Advice to Husbands – Fr. Martin Scott, S.J., 1934


This site is dedicated to women. Through the articles posted here, we are constantly being reminded of our duties towards home…towards our husband and our children.

Here is an interlude…for the men. There are so many good things out there for guys, too.

This is a great reminder from a Jesuit priest to be on guard against the complacency that comes with daily living…..

By Father Martin Scott, 1934

The shortest and best advice I can give a man is that he regard his wife with the very same care and consideration that he has for himself. If he does that, I promise him he will have a happy married life.

The main reason why a marriage turns out badly is that the man proceeds to live for himself, instead of for his wife and himself.

The selfishness of the man is the most common cause of marriage blight. Selfishness never pays, least of all in marriage.

A young man after marriage sees his sweetheart every day. She may not have the same opportunity of adorning herself that she had before. He sees her as she is ordinarily, and she sees him in the same way.

It is a maxim that the commonplace does not affect us. Husband and wife tend to become commonplace to each other. A man cannot utterly change his nature neither can a woman. Instead of quarreling over the impossible, they should endeavor to amalgamate.

If the husband makes it his main purpose in life to live for his wife and to please her, the chances are that she will make it her sole aim to live for his peace and welfare.

No matter how tired he may be after his day’s work, a wise husband will never be too fatigued to greet his wife warmly on returning home, and to do everything to make the evening a recompense for her long day of waiting.

If she wants to go out, he will not offer an excuse for staying in. While courting her he did not put off calling on her for any slight reason. A husband can do at least as much for his wife as he did for the girl he was engaged to.

Some men make the dreadful mistake of thinking that a woman changes her nature when she becomes a wife. She wants attention and love then just as much, and more perhaps, than she did before. Wise is the man who realizes this and acts on it.

The downright neglect which some men show their wives after marriage is appalling. Nothing contributes so much to turning marriage into a mockery.

Love, like everything else, needs nourishment. You can starve the strongest love to death by indifference and neglect.

A wife’s love is the greatest fortune a man can possess. It is worth every effort made for it.

What shall we say of the man who risks the loss of that treasure by overlooking any, even the slightest of the things which help to preserve and increase it.

Wherever possible, dissension should be avoided. Instead of disputing, it is well to confer. Talking a thing over as if seeking information will banish many dissensions.

A husband should not expect his wife to make all the concessions. Let him meet her at least half way. Often, when he has given in to her, she will reverse the decision and yield entirely to him.

At all events, dissension should be avoided as a serpent, for like a serpent, it will work its deadly way into marriage and poison family happiness.

Dissension costs too much to indulge in it. It produces most frequently the disruption of the bond of affection between man and wife, and when that is broken there is little left of marriage. Dissension usually has its beginning in some indication of disregard shown by the husband for his wife. It may have been the omission of some little token of love, the forgetting of some sign of affection towards her.

A wife is keen to feel any diminution of her husband’s love, and even the slightest sign of its lessening will pain and embitter her.

Of course she cannot expect matrimony to be a perpetual honeymoon. She understands that during the honeymoon the ardent passion of love reaches its climax and that a climax is not perpetual.

But the subsiding of love’s climax does not mean the passing of love. Most married people find love growing stronger and stronger with years not its passion which characterized their first “love making,” but a calm, peaceful, satisfying and comforting love which makes their hearts beat in unison and makes each live for the other.

This love is far more valuable than the violent emotion, and its possession and maintenance depend in great measure on the husband.

If a man does not cherish his wife, if his first thoughts are not for her welfare, if he does not manifest those little signs of consideration and regard which will show her that his heart is hers, he does not deserve this abiding and consoling love.

Love must not only be planted, it must be cultivated. Of all flowers it is the most beautiful and most delicate. It will last forever if it be carefully guarded and nourished.

But if a man does not value and cultivate his wife’s love, it will gradually change into mere toleration or perhaps into positive dislike.

The husband took a good deal of pains to win his wife’s love. Why should he not take as much or more to retain it? Some men think that a wife is like an object which, once obtained, may be used or laid aside as it suits them.

Such men come to grief.

Every wife has a natural hunger for the spontaneous affection of her husband and if he fails to give her the love she craves, he is starving not only her but himself as well. It is useless to tell her of his love. He must show it.

While courting, he knew the art of love. He cannot say that marriage has made him ignorant of it.

I insist so much on this, my dear men, because I am concerned for your life’s happiness. I know of many families wrecked because the husband assumed that, once married, he could let affection take care of itself.

A husband should bear in mind that his wife has left father and mother and home associations for him. He is her all.

If a man says that his love has grown cold, and that he cannot show what he does not feel, it is because he mistakes love for passion, or else because he has neglected to foster the love which he once cherished.

Love itself does not die easily, and when he married, he felt that his wife was the most lovable girl in the world. Love made him willing to go through fire and water for her.

She is the same girl now. She has not changed, and if his love for her is not what it should be, ordinarily it is because he himself has changed.

Of course close and continued association has taken the bloom off in some respects, but the love that made him leave all and give himself forever to his betrothed was too deep and strong to pass away, unless little by little he has caused it to depart.

“The bright husband will never relinquish the prerogative of being a gentleman. Thoughtfulness is his watch word. A kindness here and a consideration there go a long way to promote companionship with his wife. The opening of a car door for her, helping her with her coat, seating her at table, these and a dozen other little actions evidence his tenderness for her. She is precious to him, so he surrounds her with attentions.” -Fr. Leo Kinsella, 1950’s http://amzn.to/2nypip6

Penal Rosaries!

Penal rosaries and crucifixes have a wonderful story behind them. They were used during the times when religious objects were forbidden and it was illegal to be Catholic. Being caught with a rosary could mean imprisonment or worse. A penal rosary is a single decade with the crucifix on one end and, oftentimes, a ring on the other. When praying the penal rosary you would start with the ring on your thumb and the beads and crucifix of the rosary in your sleeve, as you moved on to the next decade you moved the ring to your next finger and so on and so forth. This allowed people to pray the rosary without the fear of being detected. Available here.

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