Marriage Advice




The following are actual tips to women from a 1950’s home economics book.   They answer that now irrelevant question, “What to do when your husband comes home?”  Each tip is followed by a sensitive comment from my very own panel of feminists.


1.    Clear away the clutter.  Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc.


You don’t like clutter?  When did that happen?  In college you changed apartments every time one filled up with junk.  I remember you said it was easier than cleaning.


2.    Have dinner ready: Plan ahead to have a delicious meal - - on time.  This is a way of letting him know that you are concerned about his needs.


Whether dinner is ready will depend on whether after picking up the kids from day care she had time to hit the drive through at KFC.  What he needs is a better job.


3.    Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives.  Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking.  His boring day may need a lift.


Unfortunately her day wasn’t boring at all.  His idea of freshening up is to walk into the house without a cigarette in his mouth and put on a clean tee shirt. 


4.    Prepare the children: take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair.  They are little treasures.


They’re little treasures if you only see them 15 minutes a day.  Spend twelve hours chasing them and the little treasures become little terrors. 


5.    Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum.  Try to encourage the children to be quiet.  Be happy to see him.


Be happy to hear the washing machine going.  It means that you will have clean underwear tomorrow.  The only way to get the kids to be quiet is to send them somewhere else, preferably out of state.



6.    Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest that he lie down in the bedroom.  Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.  Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes.


When he can’t take off his own shoes I’m sending him to a home.  I’m the one who needs to relax.  He can find the cold beer without my help.


7.    Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time.  Let him talk first.


He can talk first and last if he wants.  I just can’t hear him over the kids, dog and television.


8.    Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.


If I didn’t complain he would never take me out to dinner.  His idea of a big night out is the special at Captain D’s.  


9.    The goal: try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.


Let him relax at work like everybody else.


I wish to thank this thoughtful and insightful group of feminists for their time and contribution.


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