Thursday, 4 June 2015

Don'ts for Husbands

A few years ago this little blue book was discovered in my parents’ household. My dad had picked it up along the way and my brother had found it. Over the years this book has found its way from bookshelf to coffee table, from my parents’ house to ours. It now finds its home on my husband’s bedside table.


With Brandon having been away for a couple days this week, I took up residence on his side of the bed at night, naturally. In some senses this was because I missed him, in others, I’ve realized that somehow he got the much better side of the bed. As I was getting ready for bed I noticed the little book and began snooping through the century old advice given.

This little book was written in 1913 by a woman with a husband, as she describes herself. Some of the advice is certainly out of date but through the amusing and often direct advice, Blanche Ebbutt finds a way to integrate truth that can stand for today. Of course, it must be remembered that in reading this advice from a modern day perspective, women are no longer viewed the same way as they were in 1913 and much of this advice can go both ways in the relationship.


I thought I would share a few of the pieces of the advice in the book. Some are ridiculous and funny, others may actually be useful, and some could easily be ‘don’ts for wives’ too.

I hope you have a little laugh, and maybe gain a little insight in this advice!

“Don’t stoop, even if your work is desk-work. Your wife wants to see you straight and broad-chested.”

“Don’t be conceited about your good looks. It is more than probable that no one but yourself is aware of them; anyway, you are not responsible for them and vanity in a man is ridiculous.”

“Don’t condescend; you are not the only one in the house with brains.”


“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.”

“Don’t judge your wife’s motives. She may do a thing from a motive that would never occur to you, and be perfectly justified in her action.”

“Don’t spend the best years of your life thinking of nothing but money-getting. Enjoy your life to the full with your wife and children, and relegate money getting to its proper place – necessarily an important one, but not the only thing to be thought of.”

“Don’t grudge an occasional evening at the theatre. If you spring it on her as a pleasant surprise, your wife will be all the more delighted.”


“Don’t grudge your wife a new dress because you haven’t noticed that she needs one. You don’t know how much trouble she has taken to try and appear – to other people – as if she didn’t need one; but she knows.”

“Don’t come in at any odd time, and expect to find your dinner done to a turn. It was ready at the time you said you were coming, it can’t be quite as nice an hour or two later. Your home is neither a club nor a hotel.”

“Don’t condescend; you are not the only person in the house with brains.”

I am thankful for a husband who is always learning and growing, one that I can laugh over this list of 'don'ts' with while knowing that he consciously does so much for me!

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