Ladies, Here's 18 Rules To Make You A Good Wife

in #culture5 years ago (edited)

Oh my gosh, just typing that title makes me cringe! lol.

Howdy folks and greetings from the Great Plains of North Texas!

I saw an article from Housekeeping Monthly published in May of 1955 and I about fell out of my chair. Part from shock and part from laughter. But mostly shock. My oh my have we changed as a society! In this instance, THANK GOD!

The family structure at the time

We have to remember that in 1955 the man was the income earner and the wife was expected to stay home, run the household and raise the kids.

And support the income earner at all costs or they could lose everything and miss out on the American Dream!

So women were trained to be good little servants. And this article gave them specific guidelines to follow in order to achieve the status of Good Wife.


Here we go with the Rules:

1. Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.


2. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.


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


4. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your DUTIES is to provide it.


5. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dust cloth over the tables.


6. Over 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 for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

7. Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes.


8. Children are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.(lol. . good luck with that!)

9. Be happy to see him. Free him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. Listen to him.


10. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first — remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

11. Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

12. Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where you husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

13. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.


14. Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

15. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.


16. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

17. Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

18. And last but most importantly: A good wife always knows her place.

Ladies, if you follow all these rules religiously then YOU TOO could attain the title of Good Wife! IF your MASTER approves.



Holy Smokes! This is the most horrifying post I've ever done. lol. Even for 1955 it's hard to believe this was being pushed as the typical working class home structure.

I'm a child of the 50's and I guarantee you that our house was NOTHING like this! lol. My parents worked together and my dad treated mom with respect and honor.

Oh, I almost forgot, I'm adding number 19 just for the fun of it:

19. Always make sure the fridge is fully stocked, especially with the Master's favorite beers! There ya go. Now that's perfection and she's a darn good wife! lol.



Thanks for stopping by for this bit of insanity folks. If any of y'all was raised this way please comment about it. And let me know if you have a favorite from this list.

They're all outrageous but number 14 made me burst out laughing, like that would ever fly! Come on!






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Howdy reikigirl! Thanks for stopping by!

Would you sit in the time machine and travel back in time?

Good to see you sir oldtimer! Only if I had the power to change some things! Otherwise, no thanks, I enjoy our modern amenities too much!

This sounds like your typical magazine article: take some common sense run-of-the-mill stuff, and blow it way out of proportion, and then publish it. The kernel of truth in this applies to all relationships and for either gender, e.g. don't be a downer when your spouse walks in the door; make dinner plans if you know your spouse has had a long day; be sympathetic to whatever pressures your spouse is feeling. Basically, be thoughtful toward your spouse, whether man or wife.

But just saying "be thoughtful to your husband" would be very uninteresting to their readers, so I imagine they spiced it up...a lot. I'm with you on not being able to imagine that very many people actually lived this way. It sounds like the 50's version of a cosmo article titled "How to Spice Up Your Sex Life in Ten Easy Steps," or one of those weird Vogue articles outlining some "stylish" celebrity's house, to inspire us normal people by the intrigue of the freakishness of being an extremist. The pages might look glossy, but nobody carries these crazy ideas into their real life.

I will say that the "have food on the table when he gets home" thing was a real pressure. When I talk to my grandma on the phone at supper time she will keep asking me, "Is dinner done? I know your husband must be coming home soon." I always tell her not to worry about it. He is not expecting restaurant service, or service at all.

How did this turn into such a long comment? My comments are few and far between, but once you get me started I just don't stop typing.

Howdy ginnyannette! You made my week, I prompted a rare comment from the great one! lol. Thanks so much for taking the time, I know you're busy following your own list and that would make a great post. You know, to have a REAL house wive's list of practical ways to make things work in TODAY'S marriage. I would truly love that.

Sex was not on the list, not even mentioned, but that had to have been near the top even back then. I was real tempted to put in my own comments about it. lol.

That is so interesting about your Grandmother! God bless her. That's the first confirmation that at least part of the list was accurate. Well, I agree, and hope, that this was just an exaggerated article written to be an attention getter.

@ginnyannette, shouldn't you be...

Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.


Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

No time for lengthy blog-comments.

Just kidding - Blame janton

One of the annoying things about my husband is that he grew up poor eating beans and rice, so he doesn't have a favorite meal. He likes everything. The man is a garbage disposal. "What do you want to eat on your birthday?" I always get: "I don't know."

Then we have the feet issue. The man is weird about his feet. No one gets near his feet. And he's a perfectionist, so my pillow fluffing would never meet the strict standards. If I spoke softly he'd say, "Did you lose your voice? Don't get too close, I don't want to catch the virus. "

It's not my fault I can't be a good wife. The man just doesn't know how to stick to proper 1950s standards. Sigh.

He sounds like someone I know...He must be a champ! 😊

I answer "I don't know" because if I say what I really want, she will disagree.

Lol. I don't think that is the case with my husband, but I suppose I can't be sure.




Howdy sir wwwiebe! lol...I'm glad you liked this list. We've come a long way since then!

That's great, thank you for this post @janton - I showed it to my Missus and now I have to sleep in the living room 😉 lol



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Hey @blewitt, here is a little bit of BEER from @johannpiber for you. Enjoy it!

Thanks so much beerlover, you guys are great!

lol! I thought you would be locked in the cellar!

I'm glad, that the cellar is full with stuff right now, so that she could not lock me in there ;) lol


Hey @janton, here is a little bit of BEER from @johannpiber for you. Enjoy it!

It is hard to believe that peoples thinking was so... lacking, and still is if you listen to the new thoughts that emerged even hundreds of years ago and were to take a guess looking at an article like that can only indicate regression or stagnation. It is, however, a perfectly applicable article for some modern Dominant and Submissive relationships which would require rules of engagement such as these.

Howdy there penderis! I agree, it is very shocking to read and think that this was being pushed as the best way for a woman to live her life, in complete servitude. How are women treated in your country, generally speaking? Thanks so much for commenting!

Sorry it is quite long-winded but I don't think it is an easy question, you can skip to the end though for the uncertain conclusion

It depends, I think we have quite a big split in how woman are treated in our country. I don't see much of a difference in the suburban lifestyle. I think many are treated according to the role they assume, and the partner they choose. I guess I can't see any restrictions imposed on them apart from what they may be willing or even want. You can have a strong-willed and business-oriented farmers wife that rocks the auctions and yet willingly be more submissive to your husband who may be a brute with the IQ of a brick. I guess those are things I do not understand but I do see that which at the very least makes me she will be seen not as just a woman but a person.

Obviously not mentioning the typical trash mentalities and broken homes which all countries have. Overall I would say business is open to all woman and I for one do not treat female workers less horrible than the male ones.

Unfortunately, I will still see some businesses advertise certain positions only for a woman according to the old fashioned norms. All in all, I guess the usual bullshit to an extent it is pretty equal in the 20-35ish age range though. Urrgh so many nuances. Then you get the rural/underdeveloped areas and just plain cultural differences, mainly I feel those are less cultural and more environmental. The people have no respect woman and I think actively view them as even less than your article suggests.

To note that if you google South Africa now in relation to that you will most likely find most articles mention blacks and this is only because they are the majority. The fact is that people are so focused on race here that even when they fight for womans issues that race will be a factor on which they focus also. It is however in my opinion that it is mainly cultural and class-based. That is probably why I see a lot more equality in the middle class than the lower or upper classes but a strong adherence to the difference in dominance portrayed within more traditional families.

To not be much more long-winded, the way I see it is in the middle class each has mutually agreed to duties - a team, lower-class one party is dominant and the other is reliant which is an obvious problem if you consider average IQ and beliefs. Upper class, you have two dominant people in some cases but actually the same situation as the lower class where the people involved do not have the emotional intelligence to actually have someone be reliant on them without seeing them as property or lower than themselves. I think this then extends to how people do business and interact with others,

...but generally speaking, because those two classes are growing I think our country treat woman like shit.

Howdy again penderis! Thanks so much for articulately breaking down a complex issue in understandable terms, this is a marvelous answer.

I'm sorry to hear about the treatment of women as being generally unfair but hopefully that will improve with the younger generation like you mentioned. I think the same is true here as far as the most equality is in the youth.Thank you again for spending the time to give such a thoughtful response!

Howdy havtorn! lol..I know, it's insane. Thanks for commenting!

Hey I was going to tag you in this @contrabourdon LOL

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You have to admit, although this is unreasonable for a wife to do, it does sound pretty nice. The problem is that there in no give and take between the husband and wife. They both want a peaceful and comfortable home, but both need to work together to accomplish this. And the husband is accountable for his time and should not come home unexpectedly, or go out without his wife after being gone all day, that's trouble.

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Howdy sir ironshield! Exactly, it takes tons of sacrifice and work from both of them to achieve peace and a comfortable home. But in this list the husband is accountable for nothing, not even staying out all night! lol. That sounds wildly unrealistic even back then but maybe I'm just hoping it was.

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