How to have a Happy Marriage in 15 Seconds a Day

How to have a Happy Marriage in 15 Seconds a Day


Gather ‘round boys, and listen in.

This here piece of advice I got years ago from Crazy Ned Van der Meyer, an 88-year-old Holstein farmer living on a lushly plowed dirt patch in Custer, Washington.

Crazy Ned had fathered six kids and been happily hitched to the same good woman since he was 20 and she was 17.

He knew powerful secrets about marriage, he said.

Yet what Crazy Ned told me sounded too easy to be true, and when I dared question its credibility, Crazy Ned grinned like a Buick and answered cryptically, “Well, when it comes to thick headedness and wise living, you know the Dutch.”

I just shrugged.

“Here’s what you do,” Crazy Ned said, his voice hushed to a whisper. “When you come home from work each day, the first thing you do inside the front door is give your wife a 15 second kiss on the lips.”

I nodded, waiting for the rest of the advice.

“That’s it,” Crazy Ned said flatly.

“That’s it?” I asked.

“You might want to chomp a stick of Wrigley’s so you don’t taste like a coffee cup,” Crazy Ned added, “and as yer kissing her you can count to 15 in yer mind if you want. Picture it—fifteen seconds is a long time when it comes to a daily smooch. Scientists will tell you it sets the chemicals in yer brain to firing. But I don’t know nothing about science. I just figure it sets both of your dispositions right, and everything else good will come from that.”

Years have passed, and Crazy Ned Van der Meyer is gone now. In his honor, I’m passing along that advice from Crazy Ned to you and letting it stand.

First thing inside the front door, greet your significant other with a 15-second kiss on the lips.

Go on, give it a try.

Question: What other sound marriage advice have you heard?