From The Crap Archives: How to Be Happy Though Married


(Each Tuesday — except, due to the election, this last one — your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from area basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.)

How to Be Happy Though Married
Author: Tim LaHaye, pastor, television host, and eventual co-creator of Left Behind, the apocalyptic Christian novel series
Publisher: Tyndale House of Wheaton, Illinois
Date: 1968
Discovered at: DAV Thrift Store
The Cover Promises: Hot hand-holding action! And 180,000 copies sold! And that marriage is a state generally incompatible with happiness!
Representative Quotes: Page 63: “The difference between the reproductive system of the husband and wife should stand as a symbol of the beautiful difference in their emotional make-up.” Page 77: “Under such circumstances, she is often twenty-two or twenty-three by the time she is ready for children, and surprisingly enough, that is past the ideal childbearing age.”

“Marriage can be the most happy, mediocre, or unhappy of life’s experiences,” LaHaye tells us on page one of his guide to good Christian matrimony. How exactly mediocrity can be measured in the superlative degree, he doesn’t explain. Still, he aims for happiness, and believes you can, too. His advice:

  • Select a “missionary-minded” church.
  • “Recently, a woman told me that after eight years of marriage she had never undressed in front of her husband. This is false modesty.”
  • Say “I’m sorry” sometimes.
  • “Don’t be alarmed if you do not experience an orgasm during each sexual union with your husband.”
  • Remember, ladies: “Subjection is not slavery.”
  • The third key that guarantees a happy marriage is love.”

    He includes helpful illustrations of the “reproductive organs,” sometimes labeled as such:

    And sometimes not:

    And I doubt anyone would dispute these findings:

    Shocking Detail: While open-minded about birth control and, presumably, letting wives vote, LaHaye lays down the law when it comes to hygiene. In the chapter “Physical Joys,” he writes, “Daily bathing is highly recommended. Some authorities suggest that a tub bath is preferable since the vaginal lubricants of the female anatomy can give off an offensive odor.”

    Highlight: Also from “Physical Joys”: “The role of a woman is to respond. Don’t resent the role, but relax and respond to your husband’s affectionate expressions of love. You can usually enjoy the experience if you relax!”

    Perhaps it was just these ideas of marital bliss that inspired this 1984 book penned by LaHaye’s wife Beverly: