Wonderful books by Father Kinsella:
The Wife Desired
The Man For Her
A young man unconsciously looks for the qualities of his mother in his wife. Foolishly he may give expression to comparisons. We are all familiar with the refrain, "Mother made the best apple pie ever eaten." It may be strange, but seldom do these encomiums paid to mother produce in the wife a warm glow of affection for her husband. On the other hand, the young wife is inclined to expect her husband to mirror her father, especially if he was a real man. Her father did things this or that way. The ideal wife guards against this usual idealization of her father. Her husband is another man There are other ways of doing things beside the way father did them. Father is a fine man. Yet it would be a dull world if all men were similar to him. The sensible wife does not try to mold her husband after him. She is not inspiring her husband to develop his own abilities and personality by so doing. Mr. X did not seem to be the type of man who drank to excess to escape reality. He seemed to be more of a social drinker. His reality appeared to be a very pleasant one from which no one would want to escape. He enjoyed many blessings. His wife was an attractive woman. They had several exceptionally beautiful daughters whom they both took great pleasure in displaying on many social occasions. Although his salary was not fabulous, it was considerably above average and ran into five figures. They made a handsome couple as they sat in their box at the race track. Their daughters added to the picture. They surely were the envy of the crowd. Yet all was not well. In fact, his wife was on the verge of calling it quits. She never knew when he would come home or in what condition. He had no complaints against his wife and wanted to keep the marriage. He promised reform, willingly admitting that he had been giving her a rather hard time. His position was of the type which readily could be the occasion of an excessive amount of social drinking. He had let it get out of hand, was going to put a stop to it, and would quit completely if necessary. Several months went by, and then the word came from the wife that his reform was short lived. Several weeks after they had been down to the Chancery he was back to his heavy drinking. After getting more familiar with the couple, I began to be a little suspicious that his reason for drinking lay with her. It is not often that an excessive drinker has not one single complaint against his wife. Was she such an ideal wife that even her half-drunk husband could find no fault in her? Or was he hiding something which stung him deep down inside? In all outward appearances he had been a very successful man. He was regarded in a wide circle of friends and acquaintances as a polished man about town. Was some one missing in this group of admirers ? From a reliable source, not usually available, the information came to me that he never had her esteem, admiration and inspiration. She had a rugged, masterful sort of father, a real two-fisted he- man. She worshiped him as a child and young woman. As a young wife she compared him with her husband and found her husband wanting. She really never gave herself completely to her husband. Yes, outwardly she did. She smiled sweetly at him. She was faithful and dutiful in all the varied activities of married life. But that inner spark was missing, and he knew it. He was too proud to admit, probably even to himself, that he had failed to win her full love, the kind of love that goes overboard and blindly says, "You are the best there is." Perhaps this woman had not matured sufficiently. She was still the little girl at her father's knee. She did not have to think any the less of her father because she had married. By analyzing her husband, by breaking him up into the parts of a jigsaw puzzle and being unable to fit him into the pattern of her father, she underestimated him. No two people are alike. Suppose that she had attempted to fit her father into the character and pattern of her husband. They still would not have dovetailed. That would not have made father necessarily any less a man, only a different man. To the casual observer this woman would seem to be an ideal wife. Yet she had failed her husband in the most important role a wife must play in marriage. Like any husband this man wanted her and needed her for his inspiration, but she would not or could not deliver the goods. What a man required most from his wife was lacking. So many wives seem to have no realization of what their husbands have a right to expect first from them, and not getting it, little else matters. He saw himself not measuring up to her standards. He looked into the mirror of her eyes and saw himself deflated. The eyes of a wife are a man's mirror. When he looks into them and sees a veritable giant on wheels, it is like strong wine. He feels like a giant ready to take the world by the tail and swing it. When he sees a little dwarf in her eyes, he begins to feel like one and to act like one. He may put on a big show with lots of bluster. Lacking conviction from her he may go to all extremes to convince himself that he is a "big shot." He tries hard to magnify the puny vision of himself. With all sorts of maneuvers, bragging, condemnation and belittling of others, and drinking he strives to grow in stature in her eyes. The more frantic become these efforts, the more he sees his image shrinking in the mirror of her eyes. Of course, there are plenty of cases where the wife is only half to blame. Ideal wives have a way of going with ideal husbands. A man has no business marrying a woman unless he is in love with her, unless she had become the most beautiful thing in life to him. If during the years of their marriage he continues to look into her eyes and tell her of this beauty to him she will grow more beautiful for him. Too many husbands do not know that a woman must be told that she is beautiful in order to be beautiful. A wife who is being told that she is most beautiful will glow with love for her husband. He will see in her eyes this love for him. Then she will be looking back at him through rose colored glasses. She sees nothing but good in him. The mirror is highly polished and sparkling, and he fills it. He has everything she can give now, and the greatest of her gifts is the inspiration a man needs from his wife to be a husband and a man. I have no recollection of a single broken marriage wherein the wife was primarily to blame and at the same time an inspiration to her husband. Failure and inspiration do not mix well. The ability to inspire her husband is the wife's best guarantee of success in marriage. Only if she fails to inspire need she be fearful for their love and the future of their marriage. How can a wife miss if she has her man jumping up and down beside himself in excitement of effort to fill those big blue eyes of his wife? All right, make them green. They are still the most beautiful eyes in the world to him, because he sees himself in them. Men are much more vain than any woman ever dreamed of being. Very few inspirational wives fail in marriage through their own fault. It is possible for a wife to give all desired in the way of inspiration and receive no response. Admittedly, no wife, be she so perfect in this respect, can inspire a cabbage. But be it known to all women that few mortal males can resist inspiration. They thrive on it. They are "dead ducks" when women look down the sights of their not too secret weapon, their inspiration. Frequently single young ladies raise an objection: "How can I inspire, show appreciation, and make the young man with whom I am going think that he is the greatest man in the world to me? He already leans over backward in trying to make me think he is the answer to every maiden's prayer. He is already so conceited I shudder to think of blowing him up any more. I often wonder if he never wears a hat because he can find none to fit his head." Married women seldom ask a question like this. Is it because of their experience they sense that inspiration does not make a husband conceited? The answer to this objection already has been given to discerning readers, but, because it is commonly heard, an explicit reply should be made. Conceit is usually symptomatic of an inferiority complex. All the manifold gyrations of a conceited man, his bragging, his puffing and huffing. his belittling of others, all his noise and bluster, are efforts to convince the world of something of which he himself is not convinced, namely, that he is a man. If he were sure of himself, he would not be worrying his head about whether or not the rest of men are sure of him. The inspiration of a wife is the best tonic in the world against a husband's conceit. He has confidence from her as well as from his own consciousness of himself. He is not selling himself short because he knows that the best there is in the world is long on him. Nor does the inspired husband sit back in self-satisfaction. He is charged into action to measure up to the esteem of the one most precious to him. He feels unworthy of her but is not thereby depressed. He thrills to the excitement of planning to do big things for her. Nothing will be too good for his love. To preserve her as she is he would wrap her in cellophane or fine spun gold. What obstacle could thwart him in keeping her lovely and happy? Can a husband be conceited who loses himself so completely in such a consuming blaze of love for his wife? The conceited man is forever concerned with himself; the inspired man is forever concerned with the source of his inspiration. So take it from me, ladies, inspiration is your love potion. Men wander through the cold world seeking the warm eyes of inspiration like a thirsting deer panting after fountains of water. Not having it, they are lost souls. On finding it, they leap for joy, and the very mountains break forth into singing. So, be kind, ladies, lest men die of hunger and thirst. Give hope and encouragement to carry on. It is so easy for you; just be as God made you, His loveliest of creatures. After speaking on this absorbing topic of inspiration, I have often been asked how a woman can inspire her husband. The question at first was disconcerting after having spent fifteen or twenty minutes on the subject. But I suppose there is no way to humility except down the road of humiliations. The only answer I have ever given to this query is as follows: God has not given to me but to you, ladies, the ability to inspire. You are asking me how to inspire? To you have gone God's gifts. Within your being you hold from Him the power of life and death for the poor creatures of the weaker sex. With inspiration from you men vibrate with life. Wanting it, they go through the motion of living.