These Vintage "Rules" For Wives And Husbands Are Both Sweet And Hilarious

We found a vintage set of “rules” for wives and husbands, and it’s delightfully hilarious.

By Amy Mastrine3 min read
These Vintage "Rules" For Wives And Husbands Are Both Sweet And Hilarious

Modern relationships may not carry a lot of expectations (even though we need a few to make a relationship work!), but social standards of the past were apparently chock full of them.

The “Marital Rating Scale scorecard” was scientifically created by Dr. George Crane in 1939 to rate the behavior of your wife or husband and to give the couple feedback on their marriage. Dr. Crane ran a counseling practice, wrote a syndicated national newspaper column, and even founded a matchmaking service in 1957. This particular scoring system was created after getting “frank” feedback from 600 husbands and 600 wives about what they liked and disliked, and it was intended to help couples have “permanent and happy” marriages.

Dr. Crane’s chart for husbands is pretty reasonable, but if a man expected his wife to adhere to some of the things listed below today, a modern lady would probably laugh in his face. Standards for women have certainly changed!

Here are some of the rules:

Demerits for Wives

  • Wears Red Nail Polish. We hardly think red nail polish qualifies as a mark against a wife. You can’t tell me Big Apple Red OPI nail polish is bad!

  • Puts Her Cold Feet on Husband at Night to Warm Them. Okay, all of us ladies are guilty of this. But c’mon. We’re tiny. We get cold! It’s understandable.

  • Goes to Bed with Curlers in Her Hair or Much Face Cream. Hey, if she needs some benzoyl peroxide to beat her acne, you can’t hold it against her. My grandma wore curlers to bed and my grandpa loved her madly. Truly ridiculous, Dr. Crane.

  • Seams in Hose Often Crooked. This means the lining of her panty hose doesn’t run straight up her leg. Um, sure.

  • Wears Soiled or Ragged Apron around the House. Isn’t this what an apron is for? Getting messy? 

  • Squeezes Toothpaste at the Top. What?

  • Eats Onions, Radishes, or Garlic before a Date or Going to Bed. Apparently a huge problem in the past.

  • Puts Stockings To Soak in Wash Basin. The horror!

  • Talks Too Long on the Phone. I think every woman is guilty of this to some degree.

  • Walks around House in Stocking Feet. Imagine wearing shoes indoors at all times!

The merits for wives were much cuter. We can still agree with most of them. Here are a few:

Merits for Wives

  • Can Carry on an Interesting Conversation. We love an interesting lady.

  • Dresses for Breakfast. Sounds like a personal preference, but sure!

  • Neat Housekeeper - Tidy and Clean. Eternally a good thing!

  • Can Play a Musical Instrument - Piano, Violin, Etc.  Cute. Who doesn’t love live music?

  • Personally Puts Children to Bed. Adorable! We love a good mom. 

  • Praises Marriage Before Young Women Contemplating It. Nobody likes cynicism.

  • Religious. Seen as a good thing in the past - times have changed!

  • Laughs at Husband’s Jokes and Clowning. A good sense of humor makes a woman.

  • Likes Educational and Cultural Things. Smart women are the best.

  • Has Spunk - Will Defend Her Ideals and Religion. We like a strong defensive mama bear.

  • Writes Often and Lovingly When away from Husband. Text messages are always appreciated.

  • Keeps Self Dainty, Perfumed, and Feminine.  

  • Is Unselfish and Kind-Hearted. Kindness is always attractive.

Click here to see the full chart.

Now, let’s take a look at the card for husbands. Some things never change…

Demerits for Husbands

  • Stares at and Flirts with Other Women While Out with Wife. A definite no-no.

  • Reads Newspaper at the Table. Do smartphones count as newspapers these days? If so, sure.

  • Publicly Praises Bachelor Days and Regrets Having Married. Weak behavior for sure.

  • Leaves Dresser Drawers Open. Uh, specific!

  • Snores. Well….

  • Kisses Wife Just after Her Makeup Has Been Applied. 

  • Boasts About His Former Girlfriends/Former Conquests. Just don’t.

  • Pulls Bed Covers off Wife. And this is why we have to put our feet on you to stay warm!

Merits for Husbands

  • Frequently Compliments Wife’s Housekeeping, Cooking, Cleaning, etc. D’aww.

  • Steady Worker and Good Provider. Always a good thing! 

  • Has Date with Wife at Least Once Per Week. So great to make her feel appreciated.

  • Remembers Birthdays, Anniversaries, etc. Thoughtful!

  • Handy around the House. Men who can fix things are hot.

  • Often Tells Wife He Loves Her. Awww.

  • Enjoys Taking Wife Along with Him Wherever He Goes. Enjoying each other’s company is key!

  • Ardent Lover - Sees That Wife Has Orgasm in Marital Congress. Hot damn.

  • Well-Liked By Men - Courageous, Not A Sissy.  An important quality in any era.

  • Gives Wife Real Movie Kisses Not Dutiful “Peck” on the Cheek.  Who doesn’t want movie kisses?

Click here to see the full chart.

Closing Thoughts

We had a good laugh at some of these silly rules, but some of them do stand the test of time. While we don’t want to have unreasonable expectations of our significant other, some expectations are necessary and good for a functioning and long-lasting relationship. 

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