John Learns a Marriage Lesson

Marriage Lesson Learned

The first lesson about marriage that I, John learned was before I was ever married.

The week before we were to be married in August of 1966, I got a job teaching 7th grade in Quinton, NJ and needed a place to live. I found an ad for a rental place in Alloway, NJ which was only about 5-6 miles from where I was going to work, so the location was good. The lady renting the house lived in Florida and wanted to get it rented quickly. Here is where I made my first mistake of my married life.

 Since Geri worked second shift, my mom and I went to see the house. It was after dark and we didn't look too closely, but it was an older house on a quiet street with three bedrooms upstairs and the price at $85 per month would be manageable. So, I signed a lease for a year at $85.00 per month with a $170 at signing (first and last month's rent). 

The next day, I had teacher training for Salem County new teachers and Geri had the day off, so she, her mom, my mom, sister and brother went to get the place ready. In the dark, I had not been able to see how dirty it was, in fact the kitchen counters were so greasy they were black and unclean-able. My future bride was not amused and I was informed when I arrived at the house by all involved that we would not be living there. 


Well, I had a lease and to back out would cost $850 for the ten other months. So, my folks told me to go see Mr. Herb Butler of Mullica Hill who was a distant cousin on my grandmother Nipe's side. 

I made an appointment and he informed me that I had learned a couple of good lessons. The first of which was to include my wife in all major decisions, and know what you are committing to where money is involved. Then he told me that he had an idea which might work to get me out of the lease and maybe get my money back. He would send a letter on his official stationery explaining that due to circumstance outside my control, I would not be able to live in the house and would like to get out of the lease. I could also use the money advanced, but would understand if that wasn't possible. He told me that if I got a letter in return that didn't ask for the remainder, that would show intent  to relieve us from the lease. And, that's what happened, though we did lose the deposit, I did learn the lesson. Oh, and he refused to take a fee for his services!

Davdan @ 2008-2018