I’ve always been fascinated by human relationships, especially the romantic sort, which probably has a lot to do with how I ended up pursuing a career in family law. I love not only listening to personal stories shared by my friends and clients, but reading books and articles exploring the various aspects of relationships. What attracts us to each other? What holds us together and what drives us apart?

This fascination is what led me to a dark corner of the Internet I might typically avoid after an acquaintance recommended I check out an article he felt offered a fair representation of the “male perspective on marriage.” The article was published as part of “Bold and Determined,” a website and blog created by Victor Pride, a mildly popular guru of sorts who promises to teach his followers the secrets to becoming a successful man.

Included in the mix of what I would consider some pretty awful posts as well as a few that actually seem rather wise and useful was the article my acquaintance recommended, one entitled “How to Pick the Right Wife.”

Pride starts by asserting that marriage is, above all, a contractual exchange of resources and thusly, a decision that should be based on ruthless business analysis rather than emotional factors such as love or the desire for human connection. Pride operates on the assumption that marriage is an inherently risky venture for men, carrying the possibility of complete financial devastation, stating the only sound reason for a man to ever get married is to start a family and raise kids.

Personally I disagree with this idea, not only because I don’t share Pride’s opinion that most women are soulless, money-hungry “sluts” looking to trap the first hapless sucker she can manipulate into financing her parasitic lifestyle, but also because I think he kind of misses the whole point of marriage. Above all, most of us are really looking for a companion with whom to share the ups and downs of life.

Besides, I know quite a few childfree couples, gay and straight, who have very fulfilling partnerships.

Building a family doesn’t require procreation, and while raising babies is a wonderful experience for many of us, there’s no reason it has to be the primary goal of any marriage.

Pride claims the goals of selecting the right wife are to minimize the chance of divorce, maximize the wife’s happiness in performing traditional wifely duties, and raise happy and respectful children, ideally including “non-sissified sons.” His list of suggested requirements in a wife includes the following:

• She should be under 30, at most, but 20 is ideal. He suggests men not even think about marriage until they are over 30 and have had time to acquire financial stability as well as the wisdom and maturity to make such an important decision, but potential wives should be young.

Pride points out women do not age well and their beauty begins to decline sharply after the age of 30, when their faces and bodies begin a rapid descent into the realm of the grotesque. The goal is to maximize the number of years you live with a firm young body, because the fundamental deal of marriage is that she gives you her “good” (i.e. pretty) years and you put up with her “bad” years (i.e. the remaining 3/4 of her life).

• She must be family-oriented rather than career oriented. Work is a man’s world and no man should ever expect his wife to contribute financially. After all, no woman really wants to work and her true happiness and purpose lies in caring for her home and children.

• She must be a “good” girl. She should not drink, smoke or have tattoos, and she should be as close to a virgin as possible. You cannot turn a whore into a housewife.

• She should not believe in divorce in general and should consider it an absolute non-option in her marriage. (Something tells me he would frown mightily upon marrying a female divorce attorney).

• She should not have any children from a previous relationship. In the animal kingdom, when a lion takes over a pride he kills the cubs of other lions. Just sayin.’

• She should be willing to change herself to make you happy. A man who changes for a woman is a sissy, but a woman who changes herself to conform to the whims of a man is a woman who is in love.

When I shared the article with my husband, there were a couple seconds where I was a little afraid he would notice I failed pretty much every test on the list and suddenly realize I am basically the worst wife in the world.

I was reassured after listening to him alternately gag and laugh aloud while reading the article, and when he was finally done he shook his head and exclaimed, “Oh my god! That sounded like advice for choosing livestock!”

Whew! I should have known better than to ever doubt the man who adopted my first-born child rather than kill her. I picked wisely when it came to choosing a husband, and as he stroked my weathered face and slipped his arms around my rapidly decaying body, he assured me he felt the same.

So how DO you choose the right wife and give yourself the best chance for a happy life and successful marriage? Ah, I’m so glad you asked. Please tune in next time (in two weeks) for some tips that might make it a little less likely you’ll ever have to drag yourself into my office to sign divorce papers and worse, be forced to gaze upon my craggy over 30-year-old face. Nobody wants to see that.

Besides, I should really be at home where I belong, baking cookies or something.