Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Good Wife’s Guide

Here’s an article I found while surfing the net. Some websites are disproving it saying it’s just a spoof by some people aimed at patting ourselves on the back and showing how far we have come. ‘The way we were’ v ‘The way we are’. Other people swear by it and say that it is a real magazine article. A woman in her 70’s says that even if it was not a real magazine article, that was the sentiment in those days so, hell, it might as well be true. Then, I chanced upon a group on Facebook called “Revitalization of traditional gender roles” -because it works. They think this article should be followed (with a few modifications). Read on and I will ask my questions after:

May 13, 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly


1. Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. 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 favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

2. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work weary people.

3. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a list and one of your duties is to provide it.

4. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through that main area of the house just before your husband arrives.

5. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc and then run a dust cloth over the tables.

6. Over the cooler 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 immense personal satisfaction.

7. Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. Minimise all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, and vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

8. Be happy to see him.

9. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity to please him.

10. Listen to him. You 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.

11. 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 real need to be at home and relax.

12. Your goal: Try to make your home a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

13. Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

14. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

15. Arrange the pillows and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing, and pleasant voice.

16. 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. You have no right to question him.

17. A good wife knows her place.

Assuming this article was real;

Did women in the 50’s have careers or were they full time homemakers?

Were women in the 50’s happier than women of today?

What was the role of the men in the 50’s?

Will the rate of divorce drastically reduce if women of today followed this guide?

Do men of today really wish this “creed” was followed?

Were men in the 50’s happier than men of today?


  1. Yeah that sounds like a full time job with constant overtime. Hmm, the man better be making some mad cash! It sounds a lot like something from Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice especially number 7!

  2. Savvy this is true. I had a scanned copy of the article and sent it to some friends of mine. I saw the article scanned from a 195something newspaper. It is true

  3. Maxine, I know. Its a very funny article. But there really is that group on FB and they claim it has worked over the years. Plus some older people I have spoken to say this is the cure to our high divorce rate. I wonder if its true.

  4. Nana F, don't believe everything you read. Go to and read what they say about the origins of the article. I only wonder about the content, was that really the sentiment? Will it reduce the number of divorces today? Thats the big question.

  5. I believe it did happen. There was a time when most women actually believed that their place was in the home satisfying every whim of the 'bread giver' of the family. Provided that he did provide the bread.

    Now women have realized their potential and awoken from their slumber this would never happen in a 21st Century matter how much love is there.

  6. Talking about reducing the number of divorces, I don't want to get embroiled in a heated debate. I am fragile today but I would say that to some extent...though I don't subscribe to each of the points raised, No! Let me let you in on something...remember your earlier post on 7 (may be) sad things about life or something about that? I said I participate in none. Well, you know why my girlfriend asked us to break up? Because I suggested to her to call my mum after the death of her mum (my grandmother); just to say something to let her know that she cares, especially since she didn't go for the funeral. She suddenly threw tantrums and started babbling about things I don't understand. Meanwhile just a week before she had asked me to call her mum to give her my new phone number so she can call me.

    So you see...some of these things do help...but not on each and every point. I don't agree that we have to treat women like 'things'. I hate a woman who can't reason for herself, stand up to things, and always would need you to tell her to do something. I can't stand that.

    But don't you also think that sometimes women are a bit confusing? If you call her too often she says you are spying on her...too little she says you don't care. You do treat her equally she says 'I am the weaker vessel and you don't care'; you treat her like a weaker vessel and she clamours for equality...tell me dear what should we do? May be you can help...

  7. Ah Nana Fredua, hmmm, yours is a difficult and puzzling one. I am sure there were other "issues" bothering the poor lady and she only acted out in frustration. I don't think it was just that one issue. She was just referring her frustration with the relationship on that one "problem".
    Secondly, with your not being able to understand women, I think maybe for a start you should stop thinking of women as a group and deal with women on an individual basis. Maybe that will be a start.

  8. thanks for the tip on how to understand...but for the earlier comment...if there are issues just blurt them out and we would solve it, but no? but i am cool...hahaha