You can but make trouble for yourself and add to the misery of your husband by such a course. In your particular case, I feel that your knowledge of the jealous disposition of the man you married renders it your duty to bear and forbear, and to try every method of reformation before you resort to the very common highway of divorce as an exit from your unhappiness.
A woman has no right to complain of the fault in a husband which she condoned in a lover. And a man has no right to complain of the fault in a wife he condoned in a sweetheart. Yet both may strive to correct that fault.
Insist upon having women and men friends who can be received at your home in presence of your husband. Make Clarence realize how he belittles himself in your estimation by unreasoning jealousy. Give him to understand that you want to love him and respect him, and that you have no intention of lowering your standard of behaviour, because he is constantly expecting you to. Tell him it mortifies you to find greater pleasure away from him than in his presence, yet when he insults you with his suspicions, and destroys your comfort with his moods, you can no longer think of him as your girlhood’s ideal.
Ask him to try, for your sake, to use more common sense and self-control in this matter, and to help you to restore the happiness which seems flying from your wedded lives.
Do nothing to aggravate or irritate him, but do not give up your friends of either sex; this is but to increase his inclination to petty tyranny, while it will in no sense lessen his jealousy.
And when you are alone, endeavour to think of him always as sensible, reasonable, and kind.
By your mental picture you can help to cure him of the blight he received before his birth. It is the task set many a wife, to counteract the errors and neglect of mothers.
Look to the Divine source for help in your work, and remember the lovely qualities Clarence possesses when he is not under the ban of this prenatal mark.
Love him out into the light if you can—and I believe you can if you are not too soon discouraged.
It is a nobler effort to try and create in your husband the ideal you have in your mind, than to go seeking him elsewhere.
Be patient and wait awhile. Such love as you and Clarence felt in your courtship and early marriage cannot so soon have died. It is only sleeping, and suffering from a nightmare. Awaken it to life and reality and happiness.
To Young Mrs. Duncan
And so the serpent has appeared in your Eden, attired in widow’s weeds, and talking the usual jargon of “devoted mother love.” I do not like to say I told you so, but you must remember our rather spirited discussion of this very serpent, when you announced your engagement and said Mr. Duncan’s mother was to make her home with you after your return from abroad.