We have considered divorce before this. It is not an evil but a symptom of evil; not a disease in itself. It cannot be lessened or abolished unless we are willing to state that a man and a woman should live together as husband and wife, hating, despising, or fearing one another. We cannot countenance brutality, unfaithfulness, or temperamental mismating. It is true that divorces are often obtained for trivial reasons, but usually the partners are not adapted to one another, according to modern ways of thinking and feeling. What is commonplace in one age is cruelty in the next, and this is a matter not of argument but of expectation and feeling.
Nothing more need be said of contraceptive measures than this: they are inevitably increasing in use and soon will be part of the average marriage. Society must recognize this, and the lawmakers must legalize what they themselves practise.
Matrimony, the home, woman, these are nodal points in the network of our human lives. But they are not fixed centers, and the great weaver, Time, changes the design constantly. Through them run the threads of the great instincts, of tradition, of economic change, of the ideas, ideals, and activities of man the restless. Man will always love woman, woman will always love man; children will be born and reared, and sex conflict, maladjustment, will always be secondary to these great facts. How men and women will live together, how they will arrange for the children, will be questions that women will help the world answer as well as their mates. That the main trend of things is for better, more ethical, more just relationship, I do not doubt. The secondary, most noisy changes are perhaps evil, the main primary change is good.
Meanwhile in the hurly-burly of new things, of complex relationships, working blindly, is the nervous housewife. This book has been written that she may know herself better and thus move towards the light; that her husband may win sympathy and understanding and be bound to her in a closer, better union, and that the physician and Society may seek the direct and the remote means to helping her.
Alcoholism and housewife, 157
Beauty, loss of, 88
Birth control, 14-16
Birth control measures and nervousness, 137
Cases, treatment of, 231-243
Child and cartoons, 113
and movies, 111
Childbearing and modern woman, 15
Children and the neurosis, 97-115
Diet and Cooking, 259
Disagreeable, reaction to the, 90
Emotions, effects of, 27-30; 42-45
Engagement period, 229
Extravagance of the housewife, 145
Feminism and individualization of woman, 10-13