The ideal wife is ambitious for her husband, not for herself. 
Through inspiration she gives ambition to her husband. He is 
spurred on to do big things for her and wants no reward other than 
her appreciation and the look of pride for him in her eyes. Here 
again wives must heed the words of Christ. If they would save their 
souls, they must lose them. If they would save their marriage, if 
they would have all that goes with a successful husband, they 
must lose themselves and their ambition in their husbands.

A wife is on thin ice who is ambitious for herself, the husband 
being just the necessary means of realizing her ambition for 
wealth or social position. These self-seeking wives are not 
interested in promoting the success of their husbands for the sake 
of their husbands but for their own sakes. This type of wife is 
inclined to overreach herself. By goading her husband on beyond 
his capacities she shows her hand to him and loses his love. He 
may have to admit that she has a strong possessive love for him, a 
love for him for what she gets out of it. But he is not carried into 
seventh heaven by this contemplation of his hard, scheming, 
driving wife. He begins to feel that he is but the stepping stone for 
the fulfillment of her ambition. 

An example of a wife over ambitious for herself may help illustrate 
the danger of confusing this possessive love for genuine love and 
inspiration. The couple met at a large city hospital where the 
young woman was a nurse. indexShe held a position of importance and 
through the energy of her personality carried considerable 
influence. She fell in love with a young medical student. Through 
her connections with the staff of the hospital she had her friend 
placed with the hospital as a student intern. She promoted him at 
every step, even to the extent of considerable financial help. She 
hovered over him like a mother bird. Marriage and the release of 
her pent-up emotions only seemed to urge her on in smoothing the 
path before her coming young doctor husband. She had visions of 
his rising quickly to a position of pre-eminence on the staff. She 
would be the fashionable wife of the outstanding young doctor of 
their community. And he would be all hers. She was still in the 
process of pulling strings to make him acceptable to the hospital 
which might admit his patients, when he announced determination 
to return to his home state. He wanted to begin slowly with his own 
feet on the ground, meriting by his own ability and energy what 
success would come his way. With great show of reluctance she 
acceded to his plan. Back in his home town things did not progress 
rapidly enough for her. They set themselves up too elegantly for 
beginners. Money was running out, her money, which she had 
saved and inherited. She criticized him for not trying harder. He 
countered that he could not make patients come to him. After all, 
it would take time. Be patient. After four or five months she forced 
him to abandon his own meager beginnings and come back to the 
big city. There she knew her way around. She would make certain 
that the hospital accepted him. During the time of his efforts to 
get set up again she prodded him unmercifully. She even 
degenerated into a nagging wife.

When they talked to me, he would have no more of her. She was 
driving him to distraction. Obviously, she was going to pieces. On 
several occasions she had shaken him out of a sound sleep in the 
middle of the night to tell him how she had done something for 
him over at the hospital. Once she gave him the pre-dawn 
information that she had just cleaned the walls of the kitchen. The 
implication always was "What are you doing? Why don't you do 
something?" She had lost whatever poise she had and was 
becoming frantic.

On being asked why he married her, he replied that she seemed to 
be capable and efficient. He thought that she would be a real 
helpmate during the early, hard years of getting started. Actually 
she had never given him a chance, he felt. He could see the 
growing contempt in her eyes for his failure to measure up to her 
ambitions. He admitted that she still had a queer, possessive love 
for him. This appraisal of her mood was correct, for she tearfully 
expressed her desire for his return. She wanted him for herself and 
was miserable without him. This unfortunate woman did not love 
her husband for himself. Proof of this was evidenced by her 
attempts to harm him after their separation. She stooped to efforts 
at discrediting him in his profession. She had spread stories 
damaging to his character. At the same time she pleaded in a 
frenzy with me to help her get him back.

It was difficult to explain to this wife how she had failed to inspire 
her husband. Had she not done everything a wife could possibly 
do to promote her husband? She could not see that her 
overmastering ambition was the undoing of her chances for 
happiness. She expected and desperately wanted affection. Yet she 
drove him on with contempt in her eyes for his inability or lack of 
desire to come up to her expectations. Patience was wanting in her, 
the patience founded on a love of her husband for himself and not 
for what he might do for her. In her life she manifested all the 
outward works of an inspirational wife. The inner spirit was 
lacking. She married to satisfy her own desires and ambitions.