The Miserable Marriage Puzzle

The Miserable Marriage Puzzle

Create February 19, 2012 / By Barry R. Clarke
The Miserable Marriage Puzzle

Leaving your husband can be a good solution!

In 2010, 1.96 million couples filed for divorce in China, a statistic that so unsettled the Chinese authorities they instructed their post office in Beijing to provide a remedy. Couples were offered a chance to send their other half a sealed love letter to be delivered in seven years time so that when the letters were opened, each partner would be reminded of what they originally saw in each other and their marriage would instantly be revitalised. Presumably, sociologists have decided against waiting until 2017 before judging whether or not this initiative will arrest China’s rising divorce rate.

The highest divorce rate in the world must surely have been in New York’s Oneida Community in the mid-nineteenth century. Founded by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848, the religious commune advocated complex marriage in which every female in the community was to be married to every man. The vicar must have had the safest job in town.

There seem to be many reasons why marriage falls short of expectations. Flaubert’s Emma Bovary might have been forgiven for tiring of a husband whose main occupations were nibbling cheese and sleeping but Charles Dickens’ complaint that Catherine Hogarth had burdened him with ten children hardly seems to have justified his marital distemper considering he was more than an interested party in their conception.

It is easy to see why most Hollywood marriages are doomed to failure.  Zsa Zsa Gabor once revealed that her ex-husband “taught me housekeeping; when I divorce I keep the house”. Bette Davis had one eye on her bank balance when she declared “I’d marry again if I found a man who had 15 million dollars, would sign over half to me, and guarantee that he’d be dead within a year”. At least Groucho Marx was only playing for laughs when he said "Some people claim that marriage interferes with romance. There's no doubt about it. Anytime you have a romance your wife is bound to interfere."

And this week’s puzzle is all about marriage separation.

A woman's husband was also stepfather to her children. Unfortunately, it was a loveless marriage and after describing him in her diary as shown below she decided to separate. Can you remove one of the letters below to assist her in leaving her husband?

(Solution next Sunday)

Last week's solution

The answer to The Dead Dog Puzzle is to move one stick as shown so that the dog is now lying upside down with its legs in the air. The mouth becomes an eye and vice versa.


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