The Project Gutenberg eBook of How to Pick a Mate, by Clifford Rose Adams

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: How to Pick a Mate

The Guide to a Happy Marriage

Authors: Clifford Rose Adams

Vance O. Packard

Release Date: February 22, 2022 [eBook #67472]

Language: English

Produced by: hekula03, Tim Lindell and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This book was produced from images made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library.)



The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

cover created by the transcriber

How to Pick a Mate





Associate Professor of Psychology and Director
of the Marriage Counseling Service, Pennsylvania
State College. Member of the American
Association of Marriage Counselors. Director
of the Woman’s Home Companion Marriage



Staff Writer, The American Magazine


Copyright, 1946, by E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc.

All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.


NO PART of this book may be reproduced
in any form without permission in writing
from the publisher, except by a reviewer
who wishes to quote brief passages in connection
with a review written for inclusion in
magazine or newspaper or radio broadcast.

Who Have Yet to Pick Their Mates



List of Tests 9
Foreword 11
I. Why Marry, Anyhow? 15
II. Your Chances of Getting a Mate You’ll Like 23
III. Are You Ready for Married Love? 38
IV. Is It Love—or Infatuation? 47
V. Growing Up Sexually 55
VI. Sex Adventuring 63
VII. Do You Frighten Possible Mates Away? 74
VIII. Attracting the One You Want 83
IX. Is the One You Want the One You Need? 91
X. Crucial Traits for a Happy Marriage 98
XI. Test Your Mate and Yourself 107
XII. Now, See How You Match as a Couple! 124
XIII. Beware of Mixed Marriages 139
XIV. Nine Dangerous Characters 146
XV. People Who Should Not Marry at All 156
XVI.[8] Will a Job Undermine Your Marriage? 165
XVII. The Veteran as a Mate 174
XVIII. So You Agree to Marry: What Next? 183
XIX. Getting Ready for Married Intimacy 189
XX. Getting Off to a Good Start 195
After Thoughts 204
Appendix A: Selected Bibliography 206
Appendix B: Marriage Counseling Agencies 211
Index 213


List of Tests

II. 1. What Is Your Expectancy of Marriage? 35
III. 2. Are You Old Enough to Marry? 44
III. 3. Are You Grown Up Emotionally? 44
IV. 4. Are You Really in Love? 52
VI. 5. Are You Warm or Cool by Nature? 72
VII. 6. Do You Have a Negative or Positive Personality? 81
VIII. 7. What Traits to Look for in Mates (check list) 87
X. 8. Ten Basic Background Questions 100
XI. 9. Sociability 107
XI. 10. Conformity 108
XI. 11. Tranquillity 109
XI. 12. Dependability 110
XI. 13. Stability 111
XI. 14. Standards and Ideals 112
XI. 15. Steadiness 113
XI. 16. Flexibility 114
XI. 17. Seriousness 114
XI. 18. Family Background 115
XI. 19. Prediction of Individual Marital Happiness (Composite)  116
XII. 20. Do You Match? 127
XII. 21. Are You Well Mated? 136
XIV. 22. Are You Too Jealous? 154
XV. 23. Is the Mate a Neurotic? 163
Appendix A. Books You May Wish to Read 206
Appendix B. Marriage Counseling Agencies 211



As far as we know this is the first time anyone has written a book attempting to put mate selection on a sensible basis, despite the fact that sooner or later almost everybody selects one.

A good many people resent the idea of an outsider telling them how they should pick a mate. They think it smacks of meddling. Marriage is something sacred and personal. It should not be done according to rules. We heartily sympathize.

Unfortunately, however, marriages are not made in Heaven. Usually people marry by hunch or impulse ... or because their parents think it is a good match ... or because they get themselves so deeply involved romantically that marrying seems the only proper thing to do.

Too frequently such methods merely mess up a couple of people’s lives. More than a third of all the millions of marriages undertaken in the last ten years are in trouble. Many are already dissolved. Many more soon will be.

A great deal of research and counseling has now been done in the field of marriage, and the findings validated. At Penn State, for example, hundreds of couples who were tested before marriage at the Marriage Counseling Service are checked periodically after marriage to find how they are making out. Of all the marriages which the service predicted would be successful, not one has yet ended in divorce or separation. Most of the people who went ahead despite the clinic’s cautions are already in serious trouble or have been divorced.

As a result of many such investigations, reliable information is[12] available on the kinds of people who make the best mates, and on the causes of marriage success and failure.

In this book we have tried to include those findings which should be most helpful and interesting to all people involved in love or marriage—but particularly to people who sooner or later will be taking unto themselves a mate. It is not our intention to lay down a set of rules for people to follow. But we hope that after reading this book you will be more enlightened in your hunches than you might be otherwise, and be a much happier and more desirable mate yourself!


How to Pick a Mate


Chapter I
Why Marry, Anyhow?

Mating is as old as Eve. In fact it is the oldest and most popular custom ever devised by mankind. Even in the most isolated tribes that explorers have uncovered on this globe adult males pair up with females to live together as man and wife.

In many areas of the world, it is true, marriages are still arranged by the elders, often at a neat financial profit to the bride’s parents. Freedom of choice in mating is a newfangled idea. And in Madagascar the groom is warned at the wedding that he can beat the bride all he pleases, but if he breaks any bones or gouges any eyes she has a perfect right to go home to mother. Yet even there mating is popular.

Though marriage is the most universal institution known to man increasing numbers of Americans are shunning it by divorce or otherwise. About ten per cent of our marriageable men have become unbudgeable bachelors. The number of women who are choosing careers to marriage is soaring. Moreover there are 1,500,000 men and women in America who tried marriage and are now living apart in divorce. Many others were divorced, then remarried.

Thus “Why marry, anyhow?” is today a fair question. So let’s face right at the start the main reasons why people do not marry, or stay married.

Many people do not marry because they don’t relish the idea of giving up their freedom, their independence. Some men do not like the idea of being “saddled” with family responsibilities and being “tied down” to one woman. Likewise, some women have become so accustomed to living alone—and are so reluctant to give up[16] careers—that they hesitate to give up their independence, until it is too late.

Many other girls and men do not marry because they are too particular. Often they have a “phantasy ideal” of the mate they want and can’t find such an interested party in real life. Girls for example often sigh that they want a man “tall, dark and handsome—and graying at the temples.” Without realizing it at least a quarter of all girls yearn for a man who looks like their own father. And a quarter of the men pick someone who looks vaguely like their own mother.

There are still other people who don’t marry because they lack a decent opportunity. Girls who choose nursing as a career, for example, cut their marriage prospects at least fifty per cent. It is much the same for librarians and social workers. In fact a girl can reduce her chances of marriage merely by going to a girls’ college.

Then there is a large group who do not marry because they have been disappointed in love—perhaps an early love affair ended in disappointment or grief. It produced a psychological scar that prevented the person from achieving happiness through marriage with anyone else. The death of Ann Rutledge shook Abraham Lincoln so profoundly that though he finally married years later, for appearances’ sake, he was a miserable husband. A boy who imagines himself passionately in love and then is jilted by a girl who doesn’t even let him down gently may lose faith and crawl into a psychological shell in his relations with other women.

One college girl became enamored, during her sophomore year, of a prominent man-about-campus. She came from a fine Philadelphia family and was an attractive, sincere girl. But she was very naïve. This man began rushing her. He took her to parties at his fraternity, took her for several moonlight rides in his roadster, and told her she was the girl he had always dreamed of. Within three weeks she had lost her virginity. In a few more weeks he had lost interest and was off to make new conquests, and she came to the sickening realization that he had merely been exploiting her love for physical pleasure. Disillusioned, she had to change colleges to keep from facing her friends. She did not tell this story to the counselors[17] at the Penn State Marriage Counseling Service (“Compatibility Clinic”) until two years later. During those two years she had been so crushed and full of bitterness that she had not let another man touch or even kiss her.

Occasionally men and women do not marry because they have family responsibilities—perhaps a widowed mother or younger orphaned brothers and sisters—which make them feel they can’t afford, or have no right, to take on a mate.

Still others have physical handicaps. There are some handicaps, of course, that are severe enough to be a real handicap, like the loss of both arms, but more often the handicaps are not serious in themselves. They are serious because the possessor magnifies them in his mind and begins feeling inadequate and inferior. The same applies to a person who thinks he is ugly. Irregular facial features in themselves are never a serious handicap if their possessor has self-confidence and a pleasant personality.

The main reason why people do not marry, however, is that they have an unhealthy attitude which makes it virtually impossible for them to adjust themselves happily to thoughts of marriage. They are full of fears about the obligations that marriage may bring.

Some are too selfish or too egocentric to be able to compromise; and in marriage as in any partnership the partners must be able to sacrifice their private desires for the common cause. Marriage is no place for prima donnas.

Other poorly adjusted persons are incapable of accepting the many responsibilities that go with marriage. Perhaps their mother or father tied them down so closely as a child that they never had a chance to develop their own feeling of self-sufficiency and independence. There are parents who cannot turn their children loose. They object to dating until the youngsters have become so old that learning to get along with the other sex is difficult.

Such children have a fixation for the parents and cannot see another person entering the picture as a possible substitute or replacement. This is called the Oedipus complex and it is no bogey dreamed up by psychologists. A boy may not marry because he is still jealously in “love” with his own mother. A girl may not marry[18] because she is in “love” with her father. This kind of fixation is made more acute when the parent is selfish or lonely and builds a network around the child which makes escape impossible.

There are some people who are suspicious or jealous by nature. Their emotional instability usually frightens away prospective mates.

Many other people, particularly girls, have an unhealthy attitude toward marriage because they are frightened by the physical intimacies that go with marriage. A 29-year-old wife who had been married four years confessed recently that she dreaded the thought of physical intimacy with her husband. She had moved to another room and was in a rebellious mood. This wife unconsciously revealed a clue to her coldness when she related remarks her mother had made to her during girlhood. The mother had talked of her own agonies during the girl’s birth and had told how the process had injured her internally. The mother had talked of physical intimacy as one of the burdens a wife has to bear. One night, when the girl had been thus conditioned, a date stopped his car on a side road and tried to caress her. She was terrified. Now, twelve years later and formally married, she was still on guard.

The war gave many young people an unhealthy attitude toward marriage. A desire for a “last fling” impelled many of them to promiscuous behavior that has left them with psychological scars. Some men saw so many “loose” women near their stations and embarkation ports (and frequently had affairs themselves with such women) that their attitude toward all women was cheapened. Other young people—both male and female—were separated so long from contact with the opposite sex that they developed—or feared they had developed—unnatural feelings toward members of the same sex; or thought they lost the knack of making themselves seem attractive to girls or men, whichever the opposite may be.

A good many veterans saw so much of war and its destruction that they became cynical of human life and pessimistic about the future. This put them in an extremely poor mood to think of mating.

Yet to millions of other veterans war made marriage seem terribly attractive. After leading a shifting existence where nothing seemed real or permanent, the lasting, unchanging things in life appeared[19] more significant than ever before. Marriage, ideally, is one of the most permanent things in life. It gives a person a chance to sink roots.

This brings us to the other side of the picture: why people do marry. There are thirty million married couples in America today, and they didn’t get married just because it is the customary thing to do.

Marriage must have something to offer. If you doubt it consider these facts:

—Married people normally live longer than single people. According to the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company report of 1937, twice as many single men from thirty to forty-five die as married men in the same age bracket. For women between thirty and sixty-five the married women have a ten per cent advantage over the single women. Twice as many widowers die as do men who remain married.

—Fewer married people go to jail than single people.

—Fewer go crazy.

—Fewer commit suicide.

These facts would certainly indicate that married people are happier, better adjusted persons than unmarried persons, despite all the tales about henpecked husbands and browbeaten wives.

Then there are some very practical, hard-boiled reasons why it pays to marry.

For one thing it is cheaper for two people to live together than to live separately. It costs only two-thirds as much.

By marrying, a man becomes a better employment risk. Married men usually are regarded as more steady, more trustworthy employees than single men. This is logical. Marriage exerts a stabilizing influence on most men. An employer can assume that since a married man has taken on the responsibilities of a family he is a better risk than a man who has shown no ability to assume responsibilities. Another point is that the married man is less apt to leave a good job than a single man.

Furthermore a married person is regarded more favorably socially than a bachelor or spinster. This is not just a “ganging up” of[20] spouses against anyone not similarly coupled, though that may be a factor. It’s a fact that there is a greater feeling of belongingness to the community for the married person than for the bachelor or spinster. A married man is better able to entertain acquaintances in his own home. And right or wrong most people feel there is something a bit unnatural about an adult remaining unmarried. Psychiatrists agree that except in exceptional cases women who live alone will become neurotic and frustrated. Living alone is an abnormal state for a woman. (She overcomes this hazard only by accepting her fate realistically and setting out intelligently to find enrichment and satisfaction in life.)

Married people are less lonely than single people because they have someone with whom to share life’s dull as well as exciting moments and to share their problems and hopes and ambitions.

Also married couples who raise families frequently have an insurance against old age—the knowledge that in their growing children there will be someone to take care of them if necessary.

Life is also more comfortable if you are married than if single, at least for a man. It provides him with home cooking in his own home and someone to keep his socks in order.

A basic argument for marriage is that it offers a logical division of labor. Imagine how much more complicated and inconvenient life would be if men had to do their own cooking and sewing, and women—all women—had to compete with men for a livelihood!

Finally marriage offers a legalized way to achieve sexual satisfaction. Men and women can receive relief from their bodily tensions without the terrible feelings of guilt, anxiety and remorse that often accompany unmarried love. That’s something. Modern psychology recognizes that sexual satisfaction is more than a physiological process of reproducing one’s kind. It is a psychologically satisfying activity and releases many nervous tensions as well as tensions brought about by hormonal or glandular needs.

Those then are the obvious, practical reasons why marriage is so universally popular. But beyond those are some important but less understood cravings which marriage satisfies.


—Beyond the desire for sex satisfaction, for example, is the yearning of both men and women to share the love and affection of somebody of the opposite sex, someone who takes a genuine interest in them. This sometimes is called a need for sexually colored companionship. This is why married people don’t feel the need to run around to shows and parties the way single people do. They have their own companionship within the family. Mark Twain, in his amusing “Extracts from Adam’s Diary” showed the bond created by such companionship when he quoted Adam as reminiscing:

“At first I thought Eve talked too much but ... after all these years I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning. It is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.... Wheresoever she is, there is Eden.”

—A desire for mastery on the part of most men and a desire to be led on the part of most women is another psychological motive that is satisfied by marriage. It is the thrill of mastery that causes a youth to careen dangerously down the highway at eighty miles an hour or to ride a horse at a break-neck gallop.

—There is a desire for pride that is satisfied by saying “my husband,” or “my wife,” or “my oldest kid.”

—There is a desire for security, a need both real and psychological, that afflicts all of us. We all like to know that there is someone who will look after us when we are sick, someone to comfort us when we are grieved, someone to help us when we are weary. Women particularly feel this need for security. In fact some observers who work a great deal in testing the reactions of women to the problems of life say that in women this yearning for security overshadows everything else. Women feel the need for security so much more keenly because, if nothing else, they are the “weaker” sex. They are more dependent on men for their livelihood.

Our returning veterans feel an intense need for another kind of security which marriage can give. After years of uncertainty, shifting, and tearing down of life and property they desperately want to get a hold on something permanent, and to many of them marriage looks like the very best way to do it.

—For much the same reasons veterans want to raise families. After so much destruction they want to build, they want to create life, life bearing[22] their own likeness, life that will continue after they are gone. Watching and guiding one’s own children while they grow up is one of the greatest pleasures of marriage. A couple who deliberately abstains from having children is a selfish couple. Surveys show they mostly do it out of selfishness, the desire of the wife for a career or “dislike for children.” These reasons are those we would expect from maladjusted people. Certainly by voluntarily remaining childless they miss one of the greatest chances to achieve a happy marriage.

By achieving a happy marriage and having children many people make up for the frustrations and disappointments they have received from life, their dissatisfaction with their job and their own childhood. Children bring them compensation for their own failures.

—Finally, marriage enables two people to work together in setting up common goals and—by dreaming, planning, struggling—to achieve those goals. Perhaps the goal is to build a home or take a vacation trip to South America together or to put a son through college. The specific goals are not important. The enrichment comes from the two people’s merging their hopes and efforts toward one mutually-desired goal.

Getting married is one of the biggest steps a person takes in life. In fact, for most people life boils down to coping with three big problems:

—Learning to get along with people.

—Choosing a career and succeeding in it.

—Picking a mate and living happily thereafter.

The three are interdependent. Marriage counselors have noticed the significant fact that the individual who makes friends readily, who likes his work and is successful in it, is also the person who tends to choose an excellent mate for himself and work out with that mate a happy marriage.


Chapter II
Your Chances of Getting a Mate You’ll Like

First, you might ask, what are your chances of getting a mate of any kind? If you are a man, and are interested, you can be almost one hundred per cent certain you will marry. More than ten per cent of the eligible men today won’t marry, but that will largely be due to the fact that they prefer to remain bachelors.

If you are a girl the chances that you will marry are not quite as good. At the start of the war about thirteen per cent of the girls were failing to marry. The prospect now is that for several years after the war about fourteen or fifteen per cent will fail. It will be a good market for men.

Girls in some age brackets will be hit harder than others, and we sympathize with the girls past twenty-five who feel they were passing the peak of the eligibility curve for marriage while many of the best male prospects were still away in the armed forces. These girls have cause for concern. The surplus of grown women over men—which is something new in our population—has been increased by war casualties. And the number of men who prefer bachelorhood is apt to increase from ten per cent at present to perhaps fifteen per cent because the older a single man becomes the less he thinks about marriage. This war has created a great many “old” single men.

It is estimated that between two million and five million of the marriageable women in America today will never marry. Sociologists are already worrying about this “lost generation” of our women between twenty and thirty-five, with those in their late twenties presumably hit the hardest.

You may ask when a girl reaches the peak of her eligibility for[24] marriage. In normal years the peak is between nineteen and twenty-one, and the curve declines markedly after the twenty-fifth birthday. Here are the chances for men and women to marry by certain ages:


By Age   Chances of
Being Married
Chances of
Being Married
Chances of Marrying at Some
Particular Year of Age
Men Women Men Women
14 1 in 1000 3 in 1000 1 in 1000 3 in 1000
15 2 12 1 9
16 3 39 1 27
17 7 90 4 51
18 21 177 14 87
19 54 270 33 93
20 109 372 55 102
21 190 456 81 84
22 272 538 82 82
23 371 613 99 75
24 457 671 86 58
25 531 714 74 43
26 592 749 61 35
27 650 780 58 31
28 694 799 44 19
29 738 823 44 24
30 748 822 10 1
31 790 853 42 30
32 791 853 1 1
33 814 870 23 17
34 828 874 14 4

The odds for men show that only about one in ten marries before he is twenty-one; one in three marry at ages twenty-one to twenty-five; about three to ten marry between twenty-five and thirty, and about one in ten marries between thirty and thirty-five.

A factor unfavorable to the older girls, past twenty-five, is that as men become older they tend to marry increasingly younger girls. Normally, for example, a man of twenty-five will marry a girl of twenty-two, whereas a man of thirty-one will probably marry a girl of twenty-five. That’s why girls in the present twenty-five to thirty-five group may be hardest hit by the war. One encouraging possibility,[25] however, is that veterans are looking for more wisdom and maturity in their brides than civilians of the same age usually do. There have been a good many reports of veterans marrying girls five and ten years their senior.

Idealistically, the best age for a girl to marry is from twenty-one to twenty-seven, and for a man from twenty-five to thirty.

Of all women who do marry, about fifty-six per cent are married by their twenty-fifth birthday, about eighty-four per cent by their thirtieth birthday and about ninety-five per cent by their thirty-fifth birthday. After thirty-five a woman has to get busy if she wants to marry!

Thirty-five is when an unmarried woman can no longer consider herself a “young maid.”

The marriage prospects for girls today would not be quite so unfavorable if our men would all seek mates. As it is, with from ten to fifteen per cent preferring to remain single, at least a million girls will not have an opportunity to marry. As far as we can gather the reason behind this masculine perversity is that boys, unlike girls, are not indoctrinated with the idea that marriage should be one of their big goals in life.

But why, you may ask, are there more eligible girls than men in America? The imbalance caused by the war is not the only reason. Here are some other reasons for the shortage of males that looms:

—Men die younger than women. The “weaker sex” is actually the tougher sex when it comes to reaching a ripe old age.

—Our male surplus of immigrants has been about used up. Immigration is a form of pioneering and has been considered primarily a task of man. When the flow of immigrants was heavy it accounted for many thousands of our male surplus. Now the flow has dwindled to a trickle.

—America is no longer a “young” nation. And of course the older our population becomes, the more feminine it becomes for the reasons mentioned above. There are still more boy babies born in America than girl babies (about 105 boys per hundred girls) but because the males die faster—both by natural causes and by accidents—the males slip into the minority now after the age of twenty-five.

War affects marriage in very peculiar ways. During the initial[26] phase of World War II, marriages increased at a spectacular rate. This probably was due to the increasing prosperity (prosperity increases both marriages and divorces!) and by the psychological incentives to mate as a result of war. These include not only the impulses to elude the draft, but the yearning of a boy to keep some visible contact with home and the yearning of the girl to have some concrete commitment from a man when so many of them were leaving the community to go to war.

By 1942, 1,800,000 marriages took place in the country, the highest number in history. Then the rate started dropping off as men became more scarce, so that by 1944 the number of marriages was only 1,440,000. In 1945 the trend was changing. Judging from events after World War I, the postwar years will see a spurt in marriages that may take the rate to nearly two million a year for a couple of years. But that won’t change the fact that a good many girls still will not have a chance to marry.

But even if you do marry, what are the chances you will get a mate you like?

The answer depends a great deal on who you are. We can assure you that such mates will not come automatically. Right now there are at least a million married couples who are waiting to get a divorce. Millions of other couples tolerate each other but are not happy by any standards we could apply to them.

Many of the unsuccessful matches were “war marriages” hastily made. A study made after the first war, of marriages hastily contracted from 1916 to 1920 show that those marriages were less happy for both men and women than those contracted before the war. Another study showed that the marriages undertaken immediately after men came back from World War I were not—on an average—as happy as they would have been normally. The same will be true for many of the hurriedly contracted marriages in 1946 and 1947.

These studies substantiate the fact that much greater likelihood of mismating exists when marriages are hastily contracted, and especially when contracted at a time of high emotional excitement.

As this book is written one marriage in five is ending in divorce—and as we get further into the postwar years the rate will probably[27] rise to at least one failure in every four marriages. Furthermore, if the long-range trends continue the divorce rate will be one divorce for every two marriages by 1975! Hollywood stars, and physicians in some states, are already close to that rate. That’s pretty depressing to contemplate when you consider that fifteen years ago the rate was one failure in fourteen marriages.

Perhaps the one encouraging aspect of the growing male shortage is that it may slow down the divorce rate. Divorces occur most frequently when men are plentiful. When men are scarce women tend to hang on to what they have and need to be provoked before they will fly off to Reno.

Why is the divorce rate rising at such an ominous rate? Admittedly there are deeper reasons than the war for the trend. Civilization, in becoming more complex, puts greater strains and stresses on marriage. Unhappy married couples are not held together as much as they used to be by fears inspired by hell-and-damnation religion. Our movies and soap operas present marriage in a fantastically unreal light. Finally, it seems that our standards for marriage happiness are now so low that people assume a couple is happy as long as the husband doesn’t beat his wife openly.

You may be interested to know that all the trends indicate that more divorced men remarry than do divorced women. In spite of the fact that each divorce separates a couple, in 1940 there were twice as many feminine divorcees who had not remarried as there were unmarried male divorces. The records also disclose the interesting fact that only about ten per cent of the women getting divorces ask alimony, and that only six per cent get it.

Your chances of getting a mate you will like are even affected by your sex. If you are a girl your chances are not as good as if you were a man. This is largely due to the fact that a girl cannot gracefully take the initiative in stalking a mate who looks attractive to her. Women enjoy being pursued, but men still don’t! They don’t want anything that seems too easy to win. If the woman takes the initiative—at least if she takes it conspicuously—the world will think her aggressive, and unladylike. She will be thought “common,” for instance, if she goes to the phone and asks a boy for a date or if[28] she proposes marriage. Despite the progress of feminine emancipation during this century, and especially during World War II, this is still a man’s world. And probably feminism will be on the defensive after the war when the veterans return and many of the women will be expected to retire gracefully to the kitchens. At any rate, our present moral standards apparently make it much more difficult for a girl to win some possible mate who interests her than it is for a man.

Few of our younger people realize it but there are also a host of other factors that often limit the number of acceptable mates they are able to choose from.

Marriage counselors use the phrase “assortative mating” to describe the way two people of the opposite sex pair up on the basis of being pretty much like each other and living in much the same neighborhood. The term was first used to describe the way animals mate on the basis of similar size and color.

Today’s men and girls often set up criteria in selecting a mate that narrow their possible choices more than they realize. A man often has some pretty specific ideas on the kind of girl he wants to marry, and the girl has similar ideas about her husband-to-be. The chances of a person getting a mate he will like becomes less and less as he raises his qualifications.

In the early days of American life, when civilization was much simpler than it is today—and when people differed less in their social and economic status—a girl or man usually could find among five acquaintances someone suitable for marriage. The situation is decidedly different today. One authority in this field estimates that a girl, for example, needs to know twenty or twenty-five young men in order that she may have sufficient range to find someone eligible for her needs.

Let’s look at some of the little-considered factors that limit your choice.

How Old Must Your Mate Be? Many people who are looking for a mate think it is bad for the bride to be older than the groom. The girl is especially sensitive about this because she feels she may be[29] losing prestige. Actually such marriages usually turn out to be happier than average because the girl is usually more eager to prove herself a good wife and is less apt to be a clinging vine; but that doesn’t change the fact that some people still frown on such marriages.

Society also frowns on matches where there is a great difference in age. For example marriages where the man is ten years older are viewed with alarm. For reasons not too well understood, marriages in which the husband is from four to seven years older than his bride are less happy than those involving any other age differences. However, if the man is eight or more years older, no special handicap seems to be involved.

Taken as a whole the happiest—and most socially approved—marriages are those in which the man is one to two years older.

How Educated Must Your Mate Be? All the studies that have been made of marriage show that as one’s educational level rises, an individual tends more and more to make a rational—and less emotional—choice of a mate. The educated man has a greater range of choice than the educated woman, because he is much more willing to marry under his educational level whereas a woman—again for reasons of prestige—is usually reluctant to do so. If she goes to college, she feels she has no choice but to restrict her selection to college men. By so confining herself and by leading a more cloistered life than her cousin who never went past high school, a college girl definitely reduces her chances of marrying. Whereas in the past nearly ninety per cent of our women have married, it is estimated that only about seventy-five per cent of college women have married!

How Much Money Must Your Mate Have? If you have money yourself or have it in your family you are more apt to make a hard-headed choice for a mate than one who has little money. He will marry more spontaneously. If you think back you may remember that during the depression of 1929-33 people of high economic status postponed marrying until more stable times whereas the people with[30] small incomes went right on marrying, if they could possibly manage it.

Generally people tend to marry pretty much into their own economic class. The girl who was raised in the poor section of town and is now working as a sales clerk in a five-and-ten store may yearn to marry a sophisticated man from a wealthy family, but that is not the kind of mate she needs. It is doubtful that she could be happy with him because their differences are too great.

There are exceptions, of course. Occasionally we all read about, and cheer, a news report of a modern Cinderella but we usually frown when we read of the opposite: of a rich girl marrying a poor man. That somehow seems abnormal to us. The girl may lose caste. A man of moderate means who himself married a debutante expressed his views on such arrangements however when he said to us: “Never marry for money. But it’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich girl!”

How About the Mate’s National Background and Religion? Are you an American of Italian extraction who would not consider marrying a girl of Swedish background? Or are you a Catholic who would not think of marrying anyone but another Catholic? You may have good reasons for your exclusiveness but the fact remains that your field has been narrowed.

How Is Your Job Affecting Your Prospects? People tend to marry mates who live conveniently near and who have similar interests. (About a fifth of all married couples meet each other at work.) A school teacher, for example, is much more likely to know school teachers of the opposite sex than to know physicians of the opposite sex. Yet many occupations are such that far more of one sex enter them than is true of the other. For example, there are normally nearly five women teachers to one man teacher; seven or eight feminine librarians to one male librarian; some twenty-five or thirty women in nursing to each man in somewhat similar work. Is it any wonder that the rate of marriage among school teachers, librarians and among nurses is much lower than average? Girls who choose[31] nursing for a career cut their marriage prospects by at least 50 percent.

Finally, How Is Geography Affecting Your Prospects for Mates? Though the conditions of World War II broadened the matrimonial horizon of many men and girls as they moved about the country the fact remains that location is an important factor in confining the choice of millions of people.

In a study of several thousand marriages in Philadelphia it was discovered that four out of five young people there selected their mates from within their own city. In one out of three of the marriages the couple had lived within five blocks of each other before marriage.

Looking at the country as a whole, some towns and sections offer better marriage prospects than others. This is a little known fact. For example, the cities of New England offer the poorest possibilities for young women to marry of any section of the country. This is mainly because the textile industries in that area attract so many more women than men. Of the thirty United States cities offering the poorest opportunities for marriage for women, twenty-two are in New England. And of the thirty offering the best opportunities for women, about half are in Michigan, Ohio and Northern Indiana, where the automotive industries—which attract far more men than women—are located.

It is interesting to note that during World War II the marriage rate increased very rapidly in areas with new war industries requiring a great number of men—shipbuilding, aircraft, metal working. In Baltimore, the marriage rate went up nearly forty per cent; in Hartford, important in aviation, it went up twenty-five per cent.

Areas that consistently favor girls by providing a surplus of eligible men are the Far West and the Southwest, particularly Texas. The Deep South is much less favorable.

Where does your state stand on the ratio of eligible men to eligible women? The typical American male marries at about twenty-five and a half and the typical female at twenty-two and a half, or about[32] three years earlier. Thus perhaps the fairest comparison would be to take the single men between twenty-three and twenty-eight and the single women between twenty and twenty-five. The following table shows how each state rates in such a comparison. It is based on the 1940 census.


Nevada 177.21 Indiana 97.96
Wyoming 164.66 Georgia 97.56
Idaho 130.61 Illinois 95.42
California 128.01 Minnesota 95.41
Arizona 127.09 Delaware 94.29
Montana 125.49 Missouri 94.28
Washington 121.78 Mississippi 94.20
Dist. of Col. 119.20 Maine 93.20
Oregon 116.82 Alabama 93.17
New Mexico 113.19 Iowa 91.83
Florida 111.39 New Jersey 91.12
Texas 109.17 Ohio 90.92
Vermont 107.50 New York 90.46
Virginia 106.64 Pennsylvania 90.17
Maryland 106.18 Tennessee 90.03
North Dakota   105.76 Nebraska 89.56
Colorado 102.59 Utah 89.23
Michigan 101.68 New Hampshire   89.14
Louisiana 101.61 Kansas 88.66
Kentucky 100.98 Connecticut 88.57
Wisconsin 100.82 South Carolina 87.55
Arkansas 99.24 North Carolina 86.35
West Virginia 99.12 Massachusetts 83.25
South Dakota 98.32 Rhode Island 82.61
Oklahoma 97.99

Nevada leads the list as the paradise for girls since there are 177 men there for each 100 girls. At the other end of the scale Rhode Island is over-populated with females (due to its many textile mills) and so is an unpromising place for girls to find a mate but a fine place for men. There are one hundred girls for every eighty-three men.

Notice that all of the first nine states offering the best possibilities for girls are in the West, and that the five most favorable states for men are in the East. Perhaps the old slogan “Go West, young man,[33] go West” might be revised to read “Go East, young man; go West, young woman.”

There is another age range that needs consideration. That is, the groups who have not married by the time most people marry. These groups are the men between thirty and thirty-five and girls between twenty-five and thirty. Both these groups need to get busy because they face a very definite possibility of becoming crusty old bachelors or disgruntled spinsters. Since men past thirty tend to marry women who are more than three years younger than themselves it might be valid to compare the number of girls twenty-five to thirty to the men thirty to thirty-five. Here again the West is the great land of opportunity for girls while the Carolinas and the New England textile states are still less inviting to girls. One interesting thing is that in the Southern states of Kentucky, Virginia and Louisiana a girl’s ratio is pretty favorable up to twenty-five years but after that they become definitely not good places to find a husband.

If we take all single men as a whole and compare them to the single women, without regard to age, here is how the states seem to shape up:

The Ten Best for Women  
and Poorest for Men
  The Ten Poorest for Women
and Best for Men
Wyoming Massachusetts
Montana Rhode Island
Idaho Connecticut
Washington New Hampshire
Arizona New Jersey
California New York
North Dakota Pennsylvania
Oregon Ohio
South Dakota North Carolina
Nevada Missouri

Of the ten best states for women all are west of the Mississippi, and of the best states for men all but one is east of the Mississippi.

While the states themselves are pretty good guides as to where to go to pick a mate, the location within a particular state may be of even greater importance. For example, in Virginia, Norfolk rates as a fine place for a girl to find a husband but Richmond rates way[34] down the scale. Here is a comparison of the number of white, single girls in the twenty-five to thirty age group and of the white, single men aged thirty to thirty-five in our 106 cities having a population of fifty thousand or more. (In such a comparison, incidentally, virtually all of our cities show a surplus of older girls over older men when those two age groups are compared. Here, however, we are interested only in the relative desirability of cities.)

The Twenty Best Cities for
Women and Poorest for Men

(in order)
  The Twenty Poorest Cities for
Women and Best for Men

(in order)
San Diego, Cal. Madison, Wis.
San Francisco, Cal. Lincoln, Neb.
Norfolk, Va. Des Moines, Ia.
Miami, Fla. Jackson, Miss.
Long Beach, Cal. Evanston, Ill.
Los Angeles, Cal. Minneapolis, Minn.
Phoenix, Ariz. Wichita, Kans.
Oakland, Cal. St. Paul, Minn.
Tacoma, Wash. Nashville, Tenn.
Sacramento, Cal. Winston-Salem, N. C.
San Antonio, Tex. Knoxville, Tenn.
Houston, Tex. Grand Rapids, Mich.
Detroit, Mich. Fort Wayne, Ind.
Baltimore, Md. Salt Lake City, Utah
Pueblo, Colo. New Haven, Conn.
Peoria, Ill. Omaha, Nebr.
Mobile, Ala. Cleveland, Ohio
Trenton, N. J. Springfield, Ill.
Jacksonville, Fla. Montgomery, Ala.
Columbus, Ga. Hartford, Conn.

Girls on farms and in small towns may fret to get to the big cities but their chances of marrying will be better in their rural communities, where there are 104 men for every hundred women, than in the cities where the ratio is ninety-six men per hundred girls.

Women’s colleges and all-male colleges may have their advantages educationally but they can deprive you of the chance for normal contacts with the opposite sex, and thus reduce your chances of marrying.


To get a fairly accurate idea of just what your marriage expectancy is, considering all factors, you should take the test reproduced with this chapter on “What Is Your Marriage Expectancy?”

If your expectancy rating is low do not become pessimistic. That’s the worst thing that could happen. Rather decide what you want in a mate ... find where such a mate exists ... establish friendships that will lead to introductions ... make yourself attractive to possible mates by studying their wants and needs and appearing to fill them. This is a formula that will get almost anyone a mate if he or she really wants one.


This test should show pretty clearly whether your chances of marrying are good, or not so good. Be honest with yourself.

1. Do you sometimes compliment a person, even though it is not deserved? Yes No
2. Do you prefer “different” or unconventional people? Yes No
3. Do you often become involved in heated arguments? Yes No
4. Are you a good dancer and a good mixer? Yes No
5. Do your parents generally like the people you date? Yes No
6. Do your good friends include both men and women of about your own age? Yes No
7. Do you take an active part in two or more sports such as tennis, swimming, golf or bowling? Yes No
8. Do you seem to get about your share of invitations to mixed parties? Yes No
9. Do you and your dates frequently spend your evenings with other couples? Yes No
10. Have you ever had a chance to become engaged? Yes No
11. Do you seem to make a pretty good first impression? Yes No
12. Do you weigh between 100 and 140 if a girl and 130 and 180 if a man? Yes No
13. Are you generally in good health? Yes No
14.[36] Is your home cheerful and open to all of your friends? Yes No
15. Have you met at least 20 members of the opposite sex in the past three years who seemed like conceivable marriage risks?   Yes No
16. Do your friends visit you frequently? Yes No
17. Do you live in a town or area that seems to have as many young people of the opposite sex as it has of your own? Yes No
18. Do you usually get along with the parents of the people you date? Yes No
19. Are you under 27 if a girl and under 30 if a man? Yes No
20. Do your friends seem to think of you as cheerful and sociable? Yes No
21. Do you visit other towns three or four times a year? Yes No
22. When you meet someone you know, do you usually speak first? Yes No
23. Do you usually remember names and faces of people you meet? Yes No
24. Do you like to entertain a date at home? Yes No
25. Are you friendly or affectionate with persons you like? Yes No
26. Would you marry a person three years younger or older than you are? Yes No
27. Do you date fairly often? Yes No
28. Are you a good listener? Yes No
29. Do you find it easy to talk to strangers? Yes No
30. Is your voice pleasing and modulated? Yes No
31. Do you frequent places where members of the opposite sex are? Yes No
32. Do you like to watch baseball, football or boxing? Yes No
33. Have you “gone steady” with two or more persons? Yes No
34.[37] If a girl do you live west of the Mississippi or if a man do you live in the East? Yes No

The correct answer to the first three questions is no, and to all the remaining thirty-one questions yes. If you answered twenty-five or more of the questions correctly then you have a high “expectancy” rating. If you answered only eight or less of them correctly then your chances of marrying are definitely poor unless you take action to improve your eligibility.


Chapter III
Are You Ready for Married Love?

The answer to this question is deceptively simple. You are ready if you are old enough. But how old are you?

There are several yardsticks besides the calendar for measuring your age. Educators enjoy telling the story of the wise young orphan. When a sweet old lady leaned over and asked him his age the young man removed his glasses, polished them thoughtfully for a minute and then replied:

“My psychological age, Madam, is twelve years; my moral age is ten years; my social age is eight years; my anatomical and physiological ages are respectively six and seven; but I have not been informed of my chronological age. That, I understand, is a matter of comparative insignificance.”

When we ask you if you are old enough to marry, we mean mature enough. And maturity, as it bears on your readiness for marriage, can be measured in at least five ways: physiological, mental, vocational, sexual and emotional maturity. By these standards some people are not old enough to marry when they are thirty-five!

How Old Are You Physiologically? The adolescence of the early teens is characterized by rapid bodily growth—growth in height, weight and sexual development. By eighteen, however, you are nearly as tall as you will ever be. Sexual growth, while not complete (especially for a girl), has reached a point where reproduction is possible. General growth slows down considerably and by twenty-four has just about stopped. For purposes of marriage the average person is “mature” physiologically by the age of twenty. But some require more time, because of glandular disturbances.


How Old Are You Mentally? We do not mean what is your I.Q., which is a measure of your capacity to learn, but rather the accumulation of your learning. In short, how wise are you? Normally a person must live twenty-one or twenty-two years before he has seen enough of life through schooling and practical experience to take on the responsibilities that go with marriage. If you have led a sheltered or one-sided life it will probably take longer.

How Old Are You Vocationally? A man, certainly, is not mature until he has established that he can earn a living. A college degree, a license to practice medicine, to teach, or to practice barbering are not enough. There must be a successful work record and that cannot be present until a person has used his vocational knowledge to make a living for a period of not less than one year.

Once it was thought that girls needed no special training vocationally but that notion is pretty well outdated now. Modern women like to feel independent, and frequently their ability to earn money is called into use. Perhaps the husband is a disabled war veteran, or perhaps the wife feels she needs a career to earn money. At the least, the girl entering marriage should already be capable of managing a home—and that requires skill and knowledge that can’t be learned in a night club.

Since some occupations require many more years of education and training than others, vocational maturity can fall anywhere between eighteen and twenty-six, but for most people it doesn’t come until about the age of twenty-two.

How Old Are You Sexually? Sexual maturity implies far more than the ability to beget or bear a child. Most morons can do this. Sexual maturity is largely determined by childhood and it is something most people either have or don’t have.

A youngster who was reared by parents who were well balanced emotionally, who were ready listeners to his problems, who explained comprehensively the magic and mystery of sex functions to him, will usually be ready to face the problems of sexual adolescence. During adolescence he will be subjected to many strains. He will undergo many glandular changes and begin to have sexual[40] capacity. The reproductive apparatus approaches maturity between the ages of twelve and fourteen. The boy has emissions. The girl begins to menstruate. Both often are disturbed or even frightened by these new functions, unless the parent has been wise enough to prepare them for the changes.

During adolescence they start “dating,” which at first is done self-consciously and awkwardly. Their state of mind is made more nervous if the parents tease or ridicule these first steps in courting.

When the boy and girl emerge from adolescence about the age of eighteen, they have achieved sexual maturity if all has gone well. If so:

—There is freedom from repression and inhibitions concerning sex.

—There is no disgust or aversion as far as sex is concerned.

—Likewise there is no abnormal curiosity or longing for sexual information or experience.

—He or she may still be shy or self-conscious at first when in the presence of someone of the opposite sex but both soon get over it when they find activities to share. This is normally easy because by eighteen youngsters have acquired skill in dancing, card playing, sports, hobbies, and conversing.

If by eighteen or twenty a person hasn’t acquired sexual maturity in the sense described, it might be a good idea to consult a marriage counseling bureau, a college psycho-educational clinic, a psychologist or some other person trained in helping normal people achieve normal adjustments.

How Old Are You Emotionally? This is by far the most significant of all your ages in determining your readiness to marry! Most of the research on marriage indicates that people who lack “emotional maturity” rarely achieve a happy marriage.

What is emotional maturity, you may ask? It’s a state of mind that includes ability to get along with people ... ability to find satisfaction and reward in work ... ability to recognize and solve problems which involve your relations with others ... and finally it includes freedom from instability and neuroticism.

As in sexual maturity (which is closely related to emotional maturity)[41] the first ten years of life are apparently the most important in determining if you will be emotionally stable. Certainly by the age of eighteen a person should have a pretty firm hold on his emotions. If he has not acquired such balance by twenty-one or twenty-two the outlook is not too promising, and he should deliberately set out to achieve better control of himself.

A stenographer of twenty-four came to the Penn State Marriage Counseling Service for advice after she had had a dozen promiscuous affairs with men. She came from a broken home where her parents had taken only an erratic interest in her and she showed serious signs of emotional instability, as do virtually all promiscuous girls and men.

Here is the verbatim report that was written on Sandra. It provides a classic picture of emotional instability:

Sandra feels inferior, does many unconventional things, has few standards or ideals. Badly maladjusted, she flits from one boy to another, seeking new thrills. Quite promiscuous and highly sexed, she has had sexual affairs with 12 or 13 men. Somewhat popular while in college, with attractive face and nice figure, she was dated by many boys, none of whom even went with her for more than four dates. Easily persuaded to any course of action, she could readily excuse any breach of behavior. Changeable and selfish, but anxious to be known as a “Campus Queen,” she openly sought dates and a sort of dubious and short-lived popularity.

Because of her instability, total lack of standards, ideals and morals, and her selfishness and shallowness, she is unlikely to marry unless she catches a rich “sucker.” She is in six “danger zones” on her Audit Profile. May the Lord help the poor man who is inveigled into marriage. No boy has ever proposed marriage to her, a fact that has hurt her vanity.

To pin emotional maturity down more specifically, here side by side are eight traits, one or more of which are frequently noted in persons who are considered “emotionally immature,” and eight noted in mature persons.

1. Is aggressive and domineering. 1. Gets along with people.
2. Is rebellious and “bullheaded.” 2. Has satisfying home life.
3. Is full of hates and prejudices. 3. Profits from his mistakes.[42]
4. Is often victim of illusions. 4. Is successful in his work.
5. Has many phobias, inhibitions. 5. Respects authority and customs.
6. Is victim of imaginary pains, stuttering,
hysteria, tremors, insomnia.
6. He faces his problems.
7. Is high-strung. 7. Accepts responsibility for own acts.
8. Is often indecisive and anxious. 8. He is consistent and predictable.

A person can be emotionally unstable and not show all of those symptoms but he undoubtedly will show some of them.

What can anyone do to improve his control over his emotions, and thus achieve greater emotional maturity? Here are a few suggestions:

Try to look at yourself objectively. Try to do so especially in connection with your relations with others. Are you reasonable rather than prejudiced? Can you recognize that a man may be a fine person even though he is a Republican or a Democrat, that he is a good person even though he may be a Protestant or a Catholic? Do you honestly try to make decisions on the basis of facts rather than on the basis of feelings, or imaginary facts that are more agreeable to you? Sit down every few weeks and try deliberately to look at yourself as others must see you. Would you like yourself if you were someone else?

Learn to laugh at yourself. The person who can laugh at himself, or who can laugh at the things he loves and continue to love them, is the person who is most likely to have insight into himself. And that insight is important in emotional maturity. If you have a sense of the ridiculous you can see fun in many of your own activities, and in doing so are able to relax and feel happy. You learn to laugh at your troubles, yet at the same time do your best to improve the situation. This ability to see the ridiculous side acts as a cushion and helps you maintain your stability, even when things are most exasperating.

Set up a confidential relationship with some other person. Telling your problems to another person helps you define the problem in your own mind, it furnishes relief from the tensions you have built up, and it brings another person’s point of view into the picture. One of the biggest single values in marriage is the fact that it provides husband and wife a confidant in each other, and gives them the confidential relationship that is so important to mental integration.


Seek work that satisfies you. Nothing will prevent you from getting a hold on your emotions more than being confined every day to work that is disagreeable to you. If you find it is uninteresting or doesn’t challenge you or doesn’t offer any opportunity as a stepping stone to more challenging work, change jobs. But do it intelligently, because the person who is a frequent job-jumper is not a good marriage risk.

Recently we talked to a man who is forty-four years of age. He had been divorced once, is now unhappily living with a second wife, wants to divorce her and marry a third woman. His job record shows that he has held thirty-nine different jobs in his life. Is it any wonder that he is unlikely to find happiness or stability in life? He does not know what he wants, can’t learn from experience, and is pursuing a will-o’-the-wisp.

When you have a problem face it squarely. Define the problem, get all the facts, and line up alternative solutions in case the first course isn’t successful. Many people seem incapable of defining their problems. When they are faced with a frustrating situation, they frequently are unable to vary their attack upon it. When a girl can’t get her way she cries. Crying may bring her some reduction of tension, but it does not solve the problem. The emotionally mature person can keep his head, figure out something to do, but the immature person gives up or cries or gets drunk.

We have devoted so much more space to your emotional age than to the other four ages—physiological, mental, vocational and sexual—because it is so fundamental to marriage success. If you find after reading this chapter you want to know more about developing your own maturity, you will find further suggestions in the chapters “Getting Along with the Other Sex,” “Attracting the One You Want,” and “Crucial Traits for Marriage Happiness.”

When all the five “ages” are taken into consideration it would seem that a girl should not consider marriage until she is at least nineteen or twenty and the man should not before he is twenty-one or twenty-two. Those are minimum ages for normal men and girls. Those who develop slower than average in any of the five ages should try to wait a year or two longer before deciding about marriage.



Your chronological age is not as important as some of your other ages in determining whether you are ready for marriage. The informal check below may give you a rough idea of your maturity for marriage.

Physiological Maturity
Are you 20 years old or older? Yes No
Are you in general good health? Yes No
As far as you know is your glandular balance normal? Yes No
Mental Maturity
Did you finish the eighth grade without repeating more than one grade? Yes No
Do you read the news daily? Yes No
By age 20 had you completed at least two years of college or earned your own living for 2 years? Yes No
Vocational Maturity
Are you prepared by education or experience to make a living in a specific occupation, or in managing a home?   Yes No
Have you attained your 22d birthday? Yes No
Do you have a job doing work for which you have prepared? Yes No
Sexual Maturity
Have you been dating at least once a month since age 16? Yes No
Are your attitudes toward sex free from disgust or aversion? Yes No
Were your parents easy to talk to about sex? Yes No
Emotional Maturity
Do you get along well with people? Yes No
Do you trust people and do they trust you? Yes No
Do you usually do today what is supposed to be done today? Yes No

Give yourself one point for each yes answer. You should have a total score of at least twelve and should have no less than two yes answers in each category if you are to be judged old enough to marry.


More than almost anything else, your rating on “emotional maturity” reveals your chances of achieving a happy marriage. Here is a more detailed test of your rating on this crucial trait. Answer yes only if you are sure.


1. Can you accept criticism without having your feelings hurt? Yes No
2. Are you normally free from jealousy? Yes No
3. When you have differences with people can you usually work out compromises that satisfy you and don’t leave hard feelings?   Yes No
4. Do you behave yourself because it seems the natural thing to do and not because you fear the consequences of misbehaving? Yes No
5. Do you think most people are honest, decent and worth while? Yes No
6. Are you happy most of the time—and free from violent emotional outbursts? Yes No
7. Before beginning a new project or making a final decision do you honestly weigh the arguments for and against it? Yes No
8. Can you be away from the place you live for a month without getting homesick? Yes No
9. Do you willingly abide by established authority and the customs of your community? Yes No
10. Can you make your own personal decisions without depending on friends and relatives to help you make up your mind? Yes No
11. Are you free from vague aches, nail biting, flustered stammering? Yes No
12. Can you postpone something you want to do now in order to have greater enjoyment later? Yes No
13. Are you living zestfully in the present instead of bragging about past deeds? Yes No
14. Do you go to sleep easily and normally slumber without nightmares? Yes No
15. Do you get along well with your parents, relatives, and close friends? Yes No
16. When things go wrong do you find the cause and correct [46] it instead of blaming others or lamenting your bad breaks? Yes No
17. Are you living up to the responsibilities which go along with the privileges given to you? Yes No
18. Have you friends among both sexes, some older and some younger than you are? Yes No

If you honestly answered yes to fourteen of these or more you are more mature emotionally than the average person. If you answered yes to sixteen or more you should have an exceptionally good chance for a happy marriage.


Chapter IV
Is It Love—or Infatuation?

“Love” is unquestionably the most abused word in the English language. People “love” puppies, or they “love” ice cream. Women commonly close their letters to acquaintances with the word “love” as do all relatives when they write to one another. Boys trying to get a kiss from their girl friends mumble something about love. That’s to make the giving easier for the girl.

Then there are different kinds of genuine love. A mother loves her two-year-old baby just as wholeheartedly as she loves her husband. And she loves her husband now just as much as she did as a girl eight years ago when she “fell” in love with him, but the love is different. She was more misty-eyed then. She didn’t realize it but the earlier love was heavily flavored by sexual attraction. Now sex is still present in her regard for her husband but the bond is primarily a deep feeling of comradeship. And with the baby, of course, true sexual feelings are not involved at all.

In all three of the cases, however, she had developed a deep concern for the welfare of the loved one; and in all three of the cases the loved one had similar feelings of attachment to her. Right here you have the gist of true love, whether parental, conjugal or romantic.

Still, it is often difficult to know if your “love” is the real thing. Two out of five of the girls who come to the Penn State Marriage Counseling Service for advice about their affairs think they are in love but aren’t sure.

One girl was really confused. She reported that she was terribly in love with two different men at the college. One was on the[48] basketball team. The other played in a campus orchestra. She did not know which one she loved the more and wanted to be told which to choose. Tests soon established beyond a doubt that she had the warmest kind of physical feeling for both men. But the tests also showed that she was primarily fascinated by them as “catches.” She wasn’t actually in love with either, and was so informed.

She was the victim of double infatuation. How can you tell love from infatuation? Dr. Henry Bowman of Stephens College offers these points of distinction:—

Infatuation may come suddenly but loves takes time.

Infatuation can be based on one or two traits (usually including sex appeal) whereas love is based on many traits.

In infatuation the person is in “love” with love, whereas in love, the person is in love with another person.

In infatuation the other person is thought of as a separate entity and employed for self-gratification. In real love there is a feeling of identity with the other person.

Infatuation produces feelings of insecurity and wishful thinking whereas love produces a sense of security.

In infatuation you suffer loss of ambition, appetite, etc., whereas in love you work and plan to please the other person.

The physical element is much more important in infatuation than in love.

Infatuation may change quickly but love lasts.

In general you can be surer that it is really love if it has developed over a period of time rather than if it comes all of a sudden.

But, you may ask, how about those couples who are “meant for each other” and “fell in love at first sight.” Both are nice romantic notions, but both have little validity in fact.

There is no one person in the world for anyone. We don’t expect happily married couples or happily engaged couples to believe that but all the evidence indicates it is true. There are hundreds, indeed thousands, of people that you could fall in love with and be happily married to. (And there are, of course, thousands and perhaps millions of people you would be miserable with as mates.) The[49] only sense in which there can be a “one and only” for you is that there may be only one good prospect within your range of possible acquaintanceship. It is the multitude of good possible mates that sometimes makes it difficult for a girl to choose between two men. It is the multitude of possibilities that produces triangular situations after marriages; and it is this multitude of available mates in America that makes it possible for a girl to find and love a man in her own community rather than to have to go from Maine to California to meet a “one and only.”

As for instantaneous love, a girl has about as much chance of “falling in love at first sight” as she does of becoming Cinderella. At times couples experience “infatuation at first sight” which may or may not later mature into love. And ordinarily the infatuation is based about eighty per cent on sexual attraction. “Love at first sight” also often occurs when you come across someone who happens to match your “phantasy ideal” for a mate. If you have always dreamed of a bride with large brown eyes, a turned-up nose and a shapely figure—and you are ripe for mating—you fall for the first girl matching that description. It is a mighty hazardous way to try to pick a mate.

Other people think they fall in love “at first sight” because they are desperately anxious to have some one to hold to, and clutch at the first person who comes along. They suffer from feelings of insecurity. This was particularly true of girls during the war. One girl who came to the Penn State clinic was rapturous about her coming marriage to an army lieutenant stationed temporarily at the college. Why did she love him? She was pretty vague about that and seemed to resent the question. What did they have in common in the way of interests and ideals? The only thing she could think of was that they both liked to bowl. It soon developed that what she was in love with was the idea of getting married. She was twenty-seven and nervous about her future. That she was sincerely convinced she was in love with the man was a tribute to her own powers of self-deception. She realized that she should in all decency be in love with the man she was going to marry, and convinced herself that she was.


Frequently two people fall so madly in “love” soon after meeting that they feel they must marry immediately. This tendency is so well known that most marriage counselors rightfully question if a state of true love exists when the two people feel they will die if they don’t get married tomorrow or next week. Real love can wait. It can make sacrifices; it is not something that has to be rushed. The more urgent the desire to get married immediately, the greater the likelihood that it is infatuation and that the infatuation may die out as abruptly as it sprang into being.

But why, you may ask, is love at first sight so improbable? Why can’t you fall in love as easily immediately as you can after weeks of knowing each other?

Here we get to the essence of love, which Webster’s dictionary defines as: “Desire for, and earnest effort to promote the welfare of, another.” Love is not a trap you fall into. It is a state of respect for and comradeship with another that has developed from the fact that you both have similar tastes, ideals and yearnings. Such comradeship cannot come as a result of one date.

Cynics have said that “love is of all feelings the most egoistic and consequently is, when crossed, the least generous.” That assumes love is possessive and selfish. Genuine love as we understand it today is the medium through which the fullest development of the personalities of a man and woman may take place. And it involves a keen desire for the welfare of the loved person. There is nothing egoistic about real love!

Here briefly are some conditions that are usually present before love can develop:

—The two persons have had experiences together that have caused each to react favorably to the other.

—They have each found present in the other qualities, standards and ideals which they admire.

—Their sexual feelings have been so favorably conditioned, without their realizing it, that they find great pleasure just in being in each other’s presence.

—Each one in some way fulfills some of the motives that are of importance[51] to the other, such as desire for social approval or, with a man, mastery.

There are many people for whom it is utterly impossible to fall in love. For a few this is due to physical inadequacy. But to most it is a result of unfavorable conditioning that has made them selfish or afraid of contact with the opposite sex. How does a person get the ability to fall in love? From a physical standpoint certain hormones pour into the blood stream of a man or woman past puberty that create sexual tension. But that only starts to explain the complexity of the love relationship.

Your ability to fall in love depends for the most part on your own previous experience as far back as childhood. In the beginning, for example, your mother met all your needs. Every time you cried your mother rushed to you, to feed you, to give you a drink, to change your diaper or to remove a pin that was sticking in you. Gradually in your mind the mother becomes associated with everything pleasant, with eating, the relief of thirst, the elimination of pain. You probably became attached to her with a depth of love and affection that lasted for many years. Similarly your mother received pleasure from hearing your coos when she gave you relief from pain, she received the approval of your father for bearing you and the admiring comments on you from the neighbors; and she satisfied her motive of mastery by having something (you) under her control. Her love deepened for you.

It has been observed in the South, where the nursemaids may often spend more time with the child than the mother does that the child becomes more favorably conditioned to the nursemaid than to the mother. That illustrates that love is a learned process.

As you grew older and began playing with children you learned to like those with whom playing was fun and you learned to dislike those where your association was marked only by dissatisfaction and unpleasantness.

Similarly if your early associations with those of the opposite sex were all marked by unpleasantness and nervous tension you[52] tended to stick to those of your own sex; but if they were marked with pleasure you turned more and more to the other sex.

Even the appearance of the girl that a young man likes is due to pleasant associations with other persons who had one or more of the characteristics that his girl has. It is not just accident that girls are more likely to fall in love with boys who have characteristics resembling their own fathers than they are with boys who don’t. Similarly a boy is more likely to fall in love with a girl who resembles his own mother than with a girl who doesn’t.

If your early life has been marked by strife in the home and tension in your relation with people your own age, then you have been poorly conditioned for the comradeship married love can provide. And you probably will have the greatest difficulty finding happiness in marriage.

But if your relationships with people have been relatively serene, you will find it easy to learn to love someone of the opposite sex. You will find that when you do certain things you receive approval by way of happy smiles and rewards. Gradually you learn to put your best foot forward. You and your date both are conditioned to be on your best behavior and if you have many things in common develop a deep friendship with each other.

Then, if the conditioning during the friendship is quite favorable, your mutual feeling of appreciation and affection for each other grows and finally ripens into love. There you have it.

In your love for each other you will both gradually become sexually vibrant and you both will begin to feel a need for sexual expression through each other. As this need becomes increasingly strong, you both begin to think of engagement and marriage. Ideally when your need for each other becomes so strong that it can no longer be denied, you are married.


The first thing many counselors like to find out when people come to them about the possibility of marrying is to find out whether they are actually in love. Here are some questions which quickly disclose whether a person is afflicted with the real thing or is just infatuated by[53] good looks and sex appeal. Answer each question truthfully regardless of what you think the correct answer should be.

1. Do you have a great number of things that you like to do together? Yes No
2. Do you have a feeling of pride when you compare your friend to any other you have known? Yes No
3. Do you feel you need to apologize for certain things about him? Yes No
4. Do you suffer from a feeling of unrest when away from him or her? Yes No
5. Have you a strong desire to please him or her and are you quite glad to give way on your own preferences? Yes No
6. Do you have any difficulty carrying on a conversation with each other? Yes No
7. Even when you quarrel do you still enjoy being together? Yes No
8. Do you actually want to marry this person? Yes No
9. Would you be afraid to trust him or her in the presence of another attractive person of your own sex for an evening? Yes No
10. Does he or she have the qualities you would like to have in your children? Yes No
11. Do your friends and associates mostly admire this person and think he, or she, would be a good match for you? Yes No
12. Do you ever wonder if he, or she, is faithful? Yes No
13. Do your parents think you are in love? (They are very discerning about such things.) Yes No
14. Have you started planning, at least in your own mind, what kind of wedding, children, and home you will have? Yes No
15. Are you conscious of being jealous of him, or her? Yes No[54]
16. Is this person attractive to you not only in appearance but in the way he talks, acts and thinks? Yes No
17. Do you approve generally of each other’s friends? Yes No
18. Do you wonder if he, or she, is being sincere in what he tells you? Yes No
19. Do you have a wealth of things to discuss and do together? Yes No
20. When outside trouble develops for one of you does the crisis tend to pull you together rather than apart? Yes No
21. Are there many things on which you disagree? Yes No
22. Do you find that in thinking of the future it is always in terms of two rather than of yourself alone? Yes No
23. Can you imagine how he or she will appear at 40 and still feel as deeply attached to him as before? Yes No
24. Do you have serious doubts about your love for him? Yes No

If you have a perfect score you answered every third question (3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24) with No and all the others with Yes. Did you have twenty or more “correct” answers? If so, we would judge you to be solidly in love. If you did not, you should be skeptical until you receive further proof.


Chapter V
Growing Up Sexually

Your ability to undertake marriage successfully has already been determined in large part before you even start. It has been determined by experiences you have had with sex generally and with the opposite sex particularly. Possibly you are already seriously handicapped by repressions and fears on the subject.

To ignore or fear sex is no more sensible than to ignore any of the other emotions you possess. Sexual desire is a natural desire. Without it your personality would become impoverished. Without it there would be few marriages. Without it there would be few children and few homes. Sex is nothing to be ashamed of or be whispered about.

You can have love without sex and sex without love but neither alone is very satisfying or enriching. For example many men are capable of sexual activity with women for whom they could find no pleasure in social associations. Were it not for this fact there would be no prostitution. Likewise it is true there are many wives who love their husbands and engage in sexual activity with them, but without feeling any sexual urge whatsoever and without feeling any physical satisfaction.

The ideal arrangement, however, is that in which the two people have genuine love and affection for each other and at the same time have strong sex desire for each other and find sexual satisfaction in each other.

A very large proportion of the fears, repressions and anxieties that people suffer from involve sex one way or another. Many of these repressions are revealed in such things as frigidity and impotence.[56] The individual who is ashamed and afraid of sex will be repressed in married life unless the attitude is corrected, and will find it difficult to adjust to marriage. When such persons are married the feelings of shame or guilt about sex may prevent sexual satisfaction. This lack of satisfaction, and the tension that goes with it, may produce nervousness, aches and pains and even nervous breakdowns.

Many married people, particularly wives, suffer from repression. While sexual maladjustment is not the only cause of unhappiness in marriage it does play a significant part. It is estimated that one-fifth of all married people turn to masturbation as one of the ways to reduce the sexual tensions not satisfied through intimate relationships with the mate.

How do these so-called repressions develop? Where do we learn about sex?

Our sex experiences—whether good or bad—started when we were babies. We reacted in a very favorable way to the fondling, caressing and other skin stimulation of our mothers. Love and affection came to be associated in our minds with fondling and stroking. Sometimes as the baby grows older the parent lavishes too much affection on the child because the mother is hungry for affection which is not forthcoming from her husband. This excessive love-conditioning may cause the child to become intensely attached to the mother and makes it difficult for the child to break away as it grows up. Not only this, but in addition the excessive fondling and favorable attention may cause the child to have an excessive desire for sympathy and social approval. Ergo, we have a “spoiled child.” This spoiled child grows up feeling very sorry for himself and insecure when he is not receiving sympathy. In marriage, he or she becomes quite possessive because he or she wants to be the constant center of attention.

But to get back to when you were a growing child. Many of the feelings of guilt, shame or fear that people suffer from concerning sex begin then.

Perhaps the child is detected in the act of exploring his sex organs.[57] It is probably normal curiosity but the parents punish him so severely that the child feels exceedingly guilty about it.

Perhaps the child hears a four-letter Anglo-Saxon word. Proud of this new acquisition he comes home and uses it with his parents. The parents are dumfounded, show their intense disapproval, and may wash the child’s mouth out with soap.

Or perhaps the child asks how babies are made and the parent may rebuff the child or act so mysterious that the child concludes he has done something for which he should be ashamed.

On the other hand, if as a child you had a confidential relationship with your parents and found that when you took such problems to them they would try to give you answers you could comprehend you developed a normal, healthy attitude toward sex. Repression usually occurs only when something happens to us for which we feel ashamed or guilty or fearful.

It would seem to us that no child should be permitted to reach the age of five or six without knowing where babies come from. It furthermore seems to us that no child should reach the age of ten without knowing what produces or causes babies.

Now we come to the period that affected you most profoundly in your sexual development, puberty. Can you remember how your life and body were changed from the time you were twelve to fourteen?—that is, when you were first endowed with sexual capacity. Whether you were a boy or girl, your sex glands (gonads) began pouring their hormones into the blood stream in great quantities. Perhaps you did not realize it at the time but you began feeling more tense, more energetic, and began exhibiting what might be called “animal spirits.” Farmers shake their heads sadly at their youngsters during this period and resign themselves to the fact that the youths won’t be over “Fool’s Hill” until they are sixteen.

It probably was during your early teens that you had your first great “love” affair, if you were normal. Puppy love is one of the sweetest loves that one ever has. It usually makes its appearance at about the time the girl begins to menstruate and the boy becomes capable of having sexual emissions.


This first love of yours was romantic and idealistic. Probably you “fell in love” with a girl in the next aisle, passed notes to her and picked flowers on the way to school for her. You walked home together after school and if you did manage to conquer your embarrassment and kiss, it is a kiss you will never forget.

You did not realize that those hormones pulsing through your body were responsible for this “crush” and did not realize why you were more tense and energetic. To reduce the tension, though, you looked at each other and something about your past conditioning made each of you find something appealing in the other. Sometimes these first “loves” endure but more likely you are soon both in “love” with new “flames” that suddenly appeared more appealing. Puppy love, you see, is an early version of infatuation.

As a child your sexual feelings were diffused over the body surface but with puberty those feelings came more and more to be localized in certain sensitive areas of the body, called “erogenous zones,” if you had normal contacts with the other sex. In the case of girls whose contact with sex is carefully guarded, however, it is quite possible that sex desire may remain diffused until marriage and the loss of virginity.

The appearance of the menstrual discharge can be a profoundly frightening event for a girl unless she has been prepared to expect it. Often it marks the beginning of fears that carry over even into marriage.

Take the case of Alice, a school superintendent’s daughter, who was reared in a stern atmosphere of morality. When she asked where babies came from her mother first rebuked her and when she persisted in inquiring the mother said they were brought in the medical bags of physicians. When she reached the age of menstruation, for which her mother had not prepared her, she thought a terrible calamity had befallen her. She naïvely believed for several months that she was having a baby. Later the only information she ever acquired on sex was through bull sessions with other girls at college, and there the information was misleading. She was fearful of sex and when, during her freshman year, a boy tried to kiss her she reacted very strongly. She felt that she must not be a nice[59] girl or a boy would not think of trying to kiss her. Her mother had told her that nice girls did not kiss boys.

Today Alice is twenty-nine and still not married. Furthermore she seems like a very poor prospect. She has reacted frigidly to all overtures of grown men to kiss her even though she feels she should marry. To her “sex” is animal passion and its only rightful function is reproduction. She has so many repressions about sex that she cannot act normally in the presence of someone of the opposite sex.

Here is how the repressions operate with Alice. She does her best not to think about sex. She avoids situations or circumstances that would involve sex by staying away from people of the opposite sex, by not going to dances and by refraining from doing things that would in any way bring sex to mind. Her life is a desperate hide-and-seek with sex. Furthermore her repression is so effective that she won’t even admit that a sexual problem exists for her.

Sometimes direct fear conditioning may occur. In one girl who was referred to the Penn State clinic there was an intense fear of being with well-educated people. When all the facts were learned, it was discovered that in her early teens the girl had been detected masturbating by her mother. To frighten her out of the habit the mother told her that such a practice would change her facial appearance so much that any educated person looking at her would know she was a masturbator. The girl, already ashamed of her habit, felt so much guilt that she started avoiding anyone who had a college education because she believed such people could see her secret in her face. It took many months of treatment to get her to the place where she could associate with college people with ease.

It is our opinion that much of the sexual maladjustment of the world is brought about by parents giving their children the impression that sex is shameful, disgusting, fearful or nasty.

One young man came into the psychological clinic complaining of severe indigestion, heartburn and excruciating stomach pains. When asked what he thought the trouble was he said it probably was caused by his habit of drinking a couple of beers three or four times a week. He had made many efforts to stop drinking the beer, but in vain. The companionship of the other young men with whom[60] he drank, the feeling of tension reduction that he felt while drinking, the partial release of some of his inhibitions under alcohol all prevented him from breaking the habit. He had never been drunk yet he was sure that the half-dozen glasses of beer a week were causing his stomach trouble and would ultimately lead to ulcers or cancer.

In working with this young man it was found that he had begun masturbating in adolescence. His father had discovered this and had severely denounced him for the practice. The boy could not, or did not, give up masturbation and was in constant fear that he would go insane because his father told him that continued masturbation always led to insanity. In reading an old-fashioned book on sex which his father gave him, the boy ran across a statement to the effect that alcohol weakened the sex drive. He was so anxious to reduce his own drive, for fear of insanity, that he began drinking beer habitually. He was so sure the alcohol was reducing his sex drive that he stopped masturbating. Actually, of course, the sex drive was still present and his repression and anxiety were transferred from masturbating to beer drinking, with the physical symptoms already described. By helping the young man understand how he had become unfavorably conditioned to masturbation (which, while an inferior or substitute adjustment, is a natural act) he lost all of his stomach symptoms and gained a wholesome attitude about sex.

How can sexual inhibitions and repressions be “unlearned?” The best thing to do of course is consult a good clinical psychologist or competent psychiatrist. Extensive psychotherapy may be needed. But here are some things that an individual can do that may help:

—Develop a friendly confidential relationship with some other person who can be trusted and bit by bit unburden yourself of your fears, anxieties, problems and frustrations. Simply getting things out of one’s system brings tension release. Not only that but as one talks about his problems and feelings toward them, he begins to define the problem and see possibilities of attacking and solving the problem himself. And the friend may have some helpful suggestions.

—Deliberately associate with people of the opposite sex as much as[61] possible if repression is present. Gradually this will help reduce tensions as you become used to them and if the conditioning is favorable you may achieve wholesome and normal reactions to the opposite sex.

—Acquire adequate information about sexual behavior. Good books are available today in the field of sex (note bibliography in the back of this book).

—Even bull sessions can be helpful though much of the information you will hear may be erroneous or inadequate. The freedom of expression in the sessions and the opportunity to talk help one feel less repressed and more natural when sexual matters come up.

All young unmarried people should realize that the sexual emotion is just as much a hunger as a hunger for food and that in marriage their personality is enriched when the sexual hunger is satisfied.

While all this association with the opposite sex is going on, the girl or young man is learning what kind of a mate he wants in marriage. It is only through these experiences (starting with puppy love) that they begin to set standards and qualifications of the persons they would like to marry. The typical boy or girl needs to date a good many persons before they know the kind they would like to have as a mate, to decide upon the minimum standards they wish.

In going with one girl the boy learns to appreciate music and decides he wants a wife who can play the piano. In going with another girl he finds he wants a girl who is brunette, who is reasonably tall, who is relatively slim. In going with a third girl he discovers he wants a person who has as much education as he does and who is interested at least politely with mechanical things, which happen to be his passion. In going with still another girl he discovers that it is important to him for her to have control of her temper, to be friendly to people, to be gracious in manner, to be kind and considerate. And so it goes. It is only through such experiences that a man gradually learns what he wants in a wife and what is important to him.

In contrast, it is ignorance of what one wants that may prevent you from ever achieving a happy marriage. Not knowing what you[62] want or need, you may marry the first person with whom you become infatuated.

Today there are nearly twenty-five thousand different occupations in the country. More people are completing high school—and college—than ever before in history. The radio and automobile have broadened man’s horizon. Thus for the man today a selection of a wife from among a half-dozen girls whom he has known would be a hazardous selection. As we have said before, he would need to know at least twenty-five eligible single girls—and date at least a dozen of them—before he could be fairly sure of finding one that would meet his wants and needs.


Chapter VI
Sex Adventuring

In the course of looking over the field for mates a large part of our young people become involved in bodily petting and complete intimacy. How widespread are such premarital sex relations? All the factual studies would indicate that there has been a steady increase. Dr. L. M. Terman, whose book Psychological Factors in Marital Happiness, published in 1938, reports a study he made of 792 couples, concludes:

“The trend toward premarital sex experience is proceeding with extraordinary rapidity.”

Of older couples who married around 1910, he found fifty per cent of the men and eighty-seven per cent of the women had been virgins at the time of marriage. In contrast, of those who married about ten years ago only fourteen per cent of the men and thirty-two per cent of the women were virgins at marriage. Dr. Terman predicted:

“If the drop should continue at the average rate shown ... virginity at marriage will be close to the vanishing point” for males marrying after 1955 and for girls marrying after 1960.

It’s a rare high school nowadays that doesn’t have an occasional pregnant girl, unmarried, in its midst. In one city more than two hundred such pregnancies occurred last year. Most of the sexual experiences today—especially for girls—are with people they eventually marry. But even in this respect the trend indicates that more and more young people are having intercourse with persons they do not marry than has ever been true before in our history. The trend is more pronounced for men than it is for girls. This can[64] be understood in view of the fact that it is the woman who gets pregnant, and not the man.

Of couples marrying today, a relatively high percentage have complete physical intimacy before the wedding night. The rate seems to be higher among the lower economic classes than in the higher levels.

This does not mean the morals of the upper classes are higher but probably is due to the fact that girls in the upper group—who have lived at women’s or other colleges—have more inhibitions. After marriage they often have greater trouble having climactic sexual experience than girls who only went to high school, because of these inhibitions. Probably less than one-third of such wives regularly experience orgasm.

Why has premarital intimacy become more widespread in recent years? There appear to be several major explanations:

—The tensions of two wars and a major depression which led to postponement of marriage but not necessarily to postponement of gratification. Also during the war many girls threw their ideals to the wind in an attempt to find or give happiness on a friend’s last furlough.

—Religion is not as much concerned with sexual taboos today as it was a generation ago.

—We have removed chaperonage and parents generally are more tolerant of their children’s behavior and build in them fewer repressions than in past years.

—The widespread dissemination of birth-control information and the improved techniques in preventing venereal disease have reduced the penalties of indulgence.

—Our people are more mobile today so that it is possible for a young couple to experiment sexually with less likelihood that their parents will find out about them. Boys have access to automobiles in which they can take girls to secluded spots. Hotels have relaxed their restrictions about verifying the “Mr. and Mrs.” of couples who register. Tourist camps rarely had any restrictions to start with. Finally the war took millions of our young people away from their home communities.

In short, the old controls of society have relaxed or are in the process of breaking down. The same is true in Great Britain where[65] studies during the war indicated that one out of every three births was conceived prior to marriage.

While young men engage in intimacies because of the hormones pulsing through their bodies and because it makes them feel more “grown up,” girls engage for somewhat different reasons, though thrill is a factor. Girls in their teens do not have nearly as high a sex drive as boys of the same age. Whereas a man reaches the height of his sexual vigor at around eighteen, a girl does not reach hers until around twenty-eight. This is largely because of the different conditioning boys and girls get. Girls lead more sheltered, guarded lives and thus develop many more repressions and inhibitions about sex than men.

Most girls who start to pet in their teens do so because they are afraid they won’t be asked for dates if they don’t pet. They give kisses as rewards to the boy for taking them to the dance. It is believed that at least one-half of female sex delinquents get little or no pleasure from the sex activity. They indulge primarily to get something else they want: the prestige and pleasure of having dates. This behavior puts sex on a very low plane. The prostitute herself is rarely motivated by excessive sex feeling. Rather she does it to obtain certain other things she considers important, such as spending money, gowns, cosmetics, etc.

Some girls think that because of the surplus of women over men they must be aggressive if they are to get dates, and consider bold petting one of the most effective techniques of aggression. Actually aggression of any kind usually has an adverse effect on a man, and the emotions generated in the girl by petting may lead to a sense of insecurity and a feeling of frustration.

It would be pointless to advise that young people should never neck or pet, because the facts show that the vast majority of young people engage in necking and petting to some extent. But what can be said for and against unmarried couples practicing complete physical intimacy before marriage? What arguments have been advanced in favor of it?

First we have heard it said that premarital sexual relations assist in the wise choice of a mate. You know what you are getting. You[66] will know better whether you and the mate would be compatible sexually. One religious sect in this country takes a unique view on premarital experience. Couples do not marry until a child is conceived. In this way the groom-to-be can rest assured his bride-to-be can bear him children. The trouble here is that many premarital sex experiences of the modern couple are engaged in under circumstances that are hardly favorable to the flowering of sexual desires and their satisfaction. When intimacy is accompanied by feelings of fear or guilt or shame—as is frequently the case in premarital affairs—permanent scars are left on the participants. Usually a person can get just as accurate a clue of what married love would be with a specific individual by petting and conversation rather than by complete intimacy with its usual aftermath of shame and guilt.

Another argument often mentioned in favor of premarital sex relations is that it is dangerous to one’s health to wait. This argument is based on the well-known fact that most young people are mature enough physically to marry several years before economic factors make marriage advisable. So why wither away while waiting? They point to the spinsters who shrivel up for lack of love. This is only a half truth because, as you will see later in this chapter, there are other outlets for sexual feeling available in addition to coitus. These may not be as pleasurable but they are virtually as effective. The withered spinsters are that way because they employ no outlets whatsoever.

On the other side—the reasons why complete intimacy is ill-advised before marriage—we have first of all the fact that society frowns on such intimacy. Even though the practice is widespread it is still illicit love, with all the psychological problems it involves. The idea that the bride and groom be virgins at the start of their marriage is the product of the experience of most civilized peoples. That in itself should mean something. Undisciplined sexual expression has always been found to be destructive to the social group that permits it to take place.

Next, while it can be seriously debated whether complete intimacy hurts or helps an engaged couple planning early marriage, there is no question how it affects persons indulging on a casual[67] basis. We have authoritative information on this point. In one carefully conducted research, the records of twenty-five girls were picked at random—girls who, according to their test scorings, were unconventional and generally unstable emotionally. These girls were carefully interviewed. Of the twenty-five, twenty-one admitted to the counselors that they had been intimate with one or more men during the preceding two years! That is persuasive proof that promiscuous persons are usually also unstable emotionally. And being unstable emotionally they are very poor prospects for marriage.

Finally here are some specific dangers that every person considering complete intimacy before marriage should be aware of:

—Possible pregnancy, and a forced and hasty marriage.

—If the child is aborted the possibility of permanent sterility or other injury must not be forgotten.

—The probability that the illicit relationship may become known to members of your social group, if not to your parents.

—Probability that even though temporary relief from sexual tension is achieved you may suffer from feelings of shame, guilt, or remorse.

—Possibility that your future spouse may discover that you have had sexual relations with another person. It may prey on his or her mind despite the fact that he goes through with the marriage.

—The possibility that the intimacy is practiced under conditions so nerve-racking and undesirable that they cheapen the meaning of the act.

—The risk of venereal disease.

—The possibility—if you are a girl—that the relationship is exploitive. Perhaps the man is seeking his own satisfaction with little regard for the girl or her feelings.

After those warnings regarding complete intimacy are given we would like to make it clear that premarital kissing and petting do have a legitimate function. Recently a nurse trainee came to the Penn State clinic; she was overwrought. She said her current boy friend had laid his hand across her breast. Had she been prudish in becoming upset? She was assured that she hadn’t been. But she was urged not to let the incident drive her to aloofness. Frigidness can wreck one’s chances for a happy marriage just as surely as promiscuity.


It is entirely natural for a mutually attracted young couple to desire to caress each other. It is one of nature’s techniques for encouraging mating. Without it we would have fewer marriages—and children. It is harmful only when the attachment between the two people is completely sexual and they rush into an early marriage, or into intercourse without marriage.

Take for example Dorothy and Bob, who wanted some last-minute advice before marrying. Obviously they were crazy about each other. To them a kiss or embrace was a way to convey their adoration. Everything pointed to their being truly in love and the tests showed them to be well-matched. To deny them such expression of affection when together would not only frustrate their love but might even impair their adjustment in marriage.

Their kind of innocent petting however should not be confused with the “exploitive” kind practiced by a student we’ll call Hale. He said quite casually that he “loves ’em and leaves ’em.” Investigation showed that was precisely what he did. And while he was apparently not as irresistible as he implied, he did find some girls to join him in his sex adventuring. Some naïvely fell for his line. Others joined in quite frankly for the thrill involved in exploring each other. Both Hale and two of the promiscuous girls involved showed in their tests strong traces of emotional instability which would make them poor marriage prospects. Before a girl becomes involved in any petting she should make sure in her own mind that it is not the “exploitive” kind.

Caressing or petting becomes definitely dangerous when physical contact and stimulation become ends in themselves. In the case of an engaged couple in love the intimacy is not just an end in itself but an expression of affection. The important thing is that sexual feeling should develop and grow out of the friendship and courtship of two people, it should not be the initial basis for it. There is likely to be exploitation involved if a couple feel impelled to engage in petting during the first few dates. Petting is progressive and can carry a couple much further than they intend to go. That is the big danger.

Ideally a couple should marry when their friendship and courtship[69] have developed in them such strong sexual feelings toward each other that there is a physical and psychological need for satisfaction. This is why society is more tolerant of petting after a couple become engaged. It is nature’s preparation for marriage. The trouble of course is in the serious lag involved between the time a couple may be ripe physically for marriage and the time they are prepared vocationally and emotionally to marry. We still have our child brides in backwoods areas but most modern Americans do not consider it feasible to marry until they are well in their twenties. And in our civilization that is proper. But it does impose serious temptations on the people who have to wait.

From the time they pass out of adolescence young people—especially men—need outlets for the sexual tensions building up within them. There seems little doubt to us that refraining from any sort of sexual expression does impair one’s psychological balance and mental health. Personality can be damaged and physical health may be damaged. But if we rule out climactic sexual relations with another person what alternatives are left? There are three major forms this can take.

—Climaxes in the dream world. This is most common with men and produces their nocturnal emissions.

—Substitution. This usually means masturbation. Many people think that masturbation is a sin, that it will produce insanity, that it leads to skin blemishes or pimples, that it is something disgusting or filthy, that it stunts your growth. All the evidence indicates that none of these is true. A noted psychiatrist, O. Spurgeon English, recently said: “Most all psychiatrists, psychologists, and educators today regard masturbation as a normal phenomenon ... indulged in to some degree by all human beings during the course of their development.” As we see it, masturbation is a relatively harmless method of reducing tension providing feelings of guilt and shame are not connected with it and providing of course that it is not done excessively.

—Sublimation. You “sublimate” a sexual hunger, or handle it on a “high” socially approved plane by such things as dancing and associating a great deal with persons of the other sex. A young person is greatly helped in this if he is permitted to date at an early age (fifteen is not too[70] young) and encouraged to bring his date to his home. Sublimation cannot reduce sexual hunger but it helps to take your mind off it.

If there is no outlet for these feelings through normal and natural associations with the opposite sex and if parental instruction on sex has been inadequate, really abnormal sex behavior may result.

The most common form of maldevelopment probably is homosexuality. It was once believed that homosexuals were “born that way.” But now it is known that the great majority of them, male and female, are normal in a bodily sense. Their abnormal behavior is clearly the result of unfortunate conditioning. Perhaps a boy was pampered too much as a child and has had little chance to mingle with the other sex, and then is rebuffed when he attempts to make dates because he seems namby-pamby or effeminate. While being forced away from associating with girls the hormones are being poured into his blood stream. The boy becomes tense without realizing why and without any outlet to reduce the tension. Bit by bit he may turn to persons of his own sex for sexual satisfaction, first perhaps through mutual masturbation and finally through homosexuality.

It is known that there is much more homosexuality in girls’ or boys’ schools than there is at co-educational institutions. One study showed that one-third of married women have had at some time in their unmarried days intense emotional relations with other women, even though some did not recognize the behavior as sexual in character. There is every reason to believe that more women engage in homosexual behavior than is true of men. This is understandable in view of the fact that expressions of affection between women are much more acceptable than is true of expressions of affection between men. Nobody thinks anything of two women greeting each other with a kiss, walking hand in hand or with arms clasped about each other. Men would be looked upon suspiciously if they engaged in any such behavior.

Still other abnormal outlets sexual feeling will take if it is not provided with normal or acceptable forms of expression are:


Voyeurism, or “Peeping Tom” behavior, brought about by curiosity about sexual behavior of other individuals because the person is repressed and lacks sexual information himself.

Fetishism, which produces an unnatural sex attachment to objects rather than persons. The objects may be shoes, hair curls, wearing apparel. The possession and fondling of such articles create arousal and satisfaction of sex feelings.

Pedophilia, or unnatural attachment for children, perhaps because it offers them a “safe” way to inspect and caress human anatomy.

Sadism and masochism. The first feeling comes from inflicting pain on another, the second from having pain inflicted on one’s self. This involves the sensual feeling of pleasure-after-pain which we have already mentioned.

But to get back to the problem of finding socially approved outlets for sexual feeling before marriage. We would advise couples rigorously to refrain from direct sexual stimulation and other below-the-shoulder petting until marriage is fairly imminent if they hope to abstain from intercourse before marriage. The excitation of such petting is apt to swirl a couple into complete intimacy despite their best intentions not to go that far.

We would not undertake to advise young people how far they should go in their petting, but feel that every young person—as a part of his or her personal philosophy of life—should decide just what his limits should be. When the limit is set here are some hints on how to make it stick.

—Reserve even your good-night kisses for people you are genuinely fond of. A girl should not cheapen them by letting a casual date lead her to the davenport to collect a reward for taking her out. And don’t fall into the error of thinking that free-and-easy petting will increase your popularity. It won’t except with people who would make unstable mates anyway.

—Limit carefully the time you are alone with a person of the other sex under romantic conditions. It is almost a “rule of love” that the longer a couple are alone with nothing much to do, the greater the likelihood they will pet. Several college girls tell us they never agree finally to a date until they are sure there will be something definite to do—go to the movies, dance or play gin rummy. If parents or school authorities set a time limit for you to be home they are really doing you a favor.


—Learn to sense when either is becoming physically aroused and stop. Again college girls tell us that when they recognize the danger signals they suggest to the man that they dance, go for a soda or take a walk.

—Learn that alcoholic beverages may relax your inhibitions to the point where you will go much further than you intended. That is why some people wisely refrain from drinking or limit themselves severely while on a date.


Some people respond to their mates with a greater intensity of emotion than do others. This test should reveal your own responsiveness.

1. Were you reared in an affectionate family? Yes No
2. Do you become excited at a close football or baseball match? Yes No
3. Are you strongly moved by sentimental music or a romantic movie? Yes No
4. When friends are away a week do you feel their absence a great deal? Yes No
5. Do you have a wide circle of acquaintances and friends? Yes No
6. Does it help you to take your troubles to friends? And do you want them to bring their troubles to you?  Yes No
7. Are you fond of children? Yes No
8. Do you compliment others frequently—and sincerely? Yes No
9. Does it distress you to see someone in pain? Yes No
10. Do you feel you are actively affectionate with the person of the opposite sex that you like best? Yes No
11. Do you fed you are free from repressions? Yes No
12. When your feelings are hurt do you get over the hurt quickly? Yes No
13. Do you participate in two or three social organizations? Yes No
14. Do you find it easy to mix with casual acquaintances? Yes No
15.[73] In associating with people of the opposite sex are you open and natural rather than stand-offish? Yes No
16. Do you consider yourself well-adjusted sexually? Yes No
17. Do you like to look after a sick person? Yes No
18. Were your own parents affectionate? Yes No

If you answered yes to fifteen or more of these you are a warm, ardent person and should be able to work out a satisfying sexual adjustment in marriage. If you answered yes to nine or less you appear to be reserved and cool by nature. Your best chance in marriage will be with a person of similar disposition.


Chapter VII
Do You Frighten Possible Mates Away?

Getting along with the other sex is one of the most important skills you will ever learn—if you do learn it.

If you fail to achieve a good adjustment it will show up in other aspects of your life. Failure to get along with others is undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons why people fail at their jobs. Far more people are dropped from their positions or are passed over in awarding promotions because of personality inadequacies than are dropped because of technical incompetence. The person who can’t get along well on a job is usually not a good risk in marriage. And the person who cannot get along with acquaintances is usually not a good risk for a job or for marriage.

Likewise, when you find a happily married person you will also usually find a person who is happy in his work and in his social contacts. And whether or not you get along with people—particularly of the other sex—depends primarily upon the sort of training you had in childhood. Professor Terman found that happily married people were people whose own parents had been happily married ... were people who had a great deal of love and affection for their parents ... were people who had been punished only mildly and infrequently by their parents and had been disciplined firmly but not harshly. It is not impossible to replace bad traits with good but it will become increasingly difficult with each passing year.

How do you impress people of the other sex? Did you ever stop to ask yourself that? To find the answer you will have to adopt the attitude Socrates is alleged to have recommended: “Know thyself.”

Have you ever stopped to make an inventory of your assets and[75] liabilities? Perhaps you have traits which you have lived with so long that you aren’t aware of them, but which greatly annoy people you want to know better. Or perhaps the traits are not downright offensive but weaken your appeal. The test in this chapter, “Do You Have a Negative or Positive Personality?” may help you in making an inventory.

If you feel something is holding you back from popularity with the other sex try to get to the root of your trouble. If people do not ask you out, why don’t they? If some dislike or avoid you, what is the explanation? If some people seem merely to tolerate you, what is the trouble? If you feel you do not have as much influence in your group as you would like to, what is undermining your influence? Below we are going to point out a dozen of the major trouble-making characteristics. Perhaps some of them may apply to you.

Do You Feel Uncomfortable in the Presence of the Opposite Sex? Perhaps you are haunted by deep feelings of inferiority, feelings which may come from your lack of association—compared to other persons your own age—with the opposite sex, or perhaps you have been thrown into a more “sophisticated” group than you were accustomed to. Another possibility is that you lack the knowledge to intermingle suavely. Perhaps you still feel clumsy—and must watch your feet—while dancing. Perhaps you dread the ceremony of introducing people because you are vague on the etiquette involved. Perhaps you are not sure you are dressed appropriately for the occasion. Perhaps you don’t know when to use the right fork or spoon. Perhaps you are not quite sure how to act in saying good night to a date, or how to thank a hostess for a delightful evening.

The answer to this type of problem is simple. If you feel ill at ease because you feel you are a poor dancer, then learn to be a better dancer. Take lessons, or simply practice on your own living-room floor. If it is etiquette that bothers you read any of a dozen books on the subject, and watch carefully how others around you behave. One more thing—if you are haunted by feelings of inferiority, learn to do some one thing superlatively well, even if it is only table[76] tennis or gin rummy. This will bring you recognition from the group and ease your feelings of self-consciousness.

General Eisenhower has said that self-confidence is the greatest asset one can have in the world. John Powers, originator of the famed Powers Model Agency, tells his new models that the biggest thing they have to learn is self-assurance, and he quotes to them General Eisenhower’s remark.

Are You Aloof? Many young people, after they have been bruised a couple of times in their early contacts with the opposite sex, wrap their ego up in a protective shell so that no one can hurt them again. Other people, particularly girls, want to be dated so badly and feel so anxious about not being dated more that they “freeze” when anyone approaches them for a date. They are anxious not to appear over-anxious, and again aloofness results. Finally, girls who teach often frighten men away through their aloofness. The teacher often carries into her dating, unconsciously, the reserve she develops in the classroom for disciplinary reasons.

Whatever the source of the aloofness, the attitude is interpreted by the opposite sex as coldness and indifference. Possible dates are frightened away because you appear unapproachable and perhaps a bit haughty.

Do You Have a “Low Boiling Point” Emotionally? Some of us have built up emotional habits that prevent us from getting along with persons of the opposite sex. We habitually lose our tempers, act rudely, show our anxieties, or go to pieces. They lead inevitably to quarrels with our boy friends or girl friends. If you are easily upset by frustrations or anger you find yourself involved in temper outbursts and profanity, both of which are highly repelling to anyone in the opposite sex interested in you.

Do You Daydream Frequently? The daydreaming itself does not annoy others, but daydreaming holds you back from appearing at your best. Daydreaming is usually simply the imaginary representation of satisfactions you do not achieve in real life. When you let your daydreams become a substitute for real achievement, your[77] personality is definitely slipping and the outcome may be dangerous. If you must daydream, make it planful.

Do You Often Complain About Your Health? It is bad enough for your marriage prospects to appear unhealthy. It is even worse if you complain of your aches and pains. You not only bring the other person’s attention even more on your short-comings, but reveal yourself to be something of a hypochondriac, who is defined in Webster’s dictionary as a person suffering from “a mental disorder characterized by morbid anxiety as to the patient’s health....”

Do You Blame Your Troubles and Mistakes on Others? This is one of the most vicious mental habits one can get into. Psychologists call it the habit of “projection.” You project your failures upon somebody else. The boy says he is not able to get along with girls because his father will not let him have the car. The girl blames her failure to have dates upon her mother for not giving her the right kind of clothes. Such a habit is much more serious than first appears. In the first place, one’s listeners are not fooled by such projections, and in the second place the individual who gets into such a habit fails to profit by his mistakes. Thus he loses opportunity for making improvement.

Are You Intolerant of People Who Are Not Like You? Broadmindedness or tolerance is a trait we must have if people are to like us. To be broadminded or tolerant, you usually need to be both intelligent and well informed. Intolerance and bigotry are either based on ignorance of other people or on a mind that knows the facts but is all twisted up. One should not confuse broadmindedness with low standards and ideals. A broadminded person may be tolerant of an individual whose own standards are low even though the broadminded person tries to live by practical, realistic and decent standards. You can be an unchanging believer in a particular religion or be an invariable follower of one political party, but at least you should keep from ramming your personal views down the throats of others. When you voice intolerances you usually antagonize acquaintances who are startled by your narrow views.


Are You Argumentative? Many persons, because of their biases or prejudices or emotional tension, constantly want to argue. They hope by arguing to convince others of the correctness of their own views. The louder they shout the more persuasive their argument—so they think. Actually, arguing rarely ever convinces anyone. And the one sure result is that it will create hard feelings, if engaged in vehemently. As long as a discussion can remain good humored and considerate, with nobody raising his voice or becoming agitated, worth-while ideas may be exchanged.

Do You Bore People by Your Talking? Do you chatter inanely or do you annoy people by constantly talking “shop?” One can talk about one’s job without talking “shop.” The important difference is that he talks about those aspects of his occupation that will interest an outsider with normal curiosity. And he talks about his job only if the listener shows by smiling or nodding his head that the subject intrigues him. Being able to talk is not nearly so important as being able to talk in a congenial way. The congenial person sees that conversations cover only topics that are mutually interesting, and he avoids talking too much. Further, he is sensitive enough to catch the mood of the other person and is flexible enough to join in that mood. Finally, the congenial talker is sensitive enough to lead the conversation away from subjects that will only bring conflict.

Are You Self-centered? Perhaps you were “spoiled” as a child or are so richly endowed with physical charm or with talent you feel yourself to be the center of the universe. For example, the girl may have temper tantrums in public, she may humiliate her escort by biting sarcasm or devastating scorn. Often her escort simply serves as a foil for her “brilliance” or good looks. She frightens her man away because he sees himself going through life as a planet in her orbit. Such a girl is not seeking a husband as such; what she wants is a background for her own personality. After being hurt by her a few times a man runs away and seeks a girl who will pour balm on his injured ego.

Are You Aggressive? A man may offend decent girls by being[79] aggressively “on the make.” A girl may be aggressive by being a “gold-digger,” and scare men away by being both expensive and inconsiderate. Or she may be aggressive simply in the sense that she is worried about the shortage of males and sets out grimly to get a man before it is too late. In match-making, man is jealously proud of his role of pursuer and does not want his traditional role usurped by the skirted sex. Thus most men resent overt signs of aggression by a girl.

Are You Repelling Physically? Most girls like to have a man who is taller than they are. Feelings of prestige are involved.

Poor health, extreme tallness or shortness, extreme obesity or thinness, very dark or very light complexion, poor motor coördination, seriously impaired vision, impaired hearing, unbecoming teeth, body odor, a general appearance of being weak and easily tired detract greatly from one’s personality. Other things that detract are bizarre features such as tattoos, the appearance of being under-sexed. In general a person should never be more than twenty per cent over or under the weight for his height.

In these days of modern medical science, plastic surgery, orthodentistry, dermatology, etc., a girl or man can get rid of most irregular features. And those that can’t be removed can be overshadowed. The physical paralysis of the late President Roosevelt did not influence people negatively because of the great personal charm of the man. The impairment of hearing of Thomas Edison did not diminish the respect and liking that people had for his genius.

Odor is tremendously important in the impressions that one makes on others. It is believed that one of the reasons men like women and women like men is that their respective odors are agreeable to each other. Halitosis, perspiration odors, clothing odors resulting from wearing clothing in places of work where the air is redolent with manufacturing processes, may ruin your chances for marrying the one you want. Almost any girl or man who is in good health, who is willing to take care of his teeth, who avoids wearing clothing saturated with occupational odors and who is[80] careful to avoid perspiration smells can be wholesome and fragrant. Perfume should be used to enhance the true natural body odor of the individual and not to mask unpleasant ones.

Actually, physical appearances rarely need hurt seriously a person’s chances of marriage providing they retain self-assurance. The trouble is that a person with a prominent nose or big feet is so concerned about the specific defects that he convinces himself he presents an ugly appearance. He develops feelings of inferiority, and that is where the real trouble begins.

The person who holds his head up, who can look you straight in the eye, whose face is animated when he talks, is better looking and better liked than the individual who does not do these things. The restful physical position, the alert face and animated expression convey to others the feeling that you are poised. Poise and self-confidence make up a large part of “good looks.”

Assuming that after reading this chapter you have concluded you have some bad habits that are hurting your chances of getting a desirable mate, how can the habit be broken? It is not easy. There are two major thoughts to keep in mind in trying to break a habit. First, once you decide to break the habit, you must not let any exception occur. The reforming drunkard who has trouble walking past bars knows that just one nip will set off a chain of violations. The longer he can keep from drinking the weaker the urge to drink becomes and soon he can pass bars without any trouble at all, and in fact with scorn. The second idea in breaking a habit is to substitute something in the habit’s place. A person wants to stop eating sweets. Several years ago one of the cigarette manufacturers sold millions of cigarettes by proposing that a person with a sweet-tooth should reach for a cigarette instead of a sweet. This was the principle of substitution. A substitute for a boy who bites his fingernails may be something like this. He can reason:

“I have a desire to bite my nails but I have a bigger desire not to bite my nails. While it is difficult not to bite my nails it is much more important that my nails look acceptable if I am to get dates. I would rather have dates than bite my fingernails.” Such a bigger[81] goal may help you break any habit that offends people you want to impress.

Girls probably are more concerned about the impression they create than men. Here is some advice to women that one investigator, a man, offered after making a study of the habits of women:

—Don’t wear styles that men consider queer.

—Don’t neglect the romantic illusion. Men are disillusioned by such things as hair curlers, awkward positions and postures, unattractive sounds in the throat, making up in public.

—Don’t fail to answer a man, and promptly, when he addresses you; he may feel slighted by inattention.

—Don’t nag a man. Men flee to office, club, other women—anywhere but where the nagger is.

—Don’t tell off-color stories or use coarse language. Most men resent them in women.

—Don’t show jealousy. All men abhor a jealous woman.

—Don’t compare your male companion unfavorably with another man.

—Don’t giggle, shriek or otherwise be loud to attract his attention.


Subtract five points for each of the repelling traits you possess. (Be honest.) And add five points for each of the appealing traits you can honestly claim as a consistent part of your personality.

Repelling Traits Appealing Traits
1. Jealous Broadminded
2. Irritable Loyal to friends
3. Unbecoming teeth Truthful
4. Unpleasant body odor Tolerant
5. Intolerant Considerate
6. Uncomfortable in groups   Affectionate
7. Full of anxieties Optimistic
8. Hot-tempered Good humored
9. Inclined to daydream Tactful
10. Rude Generous
11. Blame others for mishaps Enthusiastic
12. “Go to pieces” when upset Ability to accept criticism
13. Bite your nails Admit mistakes
14. Loud in talking Don’t make excuses
15.[82] Profane habitually Dress appropriately
16. Laugh at mistakes of others Possess good health
17. Flaunt your knowledge Friendly
18. Talk about your bad health Modulated voice
19. Argumentative Reasonable
20. Brusque Congenial conversationalist
21. Aggressive Neat
22. Uncoöperative Clean
23. Lack confidence in self Correct use of English
24. Domineering Good posture and carriage
25. Selfish High ideals
26. Crude Consistently dependable
27. Egocentric (conceited) Naturalness
28. Gossipy Frankness
29. Unpredictable Attractive teeth
30. Envious of others Unselfish

If you ended up with a negative score you can feel fairly sure that you are being handicapped in your association with the other sex by an unattractive personality. In fact if you checked more than eight of the repelling characteristics (regardless of the number of appealing traits you checked) you have grounds for concern about the impression you create. However, if you checked five or less of the repelling traits and ended with a total positive score of more than one hundred you apparently have an unusually appealing personality.


Chapter VIII
Attracting the One You Want

Will You marry the one person you have met whom you would like most to marry, will you have to be content with a second choice, or will you have no choice at all? The answer will depend on how appealing a person you are. And frequently that appeal can be enhanced by knowledge of techniques for winning the romantic interest of persons of the other sex.

The person who wants to win a mate must put three thoughts in the prospective mate’s head. You must make that person feel the need of a mate ... that you are the person who can best fit that need ... and that the time is ripe for marriage.

First, let’s consider some of the things a girl can do to get a man thinking along those lines:

—She should talk about the man’s basic needs in a subtle, impersonal way by discussing such things as good food, comfortable furniture, fireplaces, a place where one can bring friends. She gets his ideas on the style of home he likes, and gets his ideas about children. She does all this in a friendly, optimistic way and avoids discussing some of the disadvantages that marriage often entails. Veterans are particularly responsive to such an approach because their shifting, destructive life as fighting men has filled them with a profound desire to settle down to a comfortable, creative life.

—She appeals to the man’s yearning for mastery (which every man has) by giving him the opportunity to do most of the talking. She follows his words with genuine interest and tries to fall in with whatever mood he is in. And she enthusiastically accepts his ideas about places to go on dates and things to do. Definitely, she minimizes any mistakes that he may make, blames him for nothing and keeps her complaints to[84] herself, or lets them come out only as friendly, constructive suggestions.

—She makes herself physically appealing.

—She does not discuss any poor physical health she may have, nor does she discuss any bad breaks or her possible knack for always getting into trouble.

—She lets him get the impression that other men are interested in her, but makes it plain that they do not interest her nearly as much as this particular man.

—She does not run down other girls.

—She makes it clear that she is sure he must be popular, and very successful in his work.

—She talks casually about her married friends and gets across the idea that they are terribly glad they married.

—She strives to make every occasion with this man an enjoyable one.

—Finally she is not afraid to let him know that she likes him and that his feelings toward her matter a great deal.

In short, the girl constantly sets up conditioning situations which make the man feel good inside for having been with her. Soon he’ll start thinking that it would be nice to have that good feeling inside for the rest of his life. That is the mood in which proposals germinate.

What are some of the things a man can do to get a girl in a receptive mood for a proposal? Here are a few:

—If he is a shrewd, practical psychologist he can detect the chief source of her feelings of inferiority. Most girls feel inferior about something, usually something about their appearance since that looms so important to them. Perhaps they are acutely conscious of big hands or thick ankles or mouse-colored hair. In such cases the man should reserve his most enthusiastic compliments for those sites of anxiety. He does not need to mention them specifically, but he should word the compliments in such a way that those features are obviously included in his admiration. The girl will be so grateful that she will want to be with the man as much as she can just to hear him say such nice things.

—The man should be “romantic” if it kills him. He should remember that women inherently are much more sentimental than men. If it weren’t for feminine sentiment there never would have been a Valentine’s Day. The actual sex urge is not as strong in girls as it is in men, so they are[85] much more interested in the forms of courting than in sex expression itself. They want to be told again and again that you adore them.

—The man, if he is adept, can play effectively on the girl’s feeling of insecurity. Security is the most important thing in the world to women. Though girls can make their own living nowadays, most of them still feel their greatest chance for real security lies in marriage. How can the man play on these feelings of insecurity?—by talking to the girl in detail about her job, about her aspirations, her plans for the future. He can accomplish the same result by the reverse technique of talking casually and impersonally about all the things that stand for security in a woman’s mind. He can analyze house plans in a magazine with her; he can talk about his own future at his job and the prospects that some day he will have a job commanding respect and a substantial income.

—The man should be self-assured with the girl and just a bit masterful. Despite all the feminine emancipation of the past few decades, women admire he-men and sometimes yearn to be swooped up, whisked away and relieved of all their problems.

—He should be considerate and gentle with the girl and be careful that he observes all the amenities of politeness. Women are more impressed by etiquette than men.

—He should be careful not to reveal any anxieties he has about his job or his future generally.

—He should let the idea seep out that he is now in a marriageable state of mind and that other girls seem interested in him. Girls have a more fiercely competitive spirit in their mate-seeking than men.

For people who are still a little baffled about the whole business of courtship, we can pass on a tried and true formula for winning a mate. We have seen it work wonders in scores of cases.

The amusing thing is that it was not designed for snaring mates but for snaring customers for American products such as refrigerators. It is sometimes called the AIDA advertising formula, named from the first letters of the formula’s four key words—Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. To get a person to buy a refrigerator you must first attract his attention, then generate an interest, instill a desire to own the refrigerator, and then give him the final prod that will impel him to go in and lay down his hard-earned money for the machine.


When applied to your situation, it involves these four stages in winning a mate: First, the prospective mate’s attention must be directed toward you. Upon noticing you, he must see something that will arouse his interest. Then he must be stimulated to have a desire to know you better. When desire is aroused sufficiently, action (agreement to marry) results.

There are, of course, many approaches to attracting a person’s attention. A man has more liberties here in making himself seen than a girl but let’s consider some of the socially-approved approaches a girl can make. She can arrange for relatives, friends and social and business acquaintances to introduce men to her. In this her role can appear passive. Or she can use the be-where-men-are approach by attending parties, meetings and community affairs which by their very nature bring her into contact with men.

After winning the person’s attention—whether you are a man or a girl—the best way to arouse his or her interest is through conversation—and not just any conversation. Here out of the whole universe is one person before you. What kind of person is he or she? What are his or her interests? Unharness your curiosity and ask friendly, tactful questions. And you should make it clear that you regard the person’s answers as worth-while. Emphasize the you with such questions as “What do you think about ...” or “Your idea is the most sensible I’ve heard yet.” Whether you are male or female, learn to be a good listener, or rather a good interrogator. Lead the person into topics he or she seems to relish discussing, and if you see frowns or looks of discomfort change the subject.

Jim may be very much interested in photography. He will like you if you ask him questions about his photography, whether he develops his own pictures, the kind of camera he has, the unusual pictures he has taken. However, you must use insight. Nana may be an expert stenographer but may not be very proud of her vocation and so would be more appreciative of questions about her taste in clothes, about the different places she has lived, the books she has enjoyed reading, the movie stars she likes, the places she has visited.

If you are a congenial conversationalist you have undoubtedly[87] gone a long ways toward arousing the interest of this person whose attention you have. Now if you are still interested, begin asking more personal questions about the person’s background. Perhaps this does not come until after several dates. The aim is to arouse in this person a desire to know you still better. Tell him the things you admire in the opposite sex. Intimate that you are sure he must be very popular. By attributing such a personality to him, you create in him a desire to know you better! Once this desire is firmly created, a courtship has begun that may very well lead to the altar.

What traits do people especially look for in mates? One study of college women and college men found these traits to be mentioned most often:

Congeniality Intelligence
Intelligence Beauty of form and figure
Companionship Congenial companionship
“Handsome” form and features Neatness
Wit Appealing dress
Good nature Good sportsmanship
Neatness Modesty
Sincerity Good morals
Dependability Sincerity
Good sportsmanship Wit
Sex appeal Sense of humor
Flexibility Sex appeal
Good morals Honesty
Honesty Truthfulness
Good manners Friendliness

At Penn State students were asked for the qualities they were looking for in their future mate and a quite different list resulted. They wanted their mate to have:

Honesty Good health
Affection Love for children
Cleanliness Same religion
Sense of humor Neatness
“Good background”   Have character


Still another survey shows that if mature men are asked what kind of woman they want for a wife, the majority will state that they want a girl who is dark, reasonably slender, intelligent, with a reasonably good figure, and is average to tall in height, and is affectionate in disposition. The emphasis here is on physical appearance. However, only 10 per cent of the men insist that the girl must be “pretty.” Only about fifteen per cent insist that their wife be a blonde, despite the glamorizing of the blonde, and thirty-three per cent of the men say that they do not want blondes under any circumstances. Even the plump girl has a chance. About seventeen per cent of the men want a wife who is plump to solid.

“Looks” certainly are a factor in one’s attractiveness to the opposite sex, particularly with girls. But actually almost any girl can appear attractive to men if she has only one or two really attractive features, providing she is intelligent enough to capitalize on them. She may be flat-chested or knock-kneed but the men scarcely notice that because she designs herself so that her bad features are not seen. The eye is directed to the good features, whether they be lustrous hair or luminous eyes. Some of the most famous stars in Hollywood are either knock-kneed, thick-ankled or big-footed. The only really ugly girls in this world are the freaks, the crude girls, the girls who appear sexless, and the girls who look unhealthy.

“Good looking” girls are the ones who make a good first impression, and have such attractive personalities that the impression persists. There you have an important distinction. “Looks” are important in attracting the possible mate’s attention. There is a psychological factor involved. For reasons of prestige a man usually wants to prove to his friends that he has picked a “looker” when he shows off his new girlfriend. But once the attention is secured, looks for either a man or girl become decidedly secondary considerations. From then on a person stands or falls on his personality. A man can be an Adonis or a girl can be symmetrically perfect. Yet they can bore you and you can’t get them out of your sight fast enough.

What is the normal physical appearance of a man and woman? One physician has found that the average woman has a height of[89] about five feet four inches and weighs approximately 132 pounds. For every inch of additional height she may add five pounds; for every inch less of height she should subtract five. The man, on the other hand, has an average height of about five feet seven inches, or three inches higher than the girl. He should weigh about 142 pounds. For every inch of height more or less a man can add about eight pounds, if he has his clothes on.

Some women want their men to be “tall, dark and handsome” but statistics would seem to indicate that only about one man in two hundred attains the height of six feet.

Sometimes young people develop terrible inferiority complexes because of specific ugly features they have. Since a feeling of confidence and poise is so important in winning a mate it might be advisable for one with a bad nose, for example, to have a plastic surgery operation. As everyone knows, plastic surgery made tremendous strides in the recent war. A good plastic surgeon will remake your nose for a price averaging about three hundred dollars. The operation itself requires less than an hour, and you may be out of circulation for only a couple of weeks. Such an operation leaves no scars because it is performed through the nostrils rather than from outside. Many other operations of this kind are possible: operations that will eliminate scars, that will improve a bad chin, that will give the lips a configuration, etc. The operation may be worth while if it is the only way to remove a source of anxiety. In these days of modern medical science, plastic surgery, orthodentistry, dermatology, etc. almost any person can rid himself of really abnormal features. And once you have achieved fairly harmonious features your personality is what counts.

It is significant that in defining a truly beautiful woman John Powers, the model agent, listed these four things as being in the top ten ingredients of beauty:


One Hollywood columnist wrote in his column the following two sentences that should cause anyone to think: “Beauty is a drug on the market. Personality can command any price.”

Complete self-assurance (tempered by modesty of course) is undoubtedly the most helpful characteristic anyone can have in competing for mates. The person who has an inferiority complex may have developed it because of physical features which prey on his mind, or because of some inadequate behavior in the past. He may have made poor grades in school or not have been able to earn a letter in athletics. There are many ways to acquire self-confidence. Here are some:

But one of the best of all possible ways to rid yourself of an inferiority complex and to develop self-confidence is to become skillful in social activities that young people frequently enter into. Learn to be expert at tennis or golf or Ping-pong or bridge or canoeing, or swimming or bowling or skeet-shooting or gin rummy, or saxophone playing, or being an amateur magician. Nothing builds up confidence faster than to possess a secret skill that interests or amuses people of the opposite sex. Most important of all, learn to be a skillful dancer. If you can float about a dance floor it instills confidence in you, and admiration in your dancing partner. Besides, you will enjoy yourself more. And a person who knows how to enjoy himself is attractive to other people.


Chapter IX
Is the One You Want the One You Need?

The average young person considering his or her prospects of marriage, we find, thinks only in terms of what he wants in a mate. But actually anyone facing realistically the problem of selecting a mate should realize that three things, not one, ought to be considered: 1. What you want. 2. What you need. 3. What you can get.

Perhaps the ideal in your mind of the mate you want is not only something you can’t get but also something you have no need for. What you want may be unattainable in the community in which you live. For example, if a girl would not marry a coal miner though she lived in a small coal-mining community, she might either have to modify her standards, move to a different community, or become an old maid.

Ordinarily you might think that the kind of mate you might want would be the kind you would need. But it often happens that a person’s desires are based on frivolous or impractical considerations; or upon the desire merely to “marry into money.”

During the past several years, students in Penn State’s psychology classes on preparation for marriage have been asked what amount of money they would consider an absolute minimum on which they would be willing to marry. The girls consistently specified more than the men. The average for the boys is $2,450, and for the girls $2,950. More than ten per cent of the girls have specified that they will not marry until their groom has an income of more than five thousand dollars. Obviously such girls are insisting on incomes which are more than they need and almost certainly more than they can get.


Take the case of Miriam, who specified that her man must be earning at least four thousand dollars a year before she will consider marrying. She set the figure that high because she says she knows nothing about cooking or managing a home so will have to hire someone else to do that. This man she will be willing to marry must be of “superior intelligence” (even though her intelligence is barely average), he must be six feet tall, be dark and handsome, be a good dancer; he must have broad shoulders and a “strong face.” He must be a good Culbertson bridge player; he must smoke a pipe; he must come from a “distinguished” family and must be either a physician or lawyer. Finally, she wrote, he must be a man who will put her on an altar and worship her.

Miriam has thought vaguely of children but thinks they should be put off for at least five years so that she may follow a dancing or theatrical career if something should develop. It is conceivable, of course, that she can find such a man, but considering her background and talents we doubt that she could interest him in marriage.

Often what we want in a mate is based upon our wants at the moment rather than upon basic or long-range needs. A couple in their early twenties may insist that each be a good dancer as one of the main qualifications for marriage. They dance so much that dancing looms large in their life. But ten years from now, when they will probably dance only a few times a year, it may be an unessential qualification while the ability to manage finances may add to the total family income and help weather a serious depression.

Qualities that may make a boy or girl a wonderful date are not necessarily the qualities that will make a wonderful mate. The two can be profoundly different. A girl wants a date for a party or dance. She wants a man who can dance, who will be admired as “good looking,” who will be a “good mixer,” who may be a “catch,” perhaps a football star or a radio actor. While these may be qualities needed for a date or dance, they probably will not be important qualities she will need in a mate for happiness in marriage. Don’t confuse a “good date” with a “good mate,” for what you want in a date may be far removed from what you need in marriage.


Too many times people fall in love with glamorous traits in the other. A girl “falls in love” with Bill because she loves his flattery or his dancing or his car or his taste in clothes. They cast such a halo effect that the girl gives little thought to the fact that Bill is a chronic heavy drinker. If she could see that his drinking will probably wreck any marriage he undertakes, she could spare herself much heartache.

Some people set their “mate goals” so high that they would rather remain unmarried than marry anyone below these standards. Years later they may be terribly disappointed and frustrated as a result. In the summer marriage classes at Penn State, which are largely made up of unmarried school teachers, many have confessed that they could have married when younger but somehow the man didn’t seem quite good enough. Now, too old to hope to marry, most of them wish they had been more practical in their middle twenties and not have had to wait until the late thirties or futile forties to see their error.

We know of young men today who would seem to be excellent prospects for mates—and they actually favor the idea of marrying—but we would be willing to predict that they will be bachelors. They are too fussy. They find something in every girl they go with that does not conform to their idea of an ideal mate.

How do we come by our ideals for mates? During adolescence and childhood both boys and girls form in their mind some kind of a “dream hero or heroine,” a sort of “phantom lover.” He or she is a composite of all the qualifications they want their future mate to have. No such paragon ever exists in real life and the mental image does undergo some modifications as the individual grows older.

Often this ideal has the qualities of some of the people we idolized in earlier years. Sometimes the qualities seem to be those of a favorite movie star, or of a heroine of literature. Sometimes they are inspired by qualities of an admired parent or older brother or sister. If you were brought up in a home by an adored and deeply-loved mother, your “phantasy ideal” may have almost all the good qualities of your mother. But if you were brought up in a home where you and your mother were in constant conflict, then you[94] may be interested in avoiding in a mate all the qualities you associate in your mind with your own mother.

People who cling to their phantasy ideal after they are grown up do so largely because they cannot distinguish between what they want and what they need. They are convinced that their wants and needs are identical. Their families and friends may try to show them the difference but their immediate wants are all that they can see.

Most of us who are married can look back and can see that the girl or man we yearned to marry at twenty would not be the kind of mate we need now. We thank Heaven that we did not marry that one.

Then what are the things we need in a mate? There are certain qualities that almost everyone would accept as desirable—qualities such as good health, sense of humor, fairness, dependability, unselfishness, patience. And there are some traits that are so fundamental that we will take them up in the next chapter under “Crucial Traits for a Happy Marriage.”

However, most all authorities are agreed that in considering possible mates you should in general seek someone who is roughly near your own age, who has about the same education that you have, who comes from approximately the same social-economic level that you do, and who is of the same nationality, race and religion.

Intelligence is important only in a relative sense—relative, that is, to you. Feebleminded persons tend to marry feeble-minded persons. While geniuses cannot always marry geniuses, they do tend to marry highly intelligent people. The average man marries a woman who is slightly less intelligent than he is. That’s why many brilliant women never marry. They do not come in contact with sufficiently brilliant men, or fail to disguise their brilliance in order to win a man of somewhat less intelligence. College males tell us that they want a girl for a wife who is “intelligent,” but makes them feel they are still more intelligent!

Another thing we must concede: some people have wants which[95] are so intense that they become needs. We have a letter from a veteran, a young major. The girl he has long considered proposing to has everything he wants except beauty. He has gone with her for four years. He is thirty-one, she is twenty-seven. She is sweet, understanding, affectionate, is well educated and supporting herself. She is a good cook and an excellent companion. She is neat and clean and plain. But she is not pretty. He knows she loves him and he thinks he loves her but every time he thinks of proposing he is held back because she isn’t attractive. Perhaps he should not marry this girl if her lack of beauty is going to gnaw at him the rest of his life. One alternative—and we suggested it—was that he suggest to her somehow that she take a course with a “charm school.” Another thought we suggested was that most beauty comes from within and that ten years from now this girl would probably have a more appealing face than many of the so-called beauties of her own age today.

In considering what you need in a mate it might be helpful to consider what are the important things to your happiness in life. A marriage will be good for you only if it helps you satisfy these basic needs. These needs—after you have achieved subsistence through food, shelter and clothing—are primarily psychological.

In considering whether any particular person would be a good mate for you, ask yourself these seven questions, based on the psychological needs you will want to satisfy:

Will This Mate Bring You Social Approval? You will want a mate that other people will like, that other people will admire and respect. You thus need a mate who is adept at getting along with other people. Will your friends like him and will the mate’s friends like you? Will your parents think approvingly of the marriage?

Can This Mate Offer You Security? This desire for security is a very fundamental one, especially with girls. It is based upon the bodily need for food, shelter and clothing but is much more complex. Will this mate be kind and considerate and give you a feeling of confidence and stability? Will this mate refrain from gambling,[96] drinking and other things that might imperil the security of your future home and children? In short, will this mate bring you a feeling that you have an anchor that will keep you steady?

Will This Mate Help You Get Ahead? This involves the desire for mastery, which is a universal human motive, particularly with men. It produces the urge to succeed, to excel, to overcome obstacles, to keep on fighting, to master situations. It is this desire for mastery that makes a husband take a correspondence course which may lead to a job promotion. The girl wants a mate who will be ambitious and the man needs a wife who will show initiative, who will read books on how to prepare tasty dishes and how to rear children according to the best principles of child care, and who will not become easily discouraged or frustrated.

Will This Mate Embarrass You by Nonconformity? The man wants a wife who will not act unbecomingly in public, who knows how to say and do the right thing when other people are present, who will conform to the customs that will cause the neighbors to think well of her. The girl wants a man who is not discourteous or sloppy, who will get to work at the time he is supposed to report, who will not embarrass her in public by doing things that will make them criticized by others.

Will This Mate Be Affectionate With You? We all want to be appreciated, to be approved by our own mate, to be given spontaneous tokens of affection, to be told that we are loved. It is tied up with our desire for praise and recognition. The man wants his wife to cherish him, to build him up, to show him in many little ways that she loves him, that she is close to him, and that she needs him. And the wife, perhaps to an even greater degree, needs to feel she is important to her husband, that he loves her and shows that love in many little ways.

Will This Mate Satisfy You Sexually? There are many ways you can detect before marriage whether such satisfaction can be achieved with this particular mate. Beware a person who shows a neurotic tendency, unconventional behavior, a craving for excitement,[97] an urge to be constantly on the go. Beware of both the prudes and of persons who seem preoccupied with sex. Beware of indications of jealousy and possessiveness. These symptoms suggest that this person may not be able to find sexual satisfaction in marriage nor bring it to you.

Finally, Can This Mate Talk Things Over With You? This ability, in our opinion, is one of the biggest single values in marriage. Beware of suspiciousness, of demands for explanation, of resentment, of continual criticism of others. These things suggest you may be entangled with a nagger and a complainer who will constantly try to improve you stead of dealing with you as a partner. You will find it difficult to talk to such a person, to discuss your mutual problems. Being able to talk things over with another person without restraint—which psychologists call mutual psychotherapy—is probably one of the greatest things you can get out of marriage. If a couple have confidence in each other, can confide their hopes, and their ambitions, can encourage and stimulate each other when frustrated, then such a couple can go far in satisfying the basic needs in their lives.


Chapter X
Crucial Traits for a Happy Marriage

Thus far we have talked about what young people think they want in their mates and about the basic needs, which a good mate should fill. But we still haven’t discussed the big question. What are the actual traits you should have and your mate should have if you are to achieve happiness in marriage? What makes a marriage happy or unhappy?

A few years ago no reliable answer was available. But within the past few years a great deal of illuminating data has been turned up by investigators as a result of an upsurge of scientific interest in marriage. This interest was aroused by the frightening rise in marital bankruptcy as shown by the divorce trend.

What are the characteristics actually found in happily married mates and unhappily married mates?

Terman delved into the lives of 792 married couples and came out with these conclusions about the qualities that usually go with both kinds of mates:

Have kindly attitude toward
Often have feelings of inferiority
Like to help underdogs Tend to be defensive or aggressive
Tend to be conventional Easily annoyed, irritated
Are coöperative Often join clubs only to get an
office or recognition in them
Strong urge to save money Extreme in their views
Are optimistic about life More likely to be neurotic
Do not take offense easily Lose tempers easily
Less interested in social
activities such as dances[99]
Impressed by thrilling situations
Like to teach children Seek spectacular activities
Put less importance on clothes   Want to be on the move
Are systematic homemakers Show little interest in housework
Do less daydreaming

Now how about the husbands? Here is what Terman found about them:

Have greater stability Often have feelings of inferiority
Are coöperative Compensate by browbeating
wife and subordinates
Get along well with business 
Dislike details
Are somewhat extroverted More radical about sex morality
Are more conservative in
Inclined to be moody
Willing to take initiative Are more argumentative
Take responsibility easily Like recreations that take them
away from home
Do not get rattled easily Apt to be careless about money

Another approach Terman made was to find out what husbands and wives complain about most in their mates. He found that unhappily married couples were overflowing with complaints while happily married couples voiced few criticisms. Here are the complaints he heard most often:

Wife’s feelings hurt too easily   Insufficient income from husband
Wife too critical In-laws
Trouble with in-laws Impatience of husband
Wife nervous or emotional Husband’s poor management
of income
Income managed poorly His tendency to be critical
He has no “freedom” His preferences in amusements
Wife has poor taste in
His failure to talk things over
Wife is a nagger His failure to show affection

When Terman had accumulated all of his findings, he devised[100] a “Prediction of Marriage Happiness Scale” by means of which an unmarried person could determine his own chances of finding happiness in marriage. This has nothing to do with the other person involved but simply tests your own capability of becoming a good mate for someone. He found what we have already indicated—that your background largely predetermines your ability to be a successful mate. Of the factors he found most significant in predicting happiness in marriage, ten stand out as most essential to success.

1. Are your parents happily married?
2. Did you have a happy childhood?
3. Were you free from conflict with your mother?
4. Was your childhood discipline firm but not harsh?
5. Did you have a strong attachment to your mother?
6. Did you have a strong attachment to your father?
7. Were you free from conflict with your father?
8. Were your parents frank with you about sex?
9. Were you punished infrequently and mildly?
10. Is your attitude toward sex free from disgust or aversion?

Terman says that any person who has all ten in his favor is a considerably better than average marriage risk. He gives emphasis to this by saying that any one of the ten factors seems to be more important to marriage happiness than does virginity of the individual at the time of marriage.

At Penn State, where the first all-college marriage counseling service in America was founded, an adaptation of Dr. Terman’s prediction scale is used, by special permission of Dr. Terman, along with the Guilford-Martin Personnel Inventory I and other tests. But the main device the Penn State clinic uses in building an over-all “index” of a person’s prospects for a happy marriage is the Adams-Lepley Personal Audit, which was a product of Penn State’s own investigations. This Audit not only discloses your potentialities for being a good mate, and the potentialities of your possible mate, but goes on to match your two profiles to see if you are compatible.

The happiest marriages, the clinic has found, are between persons who not only are good prospects for marriage individually but who have markedly similar personalities. The clinic calls this compatibility.[101] It has found that opposites may attract each other but it is the likes who achieve the happiest marriages together.

In the process of perfecting this Audit, the clinic not only tested it on thousands of persons and couples but followed up hundreds of those couples who later married, to find out how well the predictions bore up after the couple had been living with each other a year or so as man and wife. (They bore up very well indeed.)

Now the clinic believes it knows just what traits are crucial for men to possess and what ones are crucial for women. (They sometimes differ.)

The Audit measures you for nine separate and distinct traits of personality—sociability, conformity, tranquillity, dependability, stability, idealism, steadiness, flexibility, and seriousness. A personality trait has two extremes, just as height has the two extremes of tallness and shortness. These are the opposite poles for the nine traits just listed:

Reserved—Sociable Bold—Fearful
Agreeable—Nonconforming   Broadminded—Idealistic
Tranquil—Irritable Calm—Emotional
Dependable—Evasive Rigid—Flexible

Let’s consider these nine traits, and their significance when found in a mate. (You can also apply them to yourself.)

Trait I. Is He Reserved or Sociable? Another way to put it is this: “Is he introverted or extroverted?” The reserved person is usually quiet, ambitious, serious, agreeable with intimates and confines his socializing to close friends. Sociable or extroverted people are extremely social and aggressive. They are talkative and carefree and sometimes show little regard for other people’s rights. They are the “glad-handers.” Perhaps the man is a salesman, or the girl is a sorority president.

The Penn State investigators found, surprisingly, that the happily married men tended to be just a bit more impulsive, to be more sociable, to be more talkative and to have broader interests than did unhappily married men. Women on the other hand could tend to[102] be either reserved or sociable and still be happy, as long as they were not extreme introverts or extreme extroverts.

Trait II. Is He an Agreeable Sort, or Is He an “Individualist”? The agreeable person tends to conform to the norms set by society. He is usually poised, coöperative, can concentrate easily and tends to wholesome recreations. The individualist enjoys the idea of being “different,” is apt to hurt people’s feelings by his brusqueness and impatience with things that bore or irritate him. In extreme cases he is bullheaded and argumentative.

Trait III. Is He Tranquil or Irritable? The tranquil person has an even disposition, works methodically, is patient, gets along well with folks. The irritable person tends to “fly off the handle,” to be easily annoyed, to find fault, to be erratic and peevish.

For men tranquillity is a crucial trait, the Penn State investigators found. The happily married man is less easily annoyed, less irritable, less peevish, less critical than the unhappily married man. To a girl this means she should be careful about marrying a man who is irritable. While it is desirable for the girl to be even-tempered too, this trait is not as important for a girl as for a man. However, it was found that when one of the two mates tends to be irritable and annoyed it is highly desirable for the other mate to be even-tempered. When you get two irritable persons under the same roof the explosions soon force one to beat a retreat, sometimes into divorce.

Trait IV. Is He Frank or Evasive? This is probably the most crucial trait for marriage happiness that we know. The dependable person is frank and truthful and conscientious. He gets along harmoniously with others, is willing to accept responsibility, is stable and coöperative. The evasive person is unwilling to face reality or to accept responsibilities. He “passes the buck” or projects the blame for things onto others. He exaggerates and often lies. He is easily depressed and lacks integrity.

Persons who rate high in dependability consistently are the ones who are happiest in both marriage and their work. This one trait is at least as crucial to happiness in marriage for a girl as is the[103] entire complex of traits measured by Terman’s Prediction Scale. While it is most crucial for girls in marriage, it is also crucial for men. For a girl it is unquestionably the most crucial trait we know.

This means that in considering any possible mate you should be particularly careful to notice whether he or she is dependable or not dependable. Does he keep appointments, tell the truth and work conscientiously?

Trait V. Is He Bold or Fearful? The “bold” person is confident to the point of cocksureness. He is willing to carry out responsibilities, usually is carefree, stable, self-sufficient, and a bit dominant. The unstable, or fearful, person is shy and changeable. He may seem withdrawn and rarely evinces qualities of leadership.

This trait is crucial for women and fairly important for men. A woman, to have a happy marriage, needs to show strong indications of stability, because in running her household alone she must be self-assured and independent in emergencies when outside help isn’t available. A man should beware a woman who is exceedingly nervous or fearful, jittery or afraid. For the man it is important that he be fairly stable, but without being reckless.

Trait VI. Is He Broadminded or Idealistic? The broadminded person is tolerant, flexible, practical, realistic. His temperament tends to be pleasant and smooth. The idealistic person shows strong attitudes. Prejudice, often disguised as “high” standards, may be present. Inferiority and peevishness are often found here.

Stop and think. The girl you want to marry is the one you hope will be the mother of your children. You want her to instill reasonably high standards and ideals in the children. You want her to be conventional and not do things that will bring criticism. The happiest marriages are those in which the wife has high standards and ideals but not ones that are so stiff and unyielding that she can never see any justification for a slip-up now and then. Unhappy marriages are those where the wives have standards that are very low and who behave in unconventional or questionable ways. Our society encourages higher standards and ideals for women than it does for men. The man can be tolerant and easygoing but should have standards[104] sufficiently high so that he considers it important to be faithful to his wife, and does not waste his money in drink or gambling.

Trait VII. Is He Calm or Emotional? Calm persons have “normal” ways of thinking. Their feelings are not intense. Persons whose work requires objectivity and courage—such as surgeons and military leaders—score high at this level. Emotional people, in contrast, usually think in unorthodox ways. They are usually sensitive. Their feelings are volatile and deep-seated. Interests in writing, drama, arts, literature are often found here. Individualistic, creative work is preferred, and the person may appear temperamental or eccentric to others. Repression and sexual conflicts are common.

Since the emotional person is intense and usually not too well adjusted, marriage may not prove too satisfactory. The trait of coolness or steadiness is much more crucial for men than for women. The happiest married men seem to be those who are steady and free of excess emotion. This enables them to be objective in their work. A girl should be wary of selecting a mate who is very emotional, who is too much interested in sex or who works in the movies or other work where there is a great deal of glamour and excitement.

Trait VIII. Is He Rigid or Flexible? This is more important in men than in women, and the man’s age determines whether he should score high in rigidity or in flexibility. If the man is under twenty-five it is well for the couple’s future happiness if he scores quite high in flexibility because marriage requires a great deal of adjusting and a certain amount of trying out new jobs is healthy for a young man. However, flexibility in a man past thirty should make a girl seriously question the advisability of marriage to him because he is apt to be permanently a “will-o’-the-wisp”; his characteristics are pretty well set. A man in his thirties who changes jobs frequently, who is not “settled,” is not a good matrimonial bet.

Trait IX. Is He Thoughtful or Frivolous? Beware of the girl who is frivolous. She will be shallow and discontented; she will have many unsettled problems; she will be worrying about her past as well as her future; she will have trouble making up her mind[105] and will seem to be at loose ends. She may nag and complain. For women, thoughtfulness ranks second only to dependability in importance to marriage happiness.

There you have the nine traits. As you have probably noticed, it is much more crucial for women to have the right personality traits than for men. This is due largely to the fact that marriage looms much larger in a woman’s life than it does in a man’s. A wife has to do the larger part of the “adjusting” to marriage. She usually has to give up her name, her job, her residence, and many of her friends. The man can go on pretty much the same as he did before marriage. The wife must spend the greatest part of her day being a wife (homemaker) whereas the man serves actively in the role of husband only a few hours a day.

In summing up, what advice would we give the young man in order that he can select a mate who will be happy in marriage and contribute to his happiness in marriage? Ideally, he might well look for a girl:

Who is frank and dependable,

Whose family background has been such that she was reared in a happy home,

Who is thoughtful and not beset by conflicts revolving around her adjustments to the opposite sex,

Who is stable and self-sufficient and free from neuroticism,

Who is objective and free from excessive sensitiveness,

Who is friendly, kindly and considerate,

Who is coöperative in her relations with others,

Who is flexible and adaptable,

Who is steady and free from emotional behavior,

Who is tranquil and not easily irritated,

Who has average to high standards and ideals,

Who can be influenced by people who have sound ideas,

Who is somewhat extroverted and carefree.

All of these traits of course are not vital but it is advisable that she fit into the general pattern outlined above.

Next, what should a girl look for in a young man? Ideally, he should be a man:


Who is tranquil and not easily irritated,

Who is dependable and frank,

Who is objective and has feelings that are not easily hurt,

Who gets along easily with others,

Who is coöperative in group projects and likes to help people,

Who is cool and free from emotionality,

Who is concerned about what other people think of him,

Who was reared in a happy home,

Who is free of cares and has broad interests,

Who is fairly well contented with his lot in life,

Who can be influenced by others when their reasoning is sound.

The big question is how you can know if you and any prospective mate have qualities that make you good marriage risks. You will find in the next chapter ten tests that should provide the answer. They will record your rating on the nine traits we have just discussed, plus a rating on your family background.


Chapter XI
Test Your Mate and Yourself

Now you are going to take ten tests that will record how well qualified you are to marry. Your over-all score will indicate your chances of achieving a happy marriage, with whomever you may marry. These tests can be taken by either men or girls. And we suggest that after you take the tests you have your favorite date take them too. Then in the next chapter you can see how well you are matched.

In addition to scoring your desirability as a mate, the tests will help unveil for you your own personality. They will present you as you appear to other people. Be honest with yourself. There are no catch questions.

If you wish you can get a piece of paper to write your answers on. If you do this you will not mark up the book, nobody will know how you answered, and any other person taking the tests will not be influenced by your answers.

Don’t look up the correct answers until you have finished all the tests. After you have completed all ten tests you can then see how they should be scored. Some of these traits are more important to marriage happiness than others, and some are more important for one sex than the other. Be sure not to talk over any of the questions with anyone until after you have taken all the tests. Now go ahead, and work rapidly.

TRAIT I (Sociability)

Indicate the degree of your liking for each of the following activities by drawing a circle around M if you would like it a great deal, around S if you would have some liking for it, around L if you would have a little[108] liking for it, around N if you would have practically no liking for it.

1. Introducing strangers at a party. M S L N
2. Entertaining a group of friends. M S L N
3. Raising money for a charity. M S L N
4. Taking part in some athletic contest. M S L N
5. Going on a picnic. M S L N
6. Playing games like golf, tennis, croquet, or darts. M S L N
7. Reading the sporting section of the newspaper. M S L N
8. Playing games like bridge, pinochle or Monopoly. M S L N
9. Keeping a pet, such as a cat or dog. M S L N
10. Attending a masquerade party. M S L N
11. Performing on the radio. M S L N
12. Being a delegate to a convention. M S L N
13. Making long-distance telephone calls to friends. M S L N
14. Preparing for an examination by studying with classmates.   M S L N
15. Helping a stranded motorist change a tire. M S L N

TRAIT II (Conformity)

Fifteen experts, each of whom had won success in a different field, were asked to give an opinion of the statements below. At least eight or more of the experts marked each statement below as true. Read each statement, and if you agree with the experts that the statement is true, draw a circle around A. If you agree but only with reservations, draw a circle around R. If you disagree with the experts, draw a circle around D.

1. Shows with scantily dressed performers should not be permitted. A R D
2. No cultured person would ever use profanity. A R D
3.[109] The right to vote should be given to persons of 18 years of age. A R D
4. No person except a law officer should be permitted to own a pistol. A R D
5. No acceptable excuse can ever be made for suicide. A R D
6. Children owe their parents more than their parents owe them. A R D
7. Few people would be better off dead than alive. A R D
8. Rich people are no happier than poor people. A R D
9. Natural resources should belong to individuals rather than to the government. A R D
10. Parents can decently support and educate two children in a city of 5000, with a total income of less than $200 per month.   A R D
11. Parents should be permitted to punish or whip their children. A R D
12. Stealing cannot be excused on any grounds. A R D
13. Anything injurious to the human body, such as tobacco, should be outlawed. A R D
14. Highly intelligent people are just as happy as average people. A R D
15. The average person needs more mathematics than the eighth grade provides. A R D

TRAIT III (Tranquillity)

Below is a list of the common annoyances which affect most people to some extent. Indicate your degree of annoyance for each of them by drawing a circle around M if it annoys you much, around S if it annoys you some, around L if it annoys you a little, and around N if it never annoys you.

1. To have stop light turn red as you drive up to it. M S L N
2. To drop an article when you have your arms full. M S L N
3. To have to stand up in a streetcar or bus. M S L N
4.[110] To have to talk when you don’t feel like it. M S L N
5. To be interrupted when reading a very interesting story. M S L N
6. To have a casual visitor outstay his welcome. M S L N
7. To be detained when you are in a hurry. M S L N
8. To listen to radio when static is bad. M S L N
9. To have someone break an engagement at the last minute. M S L N
10. To be interrupted when you are talking. M S L N
11. To have someone read over your shoulder. M S L N
12. To miss a streetcar or bus. M S L N
13. To have movie film break at an exciting point. M S L N
14. To burn your mouth or tongue with hot food or beverage. M S L N
15. To be accidentally locked out of your car or home. M S L N

TRAIT IV (Dependability)

Of the statements below, draw a circle around T for the ones you believe to be usually true; draw a circle around D for the ones whose truth you doubt; and draw a circle around F for the ones usually false.

1. Prohibition encouraged many people to drink who had never drunk before. T D F
2. An unpopular person could often become popular by lowering his standards of conduct. T D F
3. People who date a great deal before marriage often make poor marriage mates. T D F
4. Students who are always taking the lead in class discussions are usually trying to get attention. T D F
5. Policemen “bawl out” people largely to satisfy their own sense of importance. T D F
6.[111] People of high ideals usually have fewer friends than individuals whose ideals are not of the highest. T D F
7. A person is often a failure because of very high ethics. T D F
8. The very pretty girl with little ability often is more successful than the plain girl who has real ability. T D F
9. What you know is not so important to success as whom you know. T D F
10. Getting the breaks is more important to success than being well qualified. T D F
11. Few employees would loaf on the job if they were paid sufficient wages. T D F
12. Man is powerless in the hands of fate. T D F
13. People often try to impress others by saying that they are very fond of “highbrow” music and books. T D F
14. The law is harder on the poor man than on the rich man. T D F
15. The good “bluffer” succeeds nearly as well as the person who can deliver the goods. T D F

TRAIT V (Stability)

Below is a list of the common fears that most people experience to some extent. Indicate your degree of fear for each of these things by drawing a circle around M if you would usually have considerable fear, around S if you would usually have some fear, around L if you would have a little fear, and around N if you would usually feel no fear.

1. Being buried alive. M S L N
2. Being bitten by a snake while walking alone in the woods. M S L N
3. Being drowned at sea or while swimming. M S L N
4. Friends losing confidence in you because of untrue rumors. M S L N
5. Walking past graveyards alone late at night. M S L N
6. Having friends learn about your worst faults. M S L N
7. Touching mice, rats, worms, or lizards.[112] M S L N
8. Losing your wife or sweetheart to somebody else. M S L N
9. Getting too deeply in debt or having financial misfortune. M S L N
10. Looking down from the edge of a precipice. M S L N
11. Being punished in the next world. M S L N
12. Elevator falling while descending from the top of a skyscraper.   M S L N
13. Losing your mind or becoming insane. M S L N
14. Losing your eyesight. M S L N
15. Listening to radio horror story late at night while alone. M S L N

TRAIT VI (Standards and Ideals)

Indicate the degree of your dislike for each of the following activities or things by drawing a circle around M if you would dislike it a great deal, around S if you would dislike it some, around L if you would have a little dislike for it, and around N if you would have no dislike for it.

1. A person who brags about his achievements. M S L N
2. Individuals who always put the blame on somebody else. M S L N
3. Storekeepers who never make mistakes except in their favor. M S L N
4. Extreme pessimists or people who always expect the worst. M S L N
5. A girl who is a gold-digger. M S L N
6. The person who “forgets” to pay his share of the check. M S L N
7. People who are never on time for appointments. M S L N
8. People who have little control over their tempers. M S L N
9. The girl who uses excessive make-up. M S L N
10. People who cheat on examinations. M S L N
11.[113] Individuals who are careless and indifferent about dress. M S L N
12. Radicals or reactionaries who impose their views upon you. M S L N
13. Individuals who are always bored and never have a good time.   M S L N
14. A person who gambles for money. M S L N
15. Listening to scandalous gossip. M S L N

TRAIT VII (Steadiness)

Each word in capitals is followed by four words. Draw a circle around the word that seems to you to go most naturally with the word in capitals. Mark only one word in each line.

For example: TRAVEL  boat  ship  train  car

Here car has been encircled. There are no right or wrong answers. Work rapidly.

1. PAST yesterday forget sorrow hidden
2. SLEEP rest dream need together
3. IMMORAL vulgar person vile criminal
4. DREAM vision night trance romance
5. LOVE adore esteem worship yearn
6. BABY home future unwanted cost
7. LONELY solitary friendless miserable forsaken
8. DEBT obligation weight necessary nightmare
9. SWEETHEART   love engaged wistful lost
10. MONEY currency pay lack urgent
11. ENEMY foe hated dangerous destroyed
12. FILTHY dirty disgusting   mind body
13. PARENT home love depend strict
14. SIN wrong vice guilt black
15. REVOLTING distasteful   repulsive loathsome   degrading


TRAIT VIII (Flexibility)

Below is a list of activities or things. If you feel about the same way toward them now that you did three or four years ago, draw a circle around S. If you have partly changed your feelings toward them, draw a circle around P. If your feeling now is considerably different from your feeling three or four years ago, draw a circle around D.

1. Pacifism. S P D
2. Labor unions. S P D
3. Less governmental supervision of business. S P D
4. Old-age pensions. S P D
5. Sit-down strikes. S P D
6. Socialization of medicine. S P D
7. Emphasis that colleges place upon activities. S P D
8. The Soviet Union. S P D
9. Distribution of wealth. S P D
10. Capital punishment. S P D
11. Sterilization of the feeble-minded. S P D
12. “Work-or-starve” relief legislation. S P D
13. Need for polls like the Gallup or Fortune polls of public opinion. S P D
14. Basing taxation on the ability to pay. S P D
15. Preferences for styles of homes. S P D

TRAIT IX (Seriousness)

Below is a list of topics which people consider to some extent at one time or another. Will you indicate the degree of thinking you have given each of them during the past year by drawing a circle around M if you have done much thinking; around S if you have done some thinking; around L if you have done a little thinking; and around N if you have done no thinking.

1. Responsibilities that parents and children should share. M S L N
2.[115] Proper training of children. M S L N
3. Immoral influences of movies on children. M S L N
4. Smoking of cigarettes by girls and women. M S L N
5. Importance of regular saving of part of income. M S L N
6. Use of the atomic bomb in warfare. M S L N
7. Regular attendance of religious services. M S L N
8. The way or place to spend your vacation. M S L N
9. Stricter censorship of books and magazines. M S L N
10. Learning to dance, ski, skate, etc. M S L N
11. Punctuality on a job or regular class attendance. M S L N
12. Getting better grades at school or working for a promotion. M S L N
13. The cost of living. M S L N
14. Life after death. M S L N
15. Automobile accidents caused by reckless driving. M S L N

TRAIT X (Family Background)

Be absolutely truthful in taking this test; try to be objective and honest with yourself. Answer Yes or No if possible; if you can’t decide Yes or No, then circle the question mark.

1. Were your own parents quite happily married? YES ? NO
2. Did you have a happy childhood? YES ? NO
3. Did you have a great deal of love and affection for your mother? YES ? NO
4. Did you have a great deal of love and affection for your father? YES ? NO
5. Did you get along well with your mother without any serious conflict? YES ? NO
6. Did you get along well with your father without any serious conflict? YES ? NO
7.[116] Was your home discipline firm but not harsh? YES ? NO
8. Was the punishment that you received both mild and infrequent? YES ? NO
9. Is your present attitude toward sex free from disgust or aversion? YES ? NO
10. Was at least one of your parents easy to talk to, and frank, about matters of sex?   YES ? NO
11. Were you reared in either the country, a small town, or the suburbs of a city? YES ? NO
12. Do you go to church three or four times (or more) every month? YES ? NO
13. Are you regularly employed? YES ? NO
14. Do you have many friends of your own sex? YES ? NO
15. Do you belong to three or more social organizations? YES ? NO

Directions for Scoring Your Tests

Do not read these scoring directions until after you have taken the tests. When you have marked the tests according to the directions, then you are ready to score them. Because all the tests are not scored in the same way, be sure you score them very carefully. After having done so, then turn to the further directions, some of which apply to a man, some of which apply to a girl.

Test for Trait I. For each item that you have marked M, give yourself three points; for each one that you marked S, give yourself two points; for each item that you marked L, give yourself one point. Items marked N are counted zero. Then add these numbers up for your total score on Trait I. For example, if you marked four of the fifteen items M, that would give you twelve points; let us say you also marked five items S, that would be five times two points, or ten more points; if you marked three items L, that would be another three points. That would leave three items that you marked N for which you get no credit. Your total score on Trait I would then be 12 + 10 + 3 = 25 points.


Test for Trait II. For each A you marked, you get two points and for each R you get one point. Items that you answered D are counted zero. Add these up for your total score.

Test on Trait III. The scoring is reversed on this test from that used for Trait I. On Trait III, M is scored zero, each S gets credit of one point, each L gets credit of two points, and each N gets credit of three points.

Test on Trait IV. You marked the items on this test either, T, D, or F. Those you marked T are scored zero. For each D answer you get one point, and for each F answer you get two points.

Test on Trait V. Each marked M gets zero credit, each S gets one point, each L gets two points, and each N gets three points.

Test on Trait VI. Each M gets three points, each S gets two points, each L gets one point, and N receives no credit.

Test on Trait VII. This is the test in which four words come after each word in capitals. The first of the four words gets three points if circled, the second gets two points, the third word gets one point, and the last word receives no credit. Take the word PAST. If you marked it yesterday, or the word in the first column, you get three points; if forget is circled instead you would get two points. If you marked it hidden, you get no credit for that word. Add all your points for your total score.

Test on Trait VIII. The items in this test were marked S, P, or D. Items marked S get no credit. For each item marked P, give yourself one point credit; for each item marked D, give yourself two points credit.

Test on Trait IX. Each M gets three points; each S, two points; each L, one point, each N gets no credit.

Test on Trait X. In this test you were asked to mark your answers either Yes, ?, or No. For each Yes, give yourself ten points; for each question mark, credit yourself with five points. You receive no credit for any question that you answered No.


If you have followed carefully the directions that have been given you, you now have ten separate raw scores, one for each of the ten traits on which you were tested. We are now ready to see what these scores mean. Using the little outline below, put down your scores.


  Trait   i     Trait vi  
  Trait ii   Trait vii
  Trait   iii     Trait viii  
  Trait   iv     Trait ix  
  Trait   v     Trait x  


If you are a man If you are a woman
Trait i   (Repeat raw score)     (Repeat raw score)
Trait ii (Repeat raw score)   (Repeat raw score)
Trait iii (Double raw score)   (Repeat raw score)
Trait iv (Double raw score)   (Multiply raw score by 4)
Trait v (Repeat raw score)   (Double raw score)
Trait vi (Repeat raw score)   (Repeat raw score)
Trait vii (Double raw score)   (Repeat raw score)
Trait viii (Repeat raw score)   (Repeat raw score)
Trait ix (Repeat raw score)   (Double raw score)
Trait x (Repeat raw score)   (Repeat raw score)
Total Score   (add the 10 scores) Total Score     

Thus, if you were a man you repeated all of your original “raw” scores except in traits III, IV, and VII where you doubled the raw score. For example if your raw score on III was twenty-eight your adjusted score should be fifty-six. Likewise if you were a girl you repeated your raw scores in all but IV, V, and IX. You quadrupled the score on IV and doubled each of the other two.

Interpretation of Your Final Adjusted Scores

Trait I. If your score was thirty or above you would seem to be a very sociable person, quite fond of the company of others, one who has very broad interests, and who will probably enjoy talking things[119] over with your mate. A score of twenty-five is about average. If your score is twenty or less, you are probably cautious about making friends, have rather specialized interests, and are not very talkative unless the topic is quite interesting to you. It may be wise, if you have a low score, to try to develop more friends, have more of a social life, and to get out of your shell.

Trait II. If your score was fifteen or more you are probably a conforming person, agreeable and poised. You tend to be coöperative even though you are positive and firm when your mind is made up. A score of eleven is average. If your score was eight or less, you may be bullheaded, domineering, and argumentative. It may be wise, if you have a low score, to try to remember that the other person has a right to his own opinion and that you may lose friends and make enemies unless you act more diplomatically.

Trait III. If your score was fifty-six or more if a man, or twenty-eight or more if a girl, you are probably a tranquil person who is not easily irritated or annoyed. You rarely “fly off the handle” or become impatient; this is particularly important if you are a man. A score of forty-six for a man or twenty-three for a girl is typical or average. If your score is thirty-six or less if a man or eighteen or less if a girl, you are probably an irritable person who is easily annoyed. You may lose your temper too easily and stay peeved too long. You should make an effort to control your temper and to think before you speak, especially when you are annoyed or provoked.

Trait IV. If your score is fifty or more if you are a man, or one hundred or more if you are a girl, you would seem to be a frank, dependable person who makes few excuses and who tries to face reality and do a good job. A score of forty for a man and eighty for a girl are average. If you are a man and have a score of thirty or less or are a girl and have a score of sixty or less, you tend to blame your mistakes on others, may shirk your responsibilities, exaggerate and daydream too much. If your score was low, you should try to improve, especially if you are a girl for whom this trait is quite[120] crucial in marriage happiness. Try to be more honest with yourself and others; be less unreasonable, and stop being suspicious and resentful of people who do not think and act as you do.

Trait V. If you are a man and have a score of forty or more, or are a girl and have a score of eighty or more, you would appear to be a stable person, confident, and responsible. You can work with others or can work by yourself without getting lonely and depressed. An average score is thirty for a man or sixty for a woman. If you are a man and have a score of fifteen or less, or are a girl with a score of thirty or less, you may be unstable, nervous, and fearful. You may feel inferior at times and get blue and discouraged. You need to raise your opinion of yourself. Acquire more social skills, train yourself to be very good or expert in something like a sport or a hobby.

Trait VI. If your score was thirty or above, you would seem to have extremely high ideals and standards, especially if you are a man. While this is generally desirable, don’t permit yourself to become too intolerant or prejudiced about others. A score of twenty-five is average. A score of twenty or less is low and may indicate that you are too broadminded, too flexible and expedient in your standards and ideals. Watch this because you are not the sort of person who should let himself go. Keep a firm grip on yourself, and remember it is easier never to begin a bad habit than it is to break one.

Trait VII. If your score is eighty or more if you are a man, forty or more if you are a girl, you are probably a very objective person who thinks like most other people think. You are probably quite steady, look at things dispassionately, and are neither repressed nor hypercritical. A score of seventy for a man, or of thirty-five for a girl is average. A score of sixty or less for a man or of thirty or less for a girl may indicate that you are temperamental and emotional. You may, at times, appear peculiar and odd to your friends. You may be repressed. Associate as much as possible with others. Don’t be the first to suggest something different or the last to give in.


Trait VIII. If your score is twenty-two or more, you would seem to be a person whose attitudes and interests are flexible and adaptable especially if you are in the twenties. If you are in the thirties or forties a high score is probably less desirable than an average score. A score of thirteen is average. If your score is eight or less, you would seem to be a very persistent person whose attitudes and interests are so fixed and rigid that you may find it difficult to adjust readily in marriage. Especially would that seem to be the case if you are in the twenties.

Trait IX. If you are a man and your final score is thirty or above; or if you are a girl whose adjusted (doubled) score is sixty or more, you would seem to be a thoughtful person who has done considerable thinking about marriage and its responsibilities. Particularly does this seem to be true of women. Attitudes toward marriage would appear to be wholesome and concerned about making the marriage a success. A score of twenty-four for a man or of forty-eight for a girl is average. A score of eighteen or less for a man or of thirty-six or less for a girl is low and suggests that you may be immature in your thinking and that you have not given much consideration or thought to the responsibilities of marriage.

Trait X. This test measured your family background to see if you had been reared in the kind of home in which parents and circumstances were favorable to developing traits and attitudes essential to happy marriage. If you scored 120 or more, and remember the higher the score the better, your family background was conducive to your happiness in marriage. A score of one hundred is average. If you scored eighty or less, it would seem that your family background was not one that tended to develop in you the traits and attitudes necessary for happiness in marriage.


You took a total of ten tests. If you followed the directions, you have scored them correctly. (If you were a man, you doubled your scores on Traits III, IV, and VII before you interpreted them. If you were a girl, you doubled your scores on Traits V and IX and[122] quadrupled, or multiplied by four, the score you earned on Trait IV.) After having made these adjustments, you then read the interpretations and saw how you compared with other people of your own sex. Perhaps your prospective mate also took the tests and both of you now know how you stand as individuals.

We hope you and your mate made average to high scores on all of these tests. But now you want to know if you are the sort of person, and if your mate is the sort of person, who will be happy in marriage.

Go back to your final adjusted scores on the ten tests. Add all ten of these test scores together if you have not already done so to see what the total is.

If you are a man, and your total is 450 or above you would seem to be the sort of person who has an excellent chance of finding happiness in marriage. This is particularly likely to be the case if you also made high scores on Traits III, IV, VII, and X. If you made a score of about 350 you would seem to be a person who has about an average chance of achieving marriage happiness. If you made a score of 265 or less, you will need to use great care in selecting your mate and be willing to work very hard at making your marriage happy.

If you are a girl and if your score is five hundred or more, you are the kind of person who would seem to have an excellent chance of being happy in marriage. Especially is this likely to be the case if you made high scores on Traits IV, V, IX, and X. If you made a score of about four hundred, your chances would seem to be about average that you will find happiness in marriage. A score of three hundred or less is not too favorable to happiness in marriage.

In our next chapter you are going to be able to compare your testing partner with yourself and see if the two of you would be likely to be happy (if you married each other). So far we have just tried to find out if you, or if your mate, is likely to be happy in whatever marriage is entered upon. In this next chapter we want to find out if you two people are likely to be happy in your marriage to each other. You will have need for the final (adjusted) scores on[123] each of the ten tests, as well as your final or total score you calculated by adding the ten separate scores. With these scores for both yourself and your mate, plus the answers to several other questions, you will be able to find out if the two of you are likely to be happy when you marry each other.


Chapter XII
Now, See How You Match as a Couple!

In the last chapter you—and perhaps a testing partner—took ten tests to determine your individual chances of achieving happiness in marriage. The tests recorded your rating on nine important personality traits and on your family background.

Now we will see how well matched you are. It is possible that you can get a rough idea how well you are matched to an absentee person without having him take any of the tests in these two chapters. Suggestions for procedure in such a case are given at the end of this chapter. However, it is much more desirable, if you want a really accurate picture, to have the other person take the tests and do the matching with you.

The matching of you two will be based not only on the scores you made in the ten tests just taken and your total score on the tests, but also on ten other factors which we have found are important in predicting marital success. They include such things as age, education, length of courtship and tendency to quarrel. These factors together with your test results will present an accurate over-all picture of your compatibility for marriage, or lack of it. And incidentally a “matching” of two people is not as important when both the man and the girl made a high score (above four hundred) in the ten tests just taken as it is if one made a low score and the other a high score, or if both made low scores.

First of all let’s pair up your scores on those ten tests in the last chapter to see what your scores mean on each trait when they are paired together.

Trait I is a sociability factor. You can see how two people, one[125] who is sociable and something of a gadabout and the other a home-body who isn’t sociable, might not be well matched. Both should be sociable and like to go out and be with people, or both should be fireside toasters, home-loving souls who enjoy being alone with each other.

Trait II is a measure of conformity, of agreeableness to others, and conscientiousness. While it is better for both to score high on this trait, if one scores low, it is better that the other score high.

Trait III is a measure of tranquillity or lack of irritability. While it is better for both to score high, if one scores low, it is important that the other should score high, or there may be considerable bickering and angry feelings.

Trait IV is a measure of dependability, frankness, and willingness to accept responsibility. This trait is of great importance to happiness of both men and women, and it is especially important that a girl score high here. Both should score high, but if one scores low, it is quite important that the other score high.

Trait V is a measure of stability. Our research shows that it is of the greatest importance that the two people make about the same scores on this test. While it is better for both to be high, it is more crucial that the girl make a high score, be very stable, than it is for the man.

Trait VI is a measure of standards and ideals. Both should have high scores but it is more important that the man have a good score than the girl because girls have been trained to have higher ideals than men. If one mate has a very low score, then the other by all means should have a high score. That combination will provide a balance wheel.

Trait VII is a measure of steadiness and freedom from excess emotionality. While more important that the man score high, because in most cases he will be the income earner, both should make about the same scores.

Trait VIII is a measure of flexibility and adaptability. While average to high scores are important, and while agreement or about the same scores are desirable, if one must score low it is better for the man to do so than for the woman.


Trait IX is a measure of thoughtfulness and consideration. This is a much more important trait for women than for men, yet at the same time, marriage happiness is definitely promoted by both making about the same scores.

Trait X is important for either the man or the woman, because it measures the family background of both people. It is important that both score as high as possible on this trait. It is even more important for the girl to score high than it is for the man. But if either mate should score low, it is most important that the other score high.

To sum up, it is important that both people make about the same scores on sociability (I), conformity (II), dependability (IV), stability (V) idealism (VI), flexibility (VIII) and seriousness (IX), and the higher the better. If one scored low on the other three (tranquillity, steadiness and family background) it is important that the other score high.

But how can you get a more detailed, concrete picture of your compatibility, or lack of it? On the following pages you are going to see your degree of compatibility emerge from a series of twenty-one figures. When those twenty-one figures are totaled you will have your answer.


First glance over these “Do You Match?” tables on the next few pages to familiarize yourself with them. In the twenty-one blocks you will match yourselves on the ten traits already tested, you will match your total scores on those traits and then in the last ten will match yourself on ten other factors.

Take the very first item, “Test I.” This matches you on sociability. Suppose the man had an adjusted score of twenty-seven when he took the sociability test in the last chapter and the girl had a score of twenty-four. Look over the five alternative combinations to see where such a scoring fits. It fits in combination (d) so you should write a credit of three points in the block on the right. On “Test II,” suppose the man made an adjusted score of eighteen and the[127] girl of seven. That’s a big difference. Since no such combination is shown, write a zero in the block.


Test i.  a. Both scored 30 or above, give credit of 10 points
b. One scored 30 or above, other scored 25-29, credit 5 points
c. Both scored 25-29, credit 5 points
d. One scored 25-29, other scored 21-24, credit 3 points
e. Any other combination receives no credit
Test ii.  a. Both scored 15 or above, give credit of 8 points
b. One scored 15 or above, other scored 11-14, credit 4 points
c. Both scored 11-14, credit 2 points
d. Any other combination receives no credit
Test iii.  a. Man scored 56 or above, girl 28 or above, credit 12 points
b. Man scored 56 or above, girl 23-27, credit 10 points
c. Man scored 46-55, girl 23 or above, credit 8 points
d. Man scored 37-45, girl scored 23 or above, credit 5 points
e. Any other combination receives no credit
Test iv.  a. Man scored 50 or above, girl 100 or above, credit 20 points
b. Girl scored 100 or above, man scored 40-49, credit 15 points
c. Girl scored 100 or above, man scored 31-39, credit 10 points
d. Man scored 40-49, girl scored 81-99, credit 8 points
e. Man scored 31-39, girl scored 81-99, credit 5 points
f. Any other combination receives no credit
Test[128] v.  a. Man scored 40 or above, girl 80 or above, credit 15 points
b. Man scored 31-39, girl 80 or above, credit 12 points
c. Man scored 21-29, girl 80 or above, credit 10 points
d. Man scored 40 or above, girl 60-79, credit 8 points
e. Man scored 31-39, girl 60-79, credit 5 points
f. Any other combination receives no credit
Test vi.  a. Both scored 30 or above, give credit of 10 points
b. One scored 30 or above, other scored 25-29, credit 5 points
c. Both scored 25-29, credit 5 points
d. One scored 25-29, other scored 21-24, credit 3 points
e. Any other combination receives no credit
Test vii.  a. Man scored 80 or above, girl 40 or above, credit 12 points
b. Man scored 80 or above, girl 35-39, credit 10 points
c. Man scored 71-79, girl 40 or above, credit 8 points
d. Man scored 71-79, girl 35-39, credit 5 points
e. Man scored 61-69, girl 40 or above, credit 3 points
f. Any other combination receives no credit
Test  viii.  a. Both scored 22 or above, credit 10 points
b. Man scored 22 or above, girl 13-21, credit 8 points
c. Man scored 13-21, girl scored 22 or above, credit 5 points
d. Man scored 13-21, girl scored 13-21, credit 3 points
e. Any other combination receives no credit
Test ix.  a. Man scored 30 or above, girl scored 60 or above, credit 15 points
b. Man scored 24-29, girl scored 60 or above, credit 12 points
c. Man scored 19-23, girl scored 60 or above, credit 10 points[129]
d. Man scored 30 or above, girl 48-59, credit 8 points
e. Man scored 24-29, girl scored 48-59, credit 5 points
f. Any other combination receives no credit
Test x.  a. Both scores 120 or above, credit 20 points
b. One scores 100-119, other scores 120 or above, credit 15 points
c. Both score 100-119, credit 10 points
d. One scores 120 or above, other scores 81-90, credit 8 points
e. One scores 100-119, other scores 80 or less, credit 5 points
f. Any other combination receives no credit


(Total of all ten tests as scored in Chapter XI)

a. Man 460 or above, girl 500 or more, credit 25 points
b. Man 400-459, girl 500 or more, credit 20 points
c. Man 460 or above, girl 425-499, credit 15 points
d. Man 400-459, girl 425-499, credit 10 points
e. Man 350-425, girl 400 or above, credit 5 points
f. Any other combination receives no credit

Now score your compatibility on the ten additional factors following and fill the proper credits in the blocks just as you have been doing. On factors 7, 8 and 9 bear in mind that you cannot count as a part of your acquaintanceship, courtship or engagement any period of time of three months or longer when you did not see each other, as is the case where a man was overseas.

1. Parents
a. Both sets of parents happily married, credit 15 points
b. One set of parents happy, other set average, credit 10 points[130]
c. Both sets of parents average in happiness, credit 8 points
d. One set happy, other set not happy, credit 5 points
e. Any other combination receives no credit  
2. Schooling
a. Both members of the couple have had education beyond high school, credit 10 points
b. Both have completed high school, credit 8 points
c. One has some college, the other has finished high school, 5 points
d. Any other combination receives no credit  
3. Religion
a. Both regularly attend the same or similar churches, credit 15 points
b. Both are Jews, Catholics, or Protestants, credit 10 points
c. Although basic religions differ, both have about the same views, credit 5 points
d. Any other combination receives no credit  
4. Parental Approval 
a. Both sets of parents approve this match, credit 12 points
b. One set approves, the other is not opposed, credit 10 points
c. One set approves, one set opposes, credit 5 points
d. Any other combination receives no credit  
4. Age Comparison
a. Both people are within 3 years age of each other, credit 10 points
b. Girl is three or more years older than man, credit 5 points[131]
c. Any other combination receives no credit  
5. Years of Age
a. Man is at least 25 years, girl at least 22, credit 10 points
b. Man is at least 23 years, girl at least 20, credit 5 points
c. Man 22 years or older, girl at least 19, credit 3 points
d. Any other combination receives no credit  
7. Acquaintanceship
a. Have known each other six years or more, credit 20 points
b. Have known each other 3 but less than 6 years, credit 15 points
c. Have known each other 2 but less than 3 years, credit 10 points
d. Have known each other 1 but less than 2 years, credit 5 points
e. Any other combination receives no credit  
8. Dating
a. Have been dating and going steady 3 years or more, credit 20 points
b. Have been dating and going steady 2 but less than 3 years, credit 15 points
c. Have been going steady 1 year but less than 2 years, credit 10 points
d. Have been going steady 8 months to 1 year, credit 5 points
e. Any other combination receives no credit  
9.[132] Engagement, if Any  
a. Have been definitely engaged for over 2 years, credit 20 points
b. Have been definitely engaged 18 months to 2 years, credit 15 points
c. Have been definitely engaged 12 months to 18 months, credit 10 points
d. Have been definitely engaged not less than 6 months, credit 5 points
e. If engaged less than 6 months, no credit  
10. Quarrels
a. There have been no quarrels to speak of during courtship, credit 20 points
b. Any misunderstandings have been quickly settled by mutual agreement, credit 15 points
c. While there have been conflicts, no one was so serious that the couple did not see each other regularly, credit 10 points
d. Misunderstandings have been infrequent and have been settled by one or the other giving in, credit 5 points
e. Any other answer receives no credit  
Total Final Score

Now, you have twenty-one scores and a Total Final Score. Let us see what this score means.

If the Total Final Score for you two is 250 or above, then you would seem to be very well matched. Furthermore, it would appear that you two people should be quite happy in marriage. If there are no unfavorable factors present such as poor physical health, or inability to make a living, and if you two people are really deeply in love, then your marriage should be a happy one.

If the final score is 200 to 249, you would still seem to be fairly[133] well matched. If there are no unfavorable factors, if both of you are old enough for marriage, if both of you are determined to make it work, you should be happier than is the average couple.

If your final score is 150 to 199, the outlook would not seem to be too favorable. Your marriage might not be as happy as that of the average couple. Why not wait another six months? Give yourselves time to see what some of your problems are. Do something active about them. It may help you to talk things over with a marriage counselor, or with your minister, or somebody else whom you trust and who is mature enough to help you analyze the situation.

If your score is 149 or less, then it would seem that you two people should put off marriage for six months or perhaps a year or longer. You can be sure there are some factors present that should make you stop, look, and listen. Perhaps both of you are not well adjusted as separate personalities, or to each other. Maybe you are of radically different religions, or your parents are opposed to your marriage. Perhaps you need to have a much longer period of courtship or engagement. Whatever the reason, you should talk the matter over with some person competent to advise you. See a good marriage counselor or psychologist who specializes in guidance. Talk things over with your minister, rabbi, or priest. You don’t want to make a mistake and have an unhappy marriage that might terminate in separation or divorce.

Of course you can say, and correctly, that you have little or no responsibility for some of the factors, such as the lack of happiness in your parents’ marriage. Even though this may be the case, you have been affected or influenced by the presence or absence of happiness in your own home.

What are some concrete suggestions that may help you bring about a happy marriage even though one of you, or the two of you, may not have made scores typical of young couples who get married and are happy? These suggestions may be of help to you:

1. If you are introverted (unsociable), you should increase the number of social skills that you have. Oftentimes we find that our[134] enjoyment from association with other people is increased greatly when we learn to do some of the things they do, such as dance, bowl, swim, etc. Try to be outstanding in something.

2. Acquire a philosophy of life. What are your beliefs and views? Are you a conservative or a radical in politics, religion, ethics? Are there some guiding principles in your life? If you aren’t sure, sit down with yourself and try to figure out what you believe in and practice. Check it against your own behavior. Do you say one thing and do another? Are your family and friends rather sure about what you believe in, or do they have trouble predicting what you will do next?

3. Is your temper explosive, unruly, and peevish? Why do you get angry? If it is because you feel inferior, why do you feel inferior? Can’t you do something about it? Do you honestly try to control your temper?

4. Are you unstable, fearful, nervous? Why? Is it because you feel you are unattractive or ignorant, or are you carrying around feelings of guilt and uneasiness about something you feel ashamed of? If it is your physical health, see your physician. If it is your mental health, see a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. Develop a trusting confidential relationship with someone, preferably an older person, with whom you can feel free to unburden yourself.

5. Are your standards and ideals too low, or too high, when compared to your behavior? Perhaps you are an intolerant and prejudiced person who is too narrow-minded and prudish. Are you critical and gossipy about many of the things your acquaintances do? Do you know whether you have set your standards impossibly high; so high that you have a constant feeling of frustration because you are always falling short?

6. Are you an emotional person, always going off on a tangent, never able to keep a steady course? Is it because you aren’t in the work you want to do? Can’t you change jobs? Perhaps you are confused in your thinking, disturbed about religion, morals, things that are right or wrong. Have you asked your friends their ideas? Do you keep busy? Have you talked things over with your pastor? Is there some serious frustration always hanging over your head?[135] Why don’t you sit down, take stock of yourself? It is only by an inventory of ourselves, accompanied by a searching analysis, that we discover what is wrong and see ways to clear things up.

7. Are you so set in your ways that you cannot see that “circumstances alter cases?” Do you earnestly try to adapt yourself to people and new situations or do you expect all the adaptation to come from somebody else? Perhaps you are smug, never have a new idea. Try reading a Republican newspaper if you never read anything but a Democratic paper. Go to a different church. Get out of the rut you are in. Listen to other people’s ideas for a change. Don’t be so cocksure that you are always right and the other fellow always wrong.

8. Do you ever sit down and think? Reflect about yourself, your friends, your activities, your responsibilities? Do you stop and ask yourself if you are selfish and inconsiderate? Do you sympathize with others, try to avoid saying things that may hurt somebody’s feelings? Do you build up people rather than tear down? Do you go out of your way to help others?

9. If you and your prospective mate are constantly quarreling, have you stopped asking whose fault it is and started doing your best to prevent conflicts? Unless you two people settle your problems by compromise and mutual give-and-take, your marriage future looks dark.

10. Did you get engaged shortly after you first met? In most real love, an engagement rarely occurs before the couple have known and dated each other regularly for at least a year or longer.

11. Are you sure it is love? Could it be just loneliness, a desire to escape an unpleasant environment? Are you sure it isn’t a “phantasy ideal?”

12. Why don’t your parents approve this marriage? After all, they may have something. Look back in the past—weren’t they right many times then when you thought they were wrong? Unless your friends warmly approve this marriage, your parents are probably right in urging you to wait.

13. Do you really know your mate? What makes one a good date doesn’t usually make one a good mate. Although an hour’s[136] enjoyment of dancing, going to the movies, etc. may be wonderful pastime, it may be far from what you need in a mate. Are you sure what you want in a mate is what you need? Are you sure that what you have found is what you need in a mate?

14. Last but not least is this prospective mate going to be the sort of parent you want your children to have?

When you have finished asking yourself these questions, you will probably have some good ideas what to do if you and your mate didn’t make a score above average. Take your time. It is easier to get married than it is to get separated or divorced, and much easier on one’s disposition in the long run. You want to marry but we want you to make a good choice and to find in marriage all the happiness and contentment that it can bring.

Procedure If You Are Doing the Matching Alone

Some readers may wish to see how they match with another person but would prefer to do the matching without consulting him. That can be done, though of course it will be much less accurate. Use the “Do You Match?” tables in this chapter, just as couples working together did. You won’t have much trouble scoring the last ten of the twenty-one items since they are based on known facts. Your greatest problem will be in estimating the scores your mate would make in the ten tests on personality traits. Your estimates will necessarily be rough approximations; but if you have known this person for several months you may have a fair idea how he would answer the various questions in those tests and estimate scores for him accordingly. Be rigidly honest when you imagine the answers this person would make. You can double-check your compatibility with such an absentee person by taking the following short test. It is a greatly abbreviated check on compatibility.


Here is a final check-list on compatibility, primarily for a person who took the tests in Chapter XI by himself. This test, which can be taken by either a man or woman, provides you with a rough gauge for determining[137] whether the person you are dating might make a good mate for you. If you are a man, change questions to read “she” instead of “he.”

1. Are you two about equally sociable? That is, are you both either gadabouts or both stay-at-homes? Yes No
2. Are you both stern-minded, with high ideals, or else are you both broadminded and practical? Yes No
3. Does he find satisfaction and reward in his work? Yes No
4. Is he over 20, under 40, and not divorced? Yes No
5. Is he regarded by acquaintances as a solidly dependable person not given to excuse-making and sly lies? Yes No
6. Have you been dating steadily for two years or longer? Yes No
7. Has your dating been relatively free from quarrels? Yes No
8. Do you and your mate have much the same beliefs and attitudes about religion? Yes No
9. Do both sets of parents favor this marriage? Yes No
10. Did he attend Sunday school regularly until he was at least 18? Yes No
11. Is he in good physical health? Yes No
12. Do you two have about the same emotional responsiveness or warmth of passion? Yes No
13. Was he free of conflict with his parents and did they discipline him firmly but not harshly? Yes No
14. Were his parents happily married? Yes No
15. Is he free of jealousy and suspicion? Yes No
16. Does he have a calm, even temperament, especially if you are one to fly off the handle quickly? Yes No
17. Do you both have a healthy attitude toward sex? (That is, are you neither disgusted nor morbidly concerned with it?) Yes No
18. Is he a temperate person not given to heavy drinking? Yes No
19.[138] Are you two fairly close together somewhere in the broad middle zone between being timid and reckless? Yes No
20. Do you both think you want children? Yes No

If each had sixteen yes answers or more to the above questions, then your romance would seem to be on fairly solid ground. However, after you have taken the test, then go back and compare the two sets of answers on all the questions. If each had seventeen yes’s or more, and if there was mutual agreement, that is, if both had the same yes answers to at least fifteen of the questions, then it would appear that your marriage is not so mixed that it cannot be made to work.


Chapter XIII
Beware of Mixed Marriages

The “Mixed” marriage is any marriage in which great differences exist between the husband and wife, particularly differences of culture or religious training. You also have a “mixed” marriage if there are decided differences of personality, of intelligence, of education, of age, of race or nationality, of social culture or of economic status.

Suppose there are great differences. That’s what makes life interesting, some people say. Differences may be “interesting” but if they are really fundamental they can form a gulf between the two mates that will make happiness difficult to achieve. It is the conviction of the authors—based upon a study of hundreds of happy and miserable marriages—that the more a man and girl have in common the more likely they will enjoy being married.

One of the factors that seems to have great importance in making a marriage work is the congeniality of the two persons. This congeniality must be built upon the things they have in common. The more things they have in common and the fewer the differences, the greater the likelihood of congeniality. And the greater the ease with which the two can talk over their mutual problems fully, frankly, and understandingly. The success of a marriage depends upon the total adjustment the two personalities can make to each other. Even where couples are highly compatible far-reaching adjustments must be made. When to the normal differences you add fundamental differences of background, the sheer problems of adjustment will add a severe strain to the union.

Suppose the two people do bridge the gulf between themselves.[140] There will be great differences between their two sets of parents that may present problems. And there will be the differences between their two sets of friends. No couple lives completely alone. Two mates not only take each other for better or worse but also they must take with them the parents and friends of the other.

Take two cases with which we are familiar. They are typical of the cases in the files of any marriage counselor. (Their real names, of course, are not used.)

John is forty-two years old, a Catholic, a Democrat and had a high school education. His young bride, Margaret, is twenty-four, has had three years of college at a fashionable finishing school. She is a Baptist and a Republican. These two people think they are in love. Perhaps they are. But on the other hand Margaret was attracted to John chiefly for his “maturity,” his handsome appearance, the very nice compliments he paid her, and the success he has made of himself. She likes the idea that he is a self-made man. (He is the junior partner in a business, and his income is about six thousand dollars a year.) John is fussy and parsimonious in his habits and thinks that going to the movies once every month or two is enough for anybody. He is not very sociable and would rather stay at home and read some thrilling mystery story than go out. He lives with his parents and has specified that Margaret come and live with them as his mother is not in too good health. Margaret is vivacious, full of life and energy, very much interested in parties, dancing and sports. She is warmhearted, and since she was accustomed in her own home to having servants, she is careless where she puts things. After she finishes dressing her room looks as though a Kansas cyclone had struck it.

John was attracted to her despite her “odd” ways because she had given him considerable appreciation for the progress he has made without much formal education. She is the most attractive girl who has ever shown an interest in him, and he subconsciously feels that her social position in the community will be an asset to him in the success of his business. Despite their present professions of love it is hard for us to believe these two will find lasting happiness in marriage. They have too many points of difference.


Jim and Mary, in contrast, are what we could call compatible. Jim is twenty-eight, a college graduate in business, and is a junior executive in an office-supply firm. He is a sociable person, likes the movies, wants to go to an occasional dance and has many friends among both sexes. Mary also likes to dance, has many friends, enjoys parties and sports. She was graduated in liberal arts in college but in addition took a secretarial course. He is a Methodist, she a Presbyterian. He is an independent in politics though reared in a Republican home. Although Mary has voted the Republican ticket she tends to be something of a liberal, politically. They became acquainted in their senior year at college and now both are working at the same firm. If they go through with their marriage we predict they will find a great deal of happiness in it. They have so many things in common.

In the last few chapters we have already pointed out how crucial it is for a couple to have compatible personality traits. Studies have shown that unhappy couples frequently disagree on their friends, matters of recreation, the way they demonstrate affection, the way children should be reared and other things that are a vital part of marriage. The research of the Marriage Counseling Service at Penn State has shown that the couples who disagree most are the couples whose personalities are least alike. Take the great difference of ideals in the case of the son of the traveling salesman who is rushing the daughter of a clergyman. She is almost spiritual in her ideals and at home learned to restrain all manifestations of affection. The young man is handsome and dashing, a fast talker and a social butterfly. He likes to tell dirty stories and to get drunk. It is unlikely that their romance will progress far enough to contemplate marriage, but if they should get married, the radical differences in traits will produce a great unhappiness.

What are the other factors besides personality traits that can produce mixed marriages? Here are the main mixtures to watch out for.

Are There Fundamental Differences of Religion? If the couple are of different religious beliefs their philosophies of life may be[142] so deeply different that they may be liable to constant friction.

One German study showed that the fewest divorces were in marriages between Jews and that the largest number of divorces occurred when a Catholic married a non-Catholic. In Maryland, twelve thousand young people were asked the religious affiliations of their parents and also asked if their parents were living together, divorced or separated. Here were the percentage of broken marriages found in different groupings:

When both parents Jewish 4.6%
When both parents Catholic 6.4%
When both parents Protestant 6.8%
When religions mixed 15.2%

In other words, a mixed marriage is two or three times more likely to end in unhappiness than when the marriage is not mixed religiously!

And in inter-marrying some combinations seem to be more explosive than others. Below are three possible combinations in descending order, with the bottom combination least likely of all to produce a happy marriage.

Catholics have the greatest difficulties in inter-marriages presumably because their church takes a sterner view of inter-marriage than do the other churches. Another factor may be that they are taught not to use birth control devices (though family spacing through “rhythm” is condoned).

Suppose that a Catholic and Protestant do marry. There are thousands of couples who have achieved happiness in spite of religious differences. You can achieve it, perhaps, but both of you should face the problems involved in such an inter-marriage before, not after, the wedding. If possible one should agree to embrace the religion of the other. You should also definitely agree on the church in which the children are to be reared. You should even discuss[143] the size of the family desired because that may become a point of difference. If both refuse to budge from their religion they must face the likelihood of disharmony developing after marriage, particularly as children come along and decisions must be made about their religious training. Religious inter-marriages are particularly difficult when one or both are deeply religious and feel very strongly about holding to their particular faith.

Are There Significant Differences of Intelligence? A wife can be somewhat less intelligent than her husband and they can still be happy, but almost any other variations in intelligence are apt to produce problems, especially if the differences are pronounced.

Studies have shown that husbands and wives usually are much more alike in intelligence than in physical characteristics. People in general tend to select mates whose mental ability is about the same as their own. When two people of vastly different mental equipment marry, the less-endowed mate is apt to develop very strong feelings of inferiority, and the two may find it very hard to select interests and activities to share. The more intelligent one unconsciously may develop a superior attitude that may be patronizing or impatient.

Another thing they are bound to disagree on is how to spend their leisure time, the kind of friends that they will have, the social ethics they will have, and in fact their whole philosophies of life. The brighter mate reads serious magazines, listens to symphonies and forums, reads little or no light fiction. The less intelligent mate is interested in the spectacular radio programs, reads the more frothy magazines, has few deep intellectual interests. It is the glamorous, exciting things that appeal. Also they do not share ambitions. Two such people cannot talk over with each other their hopes and ambitions, their frustrations. There is no sharing. One feels aloof from the other.

Are There Four or More Years Difference in Formal Education? There can be wide differences in schooling but only as long as the two people’s interests and attitudes are about the same. And in these days of wide reading, radio information, night schools and[144] correspondence courses, two people may differ greatly in formal education but differ little in their informal education.

However, it does appear to be a fact that the happiest marriages seem to be those in which the two people met each other on a school campus, took similar curricula, lived in the same academic background.

Are There Wide Differences in Your Economic Background? This is closely related to the social differences. Mothers have encouraged wide differences in economic background by teaching their daughters to marry “up” the economic scale. They are urged to make “good catches.” It is only human for a mother to wish that her daughter will not have to scrimp as she has had to in her marriage. It also enhances a family’s social prestige if a daughter can marry “up.” However when there are wide differences in the incomes of the two sets of parents, those differences are accompanied by differences in social background which are often hard to reconcile. Added to this is the factor of acceptance that invariably arises when either a girl or man marries way above his own economic level. The parents and friends of the wealthy mate often assume that the other married for money. That may produce serious tension and create a lasting in-law problem.

Is There a Wide Difference in Age? One study has shown that the least happy marriages are those in which the husband is six to eight years older than the wife. Perhaps it is not the difference in age itself so much as the fact that people that far apart in age will be unlike in other respects which creates the strain on marriage.

The happiest marriages for wives seem to range from one extreme where the wife is four years older than the husband to the other extreme where the wife is four years younger than the husband. The happiest marriages for husbands seem to be those in which the husband is from one year older than the wife to where the husband is four years older than the wife. When all the evidence is analyzed it would seem that the happiest marriages for everybody concerned are those marriages in which the husband and wife are within one to two years of each other.


Are There Differences in Your Social Culture? Here is a girl who has been reared in the South. She was taught to be a lady, to be waited upon, not to work because she would have servants. Here is a man brought up in Nebraska, reared in a home where his own mother was hardworking, not only did the housework but occasionally helped milk the cows and helped do other chores for her farmer husband. With the Southern girl there has been a tremendous emphasis upon “family,” on social prestige, on doing certain things in certain precise ways. In the case of the Nebraska man, little of this formality has been present. Instead the emphasis has been upon hard work, upon thriftiness, upon a wife sharing heavily the responsibilities of earning a living. Two such widely differing philosophies are likely to produce grief in marriage. The war, with its tremendous shifts of population, produced a great many of these interregional marriages. They are certainly not doomed but the couples should face frankly the problems involved in a mixing of cultures.

Those, briefly, are the main types of mixed marriages. You should enter into them carefully, if at all. In any case where there are serious differences of background, the couple should compare themselves carefully, see just what the differences are, be realistic about those differences, ferret out the special problems that those differences will create (as in the rearing of children), agree on ways to attack the problems and solve them. Only then is there hope that the marriage can be a success. The difficulty is that couples tend to gloss over differences that exist. They refuse to identify them, to admit their existence. They put off facing them. Then later in marriage the problems can no longer be avoided and by then they have become so acute that reconciliation becomes very difficult.

For example, if a Catholic wants to marry a Protestant, it is far better for the couple to see the problems that will exist from such a mixed marriage before they are married than after they are married.


Chapter XIV
Nine Dangerous Characters

There are some prospective mates who will survive all the tests we have given you thus far and in fact look like ideal partners, and yet will bring you grief every time in marriage.

In studying marriage failures it has been found that again and again certain types of mates make a marriage seem intolerable. We’ll introduce you to nine of the worst troublemakers. They are hard to detect, but usually you can spot them if you have had several months really to know them before you commit yourself to marriage.

The Jealous Mate. Perhaps a man becomes excessively jealous because his young wife is attractive to other men or because she has been accustomed to traveling with a more sophisticated crowd than he has. On the other side perhaps the wife—with little cause—becomes insanely jealous of her husband’s secretary.

We know from investigation that jealousy causes at least one out of every five quarrels that occur between American husbands and wives. And furthermore, in divorce cases jealousy turns up as a factor in almost half of all divorces. That is not hard to understand because a jealous person inevitably becomes a difficult person to live with. He or she is usually suspicious, quick-tempered and disagreeable. It is hard to love a person who is jealous of you. You lose your respect for him, and you can’t be natural with him.

When you do try to be natural he will set you on your guard by some snippish and unprovoked remark and will question you awkwardly at length to check on your movements. Frequently[147] he will fly into temper outbursts or sink into black moods.

Psychologically jealousy is a feeling of frustration, which in turn produces anger and dejection. The person is frustrated because he fears he is losing the love of the mate or fears that the mate is being unfaithful.

Jealousy may be real or imaginary. Evidence uncovered at the Penn State clinic would indicate that frequently it is the latter. In real jealousy the mate knows, or suspects correctly, that the other person is flirting or acting in a questionable manner. In imaginary jealousy the jealous person is that way simply because he lacks confidence in himself. He would probably be jealous of anyone he married, because he has strong feelings of inferiority and is usually unstable emotionally.

Any prospective mate who is habitually in such a mental stew without real cause would make an extremely poor husband or wife.

The Mate Who Wants to Improve You. There is sound psychology behind the thought in the marriage ceremony that you take your spouse “for better or for worse.” At the wedding each mate should be accepted for what he is with no reservations for the future.

Marriage is a partnership in the true sense and if one partner takes it upon himself to teach or improve the other, that relationship is sorely disturbed. One starts feeling superior and the other either inferior or indignant or both.

It is terribly easy for some new husbands and wives—after the glamour has worn off—to see flaws in their mates that should be corrected immediately. Their intentions may be kindly but soon they are continually criticizing and imploring the mate to change his or her ways.

A constant urge to improve a mate is closely akin to nagging. In fact nagging means oral pressure, and when applied to a spouse it invariably produces discord. The nagger in marriage is one of the major troublemakers.

If the attempts to improve a mate are made in public—as they frequently are—the affronts then clearly become intolerable. Nothing[148] produces greater resentment. Even if the aggrieved partner can absorb such criticism without slashing back he will seethe inwardly and seek revenge for such an assault on his dignity.

Let’s look at the “improver.” It has been found that such a person is rarely the happily adjusted, emotionally mature person. Rather he could stand some self-improvement himself. Usually he is trying to improve the other either because of his own underlying feeling of inferiority, or because it gives him a mean, petty advantage over the other.

If after reading the above you still feel that your own mate or prospective mate has faults that could well be improved, why don’t you try one of these tacks?

First, remember that if you maintain high standards yourself your mate will gradually rise to them. Set a good example. Couples grow more alike every day they are married.

If you are anxious to have immediate results, use indirect rather than direct suggestions. A wife, for example, might say to her husband that she appreciates the fact that he has been more considerate of her during the past few days. This may be hokum. But even though he has not been any more considerate, the compliment will encourage him to be more considerate in the future.

Or suppose that a man thinks his fiancée shows appalling taste in her clothes. A frontal criticism would wound and probably infuriate her. But if he starts out by complimenting her on the few presentable things she wears, he can use them as springboards for getting across to her the kind of clothes she should wear to make herself most appealing to him. Few women can resist such suggestions.

The “Nervous” Mate. Many wives neglect their husbands, and many husbands quarrel with their wives, because they are emotionally insecure. They are at loose ends with themselves. In scientific language, they are maladjusted or neurotic.

Marriage in itself rarely cures an emotionally unstable person. In fact it may aggravate his trouble by adding new frustrations. A person who is unstable before marriage is apt to find that the[149] increased responsibilities and decreased liberty under marriage impose new burdens. His frustrations become aggravated.

Every marriage counselor knows from experience that unhappily married couples usually present difficulties that can be traced to the emotional maladjustment of one or both of the mates. Perhaps the husband flies into a rage if supper is late or if his pipe rack has been moved. But any psychologist knows such tantrums are merely symptoms, symptoms of the man’s basic maladjustment to life. They will appear when he meets any sort of frustration.

If the wife is careful to have supper on time and keep the pipe rack in the same place the eruptions will appear somewhere else. They will appear, that is, unless the husband can get hold of himself and grow up emotionally. This may require help from an experienced psychologist who can get at the roots of the man’s difficulties.

Here are some other thoughts for easing a situation where one or both of the couple are high-strung.

When either mate is upset the other should make it easy for him to talk his troubles out. Talking things over dispassionately is a wonderful way to ease tensions. Psychologists now realize its importance and refer to it as mutual psychotherapy.

Sometimes the tensions are produced by physical and mental fatigue. Perhaps one or both mates are working too hard and relaxing too little. If so they should try to modify their routines to get in more rest, sleep and relaxation.

The Financial Critic. Money is not the root of all evil, but it certainly is at the root of a lot of marriage unhappiness. All studies that have been made concerning the reasons why married couples quarrel agree that financial arrangements cause more friction than any other one phase of marriage. For example, couples quarrel five times as much over money as they do over the rearing of children, which is a well-known troublemaker. One half of all divorced couples say that financial problems were a part of their difficulties.

Unless the couple is really poor, the lack of money doesn’t cause the troubles as much as bad management of it. The average couple[150] should be comforted to know that too much money causes trouble almost as much as too little money.

A girl considering marriage with a man who has an irregular or uncertain income should face frankly the fact that the situation may become the source of bitter quarreling if the two aren’t careful. Regularity of income and job security seem to be more important than the size of the income. Couples who save money are happier than those who don’t, other things being equal.

Both girls and men selecting a future mate should be wary of people who are disorganized in their personal lives or are prone to carping. Those two types of people are most apt to inspire or provoke quarrels over money.

The main grievance of wives financially is that their husbands are too tight and the main complaints of husbands are that their wives are too extravagant or too chaotic in their budget-keeping. Husbands, interestingly, complain much more about the extravagance of their wives than wives complain about extravagance of husbands.

The Alibi Artist. Beware of the excuse-maker. Alibi-making is not mentally healthy. In fact it is one of the early signs of emotional confusion and mental deterioration. If a man or girl sees in the other during courtship indications that excuse-making is an ingrained habit, he would do well to break off the courtship and seek a mate elsewhere.

That may sound like a harsh way to deal with the purveyor of “little white lies” and excuses but it has been clearly established that such a person is a very bad marriage risk. The individual usually excuses his own lack of accomplishment or ability by projecting the blame for his failures on other people. Bit by bit this projection becomes devastating.

Continued excuse-making gradually brings the individual closer and closer to the gulf that divides the real from the imaginary, the sane from the insane. In its most pronounced form it is paranoia, a type of insanity.

The alibi artist has little respect for the truth, cannot be predicted,[151] evades his obligations and is generally not dependable. The test designed to measure this tendency to alibi, which psychologists call “tendency to rationalize,” has already been discussed. The victim rationalizes or excuses his own conduct. The amazing thing is that this one test is an extremely accurate device to predict, by itself, marriage happiness or failure. Investigations have established that persons obtaining low scores in that one test have consistently proved to be unsatisfactory mates in marriage.

No husband ever gets conditioned to excuses for the lateness of meals, the unmade beds, the buttons that have not been sewn on. He doesn’t resent the inconveniences as much as he resents the wife’s constant excuses for failure to show some improvement.

The Escapist. The escapist is a close relative of the alibier, but somewhat more honest. He finds himself unable to cope with his everyday problem of living in a modern world so he turns and flees from them. This flight may be physical. That is, he may become a hermit or may go into the armed forces where he can shed all responsibilities for directing his own life. But more often nowadays the flight is into a dream world, via narcotics or alcohol.

Heavy drinking is steadily becoming more serious. Many distillers are even urging moderation in their advertisements. It is not merely on a moral basis that marriage counselors will warn you to shun the heavy drinker. As a husband or wife he’s a hard person to live with. And marriage rarely cures dipsomania or any other mania. So don’t think you can cure a fiancé or fiancée who habitually tipples.

The causes of drunkenness are not too well known but one thing is sure: the habitual use of alcohol is just a symptom of the person’s basic maladjustment to life, and not the cause of the maladjustment. In alcohol he forgets his problems, or imagines that he has found brilliant solutions for them.

The person who drinks excessively is always a psychological problem and an amateur cannot hope to be too successful in tackling it. Even a sanatorium cure brings only temporary relief unless the basic conflicts that impelled him to drink are resolved. Usually[152] very careful counseling of the alcoholic is necessary to uncover his troubles and help him work out a solution for them.

The Disorderly Mate. To be successful in marriage or almost anything else in life, a person must keep his affairs in a fair degree of order. You should be wary if you find that a person you are considering for marriage is sloppy in his or her appearance or affairs.

If a girl’s apartment looks like an unmade bed, you can consider that a fairly accurate forecast of how she would manage your home. Or if a man is habitually late for dates or shows up without a tie or with unshined shoes, you can be sure he would be even more sloppy and inconsiderate as a husband.

Neatness, of course, can be overdone. One wife we know objects to her husband sitting in certain chairs until he has changed his clothes. Another will not permit her husband to enter the living room—which she prizes—until he takes off his shoes, unless there are guests.

Some people are fastidious about the way they dress and yet are disorderly in organizing their lives. Others are the other way around. But when disorderliness becomes general an intolerable strain is imposed on a marriage.

The Mate with Clinging Relatives. Statistically, in-laws cause about as much marriage woe as drinking. Many a promising marriage has been marred by them.

In the past six months, more than ten per cent of the troubled married couples consulting the Penn State Marriage Counseling Service had problems aggravated or initiated by their in-laws. We read recently a letter from a young wife who bewailed the fact that her husband’s mother insisted on going along with them on their honeymoon. She had told her son she needed a vacation and would like to go with them. Without consulting the bride he agreed. The bride lamented:

“I spent far more time alone with my mother-in-law than I did with my bridegroom!”

Living with in-laws at any time creates a hazard for most couples[153] and should be avoided if possible, but it is particularly irritating during the first few months of marriage. Those months are crucial because of the adjustments the two people are making. It is then that they get fully acquainted, adapt their habits, work out compromises.

Any person contemplating marriage shows lack of foresight if he fails to consider the attachments his prospective mate may have to close relatives, or if he fails to weigh the chances that these relatives will ever live with the couple, and the outcome if they do.

One little-known aspect of this is that some in-laws in a couple’s home cause more trouble than others. The husband’s mother, for example, is apt to produce more difficulties than the wife’s mother because it is the wife who must spend the most time with the woman.

The husband’s mother often becomes a rival of the wife for the husband’s attentions and—as the husband’s own mother—may become head of the household.

Likewise a wife’s father in the household presents more difficulties than the husband’s father.

It is not necessarily fatal to live with in-laws. In fact the hazards are relatively small if the man and wife are both grown up emotionally and very happily married.

If you do find yourself eventually living with an in-law in the home, remember most of all to keep all financial arrangements clear-cut, and abide by them even more scrupulously than you would if they involved total strangers. Further, don’t borrow money from them.

The Flirt. Whether male or female, the person with the roving, aggressive eye is a poor prospect for marriage. The flirt is a poor prospect because he is basically a shallow, conceited, inconsiderate person, incapable of genuine love.

He will prove a difficult, unsatisfying person to live with as a marriage partner, because the wedding ceremony will not change his fundamental characteristics. You will have trouble establishing a give-and-take relationship with him. Then, when the glamour[154] of the wedding wears off and the normal difficulties of marriage adjustment confront him, he will find this humdrum and start recalling his premarital conquests. Soon he may be flirting again and you may find yourself with a triangle on your hands. Triangles are responsible directly or indirectly for at least a fourth of all divorces.


Every person is a little jealous of his or her mate. But there is a point where the jealousy becomes excessive—and dangerous. Whether real or imaginary, the jealousy puts you in such a dark mood that anything you do may harm rather than improve the relationship.

1. Do you feel this potential mate of yours neglects you? Yes No
2. Do you want and need considerable attention and praise? Yes No
3. Does he turn and look at other girls (or does she seem to relish the attention of other men)? Yes No
4. Do you ever try to “get even?” Yes No
5. Is your temper easily aroused? Yes No
6. Does it upset you to have somebody disagree with you in public? Yes No
7. Do you keep close tabs on him (or her) when both of you are at a party? Yes No
8. Do you feel envious of certain other persons of your own sex that you know? Yes No
9. Do you ever quarrel with this person after returning from a party? Yes No
10. Has he, or she, learned not to praise other people of your own sex in front of you? Yes No
11. Do you like to listen to gossip? Yes No
12. Do you sometime feel alone when in a crowd? Yes No
13. Do you want this person to wait on you a good deal? Yes No
14.[155] Do you think most people of the opposite sex will bear watching? Yes No
15. When this mate is late do you want an explanation? Yes No
16. Do you ever have it out with a person who says untrue things about you? Yes No
17. Would you be considered a “possessive” person? Yes No
18. Have you ever suspected that some friend’s mate was misbehaving and have
contrived to let the friend know about it? 
Yes No

If you answered fourteen or more of these with yes you are a victim of extreme and unhealthy jealousy. If however you answered less than four with yes you apparently don’t even love the person.


Chapter XV
People Who Should Not Marry at All

Every time the Marriage Counseling Service at Penn State has offered its course on the preparation for marriage, the class has been asked to list the qualifications they think a person has to have before he should undertake marriage.

It was interesting to note that the girls in the class consistently voted for higher qualifications than the men. We have averaged the responses of the many hundreds of students and present below those qualifications mentioned by at least fifty per cent of the students:

Qualifications for Marriage  Percentage
Voting for Them
Freedom from venereal disease 100%
Freedom from feeble-mindedness
(If sterilized, 24% would permit marriage)
Freedom from insanity 97%
Freedom from criminality 94%
Freedom from dipsomania 91%
Freedom from drug addiction 85%
Freedom from neuroticism 76%
Proof by groom that he can support bride
(This includes evidence of occupational proficiency
and at least $150 in savings)
Record of no more than one divorce, if any 50%

Other qualifications suggested but receiving less than forty-five per cent of the votes were freedom from tuberculosis, cancer, epilepsy and fatal heart disease, freedom from sterility and from[157] inherited physical defects. About ninety-seven per cent of the students thought that both men and women should have premarital physical exams that would determine freedom from venereal disease.

We feel that there is a great deal of merit to the qualifications raised by the students. With those as a starting point we have prepared nine questions which you should ask yourself—and be able to answer yes. They are minimum qualifications for marriage. We feel you should have serious doubts about the advisability of marrying another person if you answer no to even one of the questions. Here they are:

Is Your Mate Sane and from a Family in Which No Insanity is Present? Except in pronounced forms, psychoses are not easily diagnosed. The borderline between sanity and insanity is no more distinct than is the line between black and white. All shades of gray exist. Many paranoidal persons roam the streets of our country and in many cases are able to carry the responsibilities of normal life, at least until they encounter continued frustration which will bring the insanity into an easily recognizable form. Insanity is not easily detected unless there is uncontrolled behavior or pronounced incompetence in obeying normal standards of behavior. In a recent book issued through the National Committee for Mental Hygiene there is a statement that one out of twenty-five persons reaching adulthood should be confined. Another four out of twenty-five are severely neurotic and another eight are handicapped by milder neurotic disturbances. On the basis of these findings at least one person in four is severely maladjusted and at least one in two is maladjusted to some extent.

If you are concerned about the mental balance of any possible mate, you might ask yourself these questions:

Has he been confined at some time in a mental institution?

Has he been rejected or released from military service because of outright mental disturbances?

Does his family have a history of insanity?

Is he free from syphilis?


Has he ever suffered from severe injury damaging the brain?

Do you know if he has shown extreme aberrations on any psychological tests to measure abnormalities of mental function?

Has he failed to discharge the responsibilities of life in a legal, competent, conventional manner?

Has he any record of uncontrollable rages resulting in injuries to others?

Does his family physician question his sanity?

While it is possible that he might be sane though you answered yes to some of these questions, the odds are against it. You should keep in mind however that many boys discharged from this past war as neuropsychiatric cases are not insane and most of them will be able to settle down within a few months after their discharge and earn a livelihood and live a normal life.

Is Your Mate Law-Abiding, Does He Have a Record Free of Criminal Offenses and are His Parents Likewise Law-Abiding? Many employers, including the federal and state governments, hesitate to employ a person with a criminal record. The habitual criminal is not easily cured. Certainly three or more convictions for criminal offenses should indicate a personality pattern adverse to marriage happiness. In New York State, four convictions for criminal offenses automatically result in life imprisonment.

Is Your Mate in Fairly Good Physical Health Generally and Free from Venereal Disease? Most of the states have passed laws providing statutory protection against syphilis. These states contain about three-fourths of the total population of the country. It is interesting that about one person in a hundred taking premarriage blood tests is found infected with syphilis. In these days of the miracle sulfa drugs and penicillin, cures of venereal disease can be effected in a matter of weeks. Syphilis is a blighting disease which, if uncured, will wreck any marriage sooner or later. Anyone who is in chronic bad health due to other ailments adds a severe burden to any marriage.

Is Your Mate Free from Using Drugs Such as Morphine or Heroin or Marijuana? Addiction to the traditional drugs is not[159] a serious problem in this country but a great many young people have been taking to marijuana for quick “jags” under the impression that such jags are not dangerous. Musicians particularly often use this drug. But it is a dope just as surely as opium is, its effect can be just as vicious, and it is used only by persons who are unstable emotionally and thus poor marriage risks to start with.

If Your Mate Drinks, is He Temperate in the Use of Alcoholic Beverages? The dipsomaniac is an alcohol addict just as the opium smoker is a dope addict. He is characterized by an uncontrollable craving for alcohol. In some people alcohol produces a temporary feeling of well-being and elation, sometimes called euphoria. Because it does, people sometimes turn to drinking as an escape from their unsolved problems. Bit by bit the habit of drinking is built up. The person who marries a mate who is an excessive or habitual drinker in the expectation of reforming him is due for a bitter awakening. Marriage rarely cures drinking or any other abnormal condition. Expert treatment is needed. In skilled hands the drunkard is sometimes cured—if he really convinces himself that he wants to be cured. But the cure is long and arduous and the proportion of relapses is still great.

Is Your Mate Intelligent Enough to Earn a Living and Discharge the Responsibilities of Life Competently? There is no doubt that feeble-mindedness is inherited. Individual intelligence tests usually indicate that any person is feeble-minded who scores an IQ of seventy or less. (One hundred is average.) Even when sterilization of a feeble-minded person is performed it still does not seem reasonable to permit that person to marry since he can rarely contribute to the success of a marriage and often cannot earn a living.

Is Your Mate Fairly Stable, Well-adjusted and Able to Get Along with People? There are many shades of nervous disorders ranging from neurosis through psychoneurosis. The neurotic has a minor nervous disorder. The psychoneurotic has some ailment—without organic basis—which may involve hysteria, a paralysis or[160] cramps. Many so-called miracle cures take place with persons who actually have no physical disabilities but have the disability in their mind.

In July 1945 such a “miracle” cure occurred at a military canteen. A 20-year-old soldier was walking painfully around on crutches. One of the junior hostesses asked him half-seriously if he would like to dance. He stated that he would but that he couldn’t even walk. She replied that she was a big strong girl who could hold him up. The soldier laughed, pushed his crutches under the table, stood up shakily, clung to a chair, then to the hostess. Getting started was difficult and he stumbled a time or two. Slowly they began to dance. Amazingly the soldier began having less and less trouble with his legs. They danced all through the evening and when the soldier left to take her home he was walking perfectly and left his crutches as a memento of his cure. As a result of a shrapnel wound he had become convinced he would never walk again. Under the stimulation of music, and the eagerness of a young girl to dance, the soldier forgot his crutches. So it goes with psychoneurotics. They are convinced that their neck is paralyzed, that they cannot hear or cannot see. Many such cases show immediate improvement once the war is over and the frustrations and fears of war lift from them. But others retain their bodily symptoms of psychological disturbance throughout their lives.

In this postwar world, marriageable girls will have to be concerned about the mental disturbances of some ex-service males. They should be sensible about these defects and realize they are merely a product of war-imposed frustrations. But they should be sure that they recognize the defects and are prepared to live with them. About twenty per cent of all war casualties returned to this country have been mental cases, and the fighting was so grueling in some theaters of war, such as the Solomons, that the percentages of psychological casualties have been known to rise at times to as high as forty per cent of all casualties.

A neurotic or psychoneurotic needs skillful treatment from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. A girl should hesitate to marry such a person at least until a medical authority has pronounced[161] that he is competent to make the adjustments that a marriage entails and to fill the role of a mate successfully.

Is Your Mate a Person Who Has Not Been Divorced from Two Previous Marriages? Even a person with one divorce to his credit is a hazard when he remarries. A person with two divorces should definitely be shunned, if you hope to achieve a lasting and happy marriage.

Divorce is not inherited, but it does run in families. It is known that persons whose own parents are divorced are much more likely to seek divorce than those whose parents were not divorced. Divorce is marriage bankruptcy, and any person who has failed twice in marriage is unlikely to succeed in a third. A person with a record of two divorces should have his right to marry anyone seriously questioned. A bank would certainly hesitate to lend a man money who had failed to pay a previous loan, and certainly would refuse a loan to a person who had gone bankrupt twice before.

The couple that marries in haste frequently divorces in haste. Thus one reason for many of our wartime divorces. Likewise the couple that takes plenty of time before marriage rarely has to seek a divorce, especially if that marriage results in children.

Will You and Your Mate Be Able to Support Yourselves? This presumably will mean that before undertaking marriage one of the mates—preferably the man—should demonstrate through a work record that he is capable of earning a living. Under normal circumstances, about one wife in six or seven works to supplement the earnings of her husband. It is probable that not less than one wife in fifty is the sole support of the family. The best way to demonstrate ability to earn a living is for one of the mates (again preferably the man) to demonstrate occupational proficiency by at least one year of gainful employment.

It is also important that no couple should marry without a cash reserve after the costs of the wedding. Sickness, possible pregnancy, the furnishing of an apartment and other factors make some emergency fund advisable. The Penn State students thought this saving[162] should amount at least to ten per cent of the estimated expenses for the first year.

In making sure you are both physically fit for a happy marriage we recommend that you submit to a premarital physical examination. In fact some couples like to have two premarital exams, one just before they become formally engaged, and the second just before they marry. It seems to us that if physical factors are found which might seem undesirable to either member of the couple, or to their families, it would be best that such conditions be discovered before the formal engagement, to avoid embarrassment. The second exam would be token just before the marriage because the laws of many states require that the physical exam be taken within thirty days of the marriage date.

Whether you plan one or two exams, there should be one thorough one, far more comprehensive than that required by law. The typical physician, in order to keep the exam reasonable in price, usually examines only far enough to find if the couple meet the legal requirements, which are primarily concerned with freedom from venereal disease. Here are some things that a comprehensive exam should cover:

1. Physical defects that may be crippling or later impair the ability of the individual to earn a living or make a home.

2. The hereditary history of each family should be checked for the possibility of insanity or feeble-mindedness or other inherited defects that might be transmitted to offspring even though not too apparent in the person being examined.

3. Because most couples will want children, the reproductive apparatus should be examined to see if reproduction is possible and that the individual is free from defects that would make conception impossible or childbirth hazardous. (This would mean pelvic measurements for the female.) The possibility of sterility or impotence should be checked and any physical factor that might impair or prevent normal sexual relations should be treated.

4. There should be an investigation of the integrity and normal functioning of the heart, respiratory apparatus and the central nervous system.


5. Freedom from venereal disease, both gonorrhea and syphilis, should be ascertained.

The physical exam gives the physician an unusually good opportunity to allay any fears regarding sexual adjustment that either person may have. At the examination just prior to the wedding, the physician can give the girl instructions in the role of the female in physical intimacy. There should be an explanation of orgasm, and if desired, there can be instructions about birth spacing.

Even though some factors may be adverse that does not mean you should refrain from marrying. It simply means that both of you go into marriage with your eyes open. Furthermore, most physical defects can be corrected, often even sterility. Much of the impotence among young men is caused by psychological rather than physical factors.


And while you are at it you might ask yourself whether you are too. Answer yes or no.

1. Is he or she easily fatigued?
2. Does he or she have many headaches?
3. Does the mate often feel blue?
4. Does he feel unhappy much of the time?
5. Does he frequently seem to feel lonely?
6. Does he often complain that he feels nervous and shaky inside?
7. Does he often seem to feel miserable?
8. Does he seem to find it hard to trust people?
9. Does it bother him to talk to strangers?
10. Are his feelings easily hurt?
11. Does he often have the feeling that the whole world is against him?
12. Is it apparently difficult for him to keep his mind on what he is doing?
13. Is he troubled frequently with indigestion or heartburn?
14.[164] Does he say that he sometimes gets so discouraged he feels like giving up?
15. Does he often feel weak or as though he were going to faint?
16. Does he often have pains in his hip or back?
17. Does he think that people talk about him behind his back?
18. Does he think he has had a great deal of hard luck in his life?
19. Does he say that people frequently play mean tricks on him?
20. Does he worry about many things?
21. Does he have trouble getting along with people?
22. Does he complain of being frequently troubled with long periods of insomnia or restless sleep?
23. Does he often appear listless, indifferent or uninterested in life around him?
24. Is he suspicious of some of his acquaintances or friends?
25. Are his habits of eating or sleeping irregular and peculiar?

An affirmative answer to any one of these questions does not mean the person is a neurotic by any means. But a pattern of neuroticism is apparently present in the person if he answered ten or more with yes. He appears to be maladjusted to life. Ideally every question should be answered no. If you feel you don’t know the person well enough to answer some of the questions, score only those you are sure of. Then, if two out of five of your answers are yes, it would appear that the person may be maladjusted. And incidentally, how did you make out yourself?


Chapter XVI
Will a Job Undermine the Marriage?

The Only thought couples usually give to their respective careers at the time they decide to marry is whether there will be enough income to support them. Actually, the type of work the groom does may produce irritations that may ruin the union. Or if the bride wants to continue her career after marriage, that may cause trouble if not handled carefully.

Let’s take the problem of the bride first. Should she continue her career or devote all her energy to managing a home? There is, of course, no final answer. We know of many married couples who have worked out excellent relationships while the wife continues her career. But we also know that such an arrangement is not normal and that it often produces difficulties because of psychological factors. It is apt to be a blow to the husband’s sense of mastery of his own home if the bride decides that he can’t support her properly on his salary. It deprives the wife of the opportunity to win the husband’s affection and appreciation for her homemaking skill. Believe it or not, one very important appeal of marriage to a man is to have his favorite dishes home-cooked and waiting for him when he comes home from work. If the wife has a career, the couple usually ends up eating out or eating warmed-up delicatessen specials. Finally a career makes it difficult for a wife to bear and rear children, and children are another of the big values of marriage that hold couples together.

Homemaking is a definite career, and if there are children, a full-time career. There is far more to making a home than the housekeeping end of it. A homemaker is a physician when the husband[166] or child is sick; she is an interior decorator; she must be a good cook and dietitian; she must be an expert on clothing repair; she must be a good teacher and an expert on the psychology of handling children; she must often be a judge in settling arguments; she must be an expert purchasing agent because she will spend at least eighty per cent of the family’s income; she must be some sort of bookkeeper if she keeps the budget and pays the bills; she must be a repair man who can replace a fuse, repair an electric light cord, put oil on a squeaking hinge.

If the average husband gave as mediocre a performance on his job as many wives do as homemakers he would be fired. Unquestionably one of the reasons why divorce is on the increase is that careers and other diversions prevent wives from giving as much attention and care to the art of homemaking as they once did. Why do married women work? Here are the main reasons:

—Pure necessity.

—To enable themselves to have more luxurious and extra comforts than the husband’s income alone could afford.

—Because marriage is not too satisfying to them and they are bored.

—Because they do not want children.

—Because they want to be independent financially.

—Because they would rather hire somebody to do the housework than to do it themselves.

—Because they want an independent career.

Virtually all studies made show that the happiest married women are those who do not work after marriage. In the study by Dr. G. V. Hamilton, A Research in Marriage, only forty-five per cent of the women working after marriage had a “satisfactory” to “very satisfactory” marriage compared to some fifty-five per cent of the women not working after marriage who were happy in marriage.

Once a wife starts working, she may resolve to stop at the end of a specific period, but by the time the deadline arrives she usually finds a reason why she should continue a little longer. Frequently she and her husband have bought things like an automobile that prevent them from attaining enough stability financially to permit[167] her to stop working. She continues to work, thereby putting off having children and perhaps never has them.

But now let’s take up the greater—and less understood—dangers involved in the types of work the groom does. Many wives today think they are dissatisfied with their husbands when actually they are dissatisfied with his working habits or his job.

For example, some jobs carry more social prestige than others. Here are some twenty-four occupations rated by college students (1940) on their prestige, with those with the highest prestige at the top and those with the least prestige at the bottom:

1. Physician 13. Farmer (owner)
2. Clergyman 14. Insurance agent
3. Lawyer 15. Salesman
4. College professor 16. Bookkeeper
5. Manufacturer 17. Machinist
6. Banker 18. Carpenter
7. Artist or author 19. Barber
8. Man of leisure 20. Factory operative
9. Engineer (college trained)   21. Blacksmith
10. Factory superintendent 22. Soldier
11. School teacher 23. Truck driver
12. Storekeeper 24. Ditch digger

Richard O. Lang, as a graduate student at the University of Chicago, made a study of marriage happiness based upon ratings made by acquaintances of more than seventeen thousand married couples. On the basis of his findings here is how fifty different occupations rated on the descending scale of marital happiness. The happiest are at the top and the least happy are at the bottom. Here is the approximate order:

1. Chemical engineers 26. Factory foremen
2. Ministers 27. Garage owners
3. College professors 28. Mail clerks
4. Teachers 29. Insurance salesmen
5. Engineers 30. Brokers
6. Wholesale salesmen 31. Electricians
7. Chemists 32. Druggists
8. Accountants 33. Clerks
9. Civil engineers 34. Salesmen, auto, etc.
10. Office workers 35. Railroad office workers
11. Physicians 36. Railroad workers
12. Bankers 37. Farmers
13. Newspaper workers 38. Bond salesmen
14. Government workers 39. Skilled workers
15.[168] Coöperative officials 40. Barbers
16. Architects 41. Gas station employees
17. Large business owners   42. Truck drivers
18. Lawyers 43. Musicians
19. Store salesmen 44. Real estate salesmen
20. Contractors 45. Plumbers
21. Printers 46. Auto mechanics
22. Bookkeepers 47. Carpenters
23. Dentists 48. General mechanics
24. Bank employees 49. Traveling salesmen
25. Small store owners 50. Laborers

One interesting statistic is that while eighty per cent of the clergy had happy or very happy marriages (as assessed by their friends) only forty per cent of salesmen had marriages at least as happy or very happy, again as assessed by friends. Only eleven per cent of the clergy seemed to be really unhappy in marriage while thirty-six of the salesmen were.

Obviously education is not the determining factor in an occupation’s happiness quota because physicians, lawyers and dentists, who require more schooling than almost any other group, are definitely less happy in marriage than engineers, teachers and ministers. Musicians rate very low, coming between truck drivers and real estate salesmen, apparently because of the mobility and impermanence of their jobs.

There are seven types of work that seem to be the major vocational troublemakers. They don’t need to produce trouble. In fact if both the man and wife are aware of the potential dangers involved and act accordingly trouble rarely occurs. But if they don’t possess such awareness, they may find it increasingly difficult to find happiness through marriage. Both will be resentful without knowing[169] why. We don’t advise girls to avoid marrying men in these types of work. That would be ridiculous. But we do suggest that they take the job into consideration. Then, if they go ahead and marry the man, they will do it with their eyes wide open and with a plan to remove the danger by normalizing their married life as much as possible despite the job.

With that thought in mind let’s take up the seven big troublemakers.

The Man Who Travels a Lot. This includes not only the traveling salesman, whose reputation for waywardness has a great deal of basis in fact, but also traveling entertainers, truck drivers, professional soldiers, casual laborers, railroad workers, air pilots. There are also multitudes of others whose work requires stopovers or prolonged stays away from home. It is the mobility of the job rather than the fact that unreliable characters work in them that produces the trouble. Lonesome and dissatisfied, the mobile person seeks substitutes which create strife at home when they are learned of, and feelings of guilt with the man even when they aren’t. Such a mobile person is more likely to come in contact with other women who may seem very attractive to him since he is denied the companionship and daily affection of his family. There seems to be absolutely no doubt that those occupations which are somewhat fixed, that is, which require little or no traveling, provide happier marriages, other things being equal.

Wives can counteract the danger by frequently arranging to accompany the husbands on trips they may make. Even though the wife may have children, there are many trips on which she can accompany her husband. In most cases the husband, far from resenting her presence, welcomes it because he does get lonely and bored traveling in strange towns.

Even though the wife is busy she should take time out to accompany her husband over his entire territory so that she sees some of the problems he faces and meets some of the people he has to work with. In doing this she serves two purposes: she is better able to talk to her husband intelligently about his work if she knows[170] the operation and the people involved. This will encourage him to unburden his occupational problems to her rather than think she is just a dumb housewife and take them elsewhere or brood over them. The second purpose is that by letting his associates on the route see her she makes them more aware of the fact that he is a happily married man and they will thus be less likely to put temptations in his way.

In taking normalizing actions such as these, a girl can more safely choose a mate whose work keeps him mobile and with less fear that the marriage will be hazardous.

The Man Nobody Knows. If the groom earns his income outside the community where you will live and is seen very little there, he will feel less desire for social approval of his conduct. To put it in sociological terms, he will not be under close “community scrutiny.” Thus he is more susceptible to the temptation of heavy drinking, gambling, or other women than the man whose job does come under community scrutiny. Examples of the latter are teachers, ministers, storekeepers, and town officials. These men all come into a great deal of daily contact with the members of the community and thus are more concerned about “keeping up appearances.” Other things being equal, the greater the degree of social control exerted, the greater the happiness of the marriage.

If a girl does marry a man who doesn’t come under this scrutiny, she can to some extent bring him under it by being seen with her husband at many public places, encouraging him to join with her in participating in many community activities, by introducing her husband to many different people and letting them know the kind of work he does.

The Man Who Works at Abnormal Hours. During the war we came to hear a lot about the swing shifters. But in war or peace there are millions of men who keep unusual hours—policemen, newspapermen working on morning newspapers, bartenders, night watchmen, etc. They can make it difficult for a wife, particularly if she is a mother, to adapt her daily routine of living to the shifting hours of work. This is destructive to happiness because husband[171] and wife have too little opportunity to be with each other. Furthermore not many men can change their hours of sleep from week to week without becoming irritable. If he has children he is denied the normal opportunities to play with them. All the evidence we have indicates that occupations which require working late are not as likely to be associated with marital happiness as those occupations which permit working during the daylight hours.

In one case a couple married seven years were on the verge of divorce within four months after the husband took a night job. He had become lonely because he missed all his normal associations and finally had fallen in love with a waitress at an all-night lunchroom where he ate. Happily the wife kept her senses and instead of agreeing to the divorce merely asked for a postponement of the decision for a few months. Meanwhile she got busy and made a greater effort to make home a more appealing place to him. She rearranged the schedule of the children so they could be with their father an hour every day, she began paying more attention to her own grooming and arranged her own schedule so that she could sleep at the same time her husband did two days a week. Soon the husband lost interest in the other woman.

The Man Whose Income Is Irregular. This includes all salesmen working on commission, free-lance writers, small business owners, seasonal workers, lawyers, physicians, brokers, plumbers, architects, etc. One fact that has been noticed repeatedly in marriage studies is that regularity of income has a considerable influence upon marriage happiness. Apparently couples having regular incomes are better able to plan their expenditures and savings, to be neither flush at one time nor impoverished at another, and are better able to work out long-term financial plans. At any rate there seems to be a good deal less bickering where the income is regular. To live happily with a man with a fluctuating income the mates need to show the wisdom of the Biblical Joseph, by saving during fat months for lean months, and by keeping an unusually rigorous eye on the accounts. If they can save up a real backlog, and can take a philosophical attitude toward the whimsies of his income, they[172] should have no more trouble than the average couple. The savings will provide a psychological cushion as well as a real one.

The Man Whose Work Is Dirty or Nerve-racking. We know a farmer who says his wife is so annoyed by his dirty clothes that she won’t touch them and won’t let him inside her house until he puts on dress shoes. Such wives should remember that dirt is an honorable mark of a farmer’s, a mechanic’s, or a coal miner’s occupation. And perhaps if approached good-naturedly, he can be persuaded to change to clean clothes before leaving the site of his work.

Other husbands have jobs whose work is noisy, tense, or exacting. This includes steeplejacks, tunnel builders, foundry workers, pilots, etc. The jobs leave the husband emotionally exhausted and highly irritable. The wife of such a man will find herself involved in repeated quarreling and sniping unless she realizes the husband’s state of mind when he comes home and sees to it that he has a warm bath and an hour of rest and relaxation before she disturbs him or approaches him with any family problems.

The Man Who Feels Insecure in His Job. Job security, like regularity of income, is an important factor in marriage happiness. A number of studies have shown that the most contented and satisfied men are those who feel secure in their job. The assurance of permanence enables the man to be serene. When a man feels insecure in his job he is more likely to change jobs frequently, hoping to improve his tenure. This constant changing of not only jobs but the accompanying new neighborhoods and school systems for the family produce frayed nerves and many annoying problems. Loss of work, even though it is temporary, brings worry over where the next meal is coming from, brings in the possibility of public relief, lowers the man’s self-respect and may decrease his wife’s confidence in him as a worth-while husband and provider. Undoubtedly one of the reasons for the rise of the divorce rate after the great depression was the tension engendered by threat of unemployment which placed great strains upon family living.

If a girl marries a man in such a status she should be prepared[173] to help her husband by not being critical of his work and by not throwing it up to him that he is unable to get a permanent job. She can even encourage, and sympathetically help him get some specialized training that may prepare him for a better job which offers greater security. Perhaps he can do it at night or by correspondence courses. Far more men than do would seek to improve their vocational skills if their wives would encourage and inspire them to become more competent.

The Man Who is Not Proud of His Job. Social prestige of an occupation is an intangible factor that nevertheless has a great deal to do with marital happiness. A man is more likely to work out a happy marriage when he is engaged in work that is approved and respected by the community. If the man is a gravedigger or bill collector or dogcatcher the wife, and particularly the children, may be sensitive about the lack of prestige involved. If such a marriage is to succeed, the wife must realize that her man is performing an essential function in the community. Further, she should realize that if such a family seems to live happily together, if they are active in church and community affairs and lead respected lives, they will be accepted for what they are and not for what the man’s occupation happens to be. One of the happiest, most respected men we know is the garbage collector in a New England town.

We repeat, the seven types of men we have just discussed are not necessarily to be shunned as mates. But girls marrying them should realize the problems that may be involved.


Chapter XVII
The Veteran as a Mate

Most of the marriages from now until 1955 will involve veterans of World War II. It is probable that at least eight million veterans will marry by then. During these years our marriage rate is expected to be the highest in our history.

For this reason, if for no other, it is pointless to make any special problem of the veteran, as so many people are trying to do. It is true that war changes men, but it also changes the girls who stayed at home—and for that matter the men who happened to stay at home. There is no need to discuss the question, “Should a girl marry a veteran?” because most girls will marry veterans anyhow, and there is no reason why they should hesitate.

But what we will do now is point out some of the changes that occurred while the man was away so that the veteran and the girl can understand each other better.

In many ways the veteran is a better prospective mate than when he went away. He may have acquired some good habits in the Army: getting up on time, taking care of personal belongings, orderliness. His horizon may have broadened and he may have learned to be more tolerant. He probably has matured beyond his chronological age. He has learned a great deal about loyalty to a cause, perseverance and patience, all of which will help make him a better mate. Often he has achieved a needed emotional independence from home and mother. He has become practical and very realistic.

Most important of all, perhaps, he learned while away to appreciate the value of marriage and the home. He yearns more than[175] anything to settle down in some quiet place with a nice girl and raise a family. He has had enough running around and being at loose ends.

The veteran, of course, has lost and gained certain skills, he may seem crude and he may appear to have lower ideals and standards. He worries a great deal about the future, is somewhat unsure of himself in some civilian situations. Ernie Pyle the late, famed war correspondent pointed out some of these changes when he wrote:

Our men can’t make the change from normal civilians into warriors and remain the same people. Even if they were away from you under normal circumstances ... they would not come home just as you knew them.... They are bound to be different people from those you sent away.... They are rougher.... Killing is a rough business.... Language has changed from mere profanity to obscenity.... They miss women.... They expressed longings.... Their whole conduct show their need for female companionship.... Money value means nothing to them.... A man learns to get what he needs by “requisitioning.” It isn’t stealing, it’s the only way to acquire certain things.... War puts old virtues in a changed light. We shall have to relearn a simple fundamental or two when things get back to normal.

The standards of fighting men are those of men living without women, of men who have lost many of the moral values of our normal living. If they hadn’t lost them they wouldn’t have been good killers. Some of them have feelings of guilt and remorse from cheap women they have known. Others are shy and withdrawn because they have had long periods of isolation away from women.

As a result of the war many veterans have open or subconscious conflicts involving weakened morals, shattered values, duties to others, “debt” the government owes them, opportunities they have missed, war injuries or handicaps they incurred. They are bothered about whether to return to school ... whether to go back to the “old” sweetheart ... whether to remain in the Army. Some have feelings of inferiority as they try to make their way into a strange world or return to an almost forgotten world. In the Army or Navy they learned to let others take the responsibilities and the initiative. They made fun of the “eager beavers” and learned to[176] regard “goldbricking” (evading hard work) as a virtue. But in civilian life, ambition and hard work are two of the great virtues.

In addition to all these issues to worry them, they face the job of deciding what to do. In one survey of soldiers, about seven per cent said they would return to school on a full-time schedule with or without government aid. Another twenty-eight per cent said they would go back to school if government aid was provided. That makes thirty-five per cent who hope to go to school. (But many of them probably won’t.) Most of these hoping to return were under twenty-five. About half of all the men hoped to return to their old job or to a new job in their same community.

The average veteran has four alternatives of action: He can go back to school; he can go back to his old or a similar job; he can go into a job for the first time; he can select a new field of work. Most of them want a vacation, a wife, and a job, though not necessarily in that order.

Some of the men will have feelings of insecurity. Some of them have never worked before. They are asking themselves: Can I get a job? Will my old job be waiting for me? (This particularly disturbs men who are being released relatively late.) Is my girl going to marry me? Was she loyal to me while I was gone?

If you are a girl considering the possibility of marrying a veteran, here are thoughts you might keep in mind.

—You must assume he is a normal person and treat him like one. Even if he doesn’t seem to be he should make the adjustment to civilian life within a few months.

—Don’t confess any “misdeeds” of your own—they will only upset him and add nothing either to the present adjustment or future happiness.

—Talk out your problem, your futures, carefully and in detail. This will help both of you be sure of the responsibilities you face in marriage and will cause both of you to plan systematically and not haphazardly about the future.

—If you agree to marry, go ahead and be married in church with a conventional ceremony with all the trimmings. Unless he is terribly[177] opposed, don’t be contented with less than a church or home wedding with the friends and families of both present. Studies have shown that marriages that took place within the sanctity of the church tend to be happier than those that do not.

—In dealing with him during the first few weeks don’t tell him what to do or where to go. Make him feel relaxed, encourage him to wait on you, make him feel useful.

If you are a returning veteran you should accept the fact that you are going to find your girls different from when you left. And it won’t be all aging. They have been working in greater numbers than ever before and on the surface are more independent. In spite of this, remember that girls want to be treated gently and considerately. They still love soft lights and sweet music, they want to hear your compliments, they want that tender good-night kiss if they like you, and that romantic conversational interplay.

You must not forget that you have been away a long time. You may find your feminine psychology rusty. Girls are still soft and sentimental, still wanting to be made love to, still wanting to marry and make homes and have your children. Don’t let the inhumanity of war make you cynical. Such an attitude would keep you from finding the mate with whom you can be happy.

Will you pick your mate or will she pick you? Because of the surplus of women over men now you can do the picking. You don’t have as much ground for wondering whether you will marry as the girls do. But will you pick your own mate? Probably not. It has been said: “A man rushes after a woman until she catches him.”

Actually, picking a mate nowadays is a mutual process; both of you pick each other. It is a complicated process and probably neither of you knows quite what is going on. Part of the time one of you may be more aware of what is going on than the other; part of the time neither of you is sure.

What kind of a mate should you look for? These things have been covered in detail in previous chapters. However here are a few thoughts that take on particular pertinence when applied to veterans. Ask yourself:


Will she make me a good wife? Can she cook, sew, run a home? Is she the sort of girl I would like to have as a mother of my children? Will she wear well? Don’t pick her just because she is glamorous because glamour and good looks are largely cosmetic processes anyway. Is she selfish or is she considerate of me and my well-being? What are her good traits? What are her poor traits?

Don’t marry a girl who has traits that are opposite of your own unless she is opposite only in good traits which you lack. For example, if your own parents were unhappily married, pick a girl whose parents were happily married. If you feel unsure of yourself, pick a reliant, confident girl. If you are quite irritable, be sure to get a mate who is definitely tranquil.

What about the men who have been physically or mentally hurt by the war? Should a girl shun a man who has a war injury?

In World War II, which lasted some forty-four months, casualties of one sort or another exceeded one million men, with nearly three hundred thousand lives lost and with fifteen thousand veterans losing an arm or leg or more members of his body.

To learn how girls would feel toward marrying injured men, the senior author asked five hundred girls whether they would marry veterans with any of thirty-three different types of war injuries. The injuries included such things as loss of speech, loss of two eyes, complete deafness, recurrent malaria, loss of hair and eyebrows due to burns, several fingers missing, injuries to head including replaced nose, ear, teeth and jaw. Many of the girls queried were engaged to servicemen.

It was interesting to note that older girls showed a greater willingness to marry injured men than the younger girls. This may be due to the fact that the older girls are more concerned about their chances of marrying. Also, engaged girls showed a greater willingness than unengaged girls. The reason for this may be that engaged girls know the capabilities of their fiancés and can see how their men could be successful at a job and marriage in spite of an injury.

Of the thirty-three injuries, only four were checked by the majority of engaged girls as serious enough to impel them to withdraw from their engagements. Those four, in order were:


While, as you notice, these fiancées felt extremely reluctant to marry a man who had lost his sexual potency, only a small proportion (16%) would refuse to marry an ex-soldier who had become sterile. Inasmuch as most of the engaged girls would not marry a man who had become sexually impotent it is clearly evident that sexual activity is regarded in a far different light than having children. Most of the girls would marry if they could have sex even though there were no possibility of conceiving children.

When the unengaged girls were queried, eight injuries were listed by the majority, including the four mentioned by the engaged girls. The additional four were:

It was interesting to note that neither group showed a majority opposing blindness. Also, note that these girls listed loss of limbs only where they were not replaceable. Most girls professed willingness to marry men if their lost limbs could be replaced by artificial ones. All of the girls seem to have been deeply impressed by the progress made in rehabilitating the injured. Many had seen the amazing results with their own eyes and so had lost their fears about marrying men with such injuries.

Probably seventy-five thousand returning veterans may have hearing impairments. But with hearing aids or lip-reading, most of these men can be fairly normal within a few months.

Even though a girl hesitates about marrying an impotent man, much of impotence is psychologically caused and if so is curable.[180] Furthermore the newer sex hormones science has discovered are wonder workers.

Here are a couple of precautions that should be observed in marriages involving injured men:

—No girl should marry a veteran because of pity. It should be for love.

—No veteran should hesitate to marry just because he has a defect, providing the two love each other, one of them (preferably he) can make a living, and providing they have discussed the handicap and both understand its nature and limitations.

—They should give themselves a waiting period, just as any other two people who have been separated should do, for say six months before marrying.

—Remember that few people are one hundred per cent perfect physically. Under usual conditions, eighteen per cent of our working population has a definite physical defect or chronic disease. Of our war handicapped, it is believed that some eighty per cent can be placed, by careful selection of jobs, in work where they can be happy and just as productive in that particular job as they would be without the handicap. Another twelve or thirteen per cent will need rehabilitation before such placement can be made. Another five per cent will need extensive rehabilitation and even then will have to be placed in “sheltered” work.

What about the psychological casualties of war? Here we do have a real problem. Before the end of the war a third of the Army’s discharges were psychoneurotic cases of one form or another. But you should also remember that about one-sixth of the men rejected by the draft, the 4-F’s, were rejected for neuropsychiatric reasons. The fact is that close to one-fourth of all the single men in this country are maladjusted to some extent. This helps explain the terrific rise in the rate of divorce.

Psychoneurosis is a broad term covering “combat fatigue,” “war nerves,” ulcers and other psychosomatic disturbances. In World War I it was misleadingly referred to as “shell shock.” Don’t feel there is something lacking in a veteran who suffered a psychological breakdown because the facts show that unskilled “bad eggs” are less likely to break down than the men who had good records in[181] clerical or skilled jobs in civilian life and were exemplary in their military conduct. Some of the factors producing breakdown in war service were long-continued tension, repeated expectancy of injury or death, terrifying experiences, loss of comrades in war from battle, excessive physical fatigue, insufficient sleep.

Perhaps it would help you to understand the psychoneurotic if we explained just how these breakdowns occur. Try to bear in mind that all of us have a breaking point, which varies from person to person. This breaking point is a “frustration climax” and is reached whenever the person has so many frustrations piled on him that he can no longer endure them. The ability to take it is frustration tolerance. Any one of us can break if the frustrations are intense enough and long continued. So when the soldier breaks, it simply means that his frustrations have been more than he can bear. It is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to be hidden. In a war the soldier is constantly exposed to the threat of death, and never seeing his loved ones again. But in civilian life, death does not constantly threaten him and normally he is not so beset by frustrations.

Immediately after the 1918 Armistice was signed, thousands of soldiers who seemed to be neurotic, shellshocked, etc., recovered very quickly. Why? Because their lives were no longer threatened, they could return home and were relieved from the noise of battle and the emotional upheavals of seeing comrades shot down.

What does all this tell you? Simply this. When such a veteran comes home he may seem strange and nervous. He may be cynical about girls and disgusted with things in general. He may even break out in tears occasionally and will gripe a great deal. But he usually will return to normal soon. It may take a month, three months, even six months. If you are his girl just be patient. Don’t make him talk, don’t ask him for harrowing details of battle. Encourage him to get plenty to eat, sleep and rest. Don’t drag him around and show him off. Give him lots of love and affection. Keep him busy and occupied when he is in the mood. In short, be natural with him, but don’t pamper him too much or too long.

As for marriage, there is no reason why he shouldn’t marry. He[182] will usually make a perfectly normal husband if he isn’t exposed to new, continued frustrations. If he is still unsettled certainly don’t marry yet because marriage, and the responsibilities marriage involves, will certainly not help him. The best procedure would be to wait at least six months and then marry—unless his doctor or psychologist advises against it.


Chapter XVIII
So You Agree to Marry: What Next?

We presume there are still young men who get down on their knees and make formal proposals but we aren’t personally acquainted with them. The average couple today goes about it more casually. In the course of a conversation they may discuss marriage and find that both like the idea.

Perhaps the old way was better. At least it was clear-cut. Nowadays a girl often cannot be quite sure whether she is engaged or not. The young man may talk good-naturedly about “When we get married” or may give her his wings or fraternity pin without exactly explaining what the symbol is to mean. Most girls tell us they have been engaged two or three times. Perhaps this vagueness is one reason why they fall in and out of engagements.

When is a couple engaged? According to our thinking, two people are not engaged until they definitely agree that they want to marry each other ... not until they inform their friends and if possible their respective parents that they intend to marry ... and not until the man gives the girl some symbol to display that will tell the world she is engaged and off the marriage market.

Four out of five men who become definitely engaged give their fiancées an engagement ring and that is probably most practical because a ring has been the one accepted, universal symbol of betrothal for more than twenty-five hundred years. Originally the symbolism was less subtle. The ring originated in the days of marriage by capture when the ankles or wrist of the girl were bound with sweetgrass. As the bindings became purely symbolic only the finger was tied up, with an engagement ring. If you decide on a[184] diamond ring (and more than three-fourths of couples do) they range in price from a few dollars to many thousands of dollars. According to one of the women’s magazines, more than half the engaged girls get diamond rings costing about fifty dollars.

Whatever the symbol adopted, it should serve the purpose of taking the couple “out of circulation” and to provide exclusiveness for each other. That is one of the basic conditions of an engagement. Exceptions can be made if the man is away for a prolonged period, but as a rule there should be no extra-curricular dating.

Here are some of the purposes that an engagement should serve in addition to taking you out of circulation:

—Engagement provides a period of deepening love and affection during which there is an awakening of sexual feelings which will make the couple yearn for the full intimacy which marriage permits.

—It serves as a period of planning for the future during which the two plan when they will be married, the kind of wedding they will have, where they will honeymoon, the sort of housekeeping arrangement they will make, where they will live, etc.

—It is a period of personality adjustment, of welding the couple into a union.

—It is a period of exploring each other’s interests to find what activities exist that both enjoy and can share.

—It is a time when the wise couple prepares for marriage. The man gets a job, saves some money. The girl learns and perfects her homemaking skills in cooking, sewing, and house managing.

—It is a time to decide whether they want children and how many.

—It is a time when antagonistic habits are broken and new habits which will permit a smoother married adjustment are established.

—It is a time when differences are recognized about religion, about parents, and solved or compromised.

Because of all these functions, the engagement is a period that requires time.

The beginning of the war saw a sharp rise in “gangplank” or hasty war marriages. And the end of the war produced another sharp rise. Thousands of couples rushed into marriage a few days after the returning veterans got off the boat. We can appreciate the[185] desire of some long-separated couples to marry immediately but if they do they are only adding to the inevitable toll of broken marriages that will result.

Hasty marriages get off to a bad start simply because the engagement period, which is the period of planning and preparation for marriage, is cut short.

In one study that was made, forty-seven per cent of the married couples who had known each other less than six months prior to marriage were poorly adjusted! Of those who had been acquainted for five years prior to marriage, less than fifteen per cent were poorly adjusted. Of those who had known each other less than three years, about thirty-three per cent were poorly adjusted.

Similarly, about fifty per cent of the couples had a poor adjustment if they had been engaged less than three months before marriage. In contrast, less than twenty per cent had poor adjustment when their engagement period ranged from nine months to two years. And less than ten per cent of those who had been engaged more than two years were poorly adjusted. In other words, the prospect of an unhappy marriage clearly decreases as the length of the engagement increases.

And incidentally the same study showed that couples were more happily married if both sets of parents approved the marriage. Parents in general are more likely to approve an orderly marriage than one contracted in haste.

Many hasty marriages are contracted secretly. These take two forms. First, the elopement, which is characterized by a secret wedding, but not by a secret marriage. In the second type the couple not only are married secretly but keep the marriage a secret. All the evidence indicates that either type is less likely to be happy even than the hasty marriage performed in public. By their very nature, secret weddings should be avoided by couples. They rarely take place unless the persons are not sure they are doing the right thing.

For couples that involve a returning veteran, it is especially important that they be engaged at least six months after the reunion before marrying. This time will permit you to become reacquainted, to make up your minds if you still want to marry each other, and[186] to adjust to the changes you two have had during your separation. It provides the veteran time to decide what to do about his career. And it provides him with a chance to get back into the routine of civilian living before he takes on the responsibilities of marriage. In the Army or Navy much of his thinking was done for him. Now he must think for himself and take on responsibilities. The transition may be relatively short for him if he decides to go back to an old job; it may be quite long if he elects to continue his vocational preparation.

Sex is a problem during engagement, because it is accepted as a period for greater intimacy, and properly so. In courtship restrained caressing may be engaged in without disturbing public morals, but petting as we define it should wait upon engagement. Our customs permit greater intimacy during engagement than during courtship but frown upon complete intimacy before marriage. On the other hand, society relaxes chaperonage of engaged couples, permits them to keep later hours, to be together for longer periods of time, perhaps to take trips together. Under such circumstances restraint must be applied if an engaged couple is to refrain from intercourse. Fortunately a girl has more inhibitions and thus can apply restraint more readily. However, if she loves her fiancé deeply she is torn between two desires: whether to do or not do what she has been taught; or whether to do or not do what her loved one suggests. If she gives in to him, it is usually because of the tenderness of her affection rather than because she has great sexual desire. Each couple should decide what their limits will be and stick by them. Both should remember that many engagements never result in marriage.

While an engagement represents an honest declaration of intention by the two people that they intend to marry, engaged couples should feel that if there is any question in their mind about the continuance of the engagement each should feel free to call it quits. They should discuss their apprehensions frankly. It is far better not to go through with a marriage that may prove unsuited or unhappy. (However it is foolish, of course, to break an engagement over a quarrel.) This chance of breaking off is another reason for a long engagement. The authors feel that everything should be[187] done to encourage couples to be sure of each other before marriage is contracted. If couples were trained more for marriage and went through a longer preparatory period, then the more poorly matched couples would become aware of the shoals ahead and we would have far fewer broken marriages in America!

Regardless of how badly it may hurt a mate or parents or friends, you should never marry a person against your better judgment because wedlock will only aggravate an unpleasant situation. Nor should you be deterred from fear that the mate will be so upset emotionally that he will commit a rash act. Such a fear in itself should be proof that the person is not emotionally stable and so probably would not make you a good spouse. (Incidentally, a rash act is exceedingly unlikely.)

One of the questions engaged people frequently ask marriage counselors is how much of a “past” should be revealed by one mate to the other. One general principle should be followed completely, namely, that whatever is to be revealed should be revealed before marriage and not afterward. A second principle is that lurid confessions of the past do not provide a good basis on which to begin a marriage. In most cases, we believe, it is wiser for the young couple not to tell each other things that may build resentment or distrust or may create hurt or may produce problems outweighing whatever might be gained through telling. Just because one becomes engaged is no reason why every skeleton must be rattled. The only thing that a couple should tell each other are things that would have a bearing on their future happiness in marriage. Such things as concealed physical defects, previous marriage, legal embarrassments, debts, etc., should be told because they will come out sooner or later anyhow. However, if you do feel impelled—perhaps through feelings of guilt—to reveal disagreeable aspects of your past, discuss it with some trusted confidant or physician beforehand to confirm the wisdom of doing so. And when you do make the revelation, do it casually and without emotion and without making a great fuss over it.

Engagement is a time of growing tolerance and trust and understanding. Frankness characterizes it and you and your mate should[188] be realistic with each other in facing your problems. Your major problems deal primarily with the present and the future rather than with the past. One evidence that you are trying to solve them is the willingness with which you freely discuss them with each other, with your parents and with your trusted confidants.


Chapter XIX
Getting Ready for Married Intimacy

In the course of counseling, one occasionally encounters a couple whose marriage has not been attended by complete physical intimacy. In one such case the two people had been married two years. More astounding, neither of them was aware that complete physical intimacy is quite common among married couples! Both had been reared in extremely sheltered atmospheres. The boy was a minister’s son. The girl had been reared by maiden aunts. They were completely naïve about sexual phenomena and had no understanding of what was giving them the feelings of frustration from which they suffered.

How important is sex in marriage? Does it have much to do with the happiness one derives from marriage? Or is sex merely important in reproduction?

While sex may not be the most important factor in marriage, it frequently makes or breaks a marriage. And a satisfying adjustment on the level of physical love is closely associated with marital happiness. Probably the most important thing in making a marriage successful is the determination of both mates to make the marriage work. Companionship and the mutual working out of problems together are the fruits of happy marriages. But couples are rarely good companions if they have repressions or fears or maladjustments which thwart their achieving a satisfying unity on the physical level.

Some experts have estimated that during the first few years of marriage nearly half of marriage happiness depends on the sexual adjustment achieved. This does not seem unreasonable because sex provides the first rush of desire that launches the marriage and[190] continues to integrate the couple and bring a sense of harmony to their union.

As the years pass couples achieve an increasingly satisfying adjustment and the union of their bodies at frequent intervals in climactic pleasure provides a bond between them. The experience also is important in reducing the tensions that develop in both mates during the course of their daily living. These tensions are of many kinds but they include the sexual tension which results from hormones being poured into the blood streams of both the man and woman. The exhilarating orgasms that come as a climax in successful coitus break these tensions and produce satisfying feelings of relaxation and serenity.

One of the misfortunes of modern marriage is that so many married couples are not able to achieve a satisfactory sexual adjustment. Studies have shown that at least a third of all wives rarely experience orgasm and at least half of all wives do not experience it with any great regularity. The major reasons for their failure are:

—Most wives are more inhibited and repressed than their husbands.

—Most young wives have less actual sex drive than their husbands.

—The husbands in too many cases are inconsiderate of the wife and are primarily concerned in achieving satisfaction for themselves.

Too often sex—instead of being a bond—becomes a quarreling point between the couple. Both are resentful. Such feelings tend to increase tension rather than reduce it.

Because sex is so vital to the happiness of a marriage, we suggest that both you and your mate read a good book on sexual adjustment (see bibliography) so that you will know what to expect and won’t be frightened by the thought of it.

The girl (and perhaps the man) can learn a great deal by taking up the matter at length when she goes for a premarital physical examination a week or so before the wedding. She can ask the physician questions about sexual matters and clear up any points that trouble her. He can describe for her the sensations she can expect to experience during the physical intimacy. At the time of the examination she can also discuss any fears she has of immediate[191] pregnancy before their marriage has a chance to become stabilized. He may suggest contraceptive devices or techniques to eliminate that possibility and may take her pelvic measures to see if the pelvis is too narrow for normal childbirth. Most engaged couples want to know about contraception, and the average young doctors and nearly all gynecologists are well equipped to give such information.

Couples should be careful to thresh out this matter of contraception before marriage because religion sometimes causes them to have strong—and dangerous—differences of opinion about it. The problem of whether to have or not to have children, and when to have children, should definitely not be left to chance. Most religious leaders are now in agreement on that. For those couples whose religion forbids contraceptive devices, the rhythm method can be followed, although this method is not recommended for couples whose religion permits them to use other methods.

Another thing the bride-to-be may discuss with the doctor is her hymen, which is the traditional mark of a virgin since it stretches across the entrance to her vagina. (Incidentally, the absence of the hymen as an obstacle is no evidence of non-virginity since it can be disrupted in childhood without the girl’s knowledge or through medical examinations.) If it is so thick that discomfort may be experienced during first intercourse or if it prevents intercourse entirely, the doctor may prescribe a simple treatment.

All couples entering marriage should understand that intercourse is not something people do by instinct but is a learned procedure and that it takes about three to six months for the typical couple to work out a thoroughly satisfying adjustment. Many brides have all sorts of baseless fears that must be dispelled.

There are three distinct phases to a sexual experience between a man and woman and many of the difficulties arise because the man slights phases one and three.

The first phase is that of arousal. The husband and wife caress each other and become physically and psychologically ready for a merging of their bodies. This first phase should not be hurried. It is especially important that the husband remember this because a woman’s passion arouses much more slowly than a man’s, particularly[192] during the first few years of married life. By allowing plenty of time for the woman, the couple can help equalize their differences in sex drive. The presence of erect nipples is an indication that the woman is becoming aroused and may be receptive to further advances.

Phase two is the actual coitus. In the early days of marriage this should be engaged in gently. Later both may be able to enjoy the tumultuous vigor of unrestrained physical intimacy. The husband should not forget during intercourse to tell his wife how much he loves her, how wonderful he thinks she is, how much delight she is bringing him. Nor should the wife feel hesitant or bashful about doing likewise. If either can make suggestions to the other that will lead to greater enjoyment, both should feel free to do so. It is only by loving frankness and unashamed coöperation that husband and wife are able to achieve the beautiful harmony and the exquisite pleasure that only a satisfying sexual adjustment can bring them.

In many cases (unfortunately) the husband, because of strain and fatigue, will arrive at his orgasm almost immediately. The average couple, after some experience, find that actual intercourse usually lasts about five to ten minutes. Some wives require ten minutes or fifteen minutes before they are able to achieve orgasm. Some men, perhaps one in seven, are unable to hold back ejaculation for more than two or three minutes. All couples can bring their orgasms closer to each other if they will try to accommodate themselves to each other. The ideal is for both man and wife to have orgasm simultaneously.

Orgasm for a man comes with the flooding or ejaculation of seminal fluid. For the woman, orgasm is marked by the sudden relaxation of the muscles in her genital region. It is accompanied by a feeling of great tension reduction as well as great pleasure.

Now we come to phase three, which should not be slighted. It is a sort of postlude, an after the storm. The average wife derives exquisite pleasure from feeling herself and her husband relaxing. Further, in this phase the wife wants to be held closely by her husband and to be told that he loves her. She wants to be made to feel that he loves her for what she is, all the qualities that she has, all[193] the traits that she possesses, and not alone for the sexual thrill that she has just given him. We might give the husband a practical suggestion at this point by telling him this. If his wife is slow in reaching an orgasm he can help her to reach orgasm more rapidly by making this postlude just as delightful for her as possible by being tender and romantic. Without realizing what is happening she will strive to achieve orgasm for the pleasure she derives from his deep and sincere appreciation that comes afterward.

Most young wives do not have an orgasm in the early days of marriage and so should not be distressed if they do not experience it on the wedding night. In Terman’s study of several hundred wives, less than twenty-five per cent stated they had orgasm at first intercourse. Another twenty-five per cent said they experienced it within a few days or weeks. Another twenty-five per cent roughly stated that they experienced it sometime between the first month of marriage and the twelfth month. And the remaining wives said they had either never experienced it or did not experience it until one or more years after marriage.

In scoring these same women on their marriage happiness, Terman found that those women who did not experience orgasm within the first year were significantly less happy in marriage than those who had been able to achieve it within the first year. More than half of the happiest husbands and wives seemed to be those in marriages where the wife had orgasm within the first few months of marriage.

It should be remembered however that the presence or absence of orgasm is not necessarily a criterion of marriage happiness or unhappiness. While absence of it is clearly an obstacle for many couples it is not a major cause of unhappiness in marriage, providing that it does occur within the first year. The happiest couples seem to be those where there is complete or fairly complete tension reduction experienced in intercourse whether an orgasm occurs or not.

What are the obstacles to happiness as far as sex is concerned? Terman found that many unhappy husbands complained most frequently about such things as these:


It was found that unhappy wives complained about such things as these:

If you wonder about the importance of physical love in marriage you might remember that very few husbands and wives are unfaithful to each other if their passions are satisfied and if mates are considerate of each other’s needs. The Marriage Counseling Service at Penn State has not found a single case of separation or divorce among couples who have achieved and maintained sexual harmony since the early weeks of their marriage.


Chapter XX
Getting Off to a Good Start

Marriage is a plunge, no matter how carefully it is planned. The man takes on the responsibility of supporting someone besides himself for the rest of his life. The girl gives up her name, her independence of action, and usually her career. Both mates must adjust themselves to an entirely new existence.

The pattern of wedded relationship that will persist for the rest of your married life usually sets during the first few months. Every day you will take first steps. And those steps are important. You start living together, planning together and sleeping together. At a hundred points you can make missteps that will leave scars on your relationship long after the original incidents are forgotten. That’s why the first few months are so important.

For a girl, the wedding day will undoubtedly be the biggest day she will experience in her life. Because of this the groom should hesitate before he discourages a church wedding or suggests that they be married by some roadside justice of the peace. While being married in the church is not necessary for marriage happiness, it has been found that those couples who are serious-minded are more likely to achieve happiness if their wedding is under the auspices of the church. Then it is planned, it is dignified, and the vows—which seem to take on added meaning in a church—are uttered before friends and relatives.

The bride should have the privilege of setting the date of the wedding. In doing this she should try to set the date so that it will follow a few days after the menstrual period has ended. She does that not only because of anticipated physical intimacies, but because[196] the menstrual period frequently makes a girl irritable and depressed—hardly the best mood for a honeymoon.

In planning the wedding and the honeymoon it is important to avoid all situations that might produce tension and worry, and especially the feeling of “hurrying somewhere.”

If you can manage a honeymoon, take it by all means. It doesn’t need to involve a long trip or staying at an expensive resort. Here are some suggestions on the site of the honeymoon that may be helpful:

It should not be spent with friends or relatives.

It should be spent at a place where the couple is not well known.

It is better to spend it in the country or a small town rather than in a bustling metropolis.

It should be spent where there will be no obligations to attend social functions or to meet definite schedules.

It should be spent where both will be completely free of outside responsibilities, such as cooking their own food so there will be no limit on the time they can be together.

It should be spent where there are things to do and activities to enjoy whenever they feel in the mood for such diversions.

The first adjustment faced by the typical married couple is sexual, for the typical couple engages in sexual intercourse on that first night. If they have discussed their attitudes on sex before the wedding they have paved the way. Nevertheless many couples feel self-conscious on their honeymoon night. Perhaps they would be even more self-conscious if they realized that marriage happiness during their first few years will depend a great deal on achieving a good sexual adjustment.

Often a husband can make that first night easier for a wife if he finds an errand to perform while his bride is preparing to retire. He may even suggest to her that he will be gone for fifteen or twenty minutes, which will give her a chance to be in bed when he returns. However if she seems eager for him to remain he should do so because she may be a little fearful of being left alone. In any case it is important that both respect each other’s privacy especially carefully during the first few weeks. Marriage, as we say, is an[197] abrupt step and each should strive to ease the impact of the transition as much as possible.

If the new husband is ever romantic it should be now! The bride is probably a bit nervous about what is to follow and this can be largely dissipated if the groom is gallant and endearing and considerate. This is not only the decent thing to do but is sound psychology. It will build up in her a feeling of pride in him and a desire to share with him everything possible.

Actual intercourse should not be launched on that first night if the passions of both are not genuinely aroused. It is important that both the bride and groom be completely agreeable before the first intimacy is experienced. If the bride remains apprehensive about it they should content themselves with milder intimacies and take up the matter another night. They should not feel there is some hard-and-fast tradition that they must have an experience that first night.

If the bride is a virgin and still possesses the impediment of one, both should understand that some pain will be experienced during the first intercourse and neither may achieve a climax.

Further, both should understand that sexual adjustment is learned, not inherited. The initial learning may be somewhat awkward and not too satisfying. It’s not a natural, spontaneous thing, contrary to the average young person’s notions. It is this misconception that frightens many brides into frigidity when they find intimacy doesn’t come naturally to them immediately. Many feel that there must be something wrong with themselves when they don’t enjoy it from the start.

But if they are patient and gentle with each other within a few weeks they should sense the deep thrills that lie in store for them. And within six months at most, they should have achieved a grand and satisfying relationship.

If they are to achieve anything beyond animalistic excitement, the aim of both the man and girl should be not to receive satisfaction but to give satisfaction. It is this considerateness that makes the act sublime and enriching. It welds them into a strong union.

As the honeymoon progresses, something usually happens toward the end that jolts the couple back to reality. For the first time, perhaps[198] unconsciously, the groom starts acting like a husband or the bride like a wife. Usually it is the groom. Perhaps he forgets to kiss his bride when he leaves her for a few hours. Perhaps she catches him thinking of something else while she is confiding her love. Or perhaps he just refuses to get up and look at the gorgeous sunrise that is thrilling her.

This little “baptism” comes sooner or later and brides should prepare themselves for it. It signifies that the honeymoon is just about over and that they are returning to the day-to-day job of living together as two human beings. The bride may feel let down or heartsick. She may even cry a little or flare up and upbraid him. Or worse she may retreat into her shell. If she fails to handle the incident calmly and retain her sense of proportion she may develop an attitude that will get them off to a bad start.

As they get down to the day-to-day job of adjusting themselves to married life the wife will find that the major burden of the adjusting falls on her. That is because the woman normally must rearrange her life, upon marriage, more than the man, despite the fact that they are partners. For example:

He stays in the same community whereas she often must leave hers, and her friends, to live with him.

He keeps his name whereas she drops hers to take his, with a “Mrs.” in front of it.

He keeps his job whereas she usually quits hers to learn an entirely new occupation—homemaking.

He continues to make his own money whereas she becomes dependent upon him even for spending money.

He lives the role of husband an hour in the morning and a few hours in the evening whereas she spends fifteen hours a day functioning as a wife.

He continues spending the greatest part of his energy trying to please his boss, whereas she starts devoting her energy to winning her husband’s approval—approval for the way she cooks, dresses, runs the home, takes care of the children, if they have them. Normally the wife spends at least eighty per cent of the husband’s[199] income on such things as these and naturally is anxious to convince him she is using his money wisely.

What adjustments must two people make in their attitude toward each other in order to live together happily?

If you were to accept the word of certain newspaper “experts” on love and marriage, you might get the impression that all the new husband need do to make his wife happy is not to smoke in bed, to pick up his own clothes, and to wash off the bathtub ring. Likewise it would seem that all the new wife has to do is remove her lipstick before retiring and avoid talking to him before he has had his breakfast.

Marriage would be simple if those sorts of things were the essentials of marriage adjustment. Actually the essentials are much more basic.

For two people to live together successfully as husband and wife they must be able to understand each other as only true companions can.

They must recognize the needs of each other and be willing to coöperate to satisfy them. Perhaps the girl is easily upset emotionally and needs her husband’s calm disposition to steady her. Or perhaps he has feelings of inferiority which she can offset by building up his ego.

And they must be able to face the facts when differences arise (as over money), and be able to work out amicable solutions together. Mates who haven’t learned to compromise differences face a stormy future.

If you want your mate to be eager to please you instead of ignoring or defying you, learn to condition him by rewarding him with praise and caresses. When the husband does something that displeases a wife she must never reward him. Likewise, for example, if the wife wants a new dress which is too expensive and the husband tries to make it clear to her that he cannot afford it, and she has a temper tantrum, he should not give in and buy the dress. In this case, the husband would reward her temper tantrum.

Let this happen two or three times and thereafter she will use a[200] tantrum to get the things she wants from him. She knows he hates such scenes and will give in. It will be much better psychologically if the much-desired dress can be given to her as a reward for something nice she has done.

While a husband or wife wants to feel that things are done out of love and for love only, the fact remains that love continues only if it is nourished. If a husband snarls at his wife, never gives her a kind word, never rewards her and is always condemning or punishing her, the day will come when she will absolutely despise him.

There is such a thing as deathless love, but it exists only when it has a firm foundation of considerateness between the two.

Another thing newly-weds should learn is the importance of tension reduction. The husband may come home from the office and lash out at the wife because supper is a little late. What has happened, probably, is that he had some disagreeable experience at his work but had to keep his temper under check there. He comes home seething and explodes at the first provocation. The young wife may retreat to her room crying unless she senses the real reason for his anger. Instead she should recognize that he is tied up in nervous knots, take his outburst philosophically and try to reduce the tension by caressing him, by talking cheerfully and complimenting him on something nice or laudable he has done.

By so doing, she brings pleasantness after unpleasantness and thus encourages him to bring his troubles to her rather than to his male cronies or to some other woman.

Married couples should also understand the importance of climactic sexual relations as a means of reducing tension.

Another psychological habit that should be helpful to newly-weds is the use of indirect methods to get what they want. You will have a happier, more loyal mate if you can get him to do things you want by making suggestions rather than demands. If the lawn needs mowing just mention how ragged the grass is getting. Usually he will then mow it on his own initiative.

On the practical side, it is very helpful if the two can work out some plan for handling the income during the early weeks of marriage[201] so that they can see just where the money goes. A simplified but formal budget is helpful here.

Further, it is vital that the wife quickly acquire skill in managing the home so that the husband will be initiated pleasantly into the role of being a home-body. A messy home frequently produces irritations which disrupt cordial relations between the two mates.

The new wife should plan her housework so that the tasks fit into a pattern and are taken care of in order and at specific times. For example, Monday may be “wash day”; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday may be “shopping days”; Wednesday may be “ironing day”; Saturday morning may be baking day. This really amounts to a budget of her time and her work.

If they are to five happily ever after it is important that the wife know her husband’s food likes and dislikes. The importance of food to marriage success is frequently misunderstood by newly-weds, and highly underrated. A large portion of the husbands who take their troubles to the Penn State marriage clinic disclose sooner or later that their wives are poor cooks or serve them late, slapped-together meals.

When a husband comes home tired and harassed from his day’s work, nothing will restore him to a genial mood as much as his favorite dishes of food, expertly prepared and served soon after he arrives.

During the first few weeks of married life the wife should make an effort to learn something about her husband’s food likes and dislikes. Some of this should already have been gathered by observation during courtship and the honeymoon by noting the foods that he chose in a restaurant.

Simply knowing the husband’s favorite dishes is not enough. The new husband may not throw the first batch of burned biscuits at his wife, but if the next batch is burned too he is apt at least to throw some caustic comments.

Soon after the honeymoon there will come a time when one or both of the mates may no longer be satisfied just to be with each other. They will become more independent of each other unless[202] during the first few months of marriage they have explored each other’s interests and found things they can do together.

If he is to become anything more than the provider and she anything more than the housekeeper, they must establish a sound basis for companionship. How can this be done? The essentials of human companionship are pretty universal for any two people whether they are mates or just close friends. Comrades most frequently have these things in common:

They enjoy talking to each other. Mates should not feel they have completely succeeded as partners until each regards the other as the one person he or she can unburden himself to about anything that is on his mind. Each can help develop a strong feeling of “conversational companionship” in their union by being a ready and sympathetic listener to the thoughts that are uppermost in the other’s mind. Both should realize that a woman’s interests naturally are different from a man’s. After their own immediate preoccupations of the day, a woman’s interests tend more toward clothes, decorations and amusements whereas the man is more interested in money, world affairs and sports. A good middle ground is their mutual interests and hobbies and the activities of their mutual acquaintances.

Companions enjoy doing things together. One of the first things newly-weds should investigate, if they haven’t already, are the things they can do peaceably and enjoyably together. Perhaps both get a great deal of pleasure from listening to early jazz recordings, or skiing, or merely playing chess or being together every night and saying very little.

Visiting friends can be fun where the two husbands are congenial and the two wives are fond of each other. One of the sad things about marriage is that a bride’s best friend marries a man whom her husband can’t stand; or the man’s old roommate marries a flighty, affected girl the wife can’t stand. Such antagonisms should be sensed and the bride and groom should in such cases try to get together with their old friends on an individual rather than a family basis.

Companions respect each other’s opinions and abilities. The shrewd wife keeps up with the world so that her husband will respect her as an individual in her own right. Wives that become completely[203] dependent on their husbands, and cling to them because they have no other interest, frequently lose the respect of their husband.

It helps if they are seeking a common goal. One of the very best ways there is for a couple to develop a strong basis for companionship is to have common aspirations which both believe in and talk about enthusiastically.

This means sharing in a long-range project. They map their plans together and carry them through. They share triumphs and disappointments. They may build or remodel a home for themselves. In the process of planning, waiting and dreaming together they become comrades for life.

While it may be argued that building or buying a home is more expensive in the long run than renting, nothing gives a couple a greater feeling of solidarity than home ownership, especially when they plan together in building, remodeling or furnishing it.

Even saving money can be a common goal that will develop companionship, especially if the couple are saving the money for something they both want badly such as a car or a long-dreamed-of vacation trip. In general a young couple earning between eighteen hundred and three thousand dollars a year can well aim to save at least five per cent and better still ten per cent of the income. If they strive for a percentage much higher than that they may find it entails too great a denial.

Similarly the goal of a couple may be to raise a large happy family. They plan the arrival of their children and, working as a team, guide the growth and development of each child.


After Thoughts

By now we hope we have helped you clarify in your mind the kind of mate you want—and need. We have raised a good many thoughts you should bear in mind in selecting your mate. It is doubtful that you—or anyone—will find a mate who fits letter perfect into all the qualifications we have mentioned in the course of the book as desirable in mates, but that is not important. What is important is that your mate should fit into the general pattern of the kind of person you need, and should be free from the really serious short-comings we have mentioned.

Perhaps the most important single thought we can leave with you is that the person you marry should be one who will give you a sense of well-being. Marriage to this person should end your vague feelings of restlessness.

We know a young married couple who have “everything.” They live in a well-to-do suburb, belong to a country club and are not “tied down” by children. They go to many parties and on week-end excursions and eat out whenever they feel like it. Yet they go about their rush of activities with the bored futility of a dog chasing his own tail.

And we know another couple who are the kind some people would feel sorry for. They have four whooping youngsters that virtually pin them to the homestead and make outside social life impossible. They must fight a constant battle with living costs to get ahead financially. During most of their free moments they must work about their house, upholstering furniture, fixing leaking faucets or hanging storm windows.


Yet these two mates are immensely happy in marriage. They have a sense of purpose in life—a sense of well-being. They are so glad they are married to each other that they can shrug off the many irritations that beset them as unimportant. Both of them would confide to you that marriage is a wonderful, enriching experience.


Appendix A
Books You May Wish to Read

I. ADJUSTMENT OF THE VETERAN (In and after war).

1. Anon., Psychology for the Fighting Man. Washington: Infantry Journal, 1943.

2. Boring, Edwin G. (editor), Psychology for the Armed Services. Washington: Infantry Journal, 1945.

3. Child, Irvin L., and Van de Water, Marjorie (editors), Psychology for the Returning Serviceman. Washington: Infantry Journal, 1945.

4. Pratt, George K., Soldier to Civilian. New York: Whittlesey House. McGraw-Hill, 1944.

5. Redmond, Catherine, Handbook for Army Wives and Mothers. Washington: Infantry Journal, 1944.

6. Stevenson, Eleanor, and Martin, Pete, I Knew Your Soldier. Washington: Infantry Journal, 1945.

II. BASIC RESEARCH IN MARRIAGE (Technical research studies).

1. Burgess, E. W., and Cottrell, L. S., Predicting Success or Failure in Marriage. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1939.

2. Davis, Katharine B., Factors in the Sex Life of Twenty-two Hundred Women. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1929.

3. Dickinson, R. L., and Beam, Lura, A Thousand Marriages. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1931.

4. Hamilton, G. V., A Research in Marriage. New York: Albert and Charles Boni, 1929.

5. Terman, Lewis M., Psychological Factors in Marital Happiness. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1938.



1. Cooper, James F., Technique of Contraception. New York: Day-Nichols, 1928.

2. Dickinson, Robert L., Control of Conception. 2nd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1938.

3. Latz, Leo J., The Rhythm of Sterility and Fertility in Women. 5th edition. Chicago: Latz Foundation, 1935. (Recommended to Catholics.)

4. Welton, T. S., Modern Method of Birth Control. New York: Walker J. Black, 1935.


1. Baber, R. E., Marriage and the Family. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1939.

2. Drummond, Laura W., Youth and Instruction in Marriage and Family Living. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, 1942.

3. Goldstein, Sidney E., Marriage and Family Counseling. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1945.

4. Groves, Ernest R., Conserving Marriage and the Family. New York: Macmillan, 1944.

5. Groves, Gladys Hoagland, Marriage and Family Life. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1942.

6. Hill, Reuben, and Becker, Howard (editors), Marriage and the Family. Boston: D. C. Heath, 1942.

7. Mowrer, H. R., Personality Adjustment and Domestic Discord. New York: American, 1935.

8. Nimkoff, M. F., The Family. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1934.

9. Burgess, Ernest W. and Locke, Harvey J., The Family. New York: American Book Company, 1945.

V. GETTING ALONG WITH PEOPLE (Improving personality).

1. Laird, Donald A., and Laird, Eleanor C., The Technique of Handling People. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1943.

2. Lockhart, Earl G., Improving Your Personality. Chicago: Walton Publishing Co., 1939.


3. Morgan, John B., and Webb, Ewing T., Making the Most of Your Life. Garden City, 1932.

4. Myers, Garry C., The Modern Parent. New York: Greenberg, 1930.

5. Newton, Roy, How to Improve Your Personality. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1942.

6. Webb, E. T., and Morgan, John J. B., Strategy in Handling People. Chicago: Boulton Pierce, 1930.

7. White, Wendell, The Psychology of Dealing with People. Revised. New York: Macmillan, 1941.


1. Hamilton, G. V., and MacGowan, Kenneth, What Is Wrong with Marriage. New York: Albert and Charles Boni, Inc., 1929. (This is a popular treatment of Hamilton’s A Research in Marriage.)

2. Hart, Hornell, and Hart, Ella B., Personality and the Family. New York: D. C. Heath, 1941.


1. Crow, Lester D., and Crow, Alice, Mental Hygiene in School and Home Life. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1942.

2. Fink, David H., Release from Nervous Tension. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1943.

3. Louttit, C. M., Clinical Psychology. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1936.

4. Shaffer, Laurance F., The Psychology of Adjustment. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1936.

5. Solomon, Harry C., and Yakovlev, Paul I. (editors), Manual of Military Neuropsychiatry. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders, 1944.

VIII. PREPARING FOR MARRIAGE (Easy to read and popular).

1. Bowman, Henry A., Marriage for Moderns. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1942.

2. Folsom, Joseph K., Plan for Marriage. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1938.


3. Foster, Robert G., Marriage and Family Relationships. New York: Macmillan Company, 1944.

4. Groves, Ernest R., Marriage. New York: Henry Holt, 1941.

5. Himes, Norman E., Your Marriage. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1940.

6. Jordan, Helen Mougey, You and Marriage. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1942.

7. Jung, Moses (editor), Modern Marriage. New York: F. S. Crofts and Co., 1940.

8. Nelson, Janet Fowler, Marriages Are Not Made in Heaven. New York: Woman’s Press, 1939.

9. Popenoe, Paul, Marriage Before and After. New York: Wilfred Funk, 1943.

10. Popenoe, Paul, Modern Marriage. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1940.

11. Duvall, Evelyn M. and Hill, Reuben, When You Marry. Boston: D. C. Heath and Company, 1945.

IX. SEXUAL ADJUSTMENT (Inception, development, guidance).

1. Butterfield, Oliver, Marriage and Sexual Harmony. New York: Emerson Books, 1938.

2. Deutsch, Helene, The Psychology of Women. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1944.

3. Dickinson, R. L., and Beam, Lura, The Single Woman. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1934.

4. Haire, Norman (editor), Encyclopedia of Sexual Knowledge. New York: Eugenics, 1940.

5. Novak, Emil, The Woman Asks the Doctor. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1937.

6. Stone, Abraham, and Stone, Hannah M., A Marriage Manual. Revised edition. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1939.

7. Van de Velde, T. H., Ideal Marriage. New York: Random House, 1930.

8. Walker, Kenneth, and Strauss, Eric B., Sexual Disorders in the Male. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1941.

9. Wright, Helena, Sex Factor in Marriage. Revised edition. New York: Vanguard Press, 1937.


X. SEXUAL ANATOMY (Illustrated hand atlas).

1. Dickinson, R. L., Human Sex Anatomy. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1933.

XI. SEXUAL RESEARCH (Technical studies).

1. Landis, Carney, and Boller, M. Marjorie, Personality and Sexuality of the Physically Handicapped Woman. New York: Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., 1942.

2. Landis, Carney et als., Sex in Development. New York: Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., 1940.

3. Terman, L. M., and Miles, C., Sex and Personality. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1937.

XII. SYMPOSIUM ON WAR MARRIAGE AND ITS PROBLEMS (Institute addresses on “Preparing for Marriage,” “Counseling Married Couples,” and “Preserving the Family”).

1. Adams, Clifford R., and Kerr, James A. (editors), Proceedings of the Annual Institute on Marriage and Home Adjustment. State College: The Pennsylvania State College, 1944.


Appendix B
Marriage Counseling Agencies

The American Association of Marriage Counselors (Chairman, Lester W. Dearborn, 316 Huntington Avenue, Boston, and Secretary, Robert W. Laidlaw, M.D., 563 Park Avenue, New York) is a professional organization of qualified ethical marriage counselors. By writing either the chairman or the secretary, the name and address of a capable counselor in your vicinity may be obtained.

Other marriage counselors (or agencies) in colleges or universities are listed below, some of whom are affiliated with the American Association of Marriage Counselors.

Two nationally known reputable marriage counseling services are:




Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within the text and consultation of external sources.

Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text, and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained.

Pg 60: ‘Extensive psychotherepy may’ replaced by ‘Extensive psychotherapy may’.

Pg 64: ‘complete physical infirmary’ replaced by ‘complete physical intimacy’.

Pg 68: ‘them such exprestion’ replaced by ‘them such expression’.

Pg 76: ‘for real archievement’ replaced by ‘for real achievement’.

Pg 90: ‘or saxaphone playing’ replaced by ‘or saxophone playing’.

Pg 120: ‘in marriage haappiness’ replaced by ‘in marriage happiness’.

Pg 134: ‘critical and gossippy’ replaced by ‘critical and gossipy’.

Pg 151: ‘shed all responsibilites’ replaced by ‘shed all responsibilities’.

Pg 158: ‘of mental funtion’ replaced by ‘of mental function’.

Pg 174: ‘perseverence and patience’ replaced by ‘perseverance and patience’.

Pg 178: ‘glamorous because glamor’ replaced by ‘glamorous because glamour’.

Pg 201: ‘expertely prepared and’ replaced by ‘expertly prepared and’.

Pg 202: ‘each other’s opinons’ replaced by ‘each other’s opinions’.

Updated editions will replace the previous one—the old editions will be renamed.
Creating the works from print editions not protected by U.S. copyright law means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without permission and without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project Gutenberg™ electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG™ concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you charge for an eBook, except by following the terms of the trademark license, including paying royalties for use of the Project Gutenberg trademark. If you do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the trademark license is very easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and research. Project Gutenberg eBooks may be modified and printed and given away—you may do practically ANYTHING in the United States with eBooks not protected by U.S. copyright law. Redistribution is subject to the trademark license, especially commercial redistribution.
To protect the Project Gutenberg™ mission of promoting the free distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work (or any other work associated in any way with the phrase “Project Gutenberg”), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project Gutenberg™ License available with this file or online at
Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg™ electronic works
1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg™ electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property (trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works in your possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project Gutenberg™ electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.
1.B. “Project Gutenberg” is a registered trademark. It may only be used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg™ electronic works even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project Gutenberg™ electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg™ electronic works. See paragraph 1.E below.
1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation (“the Foundation” or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works. Nearly all the individual works in the collection are in the public domain in the United States. If an individual work is unprotected by copyright law in the United States and you are located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg are removed. Of course, we hope that you will support the Project Gutenberg™ mission of promoting free access to electronic works by freely sharing Project Gutenberg™ works in compliance with the terms of this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg™ name associated with the work. You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project Gutenberg™ License when you share it without charge with others.
1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are in a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States, check the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project Gutenberg™ work. The Foundation makes no representations concerning the copyright status of any work in any country other than the United States.
1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:
1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate access to, the full Project Gutenberg™ License must appear prominently whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg™ work (any work on which the phrase “Project Gutenberg” appears, or with which the phrase “Project Gutenberg” is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed, copied or distributed:
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.
1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg™ electronic work is derived from texts not protected by U.S. copyright law (does not contain a notice indicating that it is posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees or charges. If you are redistributing or providing access to a work with the phrase “Project Gutenberg” associated with or appearing on the work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the Project Gutenberg™ trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.
1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg™ electronic work is posted with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms will be linked to the Project Gutenberg™ License for all works posted with the permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.
1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg™ License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg™.
1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project Gutenberg™ License.
1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary, compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access to or distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg™ work in a format other than “Plain Vanilla ASCII” or other format used in the official version posted on the official Project Gutenberg™ website (, you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon request, of the work in its original “Plain Vanilla ASCII” or other form. Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg™ License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.
1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying, performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg™ works unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.
1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing access to or distributing Project Gutenberg™ electronic works provided that:
• You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from the use of Project Gutenberg™ works calculated using the method you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg™ trademark, but he has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Royalty payments must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax returns. Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the address specified in Section 4, “Information about donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.”
• You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg™ License. You must require such a user to return or destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of Project Gutenberg™ works.
• You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days of receipt of the work.
• You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free distribution of Project Gutenberg™ works.
1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg™ electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the manager of the Project Gutenberg™ trademark. Contact the Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.
1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread works not protected by U.S. copyright law in creating the Project Gutenberg™ collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg™ electronic works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain “Defects,” such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment.
1.F.2. LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES - Except for the “Right of Replacement or Refund” described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project Gutenberg™ trademark, and any other party distributing a Project Gutenberg™ electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal fees. YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, BREACH OF WARRANTY OR BREACH OF CONTRACT EXCEPT THOSE PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 1.F.3. YOU AGREE THAT THE FOUNDATION, THE TRADEMARK OWNER, AND ANY DISTRIBUTOR UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ACTUAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
1.F.3. LIMITED RIGHT OF REPLACEMENT OR REFUND - If you discover a defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you with the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a refund. If you received the work electronically, the person or entity providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If the second copy is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further opportunities to fix the problem.
1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you ‘AS-IS’, WITH NO OTHER WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.
1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages. If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by the applicable state law. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.
1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone providing copies of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works in accordance with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production, promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works, harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg™ work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any Project Gutenberg™ work, and (c) any Defect you cause.
Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg™
Project Gutenberg™ is synonymous with the free distribution of electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It exists because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from people in all walks of life.
Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg™’s goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg™ collection will remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure and permanent future for Project Gutenberg™ and future generations. To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4 and the Foundation information page at
Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. The Foundation’s EIN or federal tax identification number is 64-6221541. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state’s laws.
The Foundation’s business office is located at 809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887. Email contact links and up to date contact information can be found at the Foundation’s website and official page at
Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
Project Gutenberg™ depends upon and cannot survive without widespread public support and donations to carry out its mission of increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be freely distributed in machine-readable form accessible by the widest array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations ($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt status with the IRS.
The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any particular state visit
While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who approach us with offers to donate.
International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.
Please check the Project Gutenberg web pages for current donation methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations. To donate, please visit:
Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg™ electronic works
Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project Gutenberg™ concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared with anyone. For forty years, he produced and distributed Project Gutenberg™ eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.
Project Gutenberg™ eBooks are often created from several printed editions, all of which are confirmed as not protected by copyright in the U.S. unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.
Most people start at our website which has the main PG search facility:
This website includes information about Project Gutenberg™, including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.