Blog 2018-02-05T21:37:55+00:00

The Toilet Seat Must Go Down!

Marriage Advice from the Husbands 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).

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 e-couseling.com, an association of on-line counselors The largest "cyber shrink" is www.betterhelp.com, 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 match.com.  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 Match.com 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 DailyMail.com, 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 [...]

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|