The good wife’s guide

A few weeks ago I wrote about “Two simple rules for a long and happy marriage.” My counsel was directed to the male readers of this column, and several men have thanked me. Perhaps I’ve even saved a marriage or two – one can hope.

George Brown

Interestingly, a number of women have also commented about that column, some skeptically, but most with appreciation. One, whose name I shall omit in the interest of marital tranquility, even suggested I offer a countering view about what a wife can do to contribute to the success of her marriage.

A number of ideas came to mind, but my thoughts kept drifting back to a piece I read in a lady’s magazine a few years ago, and so, without further commentary, I share it here for the ladies. The title of the article was “The Good Wife’s Guide.”

When your husband comes home from work be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. Prepare yourself. Take a few minutes to touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking.

He has just come from being with a lot of work weary people so have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the day before, to have a delicious meal ready on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the house just before your husband arrives, and run a dust cloth over the tables. Be a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift, and one of your duties is to provide it.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first. Remember that his topics of conversation are more important than yours. Make the evening his. If he comes home late, or goes out to dinner on other places of entertainment without you, never complain. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, and his very real need to be at home and relax.

During the cooler months of the year you should prepare you should light a fire for him to enjoy and unwind by. Your husband will feel like he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Prepare the children by washing their hands and faces. They are little treasures and he would like to see them play the part. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

Don’t ask him questions about his actions, or question his judgment, or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness.

Your goal is to try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. A good wife always knows her place.

Well, this is my counsel for the ladies who read this column. The article first appeared in May1955 in “Housekeeping Monthly.” Husbands, you may wish to clip a copy and place it on the refrigerator door, as a friendly reminder.

George Brown is the Executive Director of Clermont Senior Services.