Can Applying Relationship Tips from the ’50s Create Stronger Marriages Today?

BY: - 29 Aug '13 | Marriage

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I found myself particularly amused recently as I listened to an airing of the new D.L. Hughley radio show. D.L. and his midday crew shared an interesting list of marriage philosophies from the 1950s. Which D.L. highlighted, despite our fight for racial equality, helped marriages survive.

Relationships of the 50′s appeared to have more staying power than most marriages today. Protect your home and stand by your man were the basic principles men and women of that era lived by.  Could it have been because women were more tolerant of the traditional roles they played in the home. Or maybe because more men felt it necessary that they be considered head of the household during that time. Whatever it may have been, it seemed to have an impact on those marriages.

So as D.L read off  the list, I chuckled. But at the same time I wondered, what if we were to take those traditional ideas and give them a modern day makeover?  So here goes:

1. Women shouldn’t talk. I guess women were to be seen and not heard too often. Of course this isn’t realistic. We have a voice, thoughts and opinions that greatly impact our marriage, family and our community in general. Although we will talk and be heard, what if we were thoughtful and loving in how we communicated. Screaming and being disrespectful with our words have no place in a marriage.

2. Cook daily, because lousy cooking drives men away. They use to say a way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. Quite naturally feeding a husband makes him happy. We can get creative with our meal prep and even include the whole family. This makes it fun and takes some of the burden off the wife.

3. Wear pink panties. I wasn’t quite sure what this one meant. I am thinking it relates to a women’s femininity. While the panties don’t necessarily have to be pink, they should definitely be sexy. Lacey and revealing always bring some excitement to the bedroom.

4. Be frisky, a sexual vampire. This statement suggested women be available whenever their husband was in the mood.  Realistically, since more women work outside the home, it’s hard to always be ready, willing and able for sexual escapades. We have to remember intimacy doesn’t always have to include sex. Touching, kissing and stimulating in other ways are beneficial to both partners.

5. Let him have a little fun every now and then, because it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you.  Meaning we should accept a man’s cheating ways. Sorry all, but no modern day twist on this one. Both husbands and wives have to be faithful. The marriage won’t work otherwise.

6. Your husband is the boss of you. This may have worked in the ’50s, but using the term “boss” in a marriage could be problematic. We should substitute boss with the word “partner”. We are in our marriages together and have to make decisions together. We should definitely support and encourage one another. I must admit, my marriage works best for us, with my husband as the head. I look to him for protection and trust the decisions he makes for us.

While many of the traditional thoughts are a bit challenging to apply to our marriages today, times have changed, people have changed. But our marriages still need the same amount of attention. I hope that marriages today will incorporate new ways to create the same staying power used in the ’50s.

BMWK, what are your thoughts on this list from the 1950s?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 346 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and a Career Coach/Trainer. She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Ebony Magazine, Essence.com and on the Michael Baisden Show. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two children. For more of Tiya's fearless life and love wisdom, visit her blog at www.theboldersister.com

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5 WordPress comments on “Can Applying Relationship Tips from the ’50s Create Stronger Marriages Today?

  1. Anonymous

    Relationships had staying power because one spouse was completely dependant upon the other. Women weren’t even second class citizens. You think because you replace a word here or there to make it sound more appealing, it changes the meaning. No, it just softens the blow.

    Many people stayed in abusive relationships, women were not happy, men did as they pleased, and if the marriage fell apart, she was blamed even if it wasn’t her fault. She was judged by society, and the poverty rate for women and children was phenomenal back then. I think that finding what works for each individual relationship rather than applying 50s rhetoric to today’s world.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Agree wholeheartedly with the first comment. . And this I say as a woman comfortably married for 17 years (and going strong).

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I understand and agree with most of this post except the infidelity part. I’m married and although I would hope and like my husband to be faithful I can’t say it would be the end all terrible thing if he did. Back in the 50s they just accepted it because the perspective was different. Relationships fail now because the perspective on cheating has changed… Cheating less or not at all won’t keep you together even if you are doing everything right or at least think you are… We have to forgive and accept that we’re all flawed beings and we are animals… Advanced but still animals nonetheless. Marriages worked in the 50s because there was a lot more dependency and forgiving (wether reluctant or not) so we can’t ever fully apply their methods even with the added twist… Marriages will get harder the more we move away from accepting people make mistakes have flaws and have primal urges.

    Reply
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