Don'ts for Husbands & Don'ts for Wives" is a quick little read I picked up in the bargain section of Barnes & Nobles this afternoon for like $4.95. The book was originally written in 1913 by Blanche Ebbutt and was basically a guidebook to keep a new marriage a long lasting marriage. Some of the "advice" is somewhat outdated, but many of the principles can still be applied today. The book is written from the perspective of an era when people didn't live together before marriage, so for those of us in the post World War II world, the advice can seem like a "duh" moment. But if you look at it from the perspective of a new relationship or a "we're-just-moving-in-together" stage, Mrs. Ebbutt was spot on in her advice!
Some goodie goodies were:
Don'ts for Husbands:
"Don't tease your wife about every pretty girl you meet. She may not be jealous to begin with, but after a while she may begin to think that there is something in it"
"Don't dole out money for your wife's personal use in sixpences on the ground that, as you pay the bills, she can't really require any money. It is hateful to a woman to have to ask for what should be hers by right."
"Don't think your business worries are ever so much more important. The others are her business worries, and just as real to her as yours are to you."
Don'ts for Wives:
"Don't be talked down by your husband when you want to express your views on any subject. You have a right to be heard."
"Don't pose as a helpless creature who can do nothing for herself; don't drag your husband away from the office to see you across a street; don't profess to be unable to understand Bradshaw [no not Carrie Bradshaw!], or to take a journey alone. It is true that the weak, clinging wife is often a favourite, but she is equally often a nuisance."
"Don't wash your dirty linen in public, or even before your most intimate friends. If there are certain disagreeable matters to discuss, take care to discuss them in complete privacy."
Obviously, this book is written during a time when wives stayed home, so much of it is written from this perspective...but it still has some great knowledge to share with newlyweds or couples that have been living together for an extended period of time! It's a quick read - I finished it in under an hour...and it's so funny that you'll fly through the pages without any effort. I highly recommend it!