Anthony Blackie’s new book, The Squashed Man Who Married A Dragon, contains more than 100 tips and pieces of advice gleaned over decades of “being in the wrong” with wife Vicki.
He said: “This is married life in the raw. All marriages are a lottery it’s life’s greatest gamble. Only when the girl of your dreams, that gorgeous, sensuous creature turns out to have a hidden volcanic fault are the battle lines drawn.
“I’ve survived and become a downtrodden hero by learning the odd trick along the way.”
The book contains life-saving techniques such as:
1. Learn quickly which side of the sink is the wrong side to put your used coffee mug.
2. When asked if she looks good in a dress and you know it is wrong, say it doesn’t do you justice rather than say no.
3. Let her throw out items of your clothing, no matter how precious they are to you.
4. Don’t question her when she does crazy things.
5. Always answer her phone calls, even when you are in a meeting at work.
6. Never criticise her cooking – and don’t eat the last one of anything in the house. Only she is allowed to do that.
7. Let her think she is cleverer than you, which of course she is!
8. Say “Yes”. A lot!
9. Give Her Control of the TV Remote.
10. Don’t shout when she crashes the car.
11. Carry heavy shopping, even if it kills you.
12. Never say no. Appear to agree - but then gently find the faults in her arguments.
13. Make her laugh.
The couple met on a blind date and married on June 29 1963 and have two daughters, Angela and Katie, and four grandchildren.
Anthony, 75, describes the book as a light-hearted romp through 50 years of married life.
The former salesman said: “I have more than five decades of battle scars to show for the dedicated research I have done on behalf of grooms-to-be and married men everywhere in order to make their lives a lot more bearable.
“Of course, you can try and assert your authority with a woman but, as I learned when the beloved 30 bob jacket which saw me through my bachelor years disappeared overnight, you might win the odd argument but you will never win the war. And I still never saw that jacket again.
“It is much better and more peaceful to realise that a husband’s lot is that you can’t win - and once you understand this your place in the brotherhood of martyrs is assured.“Every man can find their perfect woman – but it is only after you get married that you realise that they have teeth and breathe fire!”
Vicki, 69, who formerly worked for a fabric importer, is relaxed about Anthony’s new book despite being painted as a dragon – albeit a pretty one.
She said: “A dragon is a lot better than some of the things he has called me over the years. All women know that men need to be kept in their place and have rules so keep them on the right track. Anthony calls me a dragon but we have stayed together for 50 years so I must be doing something right – or that he has learned to do as he is told!”