Vintage Romance

Vintage Romance

I am not sure if the rules of a good wife are actually that different now, but see what you think. There are a few that us girlies would not find too useful now! Truly, these were written 100 years ago.

How To Be A Good Wife In The Good Old Days 

  • Don’t expect a man to see everything from a woman’s point of view. Try to put yourself in his place for a change.
  • Don’t expect your husband to be an angel. You would get very tired of him if he were.
  • Don’t pose as a helpless creature who can do nothing for herself; don’t drag your husband away from his office to see you across the street; don’t profess to be unable to take a journey on your own. It is true that the weak, clinging wife is often a favourite, but she is equally often a nuisance.
  • Don’t despise sound common sense because he doesn’t indulge in brilliant inspirations.
  • Don’t be talked down by your husband when you want to express your view on any subject. You have a right to be heard.
  • Don’t nag your husband. If he won’t carry out your wishes for love of you, he certainly won’t because you nag him.
  • Don’t think you can go your own way and be as happy as if you pulled in double harness. In all important matters you want to pull together.
  • Good Wife

    Good Wife

    Don’t return to old grievances. Once the matter has been thrashed out, let it be forgotten, or at least never allude to it again.

  • Don’t hesitate to inconvenience yourself to give him a den all of his own. He’s really a good fellow, and a lot of his worries will melt away if he has a place to himself for a while. When he is out, the den will be yours.
  • Don’t open the door for yourself when your husband is present. He would open it for a lady guest; let him open it for you. Besides, your boys will not learn the little courtesies that count nearly so well by precept as by example.
  • Don’t be satisfied to let your husband work overtime to earn money for frocks for you. Manage with fewer frocks!
  • Don’t pile up money for your children. Give them the best education possible, and let them make their own way.
  • Don’t exercise your passion for economy on your husband’s linen. Don’t expect him to wear his shirts and collars twice because the laundry bill is so high, and don’t grudge him a couple of handkerchiefs a day. If necessary, you can wash those yourself. Anyhow, rather economise on your own or the household washing.
  • Don’t object to your husband’s life insurance. He will die none the sooner because his life is insured, and if you should unfortunately have to end your life without him, it may be a great help to you.
  • Don’t greet him at the door with a catalogue of the dreadful crimes committed by servants during the day.
  • Don’t let him have to search the house for you when he comes home. Listen for his latchkey and meet him on the threshold.
  • Don’t omit the kiss of greeting. It cheers a man when he is tired to feel that his wife is glad to see him home.
  • Don’t ‘fuss’ your husband. Mistaken attentions often annoy a man dreadfully. If he comes home late after a busy day, and has a quiet little supper alone, he doesn’t want you to jump up like a ‘jack-in the box’ with, ‘Would you like more pepper darling?’ and present him with the cruet from the opposite end of the table, when he already has one in front of him. See that everything is conveniently placed for him, and then leave the man alone until he has fed. Let him feel your sympathetic presence near him, but occupy yourself in reading, or doing needlework: anyhow, don’t ‘fuss’ him.
  • Couple 1900

    Couple 1900

    Don’t refuse to see your husband’s jokes. They may be pretty poor ones, but it won’t hurt you to smile at them.

  • Don’t try to excite your husband’s jealousy by flirting with other men. You may succeed better than you want to. It is like playing with tigers and edged tools and volcanoes all in one.
  • Don’t object to your husband getting a motor-cycle; merely insist that he shall buy a side-car for you at the same time.
  • Don’t say golf is such a selfish game, and a married man ought to give it up.
  •  Don’t take your husband on a laborious shopping expedition, and expect him to remain good-tempered throughout. If you want his advice on some special dress purchase, arrange to attend to that first, and then let him off. Men, as a rule, hate indiscriminate shopping.
  • Don’t be sarcastic about your husband’s taste in dress. Be gently persuasive, and train his sense of fitness.
  • Don’t refuse to entertain your husband’s friends on the ground that is a ‘bother’. Nothing pains a man more than finding only a cold welcome when he brings home a chum.
  • Don’t think anything too much trouble to do for your husband’s comfort: remember he is occupied all day in working for you. Don’t be afraid of thinking and planning and working for him.
  • Don’t arrange for the chimney-sweep to come on the day your husband happens to be staying at home. He won’t like either the sooty smell or the subsequent upset for cleaning purposes.

Interesting, isn’t it, so many of these you could take into our lives today, just in a different context. But of course, we are always the perfect wife or partner! 


Jo Tempest.





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