Would You Have Had A Good Marriage In The Victorian Era?

Let’s see if you know how to treat a bride.

In 1897, Sylvanus Stall published a book called What A Young Husband Ought To Know. It
was a guidebook for young men on how they should approach their
marital duties, including sex, procreation, fidelity, “care of
the bride,” and “questions concerning offspring.”

So, answer these questions about women, men, wives, and
husbands, and find out if you would’ve made the kind of husband
Stall approved of, or if you would’ve known how to spot one for


That she is given to hysteria and flights of fancy

The articulation of her bones and the size of her



The articulation of her bones and the size of her

Stall wrote that “the form of her body, the articulation of
her bones and the size of her muscles” all indicate her
sense of dependance upon man (which is why man’s divine
purpose is to protect and defend women).


Woman provides wit and whimsy, man provides

Woman keeps life stable, man keeps it from stagnation

Woman is naturally temperate, man is attracted to
alcoholic drink

Woman is defiant, man is naturally law-abiding



Woman keeps life stable, man keeps it from stagnation.

The author says that one of the reasons men and women
complement each other so well is that man’s nature is one
of impetuosity and velocity while woman’s is one of
stability and permanency. WHO’S HYSTERICAL NOW, GENTS?


Stall writes that this theory is contrary to the laws of
God and nature and is not even worthy of consideration by
“fair-minded and decent people.” This checks out even by
21st century standards tbh.


Having sex with their husbands

Allowing their husbands equal responsibility in

Corporal punishment of children (spanking, the belt,



Women are generally indifferent — and often absolutely
averse — to having sex with their husbands.

According to the author, “In married life, all the sexual
aggressiveness is with the male.” So while the husband
always wants to have sex, the wife could take it or leave
it (but would strongly prefer to leave it entirely). 🙁


Sacrifice personal luxuries such as the saloon,
lodge, and club so that he might enjoy home and
hearth with his wife and family

Partake occasionally on the delights of the saloon,
lodge, and club, so that he might afford a
much-needed release from the responsibilities of his
occupation and his familial duties



To ensure a happy marriage, a husband must sacrifice
personal luxuries.

A husband must sacrifice luxuries and self-indulgences so
that he might share with his wife and family “the comforts
and blessings of their home.” Sorry, fellas.


Sexual relations outside the marriage

Excessive sexual indulgence between husbands and



Excessive sexual indulgence drains physical powers and
weakens the intellect.

It is for this reason that Stall recommends that married
couples “restrain the consummation of the reproductive


To share a bed only large enough for both persons;
overlarge beds are thought to encourage
non-procreative sex

Depending on how well the husband can control his
sexual urges, to sleep in separate beds or rooms



Couples should sleep in either separate beds or rooms,
depending on whether the husband can control himself.

In fact, if the husband is unable to control his “amorous
propensities,” the couple should sleep in separate rooms
with an adjoining door that only the wife has a key to.
Extreme or just right?


Desire to refrain from sexual overindulgence

Headache, exhaustion, or dizziness



Chronic constipation causes women to eschew sex with
their husbands.

“There can be but little doubt that much marital
indifference upon the part of wives is due to chronic
constipation, which is so prevalent among women.” There you
have it. Hey, I mean, chronic constipation isn’t exactly an


Waiting three days after the wedding to consummate
the marriage

Passing time unchaperoned before the wedding day

Refraining from all sexual contact (including kissing
and petting) before marriage

Seeking both a father’s and a mother’s permission to
ask a woman for her hand in marriage



Waiting three days after the wedding to consummate the

According to Stall: “It would allow the exhausted, nervous,
timid bride to bring to the consummation of the marriage
relation renewed vigor and mental composure. It would
prepare the mind of the young husband for such
self-possession and restraint as would be becoming in this
new relation…” Three days, folks. Mark your calendars.


Glowing / even more handsome than before they were
with child

A terror / sexually repellant

Highly emotional / Exhausting



When pregnant, some women become a terror to their
husbands, as well as sexually repellant.

The author explains: “During gestation some women are a
terror to their husbands, and render themselves miserable,
and all about them uncomfortable and unhappy. During this
period the wife ceases to be physically attractive, and for
her own protection and the protection of the embryo, nature
makes the wife sexually repellant.” No, YOU’RE SEXUALLY




It is a father’s duty to look after his own children.

In fact, “It is not only the father’s duty, but it ought
also to be his pleasure, to look after his own children.”
Stall drives his point home further with this zinger at
uninvolved fathers: “Some husbands speak of ‘the baby’ as
though it belonged wholly to the wife, and not to them. The
thought of caring for or tending the child seems to be as
foreign to their minds as though it were a child adopted by
their wives from a foundling asylum.”


If the child was born in an even month, six weeks; if
it was born in an odd month, seven weeks

Six weeks after the birth of a male child and three
months after the birth of a female child

Until his wife declares herself ready to resume



Sex should resume six weeks after the birth of a male
child and three months after the birth of a female

This rule, Stall points out, comes from the Old Testament
and even though no one is sure of its origins or meaning,
“we can rest assured that there are good and sufficient
reasons, whether they be physical, social, sanitary, or
political” for the guidelines to exist, and therefore, to
be followed.


“while a new body is being developed.” (i.e. Don’t
have sex with your wife while she is pregnant.)

“while your wife be experiencing her monthly
expulsions.” (i.e. Don’t have sex with your wife
while she has her period.)

“by engaging in sexual intercourse without the
intention of planting your seed.” (i.e. Don’t have
non-procreative sex.)



“while a new body is being developed.”

The quote comes from a paragraph in which Stall explains
that it goes against the law of nature and God for a man to
have sex with his pregnant wife. He says: “Do not, I pray
you, oh, parents, do this unclean thing. Do not taint your
clean bodies, do not foul your pure souls with the lustful
of your natures, while a new body is being developed, a new
soul being organized.” Noted.


Overindulgence in alcohol

Excessive masturbation and sex

Excessive communication via the tele-phone



Excessive masturbation and sex can cause impotence.

Or, as Stall refers to it, “excessive solitary and social
vice,” which can weaken and debilitate the “masculine
function.” Big, if true.


Refraining from indulging in alcoholic beverages and
spicy food.

Exercise followed by a bath and vigorous rubbing of
the skin



Exercise followed by a bath and vigorous rubbing of the

Thinking too much about sex diverts blood flow from the
brain and muscles and causes depletion and drain in the
husband. On the other hand, exercising will “send the blood
into all parts of the body, and let the vigorous rubbing
after the bath produce a healthy glow, and contribute to
good health and to the attainment and maintenance of a
well-rounded manhood.” Got that? Post-shower rubbing will
dampen sexual desire.

Would You Have Had A Good Marriage In The Victorian Era?
You don’t know a ton about being a Victorian-era

Which is not the end of the world considering it’s 2017. But
maybe you learned a thing or two!

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You know your way around a Victorian marriage.

You have a pretty alright grasp on being a husband ~120 years
ago~. You either have great Victorian instincts or you’ve
read/watched a lot of Jane Austen.

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Wow, what are you, some kind of Victorian

You really know what’s up when it comes to expectations for
husbands in the Victorian era. VERY impressive.

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