Dale Carnegie 7 (seven) rules for making your home life happier Rule 7:
Read a good book on the sexual side of marriage (Don't be a marriage illiterate)
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Dr Katherine Bement Davis, general secretary of the Bureau of Social Hygiene, once induced a thousand married women to reply very frankly to a set of intimate questions. The result was shocking - an incredibly shocking comment upon the sexual unhappiness of the average American adult. After perusing the answers she received from these thousand married women, Dr Davis published without hesitation her conviction that one of the chief causes of divorce in this country is physical mismating.
Dr G. V. Hamilton's survey verifies this finding. Dr Hamilton spent four years studying the marriages of one hundred men and one hundred women. He asked these men and women individually something like four hundred questions concerning their married lives, and discussed their problems exhaustively - so exhaustively that the whole investigation took four years. This work was considered so important sociologically that it was financed by a group of leading philanthropists. You can read the results of the experiment in What's Wrong with Marriage? by Dr G.V. Hamilton and Kenneth Macgowan.
Well, what is wrong with marriage? It would take a very prejudiced and very reckless psychiatrist, says Dr Hamilton, to say that most married friction doesn't find its source in sexual maladjustment. At any rate, the frictions which arise from other difficulties would be ignored in many, many cases if the sexual relation itself were satisfactory.
Dr Paul Popenoe, as head of the Institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles, has reviewed thousands of marriages and he is one of America's foremost authorities on home life. According to Dr Popenoe, failure in marriage is usually due to four causes. He lists them in this order:
1. Sexual maladjustment.
2. Difference of opinion as to the way of spending leisure time.
3. Financial difficulties.
4. Mental, physical, or emotional abnormalities.
Notice that sex comes first; and that, strangely enough, money difficulties come only third on the list.
All authorities on divorce agree upon the absolute necessity for sexual compatibility. For example, a few years ago Judge Hoffman of the Domestic Relations Court of Cincinnati - a man who has listened to thousands of domestic tragedies - announced: Nine out of ten divorces are caused by sexual troubles.
Sex, says the famous psychologist, John B. Watson, is admittedly the most important subject in life. It is admittedly the thing which causes the most ship-wrecks in the happiness of men and women.
And I have heard a number of practicing physicians in speeches before my own classes say practically the same thing. Isn't it pitiful, then, that in the twentieth century, with all of our books and all of our education, marriages should be destroyed and lives wrecked by ignorance concerning this most primal and natural instinct?
The Rev. Oliver M. Butterfield after eighteen years as a Methodist minister gave up his pulpit to direct the Family Guidance Service in New York City, and he has probably married as many young people as any man living. He says: Early in my experience as a minister I discovered that, in spite of romance and good intentions, many couples who come to the marriage altar are matrimonial illiterates. Matrimonial illiterates!
Happy marriages, says Dr Butterfield, are rarely the product of chance: they are architectural in that they are intelligently and deliberately planned.
To assist in this planning, Dr Butterfield has for years insisted that any couple he marries must discuss with him frankly their plans for the future. And it was as a result of these discussions that he came to the conclusion that so many of the high contracting parties were matrimonial illiterates.
Sex, says Dr Butterfield, is but one of the many satisfactions in married life, but unless this relationship is right, nothing else can be right.
But how to get it right? Sentimental reticence - I'm still quoting Dr Butterfield - must be replaced by an ability to discuss objectively and with detachment attitudes and practices of married life. There is no way in which this ability can be better acquired than through a book of sound learning and good taste. I keep on hand several of these books in addition to a supply of my own booklet, Marriage and Sexual Harmony.
Of all the books that are available, the three that seem to me most satisfactory for general reading are: The Sex Technique in Marriage by Isabel E. Hutton; The Sexual Side of Marriage by Max Exner; The Sex Factor in Marriage by Helena Wright.
So, Rule 7 of How to Make Your Home Life Happier is: Read a good book on the sexual side of marriage.
Learn about sex from books? Why not? A few years ago, Columbia University, together with the American Social Hygiene Association, invited leading educators to come and discuss the sex and marriage problems of college students. At that conference, Dr Paul Popenoe said: Divorce is on the decrease. And one of the reasons it is on the decrease is that people are reading more of the recognized books on sex and marriage.
American Magazine printed an article by Emmet Crozier, Why Marriages Go Wrong. The following is a questionnaire reprinted from that article. You may find it worth while to answer these questions, giving yourself ten points for each question you can answer in the affirmative.
1. Do you still court your wife with an occasional gift of flowers, with remembrances of her birthday and wedding anniversary, or with some unexpected attention, some unlooked-for tenderness?
2. Are you careful never to criticize her before others?
3. Do you give her money to spend entirely as she chooses, above the household expenses?
4. Do you make an effort to understand her varying feminine moods and help her through periods of fatigue, nerves, and irritability?
5. Do you share at least half of your recreation hours with your wife?
6. Do you tactfully refrain from comparing your wife's cooking or housekeeping with that of your mother or of Bill Jones' wife, except to her advantage?
7. Do you take a definite interest in her intellectual life, her clubs and societies, the books she reads, her views on civic problems?
8. Can you let her dance with and receive friendly attentions from other men without making jealous remarks?
9. Do you keep alert for opportunities to praise her and express your admiration for her?
10. Do you thank her for the little jobs she does for you, such as sewing on a button, darning your socks, and sending your clothes to the cleaners?
1. Do you give your husband complete freedom in his business affairs, and do you refrain from criticizing his associates, his choice of a secretary, or the hours he keeps?
2. Do you try your best to make your home interesting and attractive?
3. Do you vary the household menu so that he never quite knows what to expect when he sits down to the table?
4. Do you have an intelligent grasp of your husband's business so you can discuss it with him helpfully?
5. Can you meet financial reverses bravely, cheerfully, without criticizing your husband for his mistakes or comparing him unfavourably with more successful men?
6. Do you make a special effort to get along amiably with his mother or other relatives?
7. Do you dress with an eye for your husband's likes and dislikes in colour and style?
8. Do you compromise little differences of opinion in the interest of harmony?
9. Do you make an effort to learn games your husband likes, so you can share his leisure hours?
10. Do you keep track of the day's news, the new books, and new ideas, so you can hold your husband's intellectual interest?
7 (seven) rules for making your home life happier
Rule 7: Read a good book on the sexual side of marriage