There's nothing worse than a terrible marriage, and nothing better than a great one.

The man that I hope to shelter all the days of my life

My husband is three miles away and he's coming home in a half hour, but I called him just to chat. At the close of the conversation (twenty minutes later) I realized that it's kinda funny that I phoned him even though he's so close and he'll be home so soon. But I don't care.

I have come to realize that it is upon the little courtesies that marriages rise or fall. The small acts of service, the few words said or not said, the gentleness of the touch, the knowing looks--this is what builds a sweet atmosphere in the home, what makes the relationship sweet and nourishing.

My friend Star is a great lady--creative, compassionate, fun--but she hasn't yet learned the secret to being a great wife. I often wish that I knew how to tell her that the difference between her struggling marriage and a fantastic one may just be the difference between a complaint and praise. If she knew the power of her words and how her husband longs to hear that he pleases her, that she's proud of him, then she may come to know the hidden delights of a joyous home. I'm not sure that Star realizes how much her husband Steve needs her, how much any man depends on his woman for strength and courage and safety. It might mean the world to him if Star could pretend to be excited at the boring discovery he has made. He may blossom into a new man should she dare to praise him without any stipulation or amendment. He might be more the husband she longs for if only she would welcome him home with open arms, letting her heart be his mourner's bench and her mouth be his cheering section.

The world is lonely for man, and a loving wife is much to be treasured.