Countrified Marriage Advice From The Ranch Pen

Young Gramps and Danni

Young Gramps and Danni

I read somewhere or other recently that if the man/woman you are thinking of as a husband/wife isn’t someone you feel is better than you, someone who makes you want to be better than you are, don’t marry that guy/gal. In other words, don’t marry beneath yourself. It was like getting hit in the head with a bag of bricks. “Eureka!” I thought. “That is excellent advice and since Gramps and I have been married thirty-four years this week, I believe I’ll hand out some of my own.”

As evidenced by the photo from ancient times (above) taken not all that long before our marriage, Gramps and I were very young when we started our lives together. Nobody can say, “Well, sure your marriage worked, Danni. Hello. Y’all were in love, super smart, rich, and beautiful. Me and the moron I married didn’t have those advantages.”

First of all, we were both still teenagers (Gramps, 19, Danni,16) when we made our vows to each other and God, and nobody has the experience or wisdom to weigh all the pros and cons and come up with a lifetime of happiness at that age even if they love each other. So, no. We weren’t super smart. We were real dumb.

As for rich, Gramps had his pickup, a job, and a twenty-foot-long camp trailer. I had two fat steer calves ready for butcher, a couple hundred bucks cash, and a bike.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and while we were dazzled by each other’s good looks and charm, neither of us ever ended up with modeling agents clamoring at our camp trailer door.

Balanced precariously against our slew of disadvantages, we had one real advantage–we were committed to Jesus Christ and our shared belief that God hears and holds us accountable to our vows, taking divorce off the table as an option.

Along with divine help, some common sense always comes in handy. Therefore, I have included a partial list of people to avoid including in your matrimonial plans.

Danni’s List of People to Avoid Marrying Because That Would Be Marrying Beneath You

  • Addicts of all kinds–you will always come second, or third, or fourth to their addiction.
  • Liars–Liars lie. They’ll lie to you, too.
  • Thieves–Thieves take stuff that ain’t theirs, including services rendered, such as the utilities and items bought on credit. If someone doesn’t pay their bills, that’s dishonest and you can’t respect somebody like that.
  • Cheats–If they will cheat someone else, they will sneak around and cheat on you, too.
  • Lazy bums–A bone lazy person who sits around playing video games all day and breathing up good air instead of tending to business will always be dead weight to you. And everyone else, too. You won’t ever be proud of them.
  • Self-centered morons–you will want to jab them with your fork every day of your life.
  • Shallow–If someone doesn’t care deeply enough about at least one thing that they would plant their feet and take a stand for it against popular opinion, they’ll leave you hung out to dry when you do.
  • Gorgeous on the outside, empty on the inside. Or even worse, rotten at the core–If you judge the book solely by its’ cover, you’re gonna get a rude shock a few years down the road.
  • Disrespectful of human life–Someone who doesn’t respect the dignity of human life from the womb to the grave is not going to spoon feed you and change your adult diapers if you cease to be useful to them.
  • Know-it-alls–Someone who already knows everything is tedious in the extreme and (unbeknownst to them) at a grave disadvantage since life is one, long learning curve. But they already knew that.
  • An abuser–If someone belittles you or hurts you physically before marriage? Yeah. That ain’t gonna get any better. Plus, you might have some kids to worry about after a while.
  • Goober-heads–An occasional small gooberishness is tolerable, but if the person drives you nuts and makes you want to bring a cast iron skillet down on his/her annoying head before marriage, they probably always will.
  • Humorless person–Someone who takes themselves too seriously and doesn’t think you’re funny, either? Avoid them. Sometimes the only thing that makes life bearable is the ability to laugh at yourself and each other.
  • Finally, and most importantly, don’t marry someone who won’t pray or go to church with you–Life is just plain hard and you’ll need all the help you can get.

So, there you have it, ol’ Danni’s incomplete list of people not to marry. I hope it’s helpful. As an ultra-conservative Christian woman, I believe marriage between men and women is–and has always been since God ordained it–the foundation of civilization. When a marriage crumbles it’s like a small universe exploding and nobody knows who all is going to get hurt by the fallout. If your marriage is struggling, please don’t give up on it. It’s important in the big picture and if you can save it, one day you’ll be ever so glad you did.


Danni and Gramps, Lo these many years later

Danni and Gramps, Lo these many years later

(Gramps, from the wife of your youth, thank you for thirty-four years of your life. I married above myself.)

As always, thanks for reading and until next time, God bless all y’all–married or not–and enjoy Keith Whitley’s When You Say Nothing At All.  (It’s for you, Gramps, since I tend to nag if I say anything at all. Plus, it’s a good song from back in the day.)

*If you are interested in more things you should never do in choosing a mate, you might want to read my book Wailing Woman Creekthe second in the Love Is Not Enough Series.


19 thoughts on “Countrified Marriage Advice From The Ranch Pen

  1. Wow danni, I had no idea you had started this! I’m super stoked to read more. Love the marriage advice. It fits right along with the advice you were giving me so many years ago.

    • Breezi, I’m so happy you stopped by and still remember my marriage advice! Please give me a hint who you are. I’ve handed out too much advice–good, bad, and otherwise–to pinpoint you without further clues. Plus I’m getting old 😄

  2. Great list. More of us should heed advise like this when we are still young. Love your humor. Love the pics. You two were cute as bugs ears. You still are.

    • Hi, Stephania,
      It’s good of you to comment and I’m happy you got something from the post. I know while I was writing it I thought I definitely need to tighten up in some of these areas myself. Take care 🙂

  3. Congrats on your anniversary! Thirty four years is an impressive amount of time to be married. You two are so cute together. I really like your list of types not to marry. It strikes me that more than one book could be written using people who married types they shouldn’t.

    And I love that you had two steer and money of your own when you married.

    It also seems like your list would be a good thing to study if someone wanted to become a better person. Like, “Don’t be a cheat,” etc. Maybe you should laminate your list and hand it out to all couples who seek a marriage license. Couldn’t hurt and might help some of them!

    May you have many more years of wedded bliss!

    • Thank you, Drema, for the kind wishes. Yes, I think the list is just a decent person checklist, which is most helpful when choosing a mate. Every young person who knows me gets ears-ful of life advice, but maybe I’ll just make some laminated lists to hand out. Great idea! 😀

  4. Love this! We’re fervently thankful you and Gramps have been in it for the long haul. Here’s to 34 more!

    I’m firmly in favor of “marrying up” the way you described it. God’s blessed me richly, and I’m so thankful I ended up with Son #2.

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