You write to congratulate me and I thank you. “My Dearest Friend” is how Mr. Adams regularly addressed Mrs. Adams in their voluminous correspondence. They and also others of their time, as you also know, have been recently much on my mind, which leads me occasionally into bursting into this style in my blog writing as I find ’tis most agreeable.
I would be less than honest with you should I assert that my knowledge and experiences of “my dearest friend” and of our married life together does not in places imbue – especially in my late novel and the new one soon to be available – what I write as fiction. Of course it does! ‘Tis today the twentieth anniversary of the 28th August 1999, when she and I were married at her childhood church at London. I regret not a moment of any of our life since that day and I hope neither does she. ‘Twas always my most earnest intention that we be happy; and I suppose that, for the most part, and amidst this existence’s invariable ups and downs, we have been.
You write you inquire as a gentleman if I have especial knowledge now as to what be the key to marital happiness with a lady? I had not considered until now that she and I move ahead yearly increasingly, and that now others less experienced might actually seek out our advice! What a terrible thought to be moving on so in life!
However, if it must be so, I may advise you that I know not fully what is the key to a happy marriage other than these matters. I believe one must view one’s spouse always as first before all other people – other family, friends, anyone else – in your life. If one takes that view, that immediately forms the best groundwork for one’s own marital happiness. It seems much in fashion now in this twenty-first century and is written and is spoken about that life happiness may be found within oneself and by putting oneself first
and perhaps doing yoga. ‘Tis greatly balderdash, forgive me for stating here. Looking to your spouse’s happiness before even your own is the foremost way to make oneself happy: to see that most important person happy ought make you so too. If it does not, what be your purpose in marriage? Yourself? That is vanity and self-indulgence and you might as well have remained unmarried then. Yes, a gentleman is allowed hobbies – as a lady is entitled to hers – but one must also be mindful. Put aside passing amusements and empty diversions of this century such as too much viewing of the social media and the Netflix if such take you too long away from her side. However, if you watch electronic entertainment together in the manner of enjoying a novel read aloud together, such might well be much savored in the same way.
I think also of no way I am happier than to be sitting with my wife and we side by side and there be around us quiet or soft music playing. Indeed I am at my happiest when she is at her happiest. I sleep best when she sleeps well. And I am at my most miserable when she is miserable; not that she is often miserable, of course, quite the contrary. Indeed, cross not my wife, or sadden her, for if so one might well be challenged on the field of honor! ‘Tis I who suffer most from reflecting upon the myriad ups and downs of this life, whilst she is always the more level-headed of us both. Thank God! For one of us must be so!
Like a thunderstorm that breaks a heatwave, our lives usually change suddenly. One never knows what lies around the next corner and what trials may land upon us. Regardless I hope and pray now, today, that there shall be at least another twenty years more, which is, I suppose, overwhelming evidence of happiness in a marriage.
Your most humble servant and friend,