assets and turn children into weapons of war. The film is no exaggeration. The Internet is teeming with appalling divorce stories.  If you’re curious, take a look at “10 Divorce Court Horror Stories,” from HuffPost; “8 Divorce Horror Stories from People Who’ve Been Through it,” in BusinessInsider or “Dirty Divorce Tricks” on Reading these articles, myself, I discovered a long list of the brutal tactics that divorcing parties and their lawyers routinely employ [...]

By |January 8th, 2020|

Being One of the Girls has its Pros & Cons

Regular readers of this blog know I am keenly interested in the behavioral differences between men and women. So, imagine my excitement at the opportunity to discuss the Mars/Venus dichotomy with someone who’s been on both sides of the equation.  I’ve written about the fact that most men can’t distinguish between coral and pink and most women can’t read a map. I’ve also explored gender divergence in shopping, packing, and illness as well as the critical issue of outdoor peeing. Fran is a transgender management consultant in her 60s, who has periodically presented as female since the age of 14. She fully transitioned some 10 years ago, but [...]

By |December 10th, 2019|

Men vs Women: Who’s the Leader of the Pack?

Photo Credit: Brandless on Unsplash I think I’ve stumbled on an unheralded, but highly contentious, battleground in the ongoing war between the sexes – packing. Men and women think differently about packing. We approach it differently, and we have different standards by which to measure our success. But who does it better? Packing a trunk is one area area where men seem to have an edge. “Myth Busters,” a television program that aired on the Discovery Channel from 2003 to 2016, tested the validity of this assertion. The show brought in volunteer couples and gave each 15 minutes to pack similar cars. The men not only [...]

By |November 7th, 2019|

Older Brides, Grooms Amp Up Wedding Rites and Cost

The wedding of Pryanka Chopra and Nick Jonas was a two-day affair estimated to cost $584,000. In the 1960s, when Jack and I got married, most brides and grooms were in their 20s. They went directly from their parents' home to the proverbial honeymoon cottage. So, the virginal white gown made sense (at least in theory). Marching down the aisle with a parent "who giveth this bride" seemed symbolically appropriate, if not altogether PC.  And gifting the young couple with household goods was a matter of necessity. Today's bride and groom are at least a decade older, have been living together for a while and already [...]

By |October 8th, 2019|

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Photo courtesy "Cosmopolitan" Magazine. Are you tired of Tinder? Maxed out on Match?  Has the search for Mr. Right, turned wrong? Maybe it's time to take a new look at an old-fashioned solution -- the arranged marriage. I follow a number of Instagram accounts on dating.  They have names like datingmrwrong, datingafter50, datingafter40, datingappgargbage,dating_nightmares. Some of them post funny dating observations, like: "Sorry we haven't spoken in a while -- I've not been drunk." "We broke up for religious reasons. He thought he was God. I didn't." Or "My prince isn't coming on a white horse. He's riding a turtle and obviously lost." And some publish head-snapping [...]

By |September 16th, 2019|

Don’t Get Mad: Get Even

Lucy Liu, Ginnifer Goodwin and Kirby Howell Baptiste seek revenge on cheating husbands in new TV series, "Why Women Kill." Cheating steps into the spotlight this August when CBS All Access launches a new series, "Why Women Kill,"starring Lucy Liu, Ginnifer Goodwin and Kirby Howell Baptiste.  It's about three women, in three different decades, who discover their husbands are cheating and how each seeks revenge. The trailer looks like plain, old fashioned fun! Check it out. Revenge is always fun, if you aren't the recipient, of course. There's a perverse pleasure in evening the score. The internet is filled with hilarious examples. I thought I'd share a few. [...]

By |July 30th, 2019|

Are Couples Getting Back in the Swing

Elliot Gould, Natalie Wood, Robert Culp and Dyan Cannon in the 1969 movie "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice." Today I'm writing on a topic I know nothing about (as if that ever stopped me): "wife swapping" -- also known as "wife sharing" or the more PC, "swinging." I regularly get emails from a social media site called, "Quora," which posts a question from one of its subscribers and then publishes answers provided by other subscribers.  Many of the questions are relatively bland, i.e. "Have you ever walked out of a restaurant after you were seated by a waiter or waitress?" Yeah, so what? But [...]

By |June 27th, 2019|

Shopping is Not a Conjugal Act

Despite 54 years of marriage, Jack Schindler and I do not like the same movies, television programs or books.  We are also incompatible when it comes to shopping. When I want to buy a pair of jeans, I try on several different styles and sizes and check every angle in a three-way mirror. I might pair it with a variety of tops to evaluate the look and consider the type of shoes that are appropriate for the length and cut of the pants. I'll sit and walk in every pair to see if they gap or pull.  I might ask the sales clerk how the fabric launders and [...]

By |June 13th, 2019|

Dating Today: Not For Amateurs

Photo Credit: Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash As someone who claims expertise on "selecting a husband and maintaining him in good working order," I will have to admit my knowledge of the selection process is a little rusty. Not having personally husband-shopped for more than a half century, I rely on third-party research to keep up with current dating customs and taboos. Over the past couple of years, I've learned that blind dates have given way to dating apps and websites with their "bread-crumbing," "benching" and "ghosting." Break-ups via post-it notes (so old school) have been replaced by break-ups via text, DM or simply changing one's relationship status [...]

By |May 2nd, 2019|

Some Enchanted Evening You May Meet a Stranger

Photo Credit: Getty Images In a recent story in the In a "Sunday Styles" section of the New York Times, a young New York man describes spotting a young woman across the room at a business event in Israel, "I . . .  just kind of froze for a moment. . . I immediately told myself if this girl could be the one, then I'm satisfied, I'm set for life." They had one date before he flew home.  Six months later they had a second date in Venice, and less than a year later she emigrated from Israel and moved into his Manhattan apartment. Love at first [...]

By |April 16th, 2019|

Some Aspects of Marriage Just Stink

I don't know what your mother told you on your wedding night, but mine said, "all men fart in bed." This came from a woman who had two husbands and only one extra-curricular encounter that I know of.  So, her opinion, while informed, was not based on exhaustive research. But science has explored the topic. Studies show that both men and women fart up to 20 times per day (both in and out of bed), but that men are no more gaseous than women.  It's just that men do little to control the noise level, frequency or location of their farting. To the contrary, men seem to be quite fond of [...]

By |April 4th, 2019|

Couples Overcome Challenge of Unremitting Togetherness

Marianne Murciano and Bob Sirott have been both business and life partners for 20 years. We all know marriage is hard, very hard. For two individuals to forge a life together, they have to compromise, accommodate, forgive and overlook — on a daily basis. That’s a pretty tall order. But what if these individuals also work together?  How much harder is that? To find out, I talked to several such couples. Chicago broadcasters Marianne Murciano and Bob Sirott didn’t know each other when they were paired to co-anchor the morning news on Fox TV in Chicago. The working relationship came first. They went from strangers to friends to lovers over [...]

By |February 13th, 2019|

Technology-Free Dating: Isn’t it Romantic

In an era of, Tinder and dating-by-algorithm, it's nice to know that unexpected, heart-stopping, romance-by-chance is still possible. Even better, it can happen when you're dipping your toe in the dating pool for a second time.  Here're three such stories. A Tale of Three Steves Sharon was 39, newly divorced from Steve #1, and the mother of two small boys when she went to a single's dance on Long Island to meet her date, Steve #2.  She was there only a few minutes, when Steve #3 asked her to dance. While not quite ready to ditch Steve #2, she agreed to dinner the next night. Three days [...]

By |January 17th, 2019|

It’s No Joke: Marriage Can Help You Live Longer

Many are the comedians who've earned a living making fun of marriage: Henny Youngman famously told audiences, "Take my wife, please." Roseanne Barr countered with, "You may marry the man of your dreams, but 14 years later, you’re married to a couch that burps.” All kidding aside, there's another, more positive, aspect to marriage. Whether you know it or not, your spouse might be saving your life -- on a daily basis. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School's Health Publication, studies show that, when compared to singles, married adults tend to live longer, have fewer strokes and heart attacks, are less depressed, survive major surgery [...]

By |January 1st, 2019|

Last-Minute Gifting Advice for the Genetically Disabled

It's a known medical fact: most men are not born with the gift-giving gene. This time of year, you can see them stumbling around shopping malls, glassy-eyed and desperate. With Christmas just a few days away, I'd like to offer a few suggestions to those most in need. Gentlemen, here's what not to buy your wife or girlfriend. Gifts You Want Yourself While you might have your heart set on a beer cooler, power mower or roadside emergency kit: she probably doesn't. (Here's a secret: women have the crazy notion your gift should be a symbol of how much you love her, appreciate her and understand her needs.)  [...]

By |December 19th, 2018|

No Time for Dating Apps? Hire Someone to Do it For You

Photo Credit: New York Post Dating in the 21st Century is not for the faint of heart.  So many apps.  So many options.  So much technology. Not to mention a lot of swiping, winking and messaging. But there is help out there. There are websites, YouTube channels and blogs willing to help you slog through the dating swampland. And, of course, you can also hire your own personal dating coach. I managed to nab an interview with one of the best.  A former psychotherapist, Meredith Golden turned a life-long predilection for matchmaking into a business more than three years ago. She launched the SpoonMeetSpoon website, thinking it might give her [...]

By |December 5th, 2018|

When the Whole World is Your Toilet . . .

I was sitting around with a group of girlfriends last week when the topic turned to: "why men pee outdoors." The discussion began with Jennifer, who owns a small rental building in the city and recently installed security cameras around the property. While the camera hasn't recorded any burglars, it has caught two different male tenants (on separate occasions) peeing al fresco. Given that both men have perfectly good toilets a few steps away, my girlfriends wanted to know what's going on. Performing a quick Google search on their behalf, I discovered that men actually enjoy peeing in gangways, alleys, bushes and outside the occasional sports bar. I [...]

By |November 21st, 2018|

Science Proves Men and Women are Different

I've frequently joked that most men can't tell the difference between pink and coral or taupe and beige. I've even suggested married men should be required to show a note from their wives before selecting paint colors. Turns out, it's no joke. I recently stumbled on an article on that suggests women not only distinguish colors more precisely, they also taste, smell, hear and feel textures more accurately than men. While researchers agree that women have superior senses, they don't always agree whether the differential is biological, psychological or societal. When it comes to the sense of smell, biology plays a major factor. On average, women have [...]

By |November 6th, 2018|

Political Discord Spawns Partisan Dating Apps

(Photos: Courtesy, With the November 6 midterm elections approaching and political discord heating up to an all-time frenzy, it's increasingly imperative to date along party lines. Through the miracle of dating apps, it's also easier. Like-minded partisans can find each other on a number of different sites. Conservatives Only, which boasts the motto "Because Liberals Just Don't Get It," promises to match people who share a passion for, "life, liberty and love." On the other side of the aisle is Liberal Hearts, which urges you to "meet your 'politically correct"match using our uniquely "progressive" match system. Libertarian Passions is the site for singles interested in [...]

By |October 23rd, 2018|

When it Comes to Marriage, Heterosexuals Can Take a Lesson

I've always thought there was a lot to be said for same-sex marriage -- even for couples who aren't gay.  Instead of a Venusian and a Martian struggling to cohabit, the partners would at least be from the same planet. They'd like the same movies. They'd read the same books. They'd speak the same language. They might even manage to converse with each other. Then I met Brian and Matthew. Now, I'm convinced of it. Together for 16 1/2 years and married for two, Brian and Matthew are highly successful business men who lead busy, demanding lives. Their strategy for blending those lives is a model we'd all [...]

By |October 11th, 2018|

Author Suspected of Plotting Husband’s Murder

Did you hear about the romance/suspense writer in Oregon who, six years ago, wrote an essay titled, "How to Murder Your Husband"?  Earlier this month she was arrested for apparently taking her own advice. Nancy Crampton Brophy, 68, (who has pleaded not guilty) was accused of gunning down her husband of 25 years last June. Daniel Brophy, 63, was a chef/instructor at the Oregon Culinary Institute, where his body was found in one of the school kitchens. In 2011, the widow Brophy's essay appeared on the website "See Jane Publish." The essay, which has since been archived opens with, "As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot [...]

By |September 24th, 2018|

Are Interracial Couples Gaining Acceptance?

Photo Credit: Cindy Baffour on Unsplash It used to be mostly high-profile athletes, Robert De Niro and the Kardashians: now it seems to be everywhere. I'm speaking of Interracial dating and marriage. You see it in commercials, at neighborhood restaurants, TV shows. Most recently, it received the royal stamp of approval from the House of Windsor. In 1967, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Loving v. the State of Virginia (which struck down all state laws banning interracial marriages), some 3% of U.S. marriages were bi-racial.  According to Pew Research, in 2017 it was 17% for the newly married. In some places, the percentage [...]

By |September 11th, 2018|

Couples Promise to Love Honor and Hashtag

What's the first thing a young couple has to decide when they get engaged? No, it's not the wedding date or the venue or who will walk the bride down the aisle. In the social media age, the most important decision is the "wedding hashtag." I confess, until recently, I didn't even know such a thing existed. While, I was basking in my ignorance, however, a whole industry cropped up. For those who are equally oblivious, let me explain: couples today create a unique hashtag, which is added to invitations, party fare, online websites and social media posts.  Think #MeganHarry2018 or #BradAndAngelina4Ever. Friends and family can then search [...]

By |August 27th, 2018|

Can Algorithims Find the Perfect Match?

In his latest book, "Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow," Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari, predicts that algorithms will soon work more effectively than the human brains that create them. In particular, he envisions a time when love-algorithms will eliminate all the agony of dating and mating by matching you up with the one person with whom you are best suited to spend eternity. Scoff if you like, but that day may be closer than you think. I recently read an article titled, "Should You Always Swipe Right on Tinder?" which explains there's a Tinder algorithm that plays a major role in who you get matched with on [...]

By |August 15th, 2018|

Is Marriage Going Out of Style?

When 22-year-old me married 26-year-old Jack Schindler in 1964, some 72% of all American adults were married.  Today it's more like 50%.  Despite the fact that more people are legally allowed to marry than ever before, fewer are opting to doing so. Furthermore, those who do get married are doing so later.  Back in 1964, the average first-time bride was 20, while the average first-time groom was 22.  Today, the average is 27.4 for women and 29.5 for men. Experts cite a number of sociological changes behind the declining popularity of marriage. The biggest reason is probably choice.  Women no longer need a husband to support them.  They [...]

By |August 1st, 2018|


If you think you'd like to be young and single again, better think twice. The whole process of dating and mating has been reduced to a game, literally.  Last month the Match Group, Tinder's parent company, introduced "Crown," which is the dating equivalent to the "Sweet 16" in basketball. Every day, the algorithm sends you 16 possible love interests in eight pairs.  You choose the one you like best in each pairing.  Now you have four pairs of eight matches. You keep winnowing down the options until you "crown" the winner. If you've both crowned each other, you have the option of starting a conversation and meeting up.  [...]

By |July 17th, 2018|

Marry in Haste: Repent (Or Not) in Leisure?

Social media is a-twitter with the report last month that pop singer Ariana Grande, 24, and "Saturday Night Live" star Pete Davidson, also 24, got engaged after dating one week. Although "Cosmopolitan" contends they were secretly seeing each other since March while both were involved with other partners.  (I keep up with these things, so you don't have to?) Despite the fact that Ariana and Pete already have matching tattoos, it's anyone's guess whether this pairing is destined for death-do-us-part. Fox News cites other celebs involved in quickie engagements, most of which did not see happily ever after: Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, married after 96 hours, divorced [...]

By |July 4th, 2018|

Why Do Men Fall Apart When They’re Sick?

Photo courtesy of Pexels I recently saw a meme that said, "My husband and I both have colds.  I keep living my life, but we may have to call his family, so they can say goodbye." When my friend Karen's husband had a cold, he turned to her and asked, "do you think I will ever get well?" "Yes," she said, "I'm fairly confident you will." What's going on here?  Big, strapping guys, who can change a tire, chop wood and kill spiders, fall apart when they have a muscle cramp or upset tummy. A few years ago, Huffington Post Blogger Diedre A. Ware wrote a [...]

By |June 19th, 2018|

Online Dating Turns Out to Be Full-Time Job

Photo courtesy of rawpixel on unsplash We've heard a few horror stories about dating online.  Meredith had a different experience. In her 20s at the time and starting a career in food service, she had very little time for a social life.  The dating apps seemed like a harmless way to meet new people, go new places and get her out of a rut. She didn't realize that it could take over her life. Signed up with two different apps, the young, attractive operations director was soon overwhelmed with responses, as many as 20 a day. She spent long hours replying to messages, reviewing bios, checking [...]

By |June 12th, 2018|


Photo Courtesy "In Touch" Magazine Remember Mary Kay Letourneau, the ex-school teacher/convicted felon, whose passionate affair with a 13-year-old student produced two children and a seven-year prison sentence? She and Vili Fualaau, who were married in 2005, are now just a typical old married couple. She's 56 and a paralegal. He's a 34-year-old part-time DJ who's thinking about a marijuana business. And, oh, oh, here's a surprise! The marriage is in trouble. The couple has been legally separated since June of last year. It seems that Mary Kay was not only the principal breadwinner, she also handled most of the parenting, finance and household responsibilities. Villi, [...]

By |June 5th, 2018|

Wedding Proposals Go Hollywood

Photo courtesy of Unsplash. When did jaw-dropping marriage proposals become a thing? I'm talking about proposals that take place during bungee jumps, on mountain peaks, underwater, skydiving or water skiing.  I am also referencing full-blown productions that are professionally choreographed, directed and video-taped. Go on line, and you'll see photos of a guy, who dressed himself and 47 of his friend as carrots, to perform a dance routine for his beloved as a prelude to the proposal. Then there's the young Russian who hired a screen writer, film crew and stuntman to fake his death before coming back to life and popping the question. Visit YouTube [...]

By |May 29th, 2018|

Want a laugh? Scroll Instagram

I'm currently obsessed with Instagram.  I'm taking an online course, which advises that I spend at least five hours a day, posting on my own feed and liking and commenting on other feeds in my niche.  It's a full-time job.  I'm exhausted. On the up-side, I've run across a lot of amusing marital wit and wisdom.  Here are some of the best IG posts under #marriagehumor.  Enjoy!  (And, for the love of God, follow me at Now here're a couple of my own IG posts for your amusement. Got a good quote of your own on marriage?  Be sure to let me know.  And share these with someone [...]

By |May 23rd, 2018|

Little Reality in Reality Dating Shows

Scene from "Dating Naked," which ran on VH1. I'm not a big fan of reality dating shows. I don't think I ever watched a full episode of "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette."  So, imagine my surprise when I ran across an article recalling 43 dating shows I never knew existed. The article, which ran on the lifestyle blog, "Beamly," covered gone and best-forgotten programs such as "Dating Naked," which featured strangers dating strangers in their birthday suits; "Age of Love," that matched up a 30-year-old man with a group of  women in their 20s, and a group of women in their late 30s to 40s to [...]

By |May 16th, 2018|

Dating in the 21st Century Cases #6 & #7

Photo by Huy Phan on Unsplash In our ongoing effort to explore the current dating culture, we've heard about a variety of first-dates that went no further, due to fetishes, concealed marital status, unexpected nudity and public crying (his, not hers). Today we discover that second dates can have their downside as well. Case#5 Brenda couldn't believe her luck.  She met Dwayne online.  He was tall, good looking, well-spoken and took her to a trendy new restaurant.  (She's a bit of a food snob, so this was big plus.)  They talked.  They laughed. OK, in retrospect, he seemed a "bit off," she admits. The second date?  [...]

By |May 8th, 2018|

Sexual Harassment: What Can Good Guys Do?

Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash Up 'til now, I've been reluctant to weigh in on #metoo.  After all, it's been a long time since a 50-something employer chased a 20-something me around the office shouting, "who're you afraid of, me, or yourself?" I'm now prompted to speak by the overwhelming pervasiveness of the issue and the confusion it is generating in some men. Every day there's a new outrage, with charges of inappropriate behavior hurled at seemingly inoffensive men. (Garrison Keillor, for God's sake!) Then there's the recent online survey, which reveals that 51% of women say they've been subjected to inappropriate touching and 77% [...]

By |April 30th, 2018|

Is Bitchy Humor Dead?

Bette Davis with real-life husband Gary Merrill in "All About Eve." It's been said that all my cultural references are dead people, which is highly unfair.  Only the good ones are dead. This week I made a valiant effort to find pertinent quotes from contemporary funny ladies such as: Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman and Tina Fey.  While these are highly entertaining women, their one-liners lack the bitchy wit of previous generations. For that we must turn to the self-proclaimed tough broad herself, Bette Davis, who famously said, “The best time I ever had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs in Whatever Happened to Baby [...]

By |April 24th, 2018|

Weird Wedding Rituals from Around the World

Unless they manage to hitch up before a judge or magistrate, couples are rarely permitted to tie the knot without submitting to one or more outdated custom, designed to bring them health, good fortune and a tiny measure of humiliation.   This is true around the world. Here're a few examples: Germany Following the ceremony, a young German couple is required to work together to saw a log in half.  According to Southern Bride Magazine, the act is designed to demonstrate the bride and groom's ability to work together.  Presumably, the wedding is annulled if one of them loses a finger. Fiji In Fiji, the bridegroom must gift his [...]

By |April 17th, 2018|

Dating in the 21st Century: Cases #2-#5

Photo courtesy the Daily Mirror. Since writing Case #1 in the ongoing saga that is modern-day dating, I've been inundated with stories about on-line mis-matches and first dates that quickly became last dates. There's the married man, pretending to be single, who arranged to meet at a neighborhood bar.  Five minutes into the conversation, he leaned over to ask if she liked oral sex. Then there's the elderly gentlemen who came out of the bathroom totally naked.  When his date was not impressed, he upped the game with some body poses he must have practiced in front of a foggy mirror. She left before he could [...]

By |April 11th, 2018|

Japanese Rent Romance By the Hour

Situated in Tokyo's largest nightlife district, HOTEL & SPA J-MEX Shinjuku Kabukicho is a love hotel designed for adults only. Looking to spice up your love life?  You might consider a trip to Japan, where pay-by-the-hour love hotels are trending up. My friend Wendy sent me an article from  National Geographic, which says there are more than 30,000 "love hotels" in the country, and hundreds in Tokyo alone.  By contrast, there are only three similar-concept hotels in Chicago. (Sybaris Northbrook, Downers Grove, and Frankfort.) The Japanese version offers themed rooms ranging from Disneyland to BDSM* dungeons with a smattering of fantasies and fetishes between. Some come [...]

By |April 3rd, 2018|

Wit and Wisdom Where You Least Expect It

I consider myself social-media savvy.  I blog, I tweet, I have two Facebook pages. And I'm beginning to use Instagram for more than grandkid viewing. But Pinterest?  Not so much.  I was willing to dismiss it (along with scrap-booking and bird watching) as a time-filler for the underemployed. WRONG!  Turns out Pinterest is a great source for keen observations about marriage and relationships.  Here are some samples: "Her nagging is a sign that she cares.  Silence means she's plotting your death." "Before you marry a person, you should make them use a computer with slow internet to see who they really are." -- Will Ferrell. "Never laugh at [...]

By |March 27th, 2018|

Dating in the 21st Century: Case #1

Married for 53 years, I missed out on Tinder,, break-up texts, electronic background checks and incidents like the following story (which I swear is true). It was a long hard winter in Chicago.  A brutal month of sub-zero temperatures was followed by a mind-numbing month of never-ending snow storms. So, Melissa, a 50ish single woman, got a little bored and decided to place an ad on Craigslist under the heading:  "Shoe Shopping/Foot Massage." She also took the precaution of creating an email account using a fictitious name. She got 50 responses. Weeding out the haters, the crazies and the scary, she landed on one that sounded like [...]

By |March 19th, 2018|

British Matrons Taking Boy Toys on the Side

It seems that Middle-Aged British women are doing more than brewing tea and crocheting doilies these days., which bills itself as the UK’s leading dating website for married people, has seen a 30% year-over-year increase in the number of 40+ women signing up to the site. Furthermore, most of these women are looking to share their beds (at least temporarily) with younger men. The cheating site surveyed a sample of more than 500 married women over the age of 40 who signed up for their service.  Findings revealed as many as 25% had an affair with someone 15 to 20 years younger than themselves, 37% have had [...]

By |March 6th, 2018|

Joan Collins Reveals Marriage Secret

Joan Collins and husband Percy Gibson With five marriages under her belt, Joan Collins has finally found the formula for marital bliss. The secret, reported in the Irish Examiner, is separate bathrooms. The 84-year-old actress has been married to Percy Gibson, 34 years her junior, since 2002 None of her previous husbands (Maxwell Reed, Anthony Newley, Ron Kass and Peter Holm) lasted nearly as long, so she may be on to something. Separate but equal is a formula that works for many couples. My friend Julie insists on separate bedrooms because her husband's snoring keeps her up all night. Melania Trump has a similar requirement. (And [...]

By |February 27th, 2018|

Where is the ‘Ladies Home Journal’ When You Need it?

Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post In 1953, the Ladies Home Journal introduced one of its most popular features, "Can This Marriage Be Saved."  Every month, a troubled couple would detail their problems, while a professional therapist provided the solution. What would the magazine say about the current marital discord in the White House? First, Melania has to put up with a story that her husband cheated on her with a porn star; then she finds out that she wasn't the only one he was cheating on.  There was also the "Playmate of the Year" he started seeing two months after their son was born. [...]

By |February 20th, 2018|

Bad Gift Contest Draws Hilarious Entries

What says romance more than the Luxe Bidet Neo 120 (Elite Series) - Self Cleaning Nozzle - Fresh Water Non-Electric Mechanical Bidet Toilet Attachment w/ Strong Faucet Valves and Metal Hoses For a lucky few, today will be a day of roses, champagne and a romantic candlelit dinner.  For the rest of us?   Just one more failure by the man in our life to suitably demonstrate his love and affection. A few weeks ago, I announced a "Bad Gift Contest," and the response was overwhelming.  Who knew there were so many clueless men out there?  Oh, wait, we did.  That's why we ran the contest in [...]

By |February 12th, 2018|

What in the World is Going On?

In my ongoing effort to keep you, the reader, abreast of the latest developments in love and marriage, I offer the following stories from around the world There's an App for that? In Hong Kong, the family service unit of the Catholic Church has launched a "marriage checkup" app (for both Android and IOS phones).  Utilizing cutting edge technology, the app helps couples, who have been married at least 10 years, assess their relationship. Questions include how often they have sex, argue or discuss life decisions and how many times the thought of marriage crossed their minds.  A low score sends them to a page advising them to [...]

By |February 7th, 2018|

Diamonds are Forever: Romance, Not So Much

Elizabeth Taylor didn't do it.  Zsa Zsa Gabor wouldn't think of it. Kim Kardashian was forced to. We're talking diamonds here, ladies.  Do you give them back after a failed engagement or marriage? According to a recent article in the New York Times, the answer might depend on where you live. In Illinois, an engagement ring is considered "a gift in contemplation of marriage."  The courts have held that if the marriage is called off, the one left at the altar gets the ring. In New York, a broken engagement is considered no one's fault, so the ring goes back to the donor. But in Montana, the ring [...]

By |January 31st, 2018|

Couples Counseling? There’s an App For That

I'm perfectly aware that couples can meet online.  They can plan their weddings online.  They can even file divorce papers online. What I didn't know, is they can also go online for marriage counseling using skype, chat rooms,text messages and message boards.  Furthermore, most of these features can be accessed 24/7 through an app that sits on your smart phone. Please note, this is not some one-off phenomenon.  Collectively, the top six online therapy services get 2,540,000 site visits per month, according to, an association of on-line counselors The largest "cyber shrink" is, which boast 2,000 licensed therapists. gets 1,400,000 web visits per month or 16,800,000 [...]

By |January 24th, 2018|

What Not to Give for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day is coming up: a scary thought if you've ever been the recipient or the giver of one or more questionable gifts. As I've said repeatedly," gift-giving is a skill for which most men are not factory equipped." Some women aren't much better. To make matters worse, there're companies out there encouraging the boneheaded to buy tasteless, useless and insulting products. As a public service, I am offering the following advice to anyone who needs help on February 14.  I think it's safe to say that none of the following will warm your Valentine's heart or any other part of the anatomy.  Purchase at your own risk [...]

By |January 16th, 2018|

Where to Find Husband Who Won’t Cramp Your Space

Last week we heard from who women who said they wouldn't mind having a husband if they didn't have to live with him. It seems there're like-minded women across the country, and these resourceful ladies have found a solution to the conundrum. They're marrying incarcerated men, serving long term sentences. Erik and Tammi Menendez Erik Menendez has been married since 1999 to a woman who wrote him a letter in prison. Brother Lyle, married and divorced one pen pal, and then went on to marry another. Then there's Phil Spector, the rock and roll promoter with wild and crazy hair.  In 2009, he was sentenced to [...]

By |January 9th, 2018|

Flying Solo Suits These Women

Last week we heard from women who married after 50.  This week we turn the discussion over to women who never wish to marry -- at least not ever again. Jane, who divorced at 56, has had at least two serious relationships in the 20 years that followed. Extremely active (she bikes, hikes, plays tennis and swims along with running her own business), Jane values her independence and her space. She says her ex-husband was the love of her life, and she doesn't expect to find that again. The men she has loved since then occupy a different place in her heart. Furthermore, she doesn't need a husband [...]

By |January 2nd, 2018|

Why Get Married Past 50? Hear What Not-So-Blushing Brides Say

I frequently say that living with a man means stepping over dirty laundry and giving up all rights to the remote control.  It's one thing to do that when you're young and innocent, and quite another when you're old enough to know better. My friend was Morene was 59 when she decided to marry her long-time boyfriend Barry. She didn't do it for financial security or health insurance, she had always been an independent career woman.  Morene simply felt that marriage was part of being a real grown-up. "Plus, I'd always have a date on Saturday night." Pam, at 68, had been a widow for 10 years when [...]

By |December 26th, 2017|

Dating Sites Match Up Beauties, Preppies, Dorks, Etc.

Are you hoping to find a new husband under the Christmas tree or just a date for New Year's Eve? Here's good news, there's a specialized dating site out there created with you in mind. Forget e-harmony, Tinder and  They're so "everybody."  You're more likely to find a common bond with someone on one of these sites: Beautiful People Is just as advertised. To join, you must be voted in by other members.  Not sure how well the site works, but it gets my vote for weirdest home page.  (See above) The Right Stuff Bills itself as an international introduction network for single graduates and faculty of [...]

By |December 12th, 2017|

Check Out Bartlett’s “Unfamiliar” Quotations

On several occasions, this blog has quoted some of the most famous wits of the world the topic of men, marriage and relationships. We've heard from such well known pundits as Oscar Wilde, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Roseanne Barr, Elizabeth Taylor and Nora Ephron. Today's quotes are not from any of those people. (Not by a long shot.) Stepping down a peg or two, we glean these words of wisdom straight from, "Husbands: An Owner's Manual."   The Other Woman: "It's a lot easier to admire a man if you've never washed his underwear." The Divorce Rate: "Back in the Middle Ages, couples didn't divorce.  Famine and disease put [...]

By |December 6th, 2017|

The Case for Slightly Used Merchandise

(This Week's post is taken from Chapter 5 of "Husbands: An Owner's Manual.") You may have wanted a brand, spanking new husband, but the one you got had a previous owner.  Everything is fine under the hood, the motor purrs like a kitten but he’s got a few miles on the tires and a scratch or two on the rear left bumper. Selecting a pre-owned husband has its pros and cons.  On the one hand he’s already broken in.  Someone else taught him to put down the toilet seat, hold back your hair when you puke and tell you your butt looks fine. On the other hand, used husbands [...]

By |November 21st, 2017|

Gift-Giving: Why Men Never Seem to Get It Right

"Husbands: An Owner's Manual," has a whole chapter on gift-giving. The author (that would be me) rightly points out that gift-giving is a skill for which most men are not factory equipped.  Here are some mistakes they often make. Overly Practical: Gifts of vacuum cleaners, washing machines and sauce pans imply you might as well wear flannel pajamas to bed. Insulting:  Thigh Masters, over-sized sweaters and gym memberships (unless specifically requested) say he's been eyeing younger women at work. Thoughtless: Then there are those "Holy-crap-it's-her-birthday-what-am-I-going-to-do-Walgreen's-specials" like stuffed animals, helium balloons and Russell Stover boxed candy. (I won't stoop to comment.) Most men never get it right and give [...]

By |November 7th, 2017|

November 1, 1964 to November 1, 2017

Fifty-three years ago, today, I walked down the aisle, dressed in a white silk empire dress and the puffiest veil on earth, to marry a young, handsome guy, the love of my life -- a stranger, I barely knew. I was 22: Jack was 26. Babies. With everything I've learned since then, I could write a book. (Oh, wait, I did.) To commemorate our anniversary, I recruited a few long-married girlfriends to talk about spending their entire adult lives with the same person. Judy Horwitz and her husband, Don, recently celebrated 50 years of wedded bliss. (In reality, they were married 52 years, but the first two were [...]

By |October 31st, 2017|

I’ll Have What She’s Having

One of my favorite writers is the late Nora Ephron, who wrote the screenplays for such movies as "Sleepless in Seattle," "When Harry Met Sally," "Silkwood;" as well as books ("Heartburn," "I feel bad about My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman"), and plays (Love, Loss and What I Wore," "Lucky Guy.") Born the same year*, Ephron and I were contemporaries. Reading one of her books, feels like listening to a girlfriend. I understand her point of view and admire her powers of observation, even when I don't always agree with what she said. Here are some of the best quotes on love, marriage and relationships [...]

By |October 25th, 2017|

I’m Rooting for a Woman Scorned

Call me crazy, but I don't want to hear another word about Harvey Weinstein and his disgusting, criminal behavior. I'm very interested, however, in hearing more about Georgina Chapman, the beautiful and talented fashion designer, to whom he was married for 10 years and how she plans to get even. She's issued a public statement condemning his actions and announcing her marriage is over.  In the wake of the scandal, her fashion house, Marchesa, may be over as well. At least, that's the latest Internet buzz. So, she's publicly humiliated, her family is eviscerated, and her business may be washed up.  I personally hope she's planning a suitable [...]

By |October 17th, 2017|

For Every Pot, There’s a Dating Site That Covers

One of the best things about being married is you don't have to shave your legs, blow dry your hair and put on high heels just to spend an agonizing three hours with a stranger whose conversation is limited to his skin condition or ex-wife. And those of us lucky enough to marry four or five decades ago, dodged the on-line-dating bullet. (We had to rely on maiden aunts and clueless roommates to arrange our bad dates.) I will admit, however, that dating sites have gotten very sophisticated in recent years.  You can by-pass the very generalized and eHarmony and focus precisely on what you're looking for. There's [...]

By |October 10th, 2017|

They Say That Breaking Up is (Not) Hard To Do

Remember the "Sex and the City" episode where Carrie's boyfriend, Berger, broke up with her on a Post-It Note?  That's so yesterday. According to the, an online affiliate of the UK's Daily Mail, couples today are breaking up via text message. The article claims that men and women from around the world learned they were digitally dumped by looking at their phones. Here are some of their stories. "My wife thought that the perfect time to ask for a divorce was over a text message while I was at my grandmother's funeral."  "My husband asked for a divorce over text.  Part of our failure was lack of communication. [...]

By |October 3rd, 2017|

Diamonds No Longer A Girl’s Best Friend

According to a recent study at Emory University, engaged couples should hold back on the bling and cancel the caterer. Two economists, Andrew Francis and Hugo M. Mialon, surveyed more than 3,000 married people in the United States and concluded that "marriage duration is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony." Perhaps someone should have told Elizabeth Taylor, seen with a few of her multi-carat diamonds. Delivering a low blow to the wedding industry and Kim Kardashian, they report that men who spend $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring are 1.3 times more likely to divorce than men spending between $500 and $2,000.   [...]

By |September 26th, 2017|

Wilde Advice on Love and Marriage

In previous blogs, I have quoted the wit and wisdom of (first) Zsa Zsa Gabor and (later) Roseanne Barr on marriage, divorce and sexual disparities. Therefore, it seems fair to let a man have equal time. For this we turn to Oscar Wilde, the flamboyant Irish writer who scandalized Victorians with his outrageous observations. Here are some of his best remarks on the clash of the sexes. Women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That is the difference between the sexes. Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same. Men always want to be a woman's first love: women like to be a man's [...]

By |September 19th, 2017|

In Sickness and in Health? Maybe Not

Over the course of my marriage, I've had a heart attack, miscellaneous surgeries, a few broken bones, and other health issues.  On each occasion, Jack Schindler has been right there, taking over domestic duties, making soup, and overseeing my recovery. Apparently, not all husbands are as nurturing as Jack. Take Larry.  His wife Darlene was still in excruciating pain after recent knee replacement surgery.  On the day she was released from the hospital, Larry, dutifully brought her home, helped her get into bed, and leaned over to ask: "What's for dinner?" And who could forget former senator and vice-presidential candidate John Edwards who took his wife's breast cancer diagnosis [...]

By |September 12th, 2017|

Does Your Marriage Measure Up?

Marriage is not one-size-fits-all. What works for one couple might cause another to run outside and set fire to themselves. When a bride is young, she often thinks her marriage should be just like her girlfriend's marriage, or her sister's or that adorable couple on TV. (Blondie and Dagwood used to be my role models. Now I take cues from Hagar the Horrible and Helga.) The truth is there are innumerable ways for a man and woman to live happily ever after. Here are a few I've encountered. Mama Mia She butters his toast in the morning, picks out his clothes, buys his underwear and packs for him when [...]

By |September 5th, 2017|

Plan Your Next Wedding in Vegas –PLEASE!

While more people can legally marry than ever before, it seems that fewer are choosing to do so. In 2000, the marriage rate (number of marriages per 1000 people) was 8.2.  In 2015, it was just 6.9. And nowhere is the marriage decline more painful than Las Vegas, where you can still purchase a $79 ceremony, including chapel, minister, wedding coordinator and studio portrait, and getting hitched is a major industry. Photo courtesy Viva Las Vegas Weddings. According to an article that ran in the August 26 Las Vegas Review-Journal, the annual number of marriage licenses issued in Clark County dropped from a high of 128,000 in 2004 to [...]

By |August 29th, 2017|

The Domestic Goddess Trashes Marriage

The often wed Zsa Zsa Gabor, whose marriage advice I quoted on July 10, believed that marriage was a pleasant and remunerative occupation that should be pursued as frequently as possible. Roseanne Barr, despite her self-anointed title of "domestic goddess," takes the opposite approach. Here are some of her best quotes on the topic. "I screamed a lot, but it was better than firearms." "I'm not upset about my divorce. I'm only upset I'm not a widow." "You may marry the man of your dreams, but 14 years later, you're married to a couch that burps." "My husband and I didn't sign a premarital agreement.  We signed a suicide [...]

By |August 21st, 2017|

Why Men Can’t Find the Pickles Behind the Mayonnaise

A few weeks ago, after I wrote about Stupid Things Husbands Say, my friend Allison told me this story. She was at her office, working, when she got a call from her husband who was home. He: Where's my jacket?  She: Did you look in the closet? He: Do you think it might be there? Then there's Bryan. who thinks he's married to David Blaine. Wife Katie opens a cabinet, and voila, the bread crumbs (which he swears were not there two minutes ago) magically appear on the second shelf. We all have similar stories. So why can't men find their keys, sunglasses, wallets, cell phones, the remote control or [...]

By |August 14th, 2017|

How Old is Too Old? How Young is Too Young?

Catherine Zeta Jones married a man 25 years her senior; Brigitte Macron, the first lady of France, married one 24 years younger. Vive la difference! One way to increase your pool of potential husbands is to expand your age criteria. Celebrities have been doing it for years.  George Clooney is 17 years older than wife Amal; Kris Jenner' ex-boyfriend Corey Gamble was 25 years her junior, and Ellen DeGeneres has 15 years on wife Portia de Rossi.  In Husbands: An Owner's Manual, I tell the story of Barbara who dated a man 17 years older than herself. Her next boyfriend was 17 years younger. The older boyfriend took her [...]

By |August 7th, 2017|

Why Men Cheat: Answering the Eternal Question

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ben Affleck, Jay Z To stay abreast of the issues surrounding marriage, I have my Google Alerts set for "Cheating Husbands." (Doesn't everybody?) As a result, my email box is filled each day with stories about scorned women who chop off their husband's penises, smash their trucks and attack their mistresses in crowded restaurants. (Please note I am not providing links to these lurid stories. I read them so you don't have to.)  One article posted July 12 in The Good Men Project is worth sharing, however. Relationship expert Clinton Power cites seven reasons men cheat: Revenge Addictions, compulsions Boredom, unrealistic expectations To sabotage or [...]

By |July 31st, 2017|

Stupid Stuff Husbands Say

They turned "Kids Say the Darndest Things" and "Sh*t My Dad Says" into television programs. So why not create a sitcom based on "Stupid Stuff my Husband Says."  Here are some samples from real life husbands (mine and others). And, no, I'm not making this up. She: I'm going to a noon yoga class.  He: What time? She: Why did you deliberately lock your keys in the house?  He: So I wouldn't lose them. She:  When you die, do you want to be cremated or buried?  He: Stuffed, and put in front of the TV.  She: How will anyone know you're dead? She:  Why don't you take an aspirin [...]

By |July 24th, 2017|

15 Legal Reasons to Make It Legal

I've long favored marriage over living together. "Husbands: An Owner's Manual" points out there's no reason to step over dirty laundry and give up all rights to the remote control unless you're getting half his net worth. Apparently, I only scratched the surface on this topic. Elizabeth F. Schwartz, lawyer and LGBT advocate, says there are some 1500 federal and state rights and responsibilities that come with marriage. Writing in the Huffington Post, she lists the top 15 benefits. Half of the marital assets upon divorce Automatic right to inherit from spouse Joint tenancy of property, which is only available to married couples (and not in every state), and provides [...]

By |July 13th, 2017|

Take it from Someone Who Knows: Zsa Zsa Gabor’s Marriage Advice

  When it comes to husbands, there's not much that Zsa Zsa Gabor, who had nine, didn't know. Famous for being famous, the Hungarian born celebrity died last December at 99. You would be hard pressed to find someone today more knowledgeable about the selection and maintenance of husbands. (Although Jennifer Lopez appears to be in the running.) In lieu of social media, Zsa Zsa shared her views with reporters, gossip columnists and talk-show hosts. Here are seven of her best quotes on the topic.  “How many husbands have I had? You mean apart from my own?” “You never really know a man until you have divorced him.” [...]

By |July 10th, 2017|

Veal Parmesan and Other Indignities

Marriage is hard. As anyone who’s been married for more than a couple of decades will tell you, it’s very hard. You must be prepared for bad behavior (yours as well as his) injured egos and occasional neglect. When I was a 22-year-old newlywed, I thought it was my job to come home every day from work and prepare my bridegroom a proper dinner of salad, meat, potatoes and vegetables. (This was the ’60s after all.) Every night I dutifully brought forth a two- or three-course meal, which my new husband would immediately reject. I discovered he didn’t like meat that had been frozen; he didn’t like leftovers; [...]

By |June 26th, 2017|


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