Love & marriage: Does your husband know how to love you? (1913)

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Married couple on the beach

Doesn’t your husband know how to love you?

by Winnie Lee

“My husband says he loves me, but you see, he doesn’t love me the way I want to be loved,” writes a little bride. At first, I thought she must be a very young bride or she wouldn’t be so particular, but after meditation, I wondered if any woman really knows just how she does want to be loved.

Does your husband know how to love you (1913)

Does your husband know how to love you?

Love is — well, just love — to a man. If he is a young man, if doesn’t interfere in the least with his absorption in football nor cause him to miss a single fine point of play even when the lady of his heart is by his side missing all of them.

If he is an older businessman, he can always put aside memories and postpone dreams until lunchtime; and after that, he can neglect to call her up as he had promised because of a rush of midafternoon affairs; and he can take a personal interest in his stenographer’s personal affairs without a twinge of conscience; and then be late to dinner.

But love to a woman means keeping one man in the background of her mind all of the time. To this image on her subconscious mind, all the duties of the day become votive offerings. She fixes her hair in the morning in the way he prefers it, even though she expects to do it up three times more before he comes at night. Just because he likes red, she puts a red rose in her hat, though it doesn’t become her, as seriously as she would place blossoms before a shrine. And her daily occupations are a sacrifice, and her thoughts are like the burning of incense.

She can remain in this fine ecstasy just so long as she imagines that it is understood and appreciated. And of course, she expects to be idealized and idolized just the same in return.

And then one dreadful day she discerns that this sort of exalted emotion is considerably wearing to her husband, and so she wails, “He doesn’t love me the way I want to be loved,” meaning, of course, the way she thinks she deserves to be loved.

And every woman who listens sympathizes with her.

“Man’s love is of man’s life a thing apart; ’tis woman’s whole existence.”

And it is perfectly possible and perhaps very wise for any little bride and every staid matron to keep love still her whole existence, even after she has discovered that husband has other serious and important interests which sadly interfere with his exhibitions of devotion.

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If he had not, where, oh where, would the bread and butter come from? And how, oh how, could the dressmaker’s bill be paid. Whenever anybody in this world feels neglected, it is a pretty good time to set to work to prove their usefulness to somebody else.

And whenever a little bride or an old wife feels that her husband isn’t loving her enough, it is high time for her to do something extra nice to prove how much she loves him.

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