11 July, 2014

Quotable Friday (34)

I have recently rediscovered a charming book I bought for my husband just before our wedding. Don'ts For Husbands by Blanche Ebbutt is a genuine 1913 handbook for men, helping them to understand how to be a good husband. It's brilliant. (And yes, there is a Don't For Wives as well!) Over the next few weeks I thought I'd share some sage advice for the gentleman out there who are married, or who wish to be...

It seems apt to start with a piece of advice about reading:

Don't say your wife wastes time in reading, even if she reads only fiction. Help her to choose good fiction, and let her forget her little worries for an hour occasionally in reading of the lives of others. But, above all things, don't put on the schoolmaster air. She'll never stand that. Rather let her pick her reading for herself.

And about talking:

Don't "talk down" to your wife. She has as much intelligence as your colleague at the office; she lacks only opportunity. Talk to her (explaining where necessary) of anything you would talk of to a man, and you will be surprised to find how she expands.

Some of the advice is charmingly old-fashioned but some is timeless and really quite lovely. Last one for now:

Don't forget to be your wife's best friend as well as her husband. True friendship in marriage does away with all sorts of trouble.

If any of the gentlemen (or indeed ladies) have any thoughts on these bits of advice perhaps you could let me know (explaining where necessary) below!


  1. Although it's amusing for us today, I can't help thinking it probably deserves appreciating as a genuinely enlightened attitude for the period!

    1. I think so! Maybe this is what should be compulsory reading at school!


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