What Marilyn Monroe Taught Me About Marriage


In my last blog I passed along The Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Received.  In this blog I want to pass along what I think is the second most important advice for a good and growing marriage.

The lesson came from the life of Marilyn Monroe.

Many years ago a freelance writer from the New York Times was interviewing Marilyn Monroe. The reporter was aware of Marilyn’s past and the fact that during the early years Marilyn had been shuffled around from one foster home to another.

So the reporter asked, “Did you ever feel loved by any of the foster families with whom you lived?”

“Once,” she replied, “when I was about seven or eight.”

“The woman I was living with was putting on makeup, and I was watching her. She was in a happy mood, so she reached over and patted my cheeks with her rouge puff. And for the moment, I felt loved by her.”*

What does this story have to do with building a good and growing marriage?

If the foundation of a good marriage is built on serving one another (as I stated in my last blog) it’s also built upon what I call the 4 A’s:

Acceptance      Affirmation      Affection      Appreciation

Everyone needs these 4 A’s, and they should be most deeply experienced in a good and growing marriage.

Granted, they may be expressed in different ways—a touch, an act of kindness, a word of approval, a card, a gift, a smile, a hug, a laugh, a meaningful conversation, a nice meal—but in every good and growing marriage they are essential. No exceptions!


One of the ways my wife and I express these 4 A’s is through our words. Several times throughout the day my wife will say to me “Kenny, I’m so thankful for you.”

Or I’ll call out to my wife from another room, “Hey Missy,” (she thinks I’m going to ask her to do something for me or help me find something) but instead I’ll say, “Do you know how proud I am of you?”

Or if I’ve worked on a project like paying the bills or planning a trip, she’ll say to me, “Honey, thanks for doing this for us.”

Recently she’s started putting post-it notes on the mirror over my side of the sink with little statements of appreciation and affirmation written on them. (O.K. I know I’m spoiled, but get over it!)

No, we’re not saints(!), and our marriage isn’t perfect, but we do have a great and growing marriage, and one of the reasons is because we intentionally practice these 4A’s.

So practice these 4 A’s in your marriage and you’ll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

Ken L Roberts

(*The story is from the book, The Blessing by Gary Smalley)


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7 thoughts on “What Marilyn Monroe Taught Me About Marriage

  1. This is excellent information and I am really glad for both you and Missy. I haven't heard or seen a couple being in LOVE as the two of you. Although I have never met her she is a precious jewel and I am extremely glad that you both share this in your love life, Life at times will throw us all a curve ball but those who are devoted to each other and love each other will go way beyond what is called for. Keeping things all in the center of the Love of God sure does help. Praying Blessings upon the both of you my friend. from the FAR NORTH – Alaska

  2. I had the most wonderful marriage possible for 33+ years and there is nothing better than really knowing you are loved. My dear husband is in Heaven now. And knows love beyond our recognition. My childhood was a lot like Marilyns. The last home wanted me and loved me as their own. I met Jesus and my life was changed forever! Thanks Ken, for sharing. Loi

  3. Loi,

    Wow! What a wonderful testimony of God's grace and love in your life and in your wonderful years of marriage. Your comments were very touching.

    God's ongoing grace

    Ken L Roberts

  4. Dear Kenny,

    I am so very happy for you and Missy…what a precious couple you are together! A good marriage does take work, and a conscious effort to put your marriage ahead of other concerns, second only to your relationship to the Lord! What a wonderful recipe for success in marriage with the 4R’s! My marriage to Bob was a lot like yours, not perfect, but he told me that he Cherished me, not only loved me! That meant so much!!
    Love you guys,

    Jinny Holley