Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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        Making Marriage a Success.

    An intelligent man writes me an interesting let-
ter about his home life, in which he speaks of
many past trials with his wife, and then says that
she is improving in many ways, and,

    Now, all except her disposition (and God knows that is
exception enough, quick temper, hair splitting and bossing,
she is a model wife--unless it be too much pride as to her
surroundings for a poor man.
    She is often influenced much by kindly reason, and is
aware of  her disposition (she has a sister much like her).
I tell her I almost have got to believe that "peace is love."
I have entire confidence in her, and her affection or love  for
me is very strong.
    Neither one of us is afraid of any kind of work to the full
extent of our strength.
    We are getting to think pretty near alike on all practical
matters.  Now, I am inclined to be a little quick tempered on
slight provocation.
    Should I be careful?
    Is it my destiny (as I sometimes think) to make her happy,
and finally myself thereby?

    It has always been my idea that a man who has
married a young woman should feel it his duty to set
about making his marriage a success, just as sys-
tematically and patiently as he would undertake to
make his business a success, in spite of adverse con-
    The same duty devolves upon a wife also, but
we are talking about husbands.
    When a woman has reached the stage where she
will listen to reason, a man ought to feel highly
    A woman who believes she inherits a bad temper
ought to stop and consider the fact that she also
inherits a divine nature, which dates further back
than any earthly ancestry.  If she will call to this
spiritual self within her, and deny the right of any
ancestor to influence her for evil, she will soon
overcome her ill-temper.
    A man who has to endure the wear and tear of
business life all day, certainly is entitled to a peace-
ful home.
    The woman who does not do everything in her
power to make a peaceful haven for her husband
and children is committing the unpardonable sin.
    The hair-splitting, arguing, ill-tempered wife
needs to cultivate variety.  The most unlovable
being on earth is a woman of this description.
    It is a good thing to make a woman understand
this fact in a gentle way.
    We can only love what is lovable.
    The wife makes the atmosphere of the home.
    I have entered a home of luxury, where all that
good taste and money could do was done to render
it attractive, and I have felt as if a thousand
discords were ringing in my ears, because of the
invisible but permeating presence of discordant and
unloving thoughts with which the atmosphere was
    Again, I have entered a home where the peace
and serenity of heaven--as we imagine it to be--
tell upon me as soon as I passed its portal.  The
wife who makes such an atmosphere in her home
need never long for a "mission" or a "sphere."  She
has found the highest one possible for a woman.
    To the husband who writes me this letter I would
say, believe your wife is to become just what you
desire her to be.  Reason with her and praise her
for the progress she has made toward your ideal.
    Watch yourself that you are not the aggressor or
discordant element in your home.
    The man who succeeds in bringing order out of
domestic chaos is doing a good work, and need not
feel ashamed that his "destiny" is to create an ideal

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