The Price of A Happy Marriage and Phyllis Schlafly

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“With the high divorce rates of today, is a happy, lifetime marriage a realistically attainable goal?” This is the opening lines of a beautiful passage in Phyllis Schlafly’s 1977 book The Power of the Positive Woman (ISBN-13: 978-0870003738) entitled “The Price of A Happy Marriage.” Here is a book written by a sweetheart of the silent majority, arguing against the Equal Rights Amendment on the legal implications of the changes demanded by the radical feminists. Since Phyllis was and still is heavily involve in legal issues (she has a doctorate degree in law) much of the book cites historical bills, amendments, legal issues, and legal cases, there are passages on what it means to be a Positive Woman, whether one be a young, middle aged, and elderly positive woman.

The Price of A Happy Marriage is a 6 page subsection that reads like a portable, condensed version of all the great marriage books written between the late 50s and early 70s. Because this book is out of print and difficult to obtain, we are going to share a few of our favorite lines from the Happy Marriage with you. The following lines are some of sensible advice on promoting the traditional marriage as we here at the organization revere:

The Positive Woman knows that there are two main pillars of a happy marriage and that she has the capability to build both. The first is that a wife must appreciate and admire her husband. Whereas a woman’s chief emotional need is active (i.e., to love), a man’s prime emotional need is passive (i.e., to be appreciated or admired).

The Positive Woman recognizes this fundamental difference and builds her male/female relationship accordingly. She knows that this does not in any sense make her inferior, but that it is one key to personal fulfillment for both herself and her husband.

The answer is always very simple: She knows how to make him feel like a man—and to remember always that she is a woman.

A satisfying and rewarding relationship between a man and a woman can last through the years only if she is willing to give him the appreciation and the admiration his manhood craves. There are a thousand ways a woman can devise—public and private, obvious and subtle, physical and intellectual. It makes little difference how—so long as it is personal, pervasive, perennial, and genuine.

It is true (and properly so) that the husband is naturally possessive about his wife’s sexual favors, but he is seldom possessive of his wife’s mind, time, or talents….so long as he knows that he is Number One in her life, and that she needs him.

She acquired the key to her power when she erected that first pillar —admiration and appreciation of her husband as a man, as provider and protector, as the father of her children, and, yes, even as head of the household.

No other quality can do so much to ensure a happy marriage as a happy disposition.

One of the mistaken pieces of advice often given young people is “be yourself.” Maybe you are a hard-to-get-along-with person with an irritable disposition who spends the evening reciting and reliving the troubles of the day and blaming them on others. Don’t be yourself.- Be the person you would like to be—a cheerful person who sheds a little sunshine into an otherwise gloomy day, who sees the silver lining in every cloud, who keeps a sense of humor in the face of every reverse. A cheerful disposition will keep a happy marriage decades longer than a pretty face.

By the way, we stumbled upon a quotation from Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans which reminded us very much of the final Schlafly excerpt above: Here it is:

“They say people don’t change, that we are dominated by our genetic code. But you can’t hide from your faults forever. It’s probably best to just try to be the best versions of ourselves we can and not to dwell on the versions of ourselves we’d like to forget .” -Ugly Americans, Better Off Undead

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