Monday, March 10, 2014

Mrs Andelin On Men Who Won't Earn The Living

In her book "Fascinating Womanhood" Helen Andelin points out that there are two thing which the wife has a right to expect from her husband: fidelity and financial support. In the case of the husband who strays from the right path Mrs Andelin first suggests that the wife examines her own behaviour and corrects her own mistakes by applying Fascinating Womanhood teachings but if it doesn't help, the wife has to place him before the choice as it is "...morally wrong for a woman to continue to live with a man who is immoral" (p. 53, F.W., Bantam Books 1992).

She also encourages the wife to try and win her husband from another woman if it is at all possible: "By winning him back, you save not only a marriage but a soul!" (idem.)

Unfaithfulness is a serious sin which can and often does destroy marriages, and Mrs Andelin's advice goes against everything what modern women are taught, and yet sometimes it's better to forgive and forget, especially if children are involved. I can understand though that some women probably would be unable to do it, depending on the circumstances and yet in the times past wives were taught to fight for their marriages  and it often worked.

Another thing which the wife has a right to expect from her husband is financial support. In fact, as I mentioned in one of my previous posts on the topic in some Islamic countries like Iran, the non-support on the part of the husband is grounds for divorce.

Financial support doesn't necessarily mean a luxury lifestyle, but an income sufficient "to cover the necessities and a dwelling place." (idem). Mrs Andelin stresses that she isn't talking about a disabled husband or one who can't find work as in this situation the wife has to "cheerfully adapt to circumstances until solutions can be worked out." (idem).

However, if the husband is an able-bodied man who simply refuses to work, the wife is justified in taking action. She will probably have to find a job or to turn for charity, especially in the case when children are involved. Mrs Andelin then states that in that case the wife should ask the husband to leave and not to come back until he provides an income or to move out herself.

The reason for this action is that if she keeps on working and allows the husband to stay and profit from her income he will have no incentive to take up his responsibilities.

Of course, it's better to never find yourself in such a situation in the first place, that's why it's so important to make a wise choice while searching for a husband. Mrs Andelin discusses this topic at length in "The Fascinating Girl" where she advises women to avoid men with addictions such as drinking or gambling (I don't agree with her on smoking though, it causes damage to one's health but a man who smokes can still function normally in society which hardly can be said about an alcoholic or a drug addict).

It's also important to avoid men of loose morals and those who are promiscuous, but also those who are lazy and undependable. A woman should not enter marriage with the hopes or reforming a man and taming his dark side, because as Helen Andelin points out, if it happens, it's nothing short of a miracle. Further to avoid are men who have a nasty temper, those who are arrogant and aloof and have an oversized ego. This last is not as bad as loose morals, but it's still a warning sign.

To sum it up, the choice of a mate is probably the most important decision in a woman's life and she should exercise discernment if she wishes to have a good marriage.

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