About 18 months ago, I gave a dinner speech to a national assembly of undergraduate business students at The Ohio State University. (You might remember "MBAs In Heat.")
Well, ever since then, the idea of that speech has been percolating, growing, gnawing.
I've been wondering:
- Why do we teach business students how to make money, but not how to preserve their assets through intelligent marriage maintenance?
- Don't widely-accepted business strategies and practices work at home, as well as they do in manufacturing or service businesses?
- Isn't our national divorce rate a measure of our educational system?
- Is there truly nothing we can teach students that might help them pick, retain and — if need be — jettison a spouse in the most intelligent way?
I know that last phrase — "jettison a spouse in the most intelligent way" — doesn't sound all that romantic.
But, really, it is.
Money can't buy you love, but a lack of love can sure lose you a lot of money.
I think we can agree that money could be a good measure of doing marriage right: falling in love with the right person, developing that relationship so it blossoms, and — if everything turns to mud and wickedness — ending that relationship in the right way and at the right time. Fail at any of these skills, and there is a huge economic price to pay.
It's not about money,
And, of course, there is an emotional price to pay for failure — or dividend to reap for success. Live beautifully — in love, holding hands — and your prosperity is potentially economic and certainly emotional.
Consider David Brooks this week in The New York Times on "The Sandra Bullock Trade," in which he argues:
If you have a successful marriage, it doesn’t matter how many professional setbacks you endure, you will be reasonably happy. If you have an unsuccessful marriage, it doesn’t matter how many career triumphs you record, you will remain significantly unfulfilled.
Mr. Brooks is right. It's not only about money. But I wanted to get your attention. And I know how you love money.
And, I know, if you think I am helping you chase money and yet all you end up with is love and happiness, then you won't be disappointed.
So, here we go.
I'm going to start writing a book — in installments on Net Cotton Content — called:
No. How about:
Naw. Pick one, any one:
Love And Marriage
You Know You Want It
I don't know.
I guess all I know now is the subtitle: spousal recruitment, retention and attrition.
I could use your help.
As you read the installments (like the preface, above), which will come occasionally (like all good things), feel free to suggest titles, as well as edits small and large.
Suggest anything. Win my gratitude. And, better yet, help someone marry right and stay rightly married.