How To Be Married For Five Years

I’m surprised Claudia Azula Altucher hasn’t divorced me yet. I’m surprised that she decided to date me to begin with.

I was a separated, but married, man. I had 2 kids. I had the IRS freezing my assets on a regular basis.

The bank was going to take the house my kids lived in. I had no job. I had no prospects. I had no friends. I got drunk every night.

Even a dating service rejected me. Eharmony, after making me fill out a form for an hour, said that “Separated” people are mostly losers so they refused to let me log in.

And I kept dating women who kept saying, “It better be ok with you that I date other guys.” I didn’t like that.

For some people that’s fine. For me it wasn’t fine but everyone was making me feel like I was crazy.

What happened to the world while I was gone?

Every day I always drive her crazy. I say, “I’ve run out of things to write about”.

And, as she put it, “there’s no answer. I have to slowly back away while he stares at me.”

I’m always involved in lots of new projects. She says, “take a rest” and I say I will and then I take on a new project.

[She just walked by me. I told her, “I can’t figure out what to write about”, as a joke. And she asked, “Well, what happened when you went outside for coffee?” So I appreciate her trying.]

I think it’s very hard to be married. I’m sort of sick of her right now.

We just spent five straight weeks working together on projects. I think we spent every moment together.

Maybe she is sick of me also.

We wrote a book. We went to London to give talk. We shot a bunch of videos this week that she’s editing for me. She’s translating “Choose Yourself” into Spanish. And it doesn’t end. We do 5 podcasts a week together.

I’m sick of me when I read the above list.

I’ll admit I forgot to get her an anniversary present. I hope she forgot to get me one as well. Then we’d be even.

But every morning I make her laugh. I like to make her laugh because she laughs not only with her mouth but with her leg. It goes up and down like a horse.

I make a joke with the sole purpose of watching her entire body contort. Sometimes she can’t even stand and falls to the ground.

Then I laugh AT her.

One thing I know: the most important decision I ever made in my life is marrying her.

I was about to die when I met her. Everything in my life was upside down. The people, my health, I was angry all the time. I was scared. I was depressed. Doctors would give me horse tranquilizers just so I could sleep.

I figured out the exact technique to kill myself as painlessly as possible. I was going to do it.

I just wrote it down here but realized it’s so easy I don’t want people to try it. So I erased it.

Then back so long ago, I saw Claudia online. I asked her where she was from. She said, “Buenos Aires”. I said, “Oh! I never been to Brazil before.”

Somehow after that mistake she stuck with me. It’s like I filtered out all the people who would assume I was an idiot (they would probably be right).

Then I wanted to have dinner with her to maybe get her drunk and have sex with her.

But she said no. “Tea”. I said “Dinner”. She said “tea”. And only “one hour”.

And then we took a walk. Then the next date we took another walk. A really long one because I was afraid to kiss her.

Then she went to buy one of my books. Because I went on a signing rampage all over NYC six months earlier and nobody had bought my books, the particular book she opened up of mine in a random bookstore said, “To Whoever Buys This Book, I Love You. – James Altucher”.

She thought that was a sign from God. She checked the other books (they were all unsold and still are) and none of them had that. I remember signing that particular book.

My youngest, Mollie, who was only 7 then, looked at me when I had signed it six months earlier and said, “Daddy! What are you doing?” And I told Mollie, “I love whoever reads this book.”

But it was enough. Because Claudia believes in miracles, she fell in love with me.

You breathe in the energy of the people around you. Claudia has her problems (a LOT of them) but when I breathe in her energy, I live another day.

Then I wanted to make a comic book. So I scripted out when I met her and someone drew it.

They drew her prettier than she is in real life. But that’s ok. She’s very beautiful even when she’s not a cartoon.

In real life I like looking at her. I recorded her once when she was snoring and it sounded pig-like but I love listening to it even though she hates it.

She screamed at me when she heard the recording. I said, “but I recorded it for your health”. She didn’t believe me.

I made her laugh this morning. That makes me happy. I hope I do it every morning.

She will kick like a dying horse, and laugh and fall, and snore like a pig, and back away from me when I glare at the screen , but today I know I will live another day.


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  • This post touched my heart. Thank you James. Once again you have inspired me!

  • jay_em

    Aw, so sweet! Congratulations to both of you….wishing you more anniversaries to come!

  • Mimi

    Hey James, I love the honesty here. Can you do a post on how be married for 6 months because that’s how long my last marriage lasted! I did manage 5 years in a previous marriage but it took 5 years to get divorced. Does that count as 10? Either way, I think I’m done with it but I think you two are made for each other just keep laughing at each other and yourselves.

  • Congrats! I am sure this will help people looking for love.

  • Virginia

    Congratulations and best wishes for many more!! I love your story because I’m going through what is probably a garden-variety midlife crisis but to me feels like Armageddon, and am still trying to date. After reading this, I feel more optimistic that my Claudia (or in my case, Claudio) is not only out there but coming toward me… Again, congrats and thanks for sharing. : )

  • Virginia

    P.S. Not that it matters, but I think you have it backwards: your wife is actually prettier in real life, judging by the photo. : )

  • Cindy

    Soo.. sweet ;) Congrats on yr anniversary n many more!
    And you are right… keep laughing…laughter is the secret sauce to keeping the relationships alive and kicking ?

  • Sarita Rani

    Hmm………So you read the poem…. “I love you because….. I’m a doofus on the roofus and you are too” when you were young……….

  • Sarita Rani

    When I pick a four leaf clover…….you pick one up too..

  • ShitTalker

    Altucher is a cool Jew dude. But he knows like I know, there is NO such thing as LOVE! That is why he CHOOSES to be with a woman that likes him for him and he expresses it vice versa. I know, it’s called UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! Just as well as he chooses to be with that woman, the same is in return to Altucher. However, I will never understand why one would get divorced then remarried again, because you would think to learn to STOP making acquistions and mergers as your personal business; especially involving the number one dictator to intervene, the GOVERNMENT.

  • The “traditional” 5 year anniversary gift is “wood”. You can perhaps plant a rose bush with Claudia somewhere.

    • Terre Tulsiak

      Except I don’t think they make wood out of that kind of rose.

      • Terre Tulsiak

        So make something out of wood- preferably recycled like from something else.

  • Aww congratulations!

    its so sweet, it made me cry even… “You breathe in the energy of the people around you….when I breathe in her energy, I live another day.”

  • Kinch Reindl

    You two are great together from what I hear on the podcast! Keep it up and please make a video of her leg when she is laughing.

  • Mark Andresen

    Who knew James went moose hunting?

  • Alma

    Thank you James, I wish you and Claudia many happy years, Congrats

  • Job Ben

    What went wrong with the marriage?

    • lostfootage

      Almost seven year itch?

    • James Sommers

      Are they not together?