The First Year Was HELL

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About Tom Brechlin

Devoted Catholic, married 39 years, two grown kids and TWO super cool grandson. Former corporate executive that left that world and has since spent the last 15 years working with adolescent males in a residential treatment center. Has 1 dogs, a Golden (recently lost him to cencer) and something related to a swamp rat, 2 cats, and a parrot named Paco.


  1. She dressed in a fancy night gown and lit candles and we made love for the first time. It was really really really great. Quite great. So great that I should mention once again that it was great.

    hehe, brought a smile to my face.
    a nice read tom

  2. Tom Brechlin says:

    Thanks Jamesq …it brought me to a smile when I remembered it. :)

  3. I believe men are more and more aware of the hardships and problems of marriage, all a single guy has to do is listen to other guys in the office to understand this. Unfortunately too many women still believe marriage is a non-stop romantic fairy tale, or they think it’s “playing house”. One more thing that both men and women don’t always “get” is that your husband/wife isn’t just a roommate. Decisions made impact the family/household. There aren’t a lot of unilateral decisions you can make in marriage that will result in everyone being happy.

    It’s never easy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be worth it with the right person.

  4. Tom Brechlin says:

    You are so right about the unilateral decisions. Something as simple as how the kitchen cabinets are arranged. Something I have today which I didn’t have in the past is the so called “man cave” where it is completely MY space. How it’s put together or not is on my and me alone. My wife has a room of her own as well.

    I’m sitting here thinking of all the countless decisions that were made through the years and I would be hard pressed to find any that we could 100% agree upon. There is always some aspect of the situation where one of us would have to make a concession. Not that the concession meant either of us being miserable.

    When you mentioned “Unfortunately too many women still believe marriage is a non-stop romantic fairy tale, or they think it’s “playing house”. …. I started thinking of my own daughter and how she views her marriage and I would have to say that to some degree, she sees it the way you mentioned. But what do a lot of people have to base their views on, where it comes to marriage? TV? Movies? Romantic novels?

  5. courage the cowardly dog says:

    Wow!!! Excellent article. Congratulations, you and Anne are a testament to commitment. Marriage is like a roller coaster ride. Incredible highs and terrifying lows. The question is what happens if one of you bails in the middle of the ride; what damage is done to yourself, your kids and your spouse that you committed to. You didn’t do that and you are better for it and so are your children. Congratulations, you should be proud. Thank you for sharing this for those who may be going through some struggles in their marriages.

  6. This is why everyone should have premarital sex. Pressuring a girl into marriage at a week’s notice at the age of 19? That’s insane.

    • @Kayla … I don’t see the connection to premarital sex. 39 years later we’re still in love with one another. Marriage was not based upon having sex.In fact, I’ve never had “sex” with my wife. It’s all about making love and BTW, “making love” doesn’t have to involve sexual intercourse.

      Collectively, my brothers and I represent over 150 years of marriage. All of us were virgins and none of us have experienced divorce. Again, the connection to premarital sex is what?

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