My wife and I recently celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. If you're a single guy thinking about getting married, might I suggest, based on my experience, that you marry a woman who possesses the following 10 qualities?
1. So smart she constantly freaks you out with her humongous Absorb-O-Brain.
Upside: Hanging around with a smart person makes you smarter. Up to a point, of course. But still.
Downside: Smart people remember everything. Pretty mixed blessing.
2. So wise she makes Confucius look like Goober Pyle.
Upside: Your own private oracle!
Downside: Wise people are extremely good at anticipating the outcome of things that slightly less wise people do. Not always entirely gratifying.
3. So perfectly matches your idea of heart-stoppingly gorgeous that just looking at her wipes every thought out of your head.
Upside: Constant aesthetic revelation.
Downside: It's rude to stare.
4. So compassionate she regularly makes you feel like Ivan the Terrible.
Upside: Constantly getting to see the highest aspect of human nature in action.
Downside: Basically stuck having to do the right thing all the time seriously cuts into TV-watching time. Not to mention savings account, what with all those charities, and all.
5. So funny you can barely stand it.
Upside: Never-ending yuks!
Downside: Getting all the jokes means really paying attention, always. Worth it, but still...
6. An indefatigable worker.
Upside: Stuff gets done.
Downside: Guilt for not helping with work can seriously interfere with naps.
7. The greatest artist you know you'll ever meet.
Upside: (Relatively) free art!
Downside: A wife who's driven by stuff you can't even begin to understand.
8. Shares your spiritual values.
9. Is certain that the best thing to be had in life is a good marriage.
Upside: Willing to work to achieve a great relationship.
Downside: Willing to make you work to achieve a great relationship.
10. Absolutely without agenda or ambition for you beyond that you're happy.
Upside: No nagging! Ever.
Downside: You have to decide what really makes you happy. Much trickier than it seems.
So remember, guys. To ensure a happy, long-lasting marriage, all you have to do is marry a woman who is smart, wise, beautiful, compassionate, funny, hard-working, aesthetically inspired, spiritual, passionately desirous of a good marriage and has virtually no "ambitions" for you beyond that you're happy.
That's what I did, anyway. Sure worked for me.