After getting engaged, couples are generally inundated with a barrage of marital advice. And while it's all delivered with good intentions, sometimes a tip slips in that's questionable at best.
That's certainly the case with the retro marriage advice below. We've rounded up some of the best (read: worst) little pearls of wisdom, dating from the '20s to the early '50s. Read 'em and weep:
1. First things first: Earn that ring.
"It is up to you to earn the proposal — by waging a dignified, common-sense campaign designed to help him see for himself that matrimony rather than bachelorhood is the keystone of a full and happy life." -- "How to Make Him Propose," Coronet, 1951.
2. Next, rearrange your whole day for him.
“Change around your schedule so that you will always be there when your husband needs you, accept his emotional distortion, and to build up his self-esteem.” --Ladies’ Home Journal, April 1950.
3. Remember, he doesn't want to hear about your lady troubles.
"Don’t bother your husband with petty troubles and complaints when he comes home from work." -- "Sex Today in Wedded Life," by Edward Podolsky, 1943.
4. Never nag him, or he'll cheat on you.
"I verily believe that the happiness of homes is destroyed more frequently by the habit of nagging than by any other one. A man may stand that sort of thing (nagging) for a long time, but the chances are against his standing it permanently. If he needs peace to make life bearable, he will have to look for it elsewhere than in his own house. And it is quite likely that he will look." -- "Sex Satisfaction and Happy Marriage," Reverend Alfred Henry Tyrer, 1951.
5. Stay squeaky clean.
"The wife, whether the bride of a day or the bride of thirty years, should be clean. Literally from the crown of her head to her very toes, she should be clean, so clean as to be able to stand inspection even in complete nudity." -- "Married Life and Happiness," William Josephus Robinson, 1922.
6. Don't clean too much, though, or he'll cheat on you.
"Men like a clean house, but fussing about all the time, upsetting the house in order to keep it clean, will drive a man from the house elsewhere." -- "Married Life and Happiness," William Josephus Robinson, 1922.
7. Wear his favorite ruffly underwear, preferably in pink.
"That the underwear should be spotlessly clean goes without saying , but every woman should wear the best quality underwear that she can afford. And the color… should be preferably pink. And lace and ruffles, I am sorry to say, add to the attractiveness of underwear, and are liked by the average man." -- "Married Life and Happiness," William Josephus Robinson, 1922.
8. If you're unhappy with your sex life, just grin and bear it.
"Now, if you are one of those frigid or sexually anesthetic women, don’t be in a hurry to inform your husband about it. To the man it makes no difference in the pleasurableness of the act whether you are frigid or not unless he knows that you are frigid. And he won’t know unless you tell him, and what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Heed this advice. It has saved thousands of women from trouble." -- "Married Life and Happiness," William Josephus Robinson, 1922.
9. Get along with kids and old people; avoid poets and musicians.
"Similarly, girls who will be happy in marriage enjoy teaching children and have a fondness for old people. They are not strong admirers of musicians and poets though they may like good music or poetry. They believe mates should be virgins at marriage and faithful thereafter." -- "Modern Bride," 1952.
10. Don't be slovenly.
"Nothing destroys the happiness of married life more than the lazy, slovenly wife." -- "Bath Chronicle," Dobbin Crawford, 1930.