Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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        Rights of a Husband.
    A wife wishes me to advise her how to keep her
husband at home of evenings.  "He goes out
every Saturday and Sunday evening, and nothing I
can say makes any difference," she tells me.  "We
have a young child, and I am obliged to remain at
home on those nights."
    It strikes me that a very good husband should be
allowed two evenings a week to himself.  That is
no more than a good domestic is allowed.  Every
woman ought to be able to entertain herself alone
occasionally, or to make herself popular enough so
that her friends will be glad to drop in upon her
during her husband's evenings out.  Saturday
evening is usually a favorite club night with club-
    Sunday is a day when a man loafs indoors all the
afternoon, and it is not strange if he feels like
going out afterward.  With books, music and
friends at her command, a wife should not feel
herself an object of national sympathy even if she
is deprived of her husband's society two nights out
of seven.  No two people should demand absolute
control of each other's time.  There are wives who
seem to stand in a sort of "your-time-or-your-life"
attutude toward their husbands from the hour they
are married.  There are husbands who have the
same exacting idea of a man's rights.  It is human
nature to resent this espionage, no matter how
dearly the tyrant is loved.  It is a husband's duty
to see that his wife has recreation and enjoyment,
and that she is not left to her own resources continu-
ally.  He should think of her comfort and happiness
always, but this in no way argues that he should
never leave the house without her by his side.  He
is excusable for supposing that a bright American
woman has resources within herself for entertain-
ment now and then.  I cannot help thinking that it
is a reflection upon a wife when a decent man finds
other places than home continually more interest-
ing.  There are men who are utterly given over to
the pleasures of the clubs, the gaming table, the
prize fights, and other sports of a singular nature.
Such a man, no woman could content at home.
But such a man would display his pecularities to a
woman of any discernment before marriage.  The
average American man is fond of his home if it is
made a spot of peace, affection, and attractiveness.
A man naturally likes to be where he will receive
the warmest welcome and the greatest consideration,
and where he can find rest for body and mind, and
cheer for his spirit.  If he is a man worth keeping
at home, he will not too frequently absent himself
from such an atmosphere.  Yet he will sometimes,
even then, want a change, just as he will want a
change of climate, although he loves the land of
his choice best of all.
    Common sense, reason, liberality and tact are all
excellent qualities to cultivate in married life.
A wife should not depend upon her husband for
every hour of entertainment, nor should she expect
him to find no enjoyment outside her society.  If
he finds other homes and other women constantly
more entertaining, than his own domestic circle, she
has either made some serious mistakes after mar-
riage or a very foolish one at the altar.  The woman
whose husband is absent only two evenings in the
week has very little to complain of.  If she devotes
those two evenings to some study or to music, she
will be fitting herself to entertain him so well that
he may not have to be driven from the fireside in
order to take needed exercise; and she will be, at
all events, fitting herself to make her home attract-
ive to friends who will be glad to aid her in passing
lonely hours.  But if she sits and chews the cud of
discontent and broods over her imagined wrongs,
she will drive husband and friends further and fur-
ther from her fireside.

Every-day thoughts in prose and verse. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1901.
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