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The Good Wife’s Guide from 1955

According to Lori Alexander of Transformed Wife fame, the following “Good Wife’s Guide” was published in May 1955 by Housekeeping Monthly. Alexander said, “Women mock these today, but most marriages would be strong and survive until death.” Alexander is a good example of someone who scours the Internet looking for things that justify her Fundamentalist, patriarchal world view, regardless of whether it is true. In the case of this guide, it took me all of 10 seconds to learn it is a hoax. (Wikipedia and Snopes) It is far more likely that this guide was written by Alexander’s husband, Ken.

Enjoy! 🤣

1. Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

2. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair, and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

3. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

4. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.

5. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dustcloth over the tables.

6. Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

7. Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces, comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

8. Be happy to see him.

9. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

10. Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first — remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

11. Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

12. Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

13. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

14. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

15. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

16. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

17. Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

18. A good wife always knows her place.


  1. Avatar

    I’d happily marry a gal like that. And in fact I once did. My ex did almost all that for me and more but I still wasn’t happy. Problems in the bedroom spoiled all her good efforts and probably mine as well. After a half dozen years I just gave it up. Marriage is a complex equation with many factors in the balance. Many of us take a failure or two before we get it right and some of us never do. Good instincts, good temperament, good nature, good luck, and patience help a lot.

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    Steven John Sweeney

    I wouldn’t spend a lot of time pulling a 1955 article out and presenting it as having much to do with current society — other than the evangelical attitude and approach, in which women are still to be silent do their male-assigned jobs. Outside of the religious sects, not many women I know could care less about being subservient and mindless and slavish to their male overlords.

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    Benny S

    Don’t be sad if he comes home with lipstick on his collar and is smelling of multiple martinis. Be happy, because he’s happy. /s [Note to Mrs. Alexander, in case she’s reading this: It’s called sarcasm.]

  4. Avatar

    Thanks for reminding me why I have never wanted a slavedriver um I mean husband. My mom was a slave to my dad like this and yet he divorced her. He remarried a younger more religious woman despite him being an atheist and he expects her to behave like this and she mostly does. He’s so helpless he can’t even put sweetener in his own iced tea. He isn’t happy with her either and rolls his eyes if she even speaks.

  5. Avatar

    Whilst it’s clear from Snopes that the article is something of a hoax it’s clear that it does reflect much of the thinking of the time. Even in the UK there were similar traditions regarding women’s role in society: I was brought up by my mother (and grandparents) and I recall her struggling to obtain a credit card in the late 60s because she hadn’t got a husband to countersign her application. So it looks as though Lori’s list of duties are maybe an exaggeration, but certainly not a million miles from reality.

    None of which diminishes her stupidity.

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    No thanks. I wouldn’t want to be married to someone like this. I prefer someone who is an equal, who is in tune with current events, who has lots of interests, who reads, is educated. I’ll gladly split household chores for intellectual and interesting conversations.

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    Thing is, if they’re happy living the 1950s way like that article says, fine, knock yourself out. Do the “Father Knows Best” / “Donna Reed” thing to your heart’s content.

    But what gores my ox is when somebody starts quoting Bible verses like Lori’s Romans 12:2 (“Don’t be conformed to this world…”), or Proverbs 31 (“A godly woman acts this or that way, and by the way, I’m a godly woman, so act like me.”) I literally get nauseous remembering how my mom drove my dad away with her religious fanaticism. I mean, it got to the point that when dad pulled on the toilet paper roll, a tract fell out that Mom had put there so he could get saved while he was sitting on the can.

    I’ve seen so many “godly women” go off the deep end of the pool that the pool’s filling up with them. To quote a wise buddy that I tried to convert many years ago, “You can make that God-damned book say anything you want it to say, so don’t shove it in my face.”

  8. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    I didn’t go through my gender affirmation process to become that sort of woman.

    As for item #3–I know a woman who’s very gay—when her wife comes home.

    Item #7 —Is Lori (or her husband) saying, in essence, that a corollary to being a good Christian wife is, “children should be seen and not heard?”

    Items #11 and 14–Even if he was at a gay bar? In 1955, more than a few men “had to stay late” in their “offices.”

      • Avatar
        Revival Fires

        No homophobic means you’re afraid of dykes and queers. We are not afraid of them and also do not hate them or we would let them go to hell unwarned and without the gospel.

        This nation however has a severe Isaiah 5:20 problem and the faggot problem got out of control as June of 2015 proved. Sadly it’s only going to get worse until he returns

        • Avatar
          Bruce Gerencser

          “Not afraid?” Child, please. You use numerous fake names and emails to comment on this site, so it seems you are afraid of us. Further, homophobic has a colloquial meaning, and that’s how the word is typically used by me and others on this blog.

          No, you are a coward; a man afraid to own his words and behavior.

        • Avatar

          Yeah, you might want to review the definition of homophobic.

          However, in your case, you can just substitute bigot for homophobic. It really fits better with your claim not to hate while using slurs.

          Wrapping your religious book and god based theology around bigotry and hate filled speech doesn’t make it good or holy. It just means you are a hateful bigot who is afraid to admit it and be who you are.

        • Avatar
          ... Zoe ~


          You are more afraid of hell then they are. That’s why you are here. According to your father, son and holy spirit, you fear one less crown and one less award if you don’t speak up. You are selfish and want the whole pie. Afraid that a piece will be missing. Araid that your father, son and holy spirit can’t do the job without you. We understand. Been there, done that.

        • Avatar

          You are correct that “homophobic” is an incorrect construction. The correct construction is “homomisic”. from the Greek root misia meaning hate. I suppose sometimes “homophobia” is correct in those that are gay that become wrathful for fear of being found out. It’s surprisingly common.

          Don’t hate them? Just giving them a heads up? Don’t pee on me and tell me its raining.

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    Karuna Gal

    Or greet him at the door with trays of warmed T.V. dinners you threw into the oven not long before he showed up. That’s what seems to be suggested by the illustration, anyway. 😉

  10. Avatar

    All such an article would serve to do is make a woman feel like a failure, since even if one aspired to be the perfect hausfrau such perfection isn’t possible. A reverse list could be written for the man that would grant understanding when the house is a mess, the kids crap is everywhere, and wife is wearing a bandana and sweat pants. It also lacks the basic understanding that relationships are a two way street. There is no royal road to a relationship, because neither partner rules the other. In fact my confidence in a decision is bolstered when we are both in agreement.

  11. Avatar

    Ye gods (should there be any such beings), what century is Lori Alexander living in? It certainly isn’t this one. If a man wants someone to do all that, he can hire a valet, a housekeeper, and a nanny. Lori apparently wants a wife to devote herself exclusively to her husband–her entire being is to be caught up in his wants and needs, and his behavior is to be ignored. She is allowed no personality, desires, or agency of her own, much less a job or interests outside her home. That’s an incredibly false, impossible depiction of married life, whether in 1955 or 2023.

  12. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    Lori Alexander lives in a kind of fantasy land. I knew of women who stayed home all day because they were able to, since the husband’s supported the family, but even then, the wives didn’t look like or act like Alexander’s blog imagining 1955.

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