Marriage and Women: Many of our ideas of marriage are a hangover from the 1950s. A comparison of marriage in the 50s and marriage now.
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By Lori Anderson
How to Have a Happy Husband.
(The following was forwarded to me as excerpted from a 1950s high-school, home-economics textbook.)
Have dinner ready, Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal - on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home, and the prospect of a good meal is part of this warm welcome needed.
Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so that you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Light a candle. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.
Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary. change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Better yet, have them in bed.
Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.
Some don'ts: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he's late for dinner. Just count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom.
Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes.
Speak in a low, soft soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.
Listen to him. You may have a dozen things to tell him - the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
Make the evening his. Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.
Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
The goal: A happy marriage for
How to Be a Happy Wife.
My mom was born in 1933 and married in 1951, right out of high school. This fifties' advice to wives was probably a way of married life for women like my mom. At least she acted the part, although I did see a rebellious streak in her from time-to-time.
Mainly she knew how to manipulate Dad to get what she wanted. I still see that manipulation of men by women of her generation, particularly those women who remained married. Mom played to Dad's male ego to the point she might even be called "simpering."
The funny thing is, as insincere as it must have been, my dad (who is deceased) seemed to fall for the manipulation and the "simpering." Anyway, we all treated him in a manner befitting a king, tiptoeing around his "manhood," because that is what mom did. And I guess we kept his male ego at an all-time high.
My mom and dad appeared happy but I know a lot of that was because my mom sacrificed her own identity. As much as she misses dad, I sense she also feels free to be herself now.
When I married the first time, I carried some of my parents' games with me. Apparently my (ex) husband brought a few games of his own. I played to his ego, often feeling I personally was little more than a second mother and a cheerleader for him.
Although I performed that goody-goody, domesticated wife role pretty well, I became increasingly unhappy. Eventually, it seemed in my best interests to be single. I was right.
Then I met my (second) husband. From the first date we played very few of the games our parents did or that we had both played in our earlier marriages. He takes care of his own ego, his own easy chair, his own dirty clothes, his own finances, and his own cheering squad. I do the same. We support each other in a partnership. I can't imagine my dad or my first husband living in such a democratic manner.
I expect the generation in high school now will be even more honest and democratic with each other. I celebrate this honesty as good for both men and women. I believe it will make a relationship more of a partnership/friendship than a gender role and thus, do a lot to "fix" the divorce rate.
In the meantime, women who are old enough to have graduated from high school have another problem. If we marry a man who grew up in an era when moms acted like mine, particularly if the man thinks his parents had a happy marriage, he will probably have some conscious or unconscious expectations that we will act like "mom."
If indeed we do act like his mom, he will probably consider this his just due and go about his business, while his marriage statistically produces an increasingly unhappy wife.
If we don't act like his mom, he will probably notice right away. But the truth is, he may not really care, particularly if his marriage and his wife continue to be happy.
The goal: A happy marriage for both.
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|For Women Only Directory||Letters from Women||Marriage and Women: Directory of Series:|
|Magic Pill||Work vs. Home Work||Why Are Women Leaving Marriage in Droves?|
|Loneliness||Women Need to Work||What's In Marriage for Women?|
|Happy Face||Women and Abuse||Why Is Marriage Unhappy for So Many Women?|
|I Should But I Can't||Questions for Brides||Early History of Marriage|
|Scents and Fragrances||Silent Contracts||19th Century Marriage|
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|The 1950s Hangover!|
|Men and Women Talk||Men and Sex in Today's Society.||Crossroads for Marriage|
|Book Reviews||Men Use Sex to Connect.||Prince Who?|
|Martyrs and Mothers||Men Relate Through Sex.||Happy Wives Make Happy Husbands!|
|Are You Depressed?||Men & Sexual Rejections by Women||Random Thoughts on Marriage|
|Setting Limits in Relationships.||Male Sexual Attitudes, Fantasies, Masturbation.|
|Your Attitudes and Behaviors||Lust and Getting Lucky|
|Test Those Nagging Doubts About Your Relationship|
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