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Hints And Helps For Married Partners
by [?]

AND first, let us speak to the young husband, in the words of the author of that excellent little volume, “A Whisper to a Newly-Married Pair.”

‘Earnestly endeavour to obtain among your acquaintance the character of a good husband; and abhor that would-be wit, which I have sometimes seen practised among men of the world–a kind of coarse jesting on the bondage of the married state, and a laugh at the shackles which a wife imposes. On the contrary, be it your pride to exhibit to the world that sight on which the wise man passes such an encomium: Beautiful before God and men are a man and his wife that agree together. (Ecclus. xxv, 10)

Make it an established rule to consult your wife on all occasions. Your interest is hers: and undertake no plan contrary to her advice and approbation. Independent of better motives, what a responsibility does it free you from! for, if the affair turn out ill, you are spared reproaches both from her and from your own feelings. But the fact is, she who ought to have most influence on her husband’s mind, is often precisely the person who has least; and a man will frequently take the advice of a stranger who cares not for him nor his interest, in preference to the cordial and sensible opinion of his wife. A due consideration of the domestic evils such a line of conduct is calculated to produce, might, one would think, of itself be sufficient to prevent its adoption; but, independent of these, policy should influence you; for there is in woman an intuitive quickness, a sagacity, a penetration, and a foresight into the probable consequences of an event, that make her peculiarly calculated to give her opinion and advice.–“If I was making up a plan of consequences,” said the great Lord Bolingbroke, “I should like first to consult with a sensible woman.”

Have you any male acquaintance, whom, on reasonable grounds, your wife wishes you to resign? Why should you hesitate? Of what consequence can be the civilities, or even the friendship, of any one, compared with the wishes of her with whom you have to spend your life–whose comfort you have sworn to attend to; and who has a right to demand, not only such a trifling compliance, but great sacrifices, if necessary?

Never witness a tear from your wife with apathy or indifference. Words, looks, actions–all may be artificial; but a tear is unequivocal; it comes direct from the heart, and speaks at once the language of truth, nature, and sincerity! Be assured, when, you see a tear on her cheek, her heart is touched; and do not, I again repeat it, do not behold it with coldness or insensibility!

It is very unnecessary to say that contradiction is to be avoided at all times: but when in the presence of others, be most particularly watchful. A look, or word, that perhaps, in reality, conveys no angry meaning, may at once lead people to think that their presence alone restrains the eruption of a discord, which probably has no existence whatsoever.

Some men, who are married to women of inferior fortune or connexion, will frequently have the meanness to upbraid them with the disparity. My good sir, allow me to ask what was your motive in marrying? Was it to oblige or please your wife? No, truly; it was to oblige and please yourself, your own dear self. Had she refused to marry you, you would have been (in lover’s phrase) a very miserable man. Did you never tell her so? Therefore, really, instead of upbraiding her, you should be very grateful to her for rescuing you from such an unhappy fate.

It is particularly painful to a woman, whenever her husband is unkind enough to say a lessening or harsh word of any member of her family: invectives against herself are not half so wounding.