10 old-fashioned tips for keeping a man happy

By Marilynn McLachlan

Old-fashioned tips for women to keep their man happy. Photo / Thinkstock
Old-fashioned tips for women to keep their man happy. Photo / Thinkstock

The advice given by therapist Leanne French in her book Fairytale Love: How to Love Happily Ever After, is that women need to stop nagging and men need to open up more.

French joins a long line of therapists, authors, counselors and producers who have all offered their sage advice about how to behave in order to have a successful marriage.

Read more:
Sex tips from an outrageously chauvinistic 1945 guide

Today we look back on ten pieces of advice for women on how to keep a man happy, from 1913-1954.

1. Don't forget to 'feed the brute' well. Much depends on the state of his digestion.

Don'ts for Husbands, Don't for Wives - Blanche Ebbut, 1913

2. Remember your most important job is to build up and maintain his ego (which gets bruised plenty in business). Morale is a woman's business.

Sex Today in Wedded Life - Edward Podolsky, 1943

3. Don't keep your sweetest smiles and your best manners for outsiders; let your husband come first.

Don'ts for Husbands, Don'ts for Wives - Blanche Ebbut, 1913

4. To be a successful wife is a career in itself, requiring among other things, the qualities of a diplomat, a businesswoman, a good cook, a trained nurse, a schoolteacher, a politician and a glamour girl.

Emily Mudd, marriage counselor, 1930s


Photo / Thinkstock

5. During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Pictorial Medical Guide, 42 specialists, 1954

6. Don't drink too much, as a man expects you to keep your dignity all evening. Drinking may make some girls seem clever, but most get silly.

Click Parade magazine, 1938

7. That the underwear should be spotlessly clean goes without saying, but every woman should wear the best quality underwear that she can afford. And the color should be preferably pink. And lace and ruffles, I am sorry to say, add to the attractiveness of underwear, and are liked by the average man.

Women, Her Sex and Love Life, Dr. William Josephus Robinson, 1927


Photo / Thinkstock

8. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

Pictorial Medical Guide, 42 specialists, 1954

9. I verily believe that the happiness of homes is destroyed more frequently by the habit of nagging than by any other one. A man may stand that sort of thing (nagging) for a long time, but the chances are against his standing it permanently. If he needs peace to make life bearable, he will have to look for it elsewhere than in his own house. And it is quite likely that he will look.

Sex Satisfaction and Happy Marriage, Reverend Alfred Tyrer, 1951

10. The women of this family seem to feel that they owe it to the men of the family to look relaxed, rested and attractive at dinner time.

How to Create the Perfect Family Dinner, Edward Simmel, BW film 1950.

- nzherald.co.nz

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