Of course there are other reasons why women hate to be left by their husbands. One is that their support is apt to go with the deserter.
Public opinion keeps many a family in the same house years after it really knows it is separated widely as the poles.
The dread of having to take care of herself keeps many a woman hanging like grim death to a man she knows she does not love, and who despises her.
The fear of public opinion and the love, not of money, but of ease, holds together under one roof tens of thousands of families who have been occultly and really separated for years.
A man is held by the same sentimental notion that M.T.C. Wing has—that he must “protect” the woman. So he stays in hell to do it. He has to stay in hell until she gets out.
In almost every one of these separation cases it is the woman and not the man, who gives the signal. In George D. Herron’s case the wife offered to take a certain sum of money and release him from supporting her. He met her conditions—and bore all the odium like a man. To her credit be it said she did not pose as an injured woman. I know nothing about Elbert Hubbard’s case, but I venture to say that if he and his wife are separated that she was the one who did the leaving act.
We hear a lot about the “Biblical reason” for divorce; but I say unto you that infidelity is no reason at all for divorce. The one just cause for separation is incompatibility of temper.
A man is an Individual; a woman is another Individual; and neither can make himself or herself over to please the other.
When two people from lack of similar ideals and aims cannot pull together the quicker they pull apart the better it will be for them—and the children, too.
I know well a couple who lived together long enough to have grown children. For nearly a score of years they pulled like a pair of balky horses—what time they were not doing the monkey and parrot act. The husband stayed out nights and tippled. The wife sat at home and felt virtuous. Finally the woman worked up spunk enough to do what she had been dying to do for years. She packed up and left. Now she is happily married to a man she can pull with, And he is married to another woman who pulls with him. She has quit feeling virtuous and he has quit tippling. They are both prospering financially. The children have two pleasant homes, and more educational and other advantages than they ever dared hope for. Everyone of the family is glad of that separation.
The family is an institution of man’s own making. It is a good and glorious thing so long as it serves to increase the happiness and health of its members. But whenever the family institution has to be maintained at the expense of the life, liberty or happiness of its members it is time to lay that particular institution on the shelf.