Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!

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Posts Tagged ‘affection’

Dangers to Marital Happiness

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

his wife is a living, throbbing human beingDear, sweet, soul-searching Julie. This one goes out to you, my friend. It’s time to get off the couch, shed those pajamas, organize your house, and take charge of your happiness. And if it helps for your cute hubbie to take you in his arms and kiss you like the good old days, well by gosh, he should do it!

1947: Dangers to Marital Happiness

Another source of irritation is the tendancy of married people to take each other increasingly for granted when the honeymoon is over. The pretty girl who took so much pride in her appearance during the days of courtship becomes careless. She grows indifferent about her diet, eats fats and sweets without any discipline, until she has developed the proportions of a barrel, and then begins to wonder why she fails to attract her husband. Within the house she disports herself in loose wrappers and baggy clothes, with her hair in disarray ~ a sight to make any man eager to leave the house early and return late. The husband, on the other hand, may regard his home as a kind of kennel or stable, where he can walk around in his stocking feet and bawl out orders or complaints with no regard for the amenities of civilized living.

This is not to assume that it is possible for all persons to be models of beauty or to retain sylphlike figures and employ at all times the exquisite manners and formalities of a courtier. Advancing years take their toll of the charms of youth; and within the home, both man and wife are entitled to a reasonable measure of informal comfort. Still, a thoughtful consideration of one’s appearance and domestic manners can contribute much to tranquillity and enduring respect. . . .

An intelligent and solicitous wife can mean the difference between the success and the failure of her husband in his career. She will know how to keep and eye on his personal appearance, his wardrobe, and bearing. She will manifest real pride in his undertakings. She will give him generous encouragement, when he is low in spirits, as well as when he is walking on top of the world. She will know how to merit and elicit his confidence, with the assurance that she can be trusted to hold her tongue and to give sound counsel, not that type of silly or emotional reaction which makes a man regret having opened his mouth.

The considerate husband will keep in mind that his wife is a living, throbbing human being, not merely a galley slave to do his bidding. He will remember anniversaries, bring home candy and flowers occasionally, and take his wife out to dinner and the theater. He will notice and praise her hats and clothes and tell her how beautiful she looks, not take these things for granted or make her feel simply extravagant or ridiculous.

Upon leaving for work and on his return he will kiss his wife, and not rush out and in like one who has no obligations of affection. He will frequently take his wife in his arms, as he did in days of courtship, and tell her that he loves her, and that she will always be the woman of his dreams. In a word, the happiness and loveliness of his wife will always be his chief concern, as he desires that she shall devote her life as a living flame to enkindle and illuminate his.

Source: Magner, James A. The Art of Happy Marriage. Milwaukee, Wis.: Bruce Publishing Co., 1947.
~ pp. 216-18 ~