Advice for Husbands and Wives, 1924
Marital advice used to be a much more common subject for newspaper articles and books. I suppose in days gone by more people were married at a much younger age, when you might have hardly any clue about the opposite sex. I’ve got a few interesting snippets of this sort of thing that I’ll be making a bit of a regular feature of for a while. Some odd, some funny, some infuriating, but a lot of it still useful, by and large.
First up, here’s some advice for husbands and wives from the Gloucester Echo in 1924. Under the humorous tone there’s a few useful pieces of advice. Although, the last line of the Advice to Wives is a bit dark – not only that, it is pretty much exactly the same as the most recent marital advice I have heard, that of Davina McCall just a couple of weeks ago – here, which caused quite some controversy.
ADVICE TO HUSBANDS
Kiss your wife occasionally. Even if you married for money it’s as well to conceal the fact as long as you decently can.
Don’t have a fit of apoplexy if she exceeds her dress allowance. Every article in her wardrobe costs three times as much as yours and lasts one quarter as long.
You ought to feel flattered if another man shows appreciation of your wife’s charms. It reflects credit on your judgement. Besides, women thrive on admiration.
If the reason why you were late was that you were having a rubber at the club, don’t make a mystery of it. If the club had nothing to do with it, the less said the better.
In the domestic Cabinet your wife is Home Secretary. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, and in charge of foreign affairs, you have quite enough to do without interfering in her department.
A woman who criticizes your wife to you is a cat. Cut her.
Don’t grumble if you have to take a grandmother in to dinner. With any luck, you will be a grandfather yourself one day.
ADVICE TO WIVES
Don’t put your husband on a pedestal. It’s an uncomfortable resting-place. Moreover, the creature has no sense of balance, and is sure to fall off.
The world is full of men who want something for nothing. Steer clear of them.
You have promised to “love, honour and obey”. Obedience is out of date. Honour too much suggests inequality – the relationship of subject and monarch. Love is the only thing that matters.
Be tolerant: it is a virtue that never fails.
In a contest of physical strength, the man is bound to come off victor. “Conquer by yielding” said the old Romans. They knew a thing or two.
Be as charming as you can to his men friends. It is better to have them as allies than as enemies.
If your husband has tea with a woman he knew long before he met you tell him you hope she’ll call on you. She won’t, but he’ll think how wonderful you are.
Don’t imagine that because you’re married it doesn’t matter how you dress. Men have a weakness for pretty things, and a horrid habit, if they can’t get them at home, of going in search of them, and what’s more, finding them.