Divorce Rate


Back in the early 1960s when I got married there was a pamphlet that gave as an example of conflict between husband and wife that one feels one ought to squeeze the toothpaste tube at the end and the other is sloppy about squeezing it in the middle.

I wonder if the divorce rate may be caused by the fact that in our changing culture everybody does not have the same rules. I have been told that I want my marriage to be like that of my aunt and my Hispanic uncle. They seemed to discuss everything with each other. Which groceries to buy and what color curtains to put up and everything. My ethnic background is German and so is my husband but I think his upbringing must have included rebelling German cultural traits having to do with authority, rules and order.

Wouldn’t the best solution to the problem with the toothpaste be that both get in the habit of squeezing it at the end? I am not sure I agree with the solution that enforces the right of both to have their own toothpaste and do their own thing. I don’t think such rights even if it is true that they exist are that important.

I think both agreeing to the more orderly habit is going to make it possible for children to be trained in rules that keep things less chaotic in the bathroom and in the home. If the wife has to work there is a need for such discipline. If one is planning on following the teachings of the church on birth control there is a need parental agreement on household rules. .


Maybe people have always had different ideas about how to squeeze the toothpaste, but now, individuals are much less likely to sacrifice their own preferences for the sake of harmony in the marriage. It might not be just that I have to accomodate my husband’s little peeves and he doesn’t accomodate mine, but it has kept our marriage together for 8 years so that our children can enjoy the luxury of two parents in the home. It’s worth the sacrifice.


DH has his own toothpaste, problem solved.


I think the key is not to care that much about a toothpaste tube :wink:

I think the idea of husband and wife discussing everything just dosn’t work, it’s too exhausting.

You need to trust and not sweat the small stuff (or the big stuff!).

e.g. My wife put a bid on our house before I saw it!

God Bless


I can understand the lil stuff myself toothpaste toilet paper rolls, Christmas tree light color, but if my wife ever put a bid on a house i didnt see she would live in it by herself thats for dang sure, unless she was the one working her tail off to pay the bills that is
then she would be paying for it and living in it herself


A friend who was studying to be a marriage cousuelor told me I have an old fashioned marriage that lasts where my husband stays out of what I do.

I am a a believer in a division of responsibilities where the wife calls the shots about what is considered to be womans work. That would mean she should be allowed to make some rules for that the children are supposed to follow.

I would say that my husband squeezes the toothpaste tube at the bottom but I never succeeded at getting the children to do so. It had to do with that getting them to bed at night or off to school in the morning involved more important things than that and I did not get to such details.

My husband did not have the kind of authoritarian upbringing I did and seemed to feel I had no authority as a parent. I kind of felt that way too because of being the oldest girl who took care of younger siblings but was not allowed to make the rules.

My husband does not feel I have authority over such things as how the dishes are supposed to be washed. I tend to have rules about that doing other stuff in the kitchen goes with it. Putting away stuff and wiping any spills off the counters. I learned them from older women in my family as a child and from a college Home Economics teacher.

It seems to me that if the men wash the dishes they should at least try to do a little of that. I know that when it comes to putting stuff away they tend to not know where to put it. But I think that out of respect for the general consenses of opinion in my family and in society as a whole they should at least try to do the other stuff that is usually done with the dishes. Also the dishes should be gotten to soon after the meal.

Having some rules like that that everybody agrees on was part of the three generation household I grew up in. They were accepted by the boarders we took in too. I think it was part of how everybody got along.


However, you seem to believe it is the *only *way to get along.

It is not.


I was going to say that. GMTA


The divorce rate is directly proportional to the amount of involvement God has in your lives. And also about keeping His commandments.

In the past, dating was chapperoned. Yes, even back then, adults knew the power of hormones.

You talked to your potential spouse’s parents. The man would usually be questioned by the father but not in a comic book, stereotypical way. I was questioned by an honest father that wanted to make sure I was thinking straight and could take care of his daughter. He was cordial and said nothing insulting. And he was firm.

Then you talk to your priest, individually and then both of you.

You don’t lie about or hide your drinking, gambling or drug problem. You make a promise before God and man and keep it. That’s being a mature, God fearing adult.

The Bible states that husbands and wives should honor each other. The Bible also warns about being unequally yoked, especially to an unbeliever.

Instead of bemoaning the current divorce rate among Christians, I think it’s time to start acting on fixing the problem and making sure the one you are about to marry is honest, sincere and mostly unselfish. And Commitment is no longer OPTIONAL.

God bless,


Dear Ed

You seem to suggest having the support of a priest and parents before getting married.

Back in 1964 about a month before I got married, I was experiencing a lack of support that was caused by that I was in therapy.

I had shared with the psychiatrist I was having some doubts about my future husband and he commented that it is perfectly normal to have doubts and then probably changed the subject before I got to tell him very much about it…

Two priests and my Mom who I tried to talk to about it after that felt that because I was in therapy it was the bailiwick of my psychiatrist to advise me.

They asked me what he thought. I told them he said it was “perfectly normal to have doubts.” They then imagined his decision was for me to go ahead with the marriage.

Psychiatrists do not help you to make your decisions. The fact that the psychiatrist said my doubts might be normal did not mean he was deciding for me I was supposed to get married in spite of them. My Mom and two priests I tried to get some advice from decided that was what he thought.

I concluded that they were right.

The psychiatrist’s professional ethics did not allow him to agree with any criticism of my husband. He was supposed to avoid having opinions about the others in my life. I have his email address and he told me that recently.

This did not mean he disagreed with me.

The psychiatrist probably did not let me share very much about it all. My therapy was non supportive and non directive. If you try to get advice or direction, they will ask you a question that gets you away from talking about what they are not supposed to deal with. It is something like that.

I would say that I might be part of God’s plan for my husband that I married him. He has no other family. It is foolish to be thinking I should not have after all these years.


us too… actually dh shares toothpaste with kids… I have my own because I use sensitive teeth toothpaste.

Another suggestion is to find a different way that is neither person’s “way”… they have new things out to put on a tube as you are using it that makes it squeeze from the bottom.


And his own sink. No problems here either.

(But I think we are both from the bottom squeezers.)


I think putting things in proper perspective is really what makes a good marriage.

I have a life threatening illness -my husband could give a rat’s behind how I squeeze the toothpaste, or wash dishes, or what color drapes we have. Infact those petty annoyances, things that used to bug him, have become reminders that his scatterbrained loving wife is still here. He never gets a glass I don’t sip out of, his clothes go missing because I borrow them regularly, and the floor in the bathroom is always wet after I get out of the shower. He’s got his own idiosyncrasies and I’ve learned to smile at them.

If people are getting divorced over toothpaste their life has been much too easy. The vows are for better or worse, even if his socks never make to the hamper or globs of toothpaste are left stuck in the sink. One day one of the two will die and the one left behind will wish thier spouse was there to squeeze the toothpaste the wrong just one more time.


secrets of a successful marriage
everyone has their own tube of toothpaste
get an ice maker so there is never a fight about unfilled trays
mom and dad each get a weekly night out w/o the rest of the family, and the other parent stays with kids (it is called parenting, not babysitting) or is responsible for getting a sitter if they have a demand on their time that night

separate vacations, in addition to the family vacation, even if only long weekends. she goes with her college girlfriends to see plays, look for antiques whatever, he goes with his work buddies to a golf resort or hunting.

if there are in-law conflicts, she visits her family with the kids, and he takes the kids to see his family, at different times, while the “in-law” spouse is otherwise conveniently occupied with work, school etc.

fighting is reserved for big issues that have real importance to the welfare of the family, and not wasted on inconsequentials like brand of PB or who forgot to replace the toilet paper on the roller.

for severaly troubled marriages the only solution may be separate bathrooms.


Exactly, Rayne. I cannot even imagine breaking up a marriage over such trivial things. I have a tendency to leave books and tissues and hair elastics all over the house, and to let the junk mail pile up until it’s of monumental proportions; DH has a rather “endearing” habit of taking off his dirty clothes and dropping them on the floor next to the hamper (that he insisted we buy), as well as tracking water ALL over the bathroom when he showers. He’s a bottom-squeezer, I’m a “who cares as long as the toothpaste comes out” squeezer. You know what? We could freak out about this stuff, but we’d be miserable all the time and we wouldn’t have time to notice and enjoy the good things. Life’s too short to spend it in nit-picking.


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