Searchlights on Health/When and Whom to Marry
WHEN AND WHOM TO MARRY.
1. EARLY MARRIAGES.—Women too early married always remain small in stature, weak, pale, emaciated, and more or less miserable. We have no natural nor moral right to perpetuate unhealthy constitutions, therefore women should not marry too young and take upon themselves the responsibility, by producing a weak and feeble generation of children. It is better not to consummate a marriage until a full development of body and mind has taken place. A young woman of twenty-one to twenty-five, and a young man of twenty-three to twenty-eight, are considered the right age in order to produce an intelligent and healthy offspring. "First make the tree good, then shall the fruit be good also."
2. If marriage is delayed too long in either sex, say from thirty to forty-five, the offspring will often be puny and more liable to insanity, idiocy, and other maladies.
3. PUBERTY.—This is the period when childhood passes from immaturity of the sexual functions to maturity. Woman attains this state a year or two sooner than man. In the hotter climates the period of puberty is from twelve to fifteen years of age, while in cold climates, such as Russia, the United States, and Canada, puberty is frequently delayed until the seventeenth year.
4. DISEASED PARENTS.—We do the race a serious wrong in multiplying the number of hereditary invalids. Whole families of children have fallen heir to lives of misery and suffering by the indiscretion and poor judgment of parents. No young man in the vigor of health should think for a moment of marrying a girl who has the impress of consumption or other disease already stamped upon her feeble constitution. It only multiplies his own suffering, and brings no material happiness to his invalid wife. On the other hand, no healthy, vigorous young woman ought to unite her destiny with a man, no matter how much she adored him, who is not healthy and able to brave the hardships of life. If a young man or young woman with feeble body cannot find permanent relief either by medicine or change of climate, no thoughts of marriage should be entertained. Courting a patient may be pleasant, but a hard thing in married life to enjoy. The young lady who supposes that any young man wishes to marry her for the sake of nursing her through life makes a very grave mistake.
5. WHOM TO CHOOSE FOR A HUSBAND.—The choice of a husband requires the coolest judgment and the most vigilant sagacity. A true union based on organic law is happiness, but let all remember that oil and water will not mix: the lion will not lie down with the lamb, nor can ill-assorted marriages be productive of aught but discord.
- "Let the woman take
- An elder than herself, so wears she to him—
- So sways she, rules in her husband's heart."
Look carefully at the disposition.—See that your intended Spouse is kind-hearted, generous, and willing to respect the opinions of others, though not in sympathy with them. Don't marry a selfish tyrant who thinks only of himself.
6. BE CAREFUL.—Don't marry an intemperate man with a view of reforming him. Thousands have tried it and failed. Misery, sorrow and a very hell on earth have been the consequences of too many such generous undertakings.
7. THE TRUE AND ONLY TEST which any man should look for in woman is modesty in demeanor before marriage, absence both of assumed ignorance and disagreeable familiarity, and a pure and religious frame of mind. Where these are present, he need not doubt that he has a faithful and a chaste wife.
8. MARRYING FIRST COUSINS is dangerous to offspring. The observation is universal, the children of married first cousins are too often idiots, insane, clump-footed, crippled, blind, or variously diseased. First cousins are always sure to impart all the hereditary disease in both families to their children. If both are healthy there is less danger.
9. DO NOT CHOOSE ONE TOO GOOD, or too far above you, lest the inferior dissatisfying the superior, breed those discords which are worse than the trials of a single life. Don't be too particular; for you might go farther and fare worse. As far as you yourself are faulty, you should put up with faults. Don't cheat a consort by getting one much better than you can give. We are not in heaven yet, and must put up with their imperfections, and instead of grumbling at them, be glad they are no worse; remembering that a faulty one is a great deal better than none, if he loves you.
10. MARRYING FOR MONEY.—Those who seek only the society of those who can boast of wealth will nine times out of ten suffer disappointment. Wealth cannot manufacture true love nor money buy domestic happiness. Marry because you love each other, and God will bless your home. A cottage with a loving wife is worth more than a royal palace with a discontented and unloving queen.
11. DIFFERENCE IN AGE.—It is generally admitted that the husband should be a few years older than the wife. The question seems to be how much difference. Up to twenty-two those who propose marriage should be about the same age; however, other things being equal, a difference of fifteen years after the younger is twenty-five, need not prevent a marriage. A man of forty-five may marry a woman of twenty-five much more safely than one of thirty a girl below nineteen, because her mental sexuality is not as mature as his, and again her natural coyness requires more delicate and affectionate treatment than he is likely to bestow. A girl of twenty or under should seldom if ever marry a man of thirty or over, because the love of an elderly man for a girl is more parental than conjugal; while hers for him is like that of a daughter to a father. He may pet, flatter and indulge her as he would a grown-up daughter, yet all this is not genuine masculine and feminine love, nor can she exert over him the influence every man requires from his wife.
12. THE BEST TIME.—All things considered, we advise the male reader to keep his desires in check till he is at least twenty-five, and the female not to enter the pale of wedlock until she has attained the age of twenty. After those periods, marriage is the proper sphere of action, and one in which nearly every individual is called by nature to play his proper part.
13. SELECT CAREFULLY.—While character, health, accomplishments and social position should be considered, yet one must not overlook mental construction and physical conformation. The rule always to be followed in choosing a life partner is identity of taste and diversity of temperament. Another essential is that they be physically adapted to each other. For example: The pelvis—that part of the anatomy containing all the internal organs of gestation—is not only essential to beauty and symmetry, but is a matter of vital importance to her who contemplates matrimony, and its usual consequences. Therefore, the woman with a very narrow and contracted pelvis should never choose a man of giant physical development lest they cannot duly realize the most important of the enjoyments of the marriage state, while the birth of large infants will impose upon her intense labor pains, or even cost her her life.