Monday, March 9, 2009

Teaching Loyalty - Part 1


According to Kay Toy Fenner, writing in 1965, loyalty is "the keystone of the home. A wife should constantly hold up her husband before her children's eyes as the pattern of all that is good. She should remind them of all he sacrifices for them, all he does to give them protection and pleasure. Her accolade for any childish triumph should be 'Wait until we tell Daddy! How pleased he will be!' A husband's success in business, sports, even in gardening and family repair jobs, should be a matter for admiration and rejoicing. Help your children to understand that everything their father does, he does for them. His only reward is their affection and appreciation.

"Husbands, remember that your wife's sole reward for her hard-working days is the comfort and well-being of her family, and the words of praise that she so rarely hears. Let your unfailing courtesy and consideration for her set a constant example to your children. A wife who knows she is admired and treasured by spouse and children can bear hardship, toil, sorrow and privation. . . .

Let your family present a united front to the world. Don't repeat to outsiders anything your husband tells you about his business affairs. And remember, 'outsiders' includes your mother, sister, and very best friend! If you want your husband to talk freely about his business pursuits, let him discover that what he says to you will be kept an inviolable confidence.

Discuss your sex life only with a doctor or priest. To mention it to anyone else is an unpardonable betrayal of your life partner."

Fenner, American Catholic Etiquette (1965), The Newman Press, pp. 255-256.

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