If you're feeling like your marriage is in a rut, here's one option for shaking things up: Try it 1950s-style.
Mandy and Gary Jones say living a 1950s lifestyle saved their marriage. They dress in vintage clothes, decorate their house with kitschy mid-century antiques, drive a 1949 Chevrolet, listen to rockabilly records on a jukebox, and yes, have even reverted to 1950s-style gender roles. "It may seem strange and we get the odd nasty comment," Mandy Jones says, "but this way of life works for us and has saved our marriage."
In fact, the Joneses think we should all "take advice from our grandparents" and live the '50s way. "1950s marriages definitely work better than marriages these days," Mandy says. She'll have to forgive my skepticism, but that's not what my divorced-in-the-1950s grandmother says. But let's give these two the benefit of the doubt, because they really do seem happy. What is it about their marriage that's working, and what can we learn from it?
1. Mandy has dinner waiting on the table when Gary comes home from work. Lucky Gary! Maybe if you both work all day, you could take turns treating each other? I know I'd love to come home to dinner on the table.
2. They eat "wholesome 1950s food" in their diner-style kitchen. Sitting down to eat dinner together every night is going to benefit your relationship, no doubt about it. And if the food is healthy, all the better. It doesn't have to be meatloaf and potatoes, but hey, if that floats your boat, great.
3. Mandy makes her own vintage-style clothes "to impress her husband." I think you should never stop trying to impress each other, both wives and husbands. It doesn't matter how you do this, just that you still care. And I bet Gary is appreciative of Mandy's efforts -- that's important, too.
4. Instead of spending their weekends drinking at the local bar, they go dancing and take trips to vintage fairs. You need some interesting hobbies to do together besides drinking, or watching TV, or anything passive. "If you've got a common interests together," Gary says, "it definitely makes you stronger."
5. Their vacations are built around dance festivals. What do you both love doing together? Could you build a vacation around that?
6. They've made friends in the vintage dance and collecting scene. You can't expect to get everything you need just from each other. You need to build a support network of friends, too.
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I don't think we have to actually adopt a 1950s lifestyle to make a marriage happier. But it seems clear that sharing a common vision for life and enjoying activities together has grown this couple's passion for each other. And that's something any couple will benefit from, no matter what your favorite decade is.
What do you think of this vintage-style marriage? Do you think it's the gender roles or the shared obsession that makes them happier?
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