Good Wife Guide

This is an excerpt from The Good Wife Guide which was printed in the early 1960’s.

1. Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return from work. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

2. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.

3. Gather up school books, toys, papers etc. and then run a dust cloth over the tables. During the colder months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction. Minimize all noise.

4. At the time of his arrival eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first, remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

5. Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

6. Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. Don't greet him with complaints and problems. Don't complain if he's late home for dinner, or even stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom.

7. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange the pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice. Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness.

8. Once he has had a chance to have his evening meal clear the dishes and wash up promptly. If your husband should offer to help decline his offer as he may feel obliged to repeat this offer and after a long working day he does not need the extra work.

9. Encourage your husband to pursue his hobbies and interests and be supportive without seeming to encroach. If you have any little hobbies yourself try not to bore him speaking of these, as women's interests are often rather trivial compared to men's.
At the end of the evening tidy the home ready for the morning and again think ahead to his breakfast needs. Your husband's breakfast is vital if he is to face the outside world in a positive fashion.

10. Once you have both retired to the bedroom prepare yourself for bed as promptly as possible. Whilst feminine hygiene is of the utmost importance your tired husband does not want to queue for the bathroom as he would have to do for his train. But remember to look your best when going to bed.

11. Try to achieve a look that is welcoming without being obvious. If you need to apply face-cream or hair-rollers wait until he is asleep as this can be shocking to a man last thing at night..”

An interesting set of tips and advice if I do say so myself!  I have seen blogs who try to imply these tips in their everyday life, as they truly believe this is the way a good wife would behave.  I personally think these ladies from the 1960’s had some great pointers, but in some ways they missed the mark.  First and foremost, I want to say one thing in particular.  Every man is different, every woman is different, God made us as unique as snowflakes.  In the same way every person is unique, so is every relationship.  That being said, what floats the goat in our relationship, may not work for yours.  I really, strongly, suggest you talk to your husband about what his likes and dislikes are, AND express yours as well.  Honest communication is what great relationships are made out of.  I’ve numbered the above paragraphs so I can give a rundown of what I think the goods and bads are for each one.

1.   I think this is a pretty good, solid tip.  I know for me personally, my husband does truly enjoy having food ready or almost ready when he gets home.  What doesn’t totally work for me in this particular paragraph is I don’t have everything all planned out a night before, and the food may not be sliding onto the table right when my husband gets home.  My reasons for this are the fact that I text my husband every day while he’s at work to ask what it is he wants for dinner, we always agree on something that sounds good to both of us, and then I cook it while he’s on his way home from work.  I don’t always have things ready to eat when he gets home because he may be late.  I always wait until he tells me he has left work to start cooking.
2.  I think it is pretty important to try to avoid looking like road-kill when your husband comes home, and if he ever walks in and shrieks when he looks your way, you may need to re-evaluate what you’re doing.  I also think it’s important to be human about this as well.  You aren’t perfect, so you shouldn’t try to kill yourself to look perfect.  And, you may want to talk to your husband about what he likes.  You know how you think slathering on lip-gloss makes you look more put together when he gets home?  Believe it or not some guys HATE lip-gloss, so you might question your guy a bit.  I do think having a tidy home (doesn’t have to be clean) is important for a husband coming home.  And in the end, I think a good attitude will cheer him up more than a ribbon in your hair!
3.  I really think this one is a lot like number two, so I don’t have any additional thing to say.
4.  I think this is really interesting advice.  I’m actually going to be talking to my husband about this to see if noise bothers him when he gets home.  He has never said anything about it so I’m assuming it doesn’t bother him.  I definitely think this is something that would vary greatly between people.  How you greet your husband is a big deal though.  They say the first 5 minutes you spend with your partner after a long day sets the tone for the entire evening.  I think it’s really important to greet your husband happily.  The most important part to this one is to LISTEN.  It is so important to listen to what your husband is talking to you about.  That is the very first thing that happens when my husband gets home.  He starts telling me pretty much everything about his day.  This can be difficult to me at times, because he is a diesel mechanic and I don’t know a thing about fifth wheels, fly wheels, or tripaks.  If your husband is talking about something from work you don’t understand,  ask him questions!  Don’t ask a thousand, but feel free to ask him to explain more.
5. I think this one is very subjective.  I kind of agree, and don’t agree at the same time.  When my husband comes home, it is my personal goal, for all work to cease for the day.  That means he has no chores after he walks through the door.  It also means I stop working too.  Once he’s home we spend time together, doing things we want to do together.  I don’t think it’s ok for your husband to come home and be glued to football, you guys should do something your both happy with.  As to not complaining if he is late or goes out to dinner or “other places of entertainment”, I think this is very debatable.  I do not complain when my husband is late, why would I? He’s being dedicated to me and his job when he works late.  I would have problems if my husband went out to dinner or “other places of entertainment” if we didn’t talk about it before hand.  Not to mention this “other places of entertainment” is sounding pretty sketchy if you ask me.
6.  Another love, hate paragraph!  Home should always be a haven.  Your husband should come home and be able to relax, not feel overwhelmed.  However, we may be spending all our time trying to make our home and haven, but we may be missing out on what he really wants or needs.  Ask what is most important to him!  I don’t think it’s wise to complain about your husband being late for dinner.  I know with my husband it’s our policy that if he is late he’ll let me know.  That way food doesn’t get cold, etc.
7.  Your husband is not your child.  I would find it really weird taking my husband’s shoes off, and to be honest, he would probably think I’d gone of my rocker if I did.  In the summer though, he loves it if he comes home and there is cold Dr. Pepper in the fridge.  I think you should be able to ask your husband questions about actions or judgments.  I do think however, you should ask, not get snippy and start assuming things about what he’s decided.
8.  This one just doesn’t apply to our relationship.  I will be the first to say on almost all occasions after dinner, dishes go to the sink, and I do them the next day.  I also would, personally, never ask my husband to do the dishes after a meal, but maybe your husband doesn’t mind and likes to help!
9.  I think it is very good to encourage your husband to have hobbies, and to let him do those hobbies without your interference.  I also believe though, you and your husband should be spending time together without hobbies getting in the way.   I also hate the fact that they say that if you have any “little hobbies” to not talk to him about those, as it may bore him.  The fact of the matter is, your husband is your best friend, and you should totally be able to talk to him about your hobbies, big or little.  I wouldn’t suggest rattling off too long about them, but I think its good communication to tell him what you’re working on and how it’s going.
10.  I think the most important part of this is to remember to look your best when going to bed.  Well, I don’t think you should have make up on, and I don’t think you should go to bed trying to look good and end up being uncomfortable, but perhaps wearing those holey sweats aren’t a good idea.  Cute pajamas are a good thing!
11.  I nearly laughed out loud when I read this line, “If you need to apply face-cream or hair-rollers wait until he is asleep as this can be shocking to a man last thing at night.”  Oh my word, I could totally envision you walking towards bed in a dimly lit room and your husband catching a glimpse and shrieking because he thought you may be medusa!  I personally don’t use face-cream or hair-rollers, but I don’t think you’re going to give your husband a heart attack if he sees you with either.  Your husband loves you, and you aren’t perfect.  I don’t think face-cream is going to be the downfall of your relationship!

All in all, I really don’t think there is a perfect guide out there on how to be the perfect wife.  Mainly because every husband is different, and wants and needs different things.  Try as I may, my husband would never feel loved by me taking off his shoes, however having cheese sticks out on the table waiting for him to get home would change the course of his day.  All marriage advice needs to be customized to your marriage.  Don’t be afraid to talk to you husband about what he wants, or needs.  AND don’t forget to share what you want and need as well.  We can’t assume our husband’s needs, and he can’t assume ours, so save yourself the time and disappointment and talk about it!

What do you think about these good wife tips?


Elizabeth @ Virginia Is For Mothers said...

I've read this before and it always makes me smile. It's so different from most wives' mentalities nowadays. But I definitely think you're right...you have to do what works for your marriage. I remember reading an article a while ago about how you should help your husband in the ways HE needs help, not in the ways YOU THINK he needs help or else it isn't really helping. My MIL cooks and serves three meals a day for my FIL but that's not something my husband cares about no matter how serving it may be.

And I had to laugh about not looking like roadkill when he comes home! I totally agree! Also not a popular concept nowadays...

ktdid0110 said...

Thanks for making me smile today.

Anonymous said...

Where is the sources of your claimed excerpt?