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'It Was Love At Second Sight'

I met Emmy winning writer Lew Schneider more than 10 years ago when I producing a comedy show about parenting called, "Afterbirth…stories you won't read in a parenting magazine."

On it, he told hysterically funny stories about his life raising three boys with wife Liz Abbe. Over the years, as our collective children started growing up and, in Lew and Liz's case, growing out—of their house—we all had more time to reflect on our marriages.

Lucky for us, Lew is happy to talk about his decades with Liz, sharing the wisdom they have both learned from hanging in there. Not only do you get to read some of that here, but Lew, along with five other writer/comedians, will be performing live July 16, in Los Angeles as part of a Mom.me sponsored show celebrating the launch of my book on the subject of love and laughter, "Take My Spouse, Please." In anticipation of the big night, I sat down with each of the long-term married writer/performers and asked them some key questions about laughter and coupledom.

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Marital stats for Lew and Liz: Married 29 years, together 35. (An intimidating number. I haven't done anything consistently for 35 years other than eat. ) They met as undergrads at the University of Pennsylvania. Here we go.

DKM: Was it love at first sight?

LS: Second sight. At first sight, I thought she was too tall, and it would be too weird, but then very, very quickly we thought, or at least I thought, I had to give it a try and ignore the laughter behind our backs.

I think we are almost incapable of being embarrassed in front of each other.

DKM: How important is timing in your marriage?

LS: For me, timing is almost always related to when to open my big fat mouth or keep it shut. Good timing is when I don't speak impulsively and bad timing is all the other time.

DKM: What's the funniest thing Liz has ever said to you or done with you?

LS: During a hell gig in Rhode Island, just a quick one-nighter, we were on our way to vacation in New Hampshire with our cat along for the trip. Liz decided to let the cat out of the carrier and the car for some air, while I was on stage doing stand-up. I could see, looking out toward the back of the club, over the audience, that she was moving around somewhat frantically outside. She was trying to corral the cat. Watching this cartoon-like endeavor outside made it very hard to focus on my own jokes.

DKM: How did you survive the early years with three boys? Did you laugh once? When?

LS: Our sons are now, 23, 21 and 18. Not sure how we survived, frankly, probably through laughter. We laughed everyday. And of course, nothing holds a marriage together like a common enemy (the kids).

DKM: What's the pay-off of staying married for a long time?

LS: I think we are almost incapable of being embarrassed in front of each other. Considering how often I'm embarrassed in my daily life outside of the house, this is a tremendous comfort. We also have a lot of inside jokes and expressions only we understand.

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DKM: If you had to share one (other) important piece of wisdom learned over the years, what would it be?

LS: Let me go with what my smart wife always, always, says and what she always manages to live by (I, by comparison, am able to do it about 40 percent of the time): Treat other people the way you would hope to be treated. This even applies to your spouse.

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