Jeffrey Archer was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain’s House of Commons, fourteen years in the House of Lords, and two in Her Majesty’s prisons, which spawned three volumes of highly acclaimedPrison Diaries. All of his novels and short story collections---including Kane and Abel, Sons of Fortune, and False Impression---have been international bestsellers. Archer is married with two children and lives in London and Cambridge.
Question: What do you believe defines a good marriage?
Jeffrey Archer: Well you have to be friends, you have to want to chat to each other. Just before I came in to this studio, I had a chat to Mary about one or two things. If you don’t want to chat any longer, it is all over.
We have been married for 42 years and I am looking forward to going back next Saturday with already booked theatre, we are going to Saturday night, we both know where we are going to have lunch on Sunday.
So if you didn’t want to do that after 42 years, better to pack it up. I don’t like the concept of divorce, but I understand people having to part, when they no longer are friends.
Question: How does one become a better spouse?
Jeffrey Archer: Well I think you have to make hell of sacrifices. And how you think you have to be very understanding, you have to, it is quite hard for human beings to sit down to think: What will suite the other side better than me? What can I do that will make it easier for her?
And then you got to be thinking that all the time. It can be in such simple things. Would it be better if I left my car at home, so that she can come up to London in the car? Would it be better if, she went by train, that they often mundane simple things. Would it be better if I rang an hour later, when I know she will be coming out to the hospital--she works in a hospital--or would it be better if I rang before she went? Often it’s simple things; think about of the problems, the other person is facing.
Recorded on: March 15, 2008.