Conserving Love - The Basis Of Marital Happiness
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
LOVE is absolutely essential to the maintenance of marital happiness. There can be no real marriage without a strong, deep affection, and the intimate relations involved can-not be properly or satisfactorily continued with-out love. Love is a cementing force, a magnetic power that draws each sex toward the other. Therefore the first essential in perpetuating the joys and delights associated with true marriage is to acquire the knowledge necessary for the conservation of the love and attraction which each has for the other.
Love performs a very definite and serious purpose—the perpetuation of the human race. When we are enthralled with the exaltation associated with the intimate relations of marriage, we are simply being used as instruments for the performance of a well-defined, practical purpose. Each human atom is brought into the world through such influences. If love should disappear, there would be no more homes, filled with joy; there would be no more prattling, musical, childish voices; the race would soon dwindle away into nothingness and oblivion.
The keenest pleasures in all human life are found in the anticipations of marriage. But the actual union, unfortunately, dulls the keen ardor of the lovers in many cases. Now, the delights of marriage are maintained only as a result of adherence to the well-defined, physiological laws that have been set forth in preceding chapters. So long as we adhere to these natural laws, just so long can we expect to partake of these joys. In other words, to make permanent the happiness of marriage, we must perpetuate love. And this requires that there shall be no mistakes, abuses or violations of God-given laws.
Love is the one solution of all marriage problems. Conserving love is the only way to insure happiness. There is much talk everywhere about marriage and divorce, preachers and writers in practically every case beating about the bush and assiduously avoiding the important fact that marital happiness and love are largely dependent upon a normal and happy sex life. This is fundamental. It is an unsatisfactory sexual relationship, or lack of sexual harmony, that is responsible for many divorces. Some authorities who have spent a lifetime studying this question emphatically declare that sexual difficulties are at the bottom of every case of divorce, without exception. Of course that is an extreme statement, but there is no question that it is true in many cases. Health and a normal life form the basis of happiness in the home, and health depends upon freedom from excesses or abuses and strict obedience to the physiological laws of marriage.
Marriage is not simply a social compact, a mat-ter of mere companionship, as some would like to suppose. It is not founded on "Platonic love." The element of union is an indispensable factor. There is no real marriage without it. True marriage is a relationship that involves the mental, spiritual, social and physical union of the two par-ties concerned.
When the sexual relationship is not of the perfect and absolutely satisfactory nature that I have described in preceding pages, there is less likely to be possible a continuation of the strong conjugal love that should exist in any true marriage. Even when a healthy man and woman attempt to live a completely continent life, they will usually run the risk of a decline in the love that they may first have had, or of a loss of happiness. It is true that in some cases a couple may be able to tolerate such a condition and live together peaceably, but at the same time such an existence would not be "marriage" in the true sense.
In a great number of marriages it may require considerable time and patience to insure a perfect physical union. Many women in the beginning are not sufficiently awakened or developed to properly and thoroughly enjoy the marriage, and for this . reason the love-making of courtship days must in all cases precede any marital intimacies. When the man's caresses do not excite desire in his wife, then there should be no relations of this sort. When the husband is unusually passionate and in consequence inconsiderate, he fails to awaken in his wife the emotional response which makes the association truly a divine relationship. If he forces these relations upon her when they are not desired, or when they may be actually repugnant to her, he may lose permanently the opportunity or possibility of developing in her the power to reciprocate his ardor. Marriage under such circumstances becomes a sordid, dull and commonplace existence. No more will they feel the lovers' delight in each other's presence; no more will they experience the thrill that is found in the touch of the hand of a sweetheart; gone is the spirit of romance from life.
To conserve love you must be a considerate lover, you must recognize the guiding hand of feminine instincts, you must refrain from the marriage relation except during those particular periods when your wife can reciprocate your advances. They make the marriage tie permanent. They bind it more securely than a thousand legal knots. And, after all, it is only a relationship of this binding sort that sanctifies marriage.
You must expect that the results of such intimacies will be conception and pregnancy. You should be prepared to accept such responsibilities. If you are using any means to prevent conception which makes the relationship incomplete, or prevents it from thoroughly satisfying both parties, then you can rest assured that you are traveling a dangerous road, one that is leading toward the divorce courts. You are slowly but surely severing the tie that binds you to your sweetheart.
As I have said, during the particular periods in each month when the feminine passions are naturally active, there are no particular rules to be laid down for guiding husband and wife. Her instincts should rule. As a rule indulgences at such times should be guided entirely by mutual desires. The number of intimacies is not of such great importance, provided they are confined to these periods. It is where these intimacies occur at other times, or where they are incomplete as well as a source of dissatisfaction to husband and wife, that harmful results can be expected.
As has been previously stated many who understand something of the possibilities of pregnancy resulting from marital relations just be-fore and for some days following menstruation, make a practice of confining such intimacies to a short period beginning about two weeks after the cessation of the menses. But remember that at such times it is abnormal for the wife either to desire or to reciprocate in the relationship, and therefore it cannot be other than devitalizing to the husband. Very early in life I had an emphatic lesson in regard to the effect of this practice. An acquaintance of mine dilated upon- his cleverness in thus avoiding the parental responsibilities usually associated with marriage. At that time I was inclined to admire him for his supposed superior intelligence. I lost sight of this man for some years and when next I heard of him he was in an insane asylum. There is no doubt that his misfortune was the result, partly at least, of his habit of confining the marital relation to this improper period.
Most of what I have said in this chapter refers chiefly to those marriages in which there is a full development of the normal sexual instinct in both husband and wife. It must be admitted that the conventional view of this subject is of such a nature that the feminine instincts are frequently perverted, and that, consequently, serious mistakes are made in nearly all marriages. Some women fail to develop passion or the power of reciprocation, while others develop the reverse attitude. In other words, the latter seem to acquire a capacity for reciprocating the advances of the husband at almost any time. The inability of the wife to experience passion is a grievous condition, but the reverse state is even worse. When passion can be reciprocated by the wife at almost any time, there is almost sure to be excessive sexual indulgence with devitalizing effect upon the husband, and frequently also upon the wife, especially when conception and pregnancy do not intervene. Naturally, in such cases, it is strongly advisable for the husband as well as the wife to exercise all possible self-restraint. The use of separate beds and every other available means of avoiding temptation may be recommended. And particularly all relations should be confined to the time just previous to menstruation and a few days thereafter.
Love is the strongest of all enslaving forces. It ties a man to his mate in a manner that is alluringly irresistible, and the survival of this bond of love through the years of life should be an object of paramount importance in every marriage. If a man and his wife will follow closely the physiological laws which govern their relations, as they have been pointed out in these pages, and as they are definitely indicated both by conditions in the animal world and by our own normal human instincts, there is no reason why they should not keep this love alive to the end of their days together, and thereby find in marriage all of the happiness which we naturally anticipate from it.