Roles of Husbands and Wives in Victorian Marriage: The institution of marriage is one of the most important and revered in society. It is true that men and women are destined to live in perfect harmony with each other.
Thus marriage is a bond of purity and sanctity, one that is destined to fulfill every individual’s life. However, there are certain duties and responsibilities that are to be undertaken by wives as well as husbands in a marriage to ensure a beautiful and enjoyable life.
Roles of Husbands and Wives in Victorian Marriage
The Victorian Era was marked by the height of proper etiquettes and it was a time when there were certain rules to be followed by both husbands and wives.
The Duty of The Wife
- The wife was expected to never display her smiles, her best conduct and nature and her accomplishments exclusively away from home.
- She was expected to render proper sense and judgment while considering the expenses. The purchases had to be made carefully. The husband should be told what was bought so that he might understand that the money was expended wisely.
- The wife should not devote a large portion of the time to social work that would keep her away for the most of the time, especially the mornings and evenings without the full concurrence of the husband.
- The wife had to be beware of entrusting the confidence of the household to outside folks. If the faults of the husband were discussed with another, an element of discord will be admitted into the family circle that will wreck up the entire sanctity.
- The wife also had to make sure not to make an expensive display in the rooms. The wife had the power to decorate the house at a cheap price and according to her taste. The adornings of the private rooms were to be handled by the wife.
- The wife had to be aware of not bickering over little things. The husband returns to the house often absorbed in business. Often due to the nature of his business, he might be in the habit of instructing people and getting instructed. He might not realize the sudden change from the business to the house. So the wife should avoid all disputes whenever possible. The wife had the power to make the home charming and she could have the husband let her take care of that part.
- The wife should be very careful of the language and conduct. The husband would be largely restrained by the purity, chastity and the refinement of the wife.
- The lowering of dignity and the looseness of expression and the vulgarity of words might greatly affect the standard of the husband’s purity of morals and speech.
- The wife should treat the husband with a smile on her face as he returns home. She could make her personal appearance as good as possible. She could let him find the rooms attractive and it would give a nice impact on him.
- The wife should not be estimating the husband solely on the ability to make a display. The nature of the employment and the person himself might not be favorable to put up a fine show, but that should not matter. The qualities of the mind and heart alone would bring happiness.
- The husband might also bring a guest at home and the wife should take upon the duty of entertaining the visitor with warm hospitality to make the husband take pride in her. The wife should not just be a good housekeeper, but a great companion.
The Duties of the Husband
- The husband really has a lot of responsibilities to take care of. A loved daughter had been entrusted to the man by doting parents and a trusting woman has risked her future. It depends on him to ensure whether her path would be strewn with roses or thorns.
- The wife should be fully made aware of the husband’s business. The husband would find a great adviser in her if she understands all the circumstances.
- The husband cannot be dictatorial in the family cycle. The home is the province of the wife and her field of labor. It should be left to her discretion about how she would like to have it managed.
- The husband should take a kind word to manage all disputes. He should not seek to carry the point while discussing. Controlling temper is a great achievement. It would allow you to find your errors and the wife would find her when she is cooler.
- After the husband had confided to the wife about all his business affairs, she should talk with her about the income every year. She should be allowed a weekly sum not only to pay the bills but so that she can have a spirit of independence. The husband could be sure that she would not use the money unwisely if she was given full confidence.
- The wife might be delicate of health and what would not concern you much might weigh down heavily upon her. Thus she must be given the tenderest of approvals and sympathy and advice. Her efforts and merits should be appreciated. Her condition of health might make the wife get crossed and the husband would need to overlook this even if she becomes unreasonable.
- The husband should endeavor to regulate household affairs so that she can have her labors of the day done so that he can accompany her to places of entertainment. Thus the social nature of the two will be improved.