The Good Wife Guide

Posted on December 16, 2012



The Ladies’ Homemaker Monthly , a popular journal that began about 100 years ago, provided women with rules to live by.  Their motto was “You can judge a good woman by how many well-dressed children she has and the contentment of her husband.”  The Good Wife Guide: 19 Rules for Keeping A Happy Husband is filled with excerpts from the Monthly.  The following are some of these, the red wine being depleted before all 19 could be recorded.  For those of you who have been too busy keeping track of the migration of some of your body parts to notice that any of these rules have changed, we provide an update.

Make sure the house is spotless before your husband is due to arrive home. Give the furniture a quick dusting, pick up any wayward toys and make sure all unsightly laundry and ironing has been put away.  Your house should be sparkling by the time he sets foot in it!

Make sure the house doesn’t have a rancid odor before your husband is due to arrive home. If it does, spray anything that’s handy on anything emitting a noxious odor.  This includes children.  Any unsightly laundry and ironing may be placed under another pile of unsightly laundry and ironing, then covered with a tarp.


When your husband walks through the front door, take his coat and guide him to his favorite easy chair. Offer him the evening newspaper, his slippers and a dry martini to take the edge off. If he appears fatigued or cranky from his traffic-laden commute, a relaxing foot rub or shoulder massage may be in order.

When your husband walks through the front door, remind him to hang his coat up.  Inform him that his favorite newspaper went out of business, his slippers were eaten by the dog, and you and your friends polished off all the booze when they came over for their weekly mommy-and-toddler get together.  If he appears cranky about any of this, throw the dog at him and tell him to take it for a long walk.


Anticipate your spouse’s needs by refilling his plate before he asks. When it comes to your own plate, remember that less is more.  Certainly, the moist layer cake with butter cream frosting  you baked this morning looks appetizing, but it won’t do your waistline any favors!

Anticipate your spouse’s needs by refilling his plate before he asks.  After all, you have purchased the half-price Trough-O-Chicken special from KFC, so there is plenty to go around.  The moist layer cake with butter cream frosting you purchased this morning from Costco is gone, consumed with the alcohol at your weekly mommy-and-toddler get together.


With a table full of dirty dishes waiting to be scoured and stacked, you day’s work has hardly ended, but that’s no excuse for failing to be a lively companion.  Engage your husband in stimulating conversation ranging from news of the day to world events, but don’t appear too opinionated or knowledgeable about any given subject.  A good wife defers to her husband on all points, intellectual or otherwise.

After dinner, while the children are feeding half-eaten fried chicken parts to the dog, engage your husband in stimulating conversation, based on world events you have recently become aware of in the checkout line at the supermarket.  This might consist of one of the following:

Hillary Clinton just adopted an alien baby.

Bigfoot kept a lumberjack as a love slave.

Celebs are losing weight, consuming only hamsters and Diet Coke.


You have washed the dinner dishes and put them away.  You have bathed the children, read them bedtime stories, and put them to bed.  You have tidied up the house, and set the table for breakfast for tomorrow morning.  You have thrown a load of laundry in and have set out the children’s clothes for the next day. Your husband puts his paper down, turns off the TV and suggests that you “slip into something a little more comfortable.”  Entice him into the bedroom by forgoing your cold cream and curlers in favor of a seductive negligee.  Be a tantalizing temptress in those few short minutes before your husband falls asleep. Once he’s “out like a light” you can steal a few more “home work” minutes, rolling out the dough for tomorrow morning’s light and flaky Danish.  Then it’s off to bed for you, too.  After all, you’ll have to rise early to make sure he awakes to the smell of percolating coffee!

The dishes are congealing in the sink and on the dinner table. The children are bathed and you notice that one of them has pooped in the bath water.  The washing machine has been beeping , notifying you of the completion of a washing cycle that was begun  several days ago.  Your husband turns from the computer screen, where he has been watching triple X-rated videos of “Horney Housewives” who are spread-eagled, touching their body parts, and suggests that you “slip into something a little more comfortable.” You agree and change into sweatpants and a tee-shirt. You then seat yourself at your laptop, where you post all of today’s fun and angelic photos of your children on Facebook and change your status from “Married” to “Don’t Ask.”  You then update your profile on the “Horney Housewives” website.