I have known several couples who lived years in comparative happiness after love had flown; who were kind to each other, considerate, business-like. The wives made pleasant homes and the husbands came and went at will. In their spare time the wives developed their personal interests and “lived their own lives,” as critic number two advises. When the husbands took cranky streaks the wives simply made light of it to themselves, and forgot it as soon as possible. They lived on as comfortable terms as if the wives were simply first-class hired house-keepers; little crankisms were all in the bargain. Eventually every one of these couples separated, and nearly all the parties are now happily married. And every couple parted amicably; each being satisfied to terminate the old partnership.
To me a divorce is not a disgrace, but a family row is. And I suspect that most divorce rows are worked up to drown guilty consciences. Neither has done his best by the other, and he knows it; so he raises a great row to fix attention on the other’s shortcomings that his own may escape observation.
Until a man and woman have succeeded in living up to their home privileges in a manner befitting honest and intelligent man and woman, they can’t be sure that they are not fitted for a real loving union. Friction over small things obscures vision and judgment, and hate hides the lovableness that must lie in every being. Get rid of the rowing over little things of every day life, and you will be able to love as much as your marriage will permit; and you will be free to dissolve the entire partnership if you desire.
Did I really change anything? Yes. Is it “anything” to bring peace and quiet pleasure and comfort and appreciation where their opposites were wont to hold bacchanale? Yes.
No woman who honestly tries the course I have endeavored to outline will ever doubt that she really accomplishes something; neither will she regret.
Here is a word every married woman will do well to heed as long as she lives with her husband: If you can’t have your way without a fuss, then try his with a good will.
Peace be unto you; peace, which is the foundation for all you desire.
SOME HINTS AND A KICK.
“And now, Elizabeth, let me suggest something. Punch up the men a little in the matter of cultivating cleanly habits, etc. Women are preached to eternally on these matters and the men wholly neglected. It would be a ‘new thought’ to take to the men a little and might assist in making more of them fit companions for the sweet and cleanly women they delight in associating with. The absolute neglect of the masculine sex by writers on these subjects causes them to think that nothing in the way of the aesthetic is expected of them. It is a wrong to the men not to en-me and make me his chum as well as his wife. Help courage them to aspire to a common plane with woman in the matters of purity and cleanliness. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, but no more so in the case of woman than of man. It is time for equality to be recognized in this matter as in all others.” Carrie.