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 he travels.

Father Knows Best

He makes all the financial decision, doles out her allowance and pays the bills. I know of two cases where Husband/Daddy prints out all his wife’s e-mails, because she never learned how.

To Each His Own

They lead more-or-less independent lives, coming together for weddings, funerals, social gatherings and the occasional intervention.

Joined at the Hip

She does not go for dinner or a movie with girlfriends. He wouldn’t think of a fishing trip or boys’ nights out. They’re a boxed set and can’t be split.

Of course most marriages are a combination of some or all these descriptions. The point is every variation is perfectly valid, as long as both parties agree. Typically, it’s a carefully choreographed dance that’s worked out in the early years of marriage, evolving slightly over time.

When it comes to marriage, whatever floats your boat is good, whatever rocks it is not.

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