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Essay About Failure Marriage Quotes

The most important thing in the world to me today is that you understand what my fierce, tender warrior heart is saying to your fierce, tender warrior heart in this essay.

It has come to my very concerned attention that since:

  1. My new book Love Warrior is about my husband’s infidelity (we’re just gonna keep saying that out loud ‘till it gets less scary); and
  2. We are still married,

There is some confusion about my beliefs and Love Warrior’s message on marriage, infidelity, divorce, and redemption.

I received these brutiful emails (and more like them) from my fellow sister Love Warriors since announcing my new book last week:

My life was shattered in a million pieces when my “perfect” “doting” “amazing dad” of a husband decided he was done with me and the kids. You, my church, my tribe of sisters, and most of all God have healed me. I so badly want to read your new book but…will it apply to someone who’s marriage wasn’t healed? I just don’t know if your new book is for people like me, I want it to be.”

“I am so happy for you and your marriage—and that you’ve written the story of its redemption.  I’m sure it will encourage those of us who are still striving for that. I’m just so scared and exhausted from the struggle—what if my marriage is never redeemed? What does my road look like of it doesn’t match yours?”

After walking through Sister’s divorce and remarriage, my own separation and reconciliation, and reading the stories from women around the globe about love lost and found, I have come to believe this:

I do not believe that every marriage should be saved. I’ve seen too much and listened too hard to believe that. I do not value marriage more than I value the individual souls inside of marriage. And I do not judge a love’s worth by how it ends. I do not. I believe that NO LOVE IS WASTED. Love is worthy of the time and sweat and tears it takes from us simply because it changes both lovers forever—whether they stay or go.

I stayed. For many reasons—most of which can’t even be put into words they’re so visceral and true and low and high.

Sister left. For many reasons—most of which can’t even be put into words they’re so visceral and true and low and high.

We both did the right thing. We both poured the same amount of love and hope and work into our marriages—one that ended and one that began again.

Listen to me:  Some loves are perennials—they survive the winter and bloom again. Other loves are annuals—beautiful and lush and full for a season and then back to the Earth to die and create richer soil for new life to grow. The eventual result of both types of plants is New Life.

New life for annual and perennial plants. New love for annual and perennial loves. Nothing wasted. No such thing as failure. Love never fails. Never never. Are you still married? Your love did not fail. Are you divorced? Once? Twice? A third time? Your love did not fail. It made you who you are inside of THIS VERY moment. Love never fails.

When Craig and I separated, I was approached by groups asking me to be a poster girl for Leaving.

When we reunited, I was approached by groups asking me to be a poster girl for Staying.

HELL NO.  I said to all the groups.

Here is what I will be the poster girl for:

Does a Love Warrior Go? YES. If that’s what her deepest wisdom tells her to do. Does a Love Warrior Stay? YES. If that’s what her deepest wisdom tells her to do. Both roads are hard. AND BOTH ROADS LEAD TO REDEMPTION.

And one more thing, my beloveds. Let’s together pledge to quit wringing our hands and rolling our eyes and throwing out sweeping judgments like these:

People just throw away marriages these days.

It’s so sad, how easily marriages are discarded.

People used to fight for their marriages.

Sigh. Another one bites the dust. Pathetic, really.

These ridiculous things are insults to every woman and every man who has fought and loved and cried and struggled and tried, tried, tried and still discovered that their love was an annual.

I have met hundreds, thousands of women whose marriages ended. Not a single one of them “threw away her marriage.” Women treasure their marriages. That divorced friend of ours treasured her marriage as much as we treasure ours. Let’s not add insult to her injury by suggesting that her marriage didn’t survive because of a lack of caring. I have held women’s hands while they cried and I listened, listened, listened and I have found that to be true this many times: ZERO. Never. We must stop throwing around judgmental daggers like those silly proclamations. There but for the grace of God go we: TRUST ME ON THAT ONE.

When a sister makes a choice—or is left without a choice—and she stays, or she goes, this is what we do: We take her by the hand and we have her back—knowing that more blood and sweat and tears went into that choice or lack of choice then we can imagine. Knowing that her reasons are likely too true and deep and low and high for words.

We do not require from her an explanation. We require from ourselves SISTERHOOD.

To answer your questions: Love Warrior is not how I saved my marriage, for God’s sake.

It’s about how I begged God for an answer to this question:


And how over time, God said:




Let us become women who refuse to betray ourselves no matter WHO. DOES. WHAT.

I love you more than is appropriate or logical.


P.S. This part is really important to me and it will make some people angry and I don’t care.

Dearest, Precious Beloveds who cheated, the “other women”:

You are safe with me—and you are safe with us—and you are safe with this book.

The hardest, best thing I’ve ever learned in my life—the truth that this brutal time taught me is this: There IS NO forgiveness for me unless there is forgiveness for all. Grace cannot be personal if it is not universal. You cannot receive grace without disclaimers if you do not offer grace without disclaimers.

So listen to me: Maybe you got sex confused with love. I get that because I got booze confused with love for decades. And I hurt people I love, too. And I really, really need you to know that to me the world is not divided into the wives and the other women. Just not at all, anymore. I put us all into one big flailing heap of folks desperate for love—and sometimes settling for dangerous almost love. And then forgiving ourselves, and trying again—trying better, trying truer.

And to those who were cheated on—who are not yet ready to forgive: You are safe with me, too. Love is patient. Release will come when it comes and it will not come one second too early or late. Let the pain do its work. We will wait forever.


Author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller LOVE WARRIOR — ORDER HERE
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Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal.

A – B – C – D – E – F – G – H – I – J – K – L – M – N – O – P – Q – R – S – T – U – V – W – X – Y – Z – See also



  • While God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone. He also created a woman, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air.
  • Every one who marries goes it blind, more or less.
  • Marriage as a community of interests unfailingly means the degradation of the interested parties, and it is the perfidy of the world's arrangements that no one, even if aware of it, can escape such degradation. The idea might therefore be entertained that marriage without ignominy is a possibility reserved for those spared the pursuit of interests, for the rich. But the possibility is purely formal, for the privileged are precisely those in whom the pursuit of interests has become second-nature—they would not otherwise uphold privilege.
  • Marriage? That's for life! It's like cement!


  • He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works and of greatest merit for the public have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men, which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public…. He was reputed one of the wise men that made answer to the question, when a man should marry—"A young man not yet, an elder man not at all".
    • Francis Bacon, "Of Marriage and Single Life", in Fred A. Howe, ed., The Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral of Francis Bacon (1908), chapter 8, p. 20, 22. Based on the 1625 edition but with modernized spelling.
  • No jealousy their dawn of love o'ercast,
    Nor blasted were their wedded days with strife;
    Each season looked delightful as it past,
    To the fond husband and the faithful wife.
  • The curse which lies upon marriage is that too often the individuals are joined in their weakness rather than in their strength, each asking from the other instead of finding pleasure in giving. It is even more deceptive to dream of gaining through the child a plenitude, a warmth, a value, which one is unable to create for oneself; the child brings joy only to the woman who is capable of disinterestedly desiring the happiness of another, to one who without being wrapped up in self seeks to transcend her own existence.
  • Logically the Neo-Pagan should get rid of the institution of marriage altogether, but the very nature of human society, which is built up of cells each of which is a family, and the very nature of human generation, forbid such an extreme. Children must be brought up and acknowledged and sheltered, and the very nature of human affection, whereby there is the bond of affection between the parent and the child, and the child is not of one parent but of both, will compel the Neo-Pagan to modify what might be his logical conclusion of free love and to support some simulacrum of the institution of marriage.
  • A bad marriage is like an electrical thrilling machine: it makes you dance, but you can't let go.
  • Marriage, n. A community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.
  • I'd rather die Maid, and lead apes in Hell
    Than wed an inmate of Silenus' Cell.
    • Richard Brathwait, English Gentelman and Gentelwoman (1640), in a supplemental tract, The Turtle's Triumph. Phrase "lead apes in hell" found in his Drunken Barnaby's Journal. Bessy Bell. Massinger, City Madam, Act II, scene 2. Shirley, School of Compliments (1637).
  • The godly union of souls in mutual forebearance with each other's infirmities, and mutual stimulating each other's graces--this surely is a fragment of true happiness that has survived the Fall.
    • Charles Bridges, An Exposition of Ecclesiastes, comment on Ecclesiastes 4:7-9.
  • Marriage and hanging go by destiny; matches are made in heaven.
    • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section II. Mem. 5. Subs. 5.
  • 'Cause grace and virtue are within
    Prohibited degrees of kin;
    And therfore no true Saint allows,
    They shall be suffer'd to espouse.
  • For talk six times with the same single lady,
    And you may get the wedding dresses ready.
  • There was no great disparity of years,
    Though much in temper; but they never clash'd,
    They moved like stars united in their spheres,
    Or like the Rhône by Leman's waters wash'd,
    Where mingled and yet separate appears
    The river from the lake, all bluely dash'd
    Through the serene and placid glassy deep,
    Which fain would lull its river-child to sleep.


  • That they may not become too complacent or delighted in married life, he makes them distressed by the shortcomings of their partners, or humbles them through willful offspring, or afflicts them with the want or loss of children. But, if in all these matters he is more merciful to them, he shows them by diseases and dangers how unstable and passing all mortal blessings are, that they may not be puffed up with vain glory.
    • John CalvinGolden Booklet of the True Christian Life pg. 69
  • A marriage so free, so spontaneous, that it would allow of wide excursions of the pair from each other, in common or even in separate objects of work and interest, and yet would hold them all the time in the bond of absolute sympathy, would by its very freedom be all the more poignantly attractive, and by its very scope and breadth all the richer and more vital -- would be in a sense indestructible.
  • Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in continence. They should see in this time of testing a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity, and the hope of receiving one another from God. They should reserve for marriage the expressions of affection that belong to married love. They will help each other grow in chastity.
    • The Catholic Catechism 2350
  • In the first place, an unjust law exists in this Commonwealth, by which marriages between persons of different color is pronounced illegal. I am perfectly aware of the gross ridicule to which I may subject myself by alluding to this particular; but I have lived too long, and observed too much, to be disturbed by the world's mockery. In the first place, the government ought not to be invested with power to control the affections, any more than the consciences of citizens. A man has at least as good a right to choose his wife, as he has to choose his religion. His taste may not suit his neighbors; but so long as his deportment is correct, they have no right to interfere with his concerns.
  • Prima societas in ipso conjugio est: proxima in liberis; deinde una domus, communia omnia.
    • The first bond of society is marriage; the next, our children; then the whole family and all things in common.
    • Cicero, De Officiis (44 B.C.), I. 17.
  • I am not against hasty marriages, where a mutual flame is fanned by an adequate income.
  • The best way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once.


  • The tragedy of marriage is that while all women marry thinking that their man will change, all men marry believing their wife will never change.
  • Any married man should forget his mistakes - no use two people remembering the same thing.
  • Young men not ought to marry yet, and old men never ought to marry at all.
  • I have always thought that every woman should marry, and no man.
  • There's nothing a woman hates more than her fiance's best friend. He knows all the secrets she's going to spend the rest of her life trying to find out.


  • If the policy of the law has withheld from married women certain powers and faculties, the Courts of law must continue to treat them as deprived of those powers and faculties, until the legislature directs those Courts to do otherwise.
    • Lord Eldon, C.J., Beard v. Webb (1800), 1 Bos. and Pull. 109; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 164.
  • But the main purpose of marriage will compel us to revise the institution so that we shall not waste any useful woman, expecially if she is a woman of notable ability. It is a significant fact that there are no 'unwanted women' in polygamous countries. These derelicts are to be found only in countries which are monogamous; and they represent, less today, perhaps, than formerly, sheer waste of mother-power. Even as things are, the 'unwanted woman' is still doomed to lead a solitary life, unless she has an illicit lover, and can contemplate old age and retirement only with dismay.
    • St. John Ervine, Bernard Shaw, His Life, Work and Friends (1956), p. 424. In this comment on Shaw's play, "Getting Married", Ervine summarizes one of the arguments in Shaw's lengthy Preface to the play.


  • The joys of marriage are the heaven on earth,
    Life's paradise, great princess, the soul's quiet,
    Sinews of concord, earthly immortality,
    Eternity of pleasures.
    • John Ford, The Broken Heart (ca. 1625–33; printed 1633), Act II, scene 2, line 102.
  • A bachelor
    May thrive by observation on a little,
    A single life's no burthen: but to draw
    In yokes is chargeable, and will require
    A double maintenance.
    • John Ford, The Fancies Chaste and Noble (1635-6; printed 1638), Act I, scene 3, line 82.
  • Where there's marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.
  • My son is my son till he have got him a wife,
    But my daughter's my daughter all the days of her life.


  • You were born together, and together you shall be forever more. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
  • Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.


  • Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
  • The critical period in matrimony is breakfast-time.
  • However important it is that love shall precede marriage, it is far more important that it shall continue after marriage.


  • In the marriage ceremony, that moment when falling in love is replaced by the arduous drama of staying in love, the words "in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, till death do us part" set love in the temporal context in which it achieves its meaning. As time begins to elapse, one begins to love the other because they have shared the same experience... Selves may not intertwine; but lives do, and shared memory becomes as much of a bond as the bond of the flesh.


  • In reply he said: “Did YOU not read that he who created them from [the] beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh’?
  • A gentleman who had been very unhappy in marriage, married immediately after his wife died: Johnson said, it was the triumph of hope over experience.
    • Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Boswell's Life of Johnson, ed. George B. Hill, rev. and enl. ed., ed. L. F. Powell (1934), entry for 1770, vol. 2, p. 128.
  • Sir, it is so far from being natural for a man and a woman to live in a state of marriage, that we find all the motives that they have for remaining in that connection, and the restraints which civilized society imposes to prevent separation, are hardly sufficient to keep them together.
  • Marriages would in general be as happy, if not more so, if they were all made by the Lord Chancellor.


  • Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.
  • Is there anyone who thinks that the resolution can come later when it is really needed? So it is not needed then, not on the wedding day, when the eternal pledge is entered into? But then, later? Can he mean that there was no thought of leaving one another, but of enjoying the first gladness of their union-and so united, of finding support in the resolution? Then when toil and trouble come, and need, be it physical or spiritual, stands at the door, then the time is there? Aye, indeed, the time is there-the time for the resolved individual to muster up his resolution; but not just the time to form a resolution. It is true that distress and failure may help a man to seek God in a resolution; but the question is whether the conception is always the right one, whether it is joyful, whether it does not have a certain wretchedness, a secret wish that it were not necessary, whether it may not be out of humor, envious, melancholy, and so no ennobling reflection of the trials of life. There is in the state a loan association to which the indigent may apply. The poor man is helped, but I wonder if that poor man has a pleasant conception of the loan-association. And so there may also be a marriage which first sought God when in difficulty, alas, sought Him as a loan-association; and everyone who first seeks God for the first time when in difficulties, always runs this danger. Is then such a late resolution, which even if it were a worthy one, was not without shame and not without great danger, bought at the last moment, is that more beautiful, and wiser than the resolution at the beginning of marriage?
  • A married man risks every day, and every day the sword of duty hangs over his head, and the journal is kept up as long as the marriage keeps on, and the ledger of responsibility is never closed, and the responsibility is even more inspiring than the most glorious epic poet who must testify for the hero. Well, it is true that he does not take the risk for nothing-no, like for like; he risks everything for everything, and if because of its responsibility marriage is an epic, then because of its happiness it certainly also is an idyll. Marriage is the fullness of time. Love is the unfathomable ground that is hidden in darkness, but the resolution is the triumphant victor who, like Orpheus, fetches the infatuation of falling in love to the light of day, for the resolution is the true form of love, the true explanation and transfiguration; therefore marriage is sacred and blessed by God. It is civic, for by marriage the lovers belong to the state and the fatherland and the common concerns of their fellow citizens. It is poetic, inexpressively so, just as is falling in love, but the resolution is the conscientious translation that translates the enthusiasm into actuality, and this translator is so scrupulous, oh, so scrupulous!


  • He must be rich whom I could love,
    His fortune clear must be,
    Whether in land or in the funds,
    'Tis all the same to me.
    • Letitia Elizabeth Landon, The London Literary Gazette (10th November 1821), 'Six Songs of Love, Constancy, Romance, Inconstancy, Truth, and Marriage - Matrimonial Creed'
  • As unto the bow the cord is,
    So unto the man is woman;
    Though she bonds him she obeys him,
    Though she draws him, yet she follows,
    Useless each without the other!
  • But because among us there is such a shameful mess and the very dregs of all vice and lewdness, this commandment is directed also against all manner of unchastity, whatever it may be called; …, For flesh and blood remain flesh and blood, and the natural inclination and excitement have their course without let or hindrance, as everybody sees and feels. In order, therefore, that it may be the more easy in some degree to avoid unchastity, God has commanded the estate of matrimony, that every one may have his proper portion and be satisfied therewith …
  • Let me now say in conclusion that this commandment demands also that every one love and esteem the spouse given him by God. For where conjugal chastity is to be maintained, man and wife must by all means live together in love and harmony, that one may cherish the other from the heart and with entire fidelity. For that is one of the principal points which enkindle love and desire of chastity, so that, where this is found, chastity will follow as a matter of course without any command. Therefore also St. Paul so diligently exhorts husband and wife to love and honor one another.


  • In the majority of cases which are brought to me as a consulting psychologist for love and marital adjustment, there are self-deceptions to be uncovered as well as attempts to deceive other people. Beneath such love conflicts there is almost always a festering psychological core of dishonesty.
    • William Moulton Martson, Lie Detector Test, p. 119 [1]
  • Hail, wedded love, mysterious law; true source
    Of human offspring.
  • To the nuptial bower
    I led her, blushing like the morn; all Heaven,
    And happy constellations on that hour
    Shed their selectest influence; the earth
    Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;
    Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs
    Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings
    Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub.
  • Therefore God's universal law
    Gave to the man despotic power
    Over his female in due awe,
    Not from that right to part an hour,
    Smile she or lour.
  • The Doctor: Ook, sorry, I've got a bit of a complex life. Things don't always happen to me in quite the right order. Gets a bit confusing at times, especially at weddings. I'm rubbish at weddings, especially my own.
  • There's a bliss beyond all that the minstrel has told,
    When two, that are link'd in one heavenly tie,
    With heart never changing, and brow never cold,
    Love on thro' all ills, and love on till they die.
    • Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh (1817), Light of the Harem, Stanza 42.
  • That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh.
  • Marriage is wonderful when it lasts forever, and I envy the old couples in When Harry Met Sally who reminisce tearfully about the day they met 50 years before. I no longer believe, however, that a marriage is a failure if it doesn't last forever. It may be a tragedy, but it is not necessarily a failure. And when a marriage does last forever with love alive, it is a miracle.
  • In the majority of cases which are brought to me as a consulting psychologist for love and marital adjustment, there are self-deceptions to be uncovered as well as attempts to deceive other people. Beneath such love conflicts there is almost always a festering psychological core of dishonesty.


  • Even cohabitation has been corrupted – by marriage.
  • When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.



  • No woman marries for money: they are all clever enough, before marrying a millionaire, to fall in love with him.
  • When a woman marries she belongs to another man; and when she belongs to another man there is nothing more you can say to her.
  • Il matrimonio bisogna che sia un vero castigo, poichè fa diventar savi anche i matti.
    • Translation: Matrimony must be like a sound flogging, for it makes the veriest block-heads learn something.
    • Alessandro Pepoli, La Scomessa, Act III., Sc. IV. — (Desiderio.). Translation reported in Harbottle's Dictionary of quotations French and Italian (1904), p. 316.


  • A husband is what is left of a lover, after the nerve has been extracted.
  • There is not infrequently, in marriage, a suggestion of purchase, of acquiring a woman on condition of keeping her in a certain standard of material comfort. Often and often, a marriage hardly differs from prostitution except by being harder to escape from.
  • [C]hildren are what makes marriage important. But for children, there would be no need of any institution concerned with sex, but as soon as children enter in, the husband and wife, if they have any offspring, are compelled to realise that their feelings towards each other are no longer what is of most importance.


  • Marrying means doing whatever possible to become repulsed of each other.
  • If you shall marry,
    You give away this hand, and that is mine;
    You give away heaven's vows, and those are mine;
    You give away myself, which is known mine.
  • Men are April when they woo, December when they wed; maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives.
  • I will fasten on this sleeve of thine:
    Thou art an elm, my husband, I, a vine.
  • Men's vows are women's traitors! All good seeming,
    By thy revolt, O husband, shall be thought
    Put on for villany; not born where 't grows,
    But worn a bait for ladies.
  • Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
    Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
    She married.
  • The instances that second marriage move
    Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
  • God, the best maker of all marriages,
    Combine your hearts in one.
  • He is the half part of a blessed man,
    Left to be finished by such as she;
    And she a fair divided excellence,
    Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
  • Happiest of all, is, that her gentle spirit
    Commits itself to yours to be directed,
    As from her lord, her governor, her king.
  • I will marry her, sir, at your request; but if there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance * * * I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt: I will marry her; that I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.
    • William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor (c. 1597; published 1602), Act I, scene 1, line 253.
  • I would not marry her, though she were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgressed: she would have made Hercules have turned spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too. * * * I would to God some scholar would conjure her; for certainly, while she is here, a man may live as quiet in hell as in a sanctuary.
  • Let husbands know,
    Their wives have sense like them: they see, and smell,
    And have their palates both for sweet and sour,
    As husbands have.
  • She is your treasure, she must have a husband;
    I must dance barefoot on her wedding day
    And for your love to her lead apes in hell.
  • She shall watch all night:
    And if she chance to nod I'll rail and brawl
    And with the clamour keep her still awake.
    This is the way to kill a wife with kindness.
  • Thy husband * * * commits his body
    To painful labour, both by sea and land,
    * * * * * *
    And craves no other tribute at thy hands,
    But love, fair looks, and true obedience;
    Too little payment for so great a debt.
  • Let still the woman take
    An elder than herself: so wears she to him,
    So sways she level in her husband's heart:
    For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
    Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
    More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn
    Than women's are.
  • Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
    Or thy affection cannot hold the bent:
    For women are as roses, whose fair flower
    Being once display'd, doth fall that very hour.
  • Now go with me and with this holy man
    Into the chantry by: there, before him,
    And underneath that consecrated roof,
    Plight me the full assurance of your faith.
  • The confusion of marriage with morality has done more to destroy the conscience of the human race than any other single error.
    • This has also been paraphrased as: Confusing monogamy with morality has done more to destroy the conscience of the human race than any other error.
  • George Bernard ShawMan and Superman (1903)
  • Let's say you're a 6-month-old girl, no evidence whatsoever of any abuse. They're simply saying, 'You, in this culture, may grow up to be a child bride when you're 14. Therefore we're going to remove you now when you're 6 months old. Or, 'You're a 6-month-old boy; 25, 30 years, 40 years from now you're going to be a predator, so we're going to take you away now.
  • Marge: Homer, is this the way you pictured married life?
    Homer: Yup, pretty much. Except we drove around in a van solving mysteries.
  • I have always been convinced that if a woman once made up her mind to marry a man nothing but instant flight could save him.
  • Jabir b. Abdillah reported that once he was on an expedition with the Prophet salla Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam, and when they were close to the city of Madinah, he sped on his mount. The Prophet salla Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam asked him why he was in such a hurry to return home. Jabir replied, “I am recently married!” The Prophet salla Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam asked, “To an older lady or a younger one?” [the Arabic could also read: “To a widow or a virgin?”], to which he replied, “A widow.”The Prophet salla Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam said, “But why didn’t you marry a younger girl, so that you could play with her, and she could play with you, and you could make her laugh, and she could make you laugh?”He said, “O Messenger of Allah! My father died a martyr at Uhud, leaving behind daughters, so I did not wish to marry a young girl like them, but rather an older one who could take care of them and look after them.” The Prophet salla Allahu ʿalayhi wa salam replied, “You have made the correct choice.”Jabir continues, “So when we were about to enter the city, the Prophet salla Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam said to me, "Slow down, and enter at night, so that she who has not combed may comb her hair, and she who has not shaved may shave her private area." Then he said to me, "When you enter upon her, then be wise and gentle.”
    • Muhammad narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah [Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim, with various wordings, in their two Sahihs]
  • A man expects an angel for a wife; [yet] he knows that she is like himself -- erring, thoughtless and untrue; but like himself also, filled with a struggling radiancy of better things. … You may safely go to school with hope; but ere you marry, should have learned the mingled lesson of the world: that hope and love address themselves to a perfection never realized, and yet, firmly held, become the salt and staff of life; that you yourself are compacted of infirmities … and yet you have a something in you lovable and worth preserving; and that, while the mass of mankind lies under this scurvy condemnation, you will scarce find one but, by some generous reading, will become to you a lesson, a model and a noble spouse through life. So thinking, you will constantly support your own unworthiness and easily forgive the failings of your friend. Nay, you will be wisely glad that you retain the … blemishes; for the faults of married people continually spur up each of them, hour by hour, to do better and to meet and love upon a higher ground.


  • As the husband is the wife is; thou art mated with a clown,
    And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee down.
  • But happy they, the happiest of their kind!
    Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
    Their Hearts, their Fortunes, and their Beings blend.


  • "Don't get married, young man ... I urge you. As long as a woman isn't sure of you she's sweet as pie, you can twist her round your little finger. But the minute you put a ring around her finger — it's all over! She begins kicking like a mule — and you can't do a thing about it. It's a law of nature, young man! Reason won't get you anywhere with them. Am I right or not?"


  • Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed.
    • Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance (1893), act III, in The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde (1923), vol. 7, p. 263 . Lord Illingworth is speaking.
  • A bride burns her bridges, having fallen in love, and drowns in marriage.
  • You are of the society of the wits and railleurs … the surest sign is, since you are an enemy to marriage,—for that, I hear, you hate as much as business or bad wine.


  • I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being, neither white, black, brown nor red. When you are dealing with humanity as one family, there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being, or one human being living around and with another human being.


  • Body and soul, like peevish man and wife,
    United jar, and yet are loth to part.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 175.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 495-500.
  • He that hath a wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.
  • To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.
    • Book of Common Prayer, Solemnization of Matrimony.
  • To love, cherish, and to obey.
    • Book of Common Prayer, Solemnization of Matrimony.
  • With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow.
    • Book of Common Prayer, Solemnization of Matrimony.
  • He that said it was not good for man to be alone, placed the celibate amongst the inferior states of perfection.
    • Robert Boyle, Works, Volume VI, p. 292. Letter from Mr. Evelyn.
  • Cursed be the man, the poorest wretch in life,
    The crouching vassal, to the tyrant wife,
    Who has no will but by her high permission;
    Who has not sixpence but in her possession;
    Who must to her his dear friend's secret tell;
    Who dreads a curtain lecture worse than hell.
    Were such the wife had fallen to my part,
    I'd break her spirit or I'd break her heart.
  • Una muger no tiene.
    Valor para el consejo, y la conviene Casarse.
    • A woman needs a stronger head than her own for counsel—she should marry.
    • Calderon, El Purgatorio de Sans Patricio, III. 4.
  • To sit, happy married lovers; Phillis trifling with a plover's
    Egg, while Corydon uncovers with a grace the Sally Lunn,
    Or dissects the lucky pheasant—that, I think, were passing pleasant
    As I sit alone at present, dreaming darkly of a dun.
  • We've been together now for forty years,
    An' it don't seem a day too much;
    There ain't a lady livin' in the land
    As I'd swop for my dear old Dutch.
  • Man and wife,
    Coupled together for the sake of strife.
  • Oh! how many torments lie in the small circle of a wedding ring.
  • Thus grief still treads upon the heels of pleasure,
    Marry'd in haste, we may repent at leisure.
  • Misses! the tale that I relate
    This lesson seems to carry—
    Choose not alone a proper mate,
    But proper time to marry.
  • Wedlock, indeed, hath oft compared been
    To public feasts, where meet a public rout,
    Where they that are without would fain go in,
    And they that are within would fain go out.
  • At length cried she, I'll marry:
    What should I tarry for?
    I may lead apes in hell forever.
  • Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in.
  • Magis erit animorum quam corporum conjugium.
    • The wedlock of minds will be greater than that of bodies.
    • Erasmus, Procus et Puella.
  • You are of the society of the wits and railers;… the surest sign is, you are an enemy to marriage, the common butt of every railer.
    • David Garrick, The Country Girl, Act II. 1. Play taken from Wycherly's Country Wife.
  • The husband's sullen, dogged, shy,
    The wife grows flippant in reply;
    He loves command and due restriction,
    And she as well likes contradiction.
    She never slavishly submits;
    She'll have her way, or have her fits.
    He his way tugs, she t'other draws;
    The man grows jealous and with cause.
  • It is not good that the man should be alone.
  • Bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.
  • Denn ein wackerer Mann verdient ein begütertes Mädchen.
  • So, with decorum all things carry'd;
    Miss frown'd, and blush'd, and then was—married.
  • Le divorce est le sacrement de l'adultere.
  • An unhappy gentleman, resolving to wed nothing short of perfection, keeps his heart and hand till both get so old and withered that no tolerable woman will accept them.
  • I should like to see any kind of a man, distinguishable from a gorilla, that some good and even pretty woman could not shape a husband out of.
  • Yet while my Hector still survives, I see
    My father, mother, brethren, all in thee.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book VI, line 544. Pope's translation.
  • Andromache! my soul's far better part.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book VI, line 624. Pope's translation.
  • Felices ter et amplius
    Quos irrupta tenet copula, nec malis
    Divulsus querimoniis
    Suprema citius solvet amor die.
    • Happy and thrice happy are they who enjoy an uninterrupted union, and whose love, unbroken by any complaints, shall not dissolve until the last day.
    • Horace, Carmina, I, 13, 17.
  • I have met with women whom I really think would like to be married to a Poem, and to be given away by a Novel.
  • Ay, marriage is the life-long miracle,
    The self-begetting wonder, daily fresh.
  • You should indeed have longer tarried
    By the roadside before you married.
  • Sure the shovel and tongs
    To each other belongs.
  • Take heede, Camilla, that seeking al the Woode for a streight sticke, you chuse not at the last a crooked staffe.
  • Marriage is destinie, made in heaven.
    • John Lyly's Mother Bombie. Same in Clarke, Paræmologia, p. 230. (Ed. 1639).
  • Cling closer, closer, life to life,
    Cling closer, heart to heart;
    The time will come, my own wed Wife,
    When you and I must part!
    Let nothing break our band but Death,
    For in the world above
    'Tis the breaker Death that soldereth
    Our ring of Wedded Love.
  • And, to all married men, be this a caution,
    Which they should duly tender as their life,
    Neither to doat too much, nor doubt a wife.
  • The sum of all that makes a just man happy
    Consists in the well choosing of his wife:
    And there, well to discharge it, does require
    Equality of years, of birth, of fortune;
    For beauty being poor, and not cried up
    By birth or wealth, can truly mix with neither.
    And wealth, when there's such difference in years,
    And fair descent, must make the yoke uneasy.
  • What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder.
  • A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married.
  • Par un prompt désespoir souvent on se marie.
    Qu'on s'en repent après tout le temps de sa vie.
    • Men often marry in hasty recklessness and repent afterward all their lives.
    • Molière, Les Femmes Savantes (1672), V. 5.
  • Il en advient ce qui se veoid aux cages; les oyseaux qui en sont dehors, desesperent d'y entrer; et d'un pareil soing en sortir, ceulx qui sont au dedans.
    • It happens as one sees in cages: the birds which are outside despair of ever getting in, and those within are equally desirous of getting out.
    • Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book III, Chapter V.
  • Drink, my jolly lads, drink with discerning,
    Wedlock's a lane where there is no turning;
    Never was owl more blind than a lover,
    Drink and be merry, lads, half seas over.
  • Hac quoque de causa, si te proverbia tangunt,
    Mense malos Maio nubere vulgus ait.
    • For this reason, if you believe proverbs, let me tell you the common one: "It is unlucky to marry in May."
    • Ovid, Fasti, V, 489.
  • Si qua voles apte nubere, nube pari.
    • If thou wouldst marry wisely, marry thine equal.
    • Ovid, Heroides, IX, 32.
  • Some dish more sharply spiced than this
    Milk-soup men call domestic bliss.
  • The garlands fade, the vows are worn away;
    So dies her love, and so my hopes decay.
  • Grave authors say, and witty poets sing,
    That honest wedlock is a glorious thing.
  • There swims no goose so gray, but soon or late
    She finds some honest gander for her mate.
  • Before I trust my Fate to thee,
    Or place my hand in thine,
    Before I let thy Future give
    Color and form to mine,
    Before I peril all for thee,
    Question thy soul to-night for me.
  • A prudent wife is from the Lord.
  • Advice to persons about to marry—Don't.
    • "Punch's Almanack." (1845). Attributed to Henry Mayhew.
  • Le mariage est comme une forteresse assiégée; ceux qui sont dehors veulent y entrer et ceux qui sont dedans en sortir.
    • Marriage is like a beleaguered fortress; those who are without want to get in, and those within want to get out.
    • Quitard, Études sur les Proverbes Français, p. 102.
  • Widowed wife and wedded maid.
  • Marriage is a desperate thing.
  • To disbelieve in marriage is easy: to love a married woman is easy; but to betray a comrade, to be disloyal to a host, to break the covenant of bread and salt, is impossible.
  • What God hath joined together no man shall ever put asunder: God will take care of that.
  • The whole world is strewn with snares, traps, gins and pitfalls for the capture of men by women.
  • Lastly no woman should marry a teetotaller, or a man who does not smoke. It is not for nothing that this "ignoble tobagie" as Michelet calls it, spreads all over the world.
  • Under this window in stormy weather
    I marry this man and woman together;
    Let none but Him who rules the thunder
    Put this man and woman asunder.
  • The reason why so few marriages are happy is because young ladies spend their time in making nets, not in making cages.
  • Celibate, like the fly in the heart of an apple, dwells in a perpetual sweetness, but sits alone, and is confined and dies in singularity.
  • This I set down as a positive truth. A woman with fair opportunities and without a positive hump, may marry whom she likes.
  • What woman, however old, has not the bridal-favours and raiment stowed away, and packed in lavender, in the inmost cupboards of her heart?
  • Thrice happy is that humble pair,
    Beneath the level of all care!
    Over whose heads those arrows fly
    Of sad distrust and jealousy.
  • The happy married man dies in good stile at home, surrounded by his weeping wife and children. The old bachelor don't die at all—he sort of rots away, like a pollywog's tail.
  • 'Tis just like a summer bird cage in a garden: the birds that are without despair to get in, and the birds that are within despair, and are in a consumption, for fear they shall never get out.
  • Why do not words, and kiss, and solemn pledge,
    And nature that is kind in woman's breast,
    And reason that in man is wise and good,
    And fear of Him who is a righteous Judge,—
    Why do not these prevail for human life,
    To keep two hearts together, that began
    Their spring-time with one love.

The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)[edit]

Law of husband and wife[edit]

Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 100-103.
  • In the eye of the law no doubt, man and wife are for many purposes one: but that is a strong figurative expression, and cannot be so dealt with as that all the consequences must follow which would result from its being literally true.
  • When a woman marries, her husband is the head of the family.
    • Parker, C.J., Inhabitants of St. Katherine v. St. George (1714), Fortesc. 218.
  • A woman is to comfort her husband.
    • Holt, C.J., Russell v. Corne (1703), 2 Raym. 1032.
  • If such cruelty shall be sanctioned, and wives shall not be allowed necessaries, England will lose the happy reputation in all foreign kingdoms, which her inhabitants have achieved by their respect for this sex, the most excelling in beauty, which, as in this climate it far transcends that of the women in all other lands, so has this Kingdom surpassed all other countries in its tenderness and consideration for their welfare.
    • Per Cur, Manby v. Scott (1672), 1 Levinz, 4; 2 Sm. L. C. (8th ed.) 458.
  • Dissentions existing between man and wife are in all events very unfortunate: when they become the subject of consideration to third persons, they are very unpleasant, and if the case requires that the conduct of each party should be commented upon in public, it is a most painful task to those to whose lot it falls to judge on them. The subject therefore is always to be handled with as much delicacy as it will admit of; but the infirmities of human nature have given rise to cruelties and other ill-treatment on the part of husbands, and to cases in which this Court has thought it indispensably necessary to interpose.
    • Buller, J., Fletcher v. Fletcher (1788), 2 Cox, Eq. Cas. 102.
  • By the laws of England, by the laws of Christianity, and by the constitution of society, when there is a difference of opinion between husband and wife, it is the duty of the wife to submit to the husband.
    • Molina, V.-C., In re Agar-Ellis; Agar-Ellis v. Lascelles (1878), L. R. 10 C. D. 55.
  • The naturalest and first conjunction of two towards the making a farther society of continuance, is of the husband and wife, each having care of the family: the man to get, to travel abroad, to defend; the wife to save, to stay at home, and distribute that which is gotten for the nurture of the children and family; is the first and most natural but primate apparence of one of the best kind of commonwealths, where not one always, but sometime, and in some things, another bears a rule; which to maintain, God hath given the man greater wit, better strength, better courage to compel the woman to obey, by reason or force; and to the woman, beauty, fair countenance, and sweet words to make the man obey her again for love. Thus each obeyeth and commandeth the other, and the two together rule the house, so long as they remain together in one.
    • Sir Thomas Smith, "Commonwealth of England," Bk. I., c. 11, f. 23; quoted by Hyde, J., Manby v. Scott (1600), 1 Mod. 140, who added "I wish, with all my heart, that the women of this age would learn thus to obey, and thus to command their husbands: so will they want for nothing that is fit, and these kind of flesh-flies shall not suck up or devour their husbands' estates by illegal tricks".
  • There may by possibility be cases where cruelty may lead up directly to the wife's adultery.
    • Dr. Lushington, Dillon v. Dillon (1841), 3 Curt. 94.
  • A woman commits adultery in order to gratify her own unlawful passion: she does not think about the annoyance to her husband when she abandons herself to her lover.
    • Brett, M.R., Fearon v. Earl of Aylesford (1884), L. R. 14 Q. B. D. 797.
  • If I might be permitted to borrow an illustration from poetry, the distinction between forgiveness and reconciliation is nowhere more strikingly shown than by a poet who, more than most other men, has sounded the depths of human feeling, and who supposes the question put to the husband of an adulteress:
    "Then did you freely, from your heart forgive?"
    to which he replies:
    "Sure, as I hope before my Judge to live;
    Sure, as the Saviour died upon the tree
    For all who sin—for that dear wretch and me,
    Whom never more, on earth, will I forsake or see."
    Grabbe's " Tales of the Hall," b. 12.
    • Lord Chelmsford, L.C., Keats v. Keats and another (1859), 7 W. R. 378; 5 Jur. (N. S.) Part 1 (1859), p. 178.
  • When people understand that they must live together, except for a very few reasons known to the law, they learn to soften by mutual accommodation that yoke which they know they cannot shake off; they become good husbands, and good wives, from the necessity of remaining husbands and wives; for necessity is a powerful master in teaching the duties which it imposes.1 If it were once understood, that upon mutual disgust married persons might be legally separated, many couples, who now pass through the world with mutual comfort, with attention to their common offspring and to the moral order of civil society, might have been at this moment living in a state of mutual unkindness—in a stage of estrangement from their common offspring—and in a state of the most licentious and unreserved immorality.
    • Sir William Scott, Evans v. Evans (1790), 1 Hagg. Con. Rep. 36, 37.
  • The cock swan is an emblem or representation of an affectionate and true husband to his wife above all other fowls; for the cock swan holdeth himself to one female only, and for this cause nature hath conferred on him a gift beyond all others; that is, to die so joyfully, that he sings sweetly when he dies; upon which the poet saith:
    "Dulcia defecta modulatur carmina lingua,
    Cantator, cygnus, funeris ipse sui, &c."
  • There is not one of us who cannot recall to memory the experience of some case in which a woman submitted to the worst of treatment, treatment degrading and humiliating, and allowed it to continue rather than permit her name to become the subject of a public scandal.
    • Lord Fitzgerald, G. v. M. (1885), L. R. 10 Ap. Ca. 208.
  • The reason why the law will not suffer a wife to be a witness against her husband is to preserve the peace of families.
    • Lord Hardioicke, Barker v. Dixie (1735), Ca. temp. Lord Hardwicke, 265.
  • The husband is not liable for the criminal conduct of his wife.
    • Wilmot, J., Lockwood v. Coysgarne (1764), 3 Burr. Part IV. 1681.

Law of marriage[edit]

Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 165-166.
  • The holy state of matrimony was ordained by Almighty God in Paradise, before the Fall of Man, signifying to us that mystical union which is between Christ and His Church ; and so it is the first relation: and when two persons are joined in that holy state, they twain become one flesh1; and so it is the nearest relation.
    • Hyde, J., Manby v. Scott (1659), 1 Mod. Rep. 125.
  • Marriage in the contemplation of every Christian community is the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.
    • Lush, L.J., Harvey v. Farnie (1880), L. R. 6 Pro. D. 53.
  • Matrimony is a sacrament.
    • Abney, J., Richards v. Dovey (1746), Willes' Rep. 623.
  • In the Christian Church marriage was elevated in a later age to the dignity of a sacrament.
    • Sir William Scott, Dalrymple v. Dalrymple (1811), 2 Hagg. Con. Rep. 64.
I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being, neither white, black, brown nor red. When you are dealing with humanity as one family, there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being, or one human being living around and with another human being. ~ Malcolm X
An unjust law exists... by which marriages between persons of different color is pronounced illegal... Government ought not to be invested with power to control the affections, any more than the consciences of citizens... A man has at least as good a right to choose his wife, as he has to choose his religion. His taste may not suit his neighbors; but so long as his deportment is correct, they have no right to interfere with his concerns. ~ Lydia Maria Child