LOVE, SEX, MARRIAGE . . .
(Sorted alphabetically by the surname of the speaker or the writer, or by
the title of a show.)
'Passion, sexual passion, may lead to marriage, but cannot sustain
marriage. The purpose of marriage is the raising of children, for which
patience, not passion, is the necessary foundation.'
'Marriage, in life, is like a duel in the midst of a battle.'
'Mrs Merton' to Debbie McGee: 'But what first, Debbie, attracted you to
millionaire Paul Daniels?'
Caroline Aherne, The Mrs Merton Show
'Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go it's
one of the best.'
'My wife was an immature woman . . . I would be home in the bathroom,
taking a bath, and my wife would walk in whenever she felt like it and
sink my boats.'
Woody Allen, 'I Had a Rough Marriage'
'Alcestis had exercised a mysterious attraction and then an unmysterious
repulsion on two former husbands, the second of whom had to resort to
fatal coronary disease to get away from her.'
'After a while marriage is a sibling relationship, marked by occasional,
rather regrettable, episodes of incest.'
Lady Astor: If you were my husband, Winston, I'd put poison
in your tea.
Winston Churchill: If you were my wife, Nancy, I'd drink it.
'I married beneath me. All women do.'
Nancy, Lady Astor
'There is not one in a hundred of either sex who is not taken in when they
marry. Look where I will, I see that it is so; and I feel that it must be so,
when I consider that it is, of all transactions, the one in which people
expect most from others, and are least honest themselves.'
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
'Whatever you do, keep clear of thin women. They're trouble.'
Alan Ayckbourn, A Small Family Business
'Spouses are impediments to great enterprises.'
'Marriage must incessantly contend with a monster that devours
Honoré de Balzac
'I thought I told you to wait in the car.'
Tallulah Bankhead, greeting an ex-lover after several years
'Love is just a system for getting someone to call you darling after sex.'
Julian Barnes, Talking It Over
'You may marry the man of your dreams, ladies, but 14 years later you're
married to a couch that burps.'
'Husbands think we should know where everything is - like the uterus is a
tracking device. He asks me, "Roseanne, do we have any Cheetos left?"
Like he can't go over to that sofa cushion and lift it himself.'
'My husband complained to me. He said, "I can't remember when we last
had sex." And I said, "Well I can, and that's why we ain't doing it." '
'Love . . . the delightful interval between meeting a beautiful girl and
discovering that she looks like a haddock.'
'People keep asking me if I'll marry again. It's as if after you've had one
car crash you want another.'
'My notion of a wife at forty is that a man should be able to change her,
like a bank note, for two twenties.'
'The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for
money usually costs a lot less.'
'Never marry a man who hates his mother, because he'll end up hating
'People shop for a bathing suit with more care than they do for a husband
or wife. The rules are the same. Look for something you'll feel
comfortable wearing. Allow for room to grow.'
'It is ridiculous to think you can spend your entire life with just one
person. Three is about the right number. Yes, I imagine three husbands
would do it.'
Clare Boothe Luce
'It is so far from being natural for a man and woman to live in a state of
marriage, that we find all the motives which they have for remaining in
that connection, and the restraints which civilised society imposes to
prevent separation, are hardly sufficient to keep them together.'
James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson
'Love is an obsessive delusion that is cured by marriage.'
Dr Karl Bowman
'Marriage is the most advanced form of warfare in the modern world.'
'The whole point of marriage is to stop you getting anywhere near real
life. You think it's a great struggle with the mystery of being. It's more like
being smothered in warm cocoa. There's sex, but it's not what you think.
Marvellous, for the first fortnight. Then every Wednesday. If there isn't a
good late-night concert on the Third. Meanwhile you become a biological
functionary. An agent of the great female womb, spawning away,
dumping its goods in your lap for succour. Daddy, daddy, we're here, and
'People marry for a variety of reasons, and with varying results; but to
marry for love is to invite inevitable tragedy.'
James Branch Cabell
'I love it when my period comes round. I can really be myself again.'
'My ex-boyfriend came round last night which was a bit weird, because I
didn't even know he was in a coma.'
'Sex, on the whole, was meant to be short, nasty and brutish. If what you
want is cuddling, you should buy a puppy.'
Julie Burchill, Sex and Sensibility
'I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.'
'It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs Carlyle marry one another
and so make only two people miserable instead of four.'
Samuel Butler, letter of 21 November 1884
Cliff Clavin: How's married life treating ya? Quite a change, huh?
Frasier Crane: Well, Lilith and I did live together for a year before we
wed, so other than the fact that I now see it stretching
endlessly before me until I die rotting in the grave, there's
no real difference.
John Ratzenberger and Kelsey Grammar, Cheers
'It's only adultery if you get caught!'
Thunderin' Paul Carrington
'You know what the difference is between a wife and a terrorist? You can
negotiate with a terrorist.'
'If variety is the spice of life, marriage is the big can of leftover Spam.'
Sam Malone: You know . . . you know I always wanted to pop
you one? Maybe this is my lucky day, huh?
Diane Chambers: You disgust me. I hate you.
Sam: Are you as turned on as I am?
Ted Danson and Shelley Long, Cheers
'The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing -
and then marry him.'
'The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense
Lord Chesterfield on sex
'Marriage is an adventure, like going to war.'
'Many a man has fallen in love with a girl in a light so dim he would not
have chosen a suit by it.'
'My wife and I were married in a toilet. It was a marriage of convenience.'
'That married couples can live together day after day is a miracle the
Vatican has overlooked.'
'I've sometimes thought of marrying, and then I've thought again.'
'My wife and I were happy for 20 years. Then we met.'
'When it comes to sex, at my age I like threesomes. In case one of us
'We sleep in separate rooms, we have dinner apart, we take separate
vacations - we're doing everything we can to keep our marriage together.'
'I'd marry again if I found a man who had 15 million dollars and would
sign over half of it to me before the marriage, and guarantee that he'd be
dead within a year.'
'I should never have married, but I didn't want to live without a man.
Brought up to respect the conventions, love had to end in marriage. I'm
afraid it did.'
'My wife is a sex object. Every time I ask for sex, she objects.'
'Last year my wife ran off with the fellow next door and I must admit, I
still miss him.'
'The difficulty with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality, but
must live with a character.'
'The feminist movement seems to have beaten the manners out of men,
but I didn't see them put up a lot of resistance.'
Clarissa Dickson Wright, Mail on Sunday, 24 September 2000
'I have always though that every woman should marry, and no man.'
'It destroys one's nerves to be amiable every day to the same human
'I've married a few people I shouldn't have, but haven't we all?'
Mamie van Doren
'Any intelligent woman who reads the marriage contract, and then goes
into it, deserves all the consequences.'
'They say marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.'