Although this is some advice for newlyweds, anyone that interacts with another human can find some usefulness here. This short article was written in 1936.
The little neighbor boy who used to catch polywogs with me has suddenly grown up and married, and I’ve written him a letter.
It’s mostly congratulations, of course, with one tiny bit of advice for the newlyweds. It is a formula for happiness, as thoroughly tried and tested as my most dog-eared recipe. My advice is a part of a Bible verse–”Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”
The bride’s days are full with the fascinating job of making Jim’s home shining and lovely. She will be too busy and happy to admit there will come a morning when Jim will go out to the barn leaving the door vibrating from the force of his slam!
When Jim comes in for dinner that day, Helen is apt to be cool and distant. At supper time the tension is a little more noticeable. Jim fidgets and tries to be natural. Helen is fighting tears. She washes and dries the dishes and, after a futile attempt to read, climbs the stairs to bed. Jim follows, not too soon because he, too, is hurt and he is proud.
Talking through it
And then in the still darkness, the two unhappy children find words to talk it all over. It’s so much easier to be honest and human in the dark! And in the morning, it is as if the quarrel had not been.
In our family we have paraphrased the Bible verse a little. In a busy farm home, the business of getting down to fundamentals seems to require the quiet and peace of day’s end, darkness outside and love inside. I think this clause in our family’s “Constitution” that demands that no day’s “unfinished business” should remain to greet the next day’s sun, does more than anything else to keep our home the happy place it is.
Here’s another tidbit of marriage advice from 1924.