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How to Get--and Keep--a Husband

August 27, 2007 |  8:13 am

1957_0826_constance

1957_0826_quiz If it's true that a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle, then author Kate Constance wants every salmon to have a Schwinn. She's even written a book on the subject, "How to Get and Keep a Husband," which is being serialized in the Mirror.

For Constance, the plight of the "manless woman" is a bitter, hopeless life. Before she landed a husband, she was an outcast at dinner parties where the married guests chatted about their children, houses and cars.

"I was just another working girl with an apartment and a job," she writes. "What did I have in common with their busy, meaningful lives? They wouldn't have hurt me intentionally for anything, but they could not avoid impressing me with the fact that really, after all, I did not belong."

She was humiliated when she tried to charge something at the department store and was told she had a $200 limit ($1,433.06 USD 2006), while married women could run up as big a bill as they liked.

Even worse was the time she and a friend were turned away from a supper club because, "We, my friend and I, were two women without a man!"

And there was the fearful stigma that a single woman with an apartment was a threat to every happy marriage in the building, she said.

Why do unmarried women have such a difficult time? Because their priorities are wrong, wrong, wrong, she said.

"Many single women approach their problem of finding a mate with the wrong attitude," Constance writes." They fail to use their talents for happiness but instead drift into bitter hopelessness, that insidious paralysis of the soul."

Alas, there is no shortage of unsuitable suitors: A woman friend lists her prospects and they are grim indeed. Mr. Inge, for example, is 20 years older. And too fat! Bob isn't good marriage material either--her friend earns more than he does! The man who lives in the country and raises oranges and bees? Mere laughter. "Oh no, not that--not that!"

But that's no excuse. The problem, Constance, emphasizes, is that women are seeking the wrong things.

"A great many are looking for a man with money first; prestige, second; looks, third; love--well last and maybe not at all if money comes along without love," she writes.

Her advice? Use the dateless solitude for reflection.

And don't aim so high, bachelorettes!

"There is no such thing as 'ideal' in choosing a mate," Constance writes. "When a woman sets up a list of requirements beyond basic compatibility she is doomed to single loneliness or married unhappiness. If she carries in her mind a hard-and-fast idea of what she wants and thinks she deserves in a man she probably will fail to find him."

Now the manless woman shouldn't necessarily plan to accomplish her task alone. "For her own wellbeing, the woman with a husband should do everything in her power not only to hold her man but to help her single sisters find husbands of their own," Constance writes. (Presumably by marrying off all the single women on the planet, they will no longer be potential home-wreckers).

Let me summarize again. Constance writes: Don't be so picky! If you only get 50% of what you want, that should be enough!

"If more of our women would see the fallacy of holding out for Mr. Just Right--the man with the nice bank balance, movie star looks, plenty of lovemaking and social position--and put good character, compatibility and industriousness at the top of the requirement list, thousands of our ladies on the sidelines could find happy marriage possible," Constance says.

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