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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Family, People and Relationships

Advice to Wives

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -


Advice to WivesA wife may learn how to form her husband’s happiness; in what direction the secret of his comfort lies; she must not cherish his weaknesses by working upon them; she must not rashly run counter to his prejudices. Her motto must be, never to irritate. She must study never to draw largely upon the small stock of patience in man’s nature, nor to increase his obstinacy by trying to drive him; never if possible, to have scenes. I doubt much if a real quarrel, even if made up, does not loosen the bond between man and wife, and sometimes, unless the affection of both be very sincere, lastingly. If irritation should occur, a woman must expect to hear from most men a strength and vehemence of language far more than the occasion requires. Mild as well as stern men are prone to this exaggeration of language; let not a woman be tempted ever to say anything sarcastic or violent in retaliation. The bitterest repentance must needs follow such an indulgence, if she do. Men frequently forget what they have themselves said, but seldom what is uttered by their wives. They are grateful, too, for forbearance in such cases; for, whilst asserting most loudly that they are right, they are often conscious that they are wrong. Give a little time, as the greatest boon you can bestow, to irritated feelings of your husband. – The English Matron.