Don’t you hear that all the time?
A wonderful blogger named Therese Oneill did some digging to remind us of the “way of doing things” back then. She used as reference some “self-help” books that were the big sellers of the ‘50s. One was by the Reverend Alfred Henry Tyrer (Sex, Satisfaction and a Happy Marriage). Another by Doctor William Josephus Robinson. And the joyous words from Edward Poldosky (How to be a Good Wife) Yes, these wonderful voices were spreading the Christian marriage values that many people would like to see us turn back the clock and once again enjoy those happier times.
Spoiler Alert! I was there during those times and if that’s your idea of “values” then make the trip without me, please.
Here are some tips for the women-folk, because they are the glue that holds the marriage together. These are especially for you whimsical ladies who feel the world is changing too fast.
SEVEN TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR MAN (1955)
1) DON’T TALK
Reverend Tyrer says, “Do not ask for things. This is called “nagging”. I verily believe that the happiness of homes is destroyed more frequently by the habit of nagging than by any other one. A man may stand that sort of thing (nagging) for a long time, but the chances are against his standing it permanently. If he needs peace to make life bearable, he will have to look for it elsewhere than in his own house. And it is quite likely that he will look.
Mr. Poldosky adds to that with these rules.
Don’t bother your husband with petty troubles and complaints when he comes home from work.
Be a good listener. Let him tell you his troubles; yours will seem trivial in comparison.
Remember your most important job is to build up and maintain his ego (which gets bruised plenty in business). Morale is a woman’s business.
Let him relax before dinner. Discuss family problems after the inner man has been satisfied.
Are you getting the point, ladies?
Reverend Tyrer has more to say about this “talking” thing.”
“If [the husband] is intellectually inclined, and from time to time seeks to explain little things to her so that she may have at least a bare knowledge of what it is that interests him, and, without the slightest comment, she takes up again the fashion magazine she laid down when he commenced to speak, we may be pretty sure that there is going to be a ‘rift in the lute’ sooner or later in that house.”
2) BAD COOKING WILL DRIVE YOUR MAN TO SEEDY SALOONS
More words on that subject from Reverend Tyrer: “A social service meeting, an afternoon tea, a matinee, a whatnot, is no excuse for there being no dinner ready when a husband comes home from a hard day’s work.
Housekeeping accomplishments and cooking ability are, of course, positive essentials in any true home, and every wife should take a reasonable pride in her skill. Happiness does not flourish in an atmosphere of dyspepsia.
And the good Doctor Robinson adds these wise words:
“Bad cooking is responsible for dyspepsia, dyspepsia is responsible for grouchiness and irritability, grouchiness and irritability lead to quarrels and squabbles. And bad cooking, which is the usual thing in the average American home, has been responsible as much as any other factor for driving the husband to the saloon, and to other places. And when she does cook, she should cook, and not be, as somebody said, a mere can opener.”
3) BE THE HOT STEAK, NOT THE CHEAP PORK
Take it away on this subject, Reverend Tyrer:
“Picture a woman preparing a fine meal for her husband. She remembered his choice of meat and was careful to get an extra-fine cut…her best cutlery and dishes and finest linen are all in evidence, and a little colorful decoration has been tastefully displayed….and as he comes into the house she greets him with a smile of welcome and a touch of manifest love. Now, say that linen was a bed sheet, the colorful little decoration was fuzzy handcuffs, and you had the privilege of being that extra fine cut of meat. What does all that equal? A husband who doesn’t cheat on you!
But say that same wife “is constantly setting him down to indigestible meals, cold and unappetizing, with nothing properly cooked, set out on a kitchen table with a dirty cloth, she need not be surprised if her husband frequently telephones from the office that business will prevent him from being home for dinner.”
All because you weren’t properly cooked when he was hungry
4) DON’T BE A SEXUAL VAMPIRE OR A FRIGID FRANNY
(Now we’re getting to the good stuff)
Let’s hear what Doctor Robinson has to say about sex:
“Just as the vampire sucks the blood of its victims in their sleep while they are alive, so does the woman vampire suck the life and exhaust the vitality of her male partner—or “victim.”
It is to be borne in mind that it is particularly older girls—girls between thirty and fifty—who are apt to be unreasonable in their demands when they get married; but no age is exempt; sexual vampires may be found among girls of twenty as well as among women of sixty and over.
Now, if you are one of those frigid or sexually anesthetic women, don’t be in a hurry to inform your husband about it. To the man it makes no difference in the pleasurableness of the act whether you are frigid or not unless he knows that you are frigid. And he won’t know unless you tell him, and what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Heed this advice. It has saved thousands of women from trouble.
5) PINK PANTIES ARE A MUST
Keep talking Reverend Robinson:
“That the underwear should be spotlessly clean goes without saying, but every woman should wear the best quality underwear that she can afford. And the color should be preferably pink. And lace and ruffles, I am sorry to say, add to the attractiveness of underwear, and are liked by the average man.”
6) LET HIM HAVE A LITTLE FUN NOW AND THEN
Yes, Dr. Robinson, the ladies can’t wait to hear more of your wise words:
“But in case of an occasional lapse on the part of the husband—there a bit of advice may prove acceptable. And my advice would be: forgive and forget. Or still better—make believe that you know nothing. An occasional lapse from the straight path does not mean that he has ceased to love you. He may love you as much; he may love you a good deal more.”
7) YOUR HUSBAND IS THE BOSS OF YOU
(Of course this is my favorite, and my wife never reads this far down anyway)
“The Number One Rule. Reverence Your Husband.—He sustains by God’s order a position of dignity as head of a family, head of the woman. Any breaking down of this order indicates a mistake in the union, or a digression from duty.”
I feel better now, how about you?
Have a great week. Welcome back to school teachers and students.