Some weeks ago, I wrote a blog post with some hints for a happy marriage. Now, in his second ‘Beside the Hilda’ contribution to overthehilda, GG has offered to put a male slant on the married union! Not sure I agree with everything he wrote, but I have let him have his say without amendment!!! 

When Hilda and I first met 36 years ago at our Hockey Club, there was an instant chemistry. After a relatively short courtship, I assumed that she accepted my hand in marriage because she saw me as

I have never claimed to be that but, like many husbands, I have learned over the years that ‘she-who-must-be-obeyed’ is actually

In her blog, she said ‘I was far from perfect and what you see now is the result of years of practice’. Hilda, on the other hand, is almost perfect but some minor flaws have emerged over the past 35 years together!

I’m into ‘tidy’ but madam is into ‘clean’, so if you visit our house, you may notice how spotless it is but you may also trip over the vacuum cleaner which she leaves strewn over the floor.

Hints for a happy marriage – male view


Yes, I’m kind enough to make her hot water with lemon and ginger every morning and bring it up to her in bed, and have done so for more years than I care to remember. Not to do so could create an unwanted tension for part of the day and she has even been known to phone me from the bed to remind me that I’m late!


I am often accused of not listening. This might have something to do the number of instructions which can be fired in my direction at any one time and it’s too much for my male brain to process or because I have developed the art of selective hearing. I have found that if I ignore it long enough, Hilda will probably do it herself.


Related to the above point, Hilda has a low threshold of patience. ‘Now’ means ‘right now’ in her language whereas I have a slightly more laissez-fair attitude, except perhaps when it relates to timeliness.


I like to be punctual. I can be ready for a night out in about 15 minutes flat and that includes shaving, showering and dressing. Hilda, not unlike many ladies I know, needs multiples of that timeframe to get prepared so invariably we are late for most occasions. The exception to this rule is her need to be on time (even early) for Golf.

Spatial Awareness

It has been alleged (probably by men!) that the female of the species has issues with spatial awareness, hence her difficulties with parking a car (don’t mean to offend lady readers but this is more than a generality!). However, I didn’t realise that it extends to filling the dishwasher! Tidy-me knows how to do it perfectly so she very cleverly lets me do…as well as emptying it, of course.

Little Niggles

Among Hilda’s (very few) flaws are:

  • Spending an inordinate amount of time on her mobile phone (researching material for her next blog is her usual excuse)!

  • Leaving the lights on in the en-suite or toilet (all day sometimes), so I wonder why our electricity bill peaks from time to time!
  • Losing – or misplacing to be precise – her car keys, handbag, make-up or phone on a regular basis!
  • Insistence on walking at (for me anyway) an uncomfortable pace when I just want to amble along hand-in-hand!

Menial Tasks

OK, I don’t do the ironing (I could but I’d be too fussy and take too long) but I’m not sure I get sufficient credit for the little things like emptying the bins, ensuring there are always ice cubes and lemons for her G&Ts and checking the monthly bank ands credit card statements to keep her retail therapy spending within reasonable bounds.

Laughter is the best medicine

Fortunately, we both have a sense of humour and are well able to slag each other.

Whether she is laughing with me or at me in this photo is a moot point!

But despite my imperfections and her little foibles, it’s worked out pretty well for 35 years and I’m still mad about my wife, mother of my lovely daughters and a gorgeous granny to boot!