The ideal wife is ambitious for her husband, not for herself. Through inspiration she gives ambition to her husband. He is spurred on to do big things for her and wants no reward other than her appreciation and the look of pride for him in her eyes. Here again wives must heed the words of Christ. If they would save their souls, they must lose them. If they would save their marriage, if they would have all that goes with a successful husband, they must lose themselves and their ambition in their husbands. A wife is on thin ice who is ambitious for herself, the husband being just the necessary means of realizing her ambition for wealth or social position. These self-seeking wives are not interested in promoting the success of their husbands for the sake of their husbands but for their own sakes. This type of wife is inclined to overreach herself. By goading her husband on beyond his capacities she shows her hand to him and loses his love. He may have to admit that she has a strong possessive love for him, a love for him for what she gets out of it. But he is not carried into seventh heaven by this contemplation of his hard, scheming, driving wife. He begins to feel that he is but the stepping stone for the fulfillment of her ambition. An example of a wife over ambitious for herself may help illustrate the danger of confusing this possessive love for genuine love and inspiration. The couple met at a large city hospital where the young woman was a nurse. She held a position of importance and through the energy of her personality carried considerable influence. She fell in love with a young medical student. Through her connections with the staff of the hospital she had her friend placed with the hospital as a student intern. She promoted him at every step, even to the extent of considerable financial help. She hovered over him like a mother bird. Marriage and the release of her pent-up emotions only seemed to urge her on in smoothing the path before her coming young doctor husband. She had visions of his rising quickly to a position of pre-eminence on the staff. She would be the fashionable wife of the outstanding young doctor of their community. And he would be all hers. She was still in the process of pulling strings to make him acceptable to the hospital which might admit his patients, when he announced determination to return to his home state. He wanted to begin slowly with his own feet on the ground, meriting by his own ability and energy what success would come his way. With great show of reluctance she acceded to his plan. Back in his home town things did not progress rapidly enough for her. They set themselves up too elegantly for beginners. Money was running out, her money, which she had saved and inherited. She criticized him for not trying harder. He countered that he could not make patients come to him. After all, it would take time. Be patient. After four or five months she forced him to abandon his own meager beginnings and come back to the big city. There she knew her way around. She would make certain that the hospital accepted him. During the time of his efforts to get set up again she prodded him unmercifully. She even degenerated into a nagging wife. When they talked to me, he would have no more of her. She was driving him to distraction. Obviously, she was going to pieces. On several occasions she had shaken him out of a sound sleep in the middle of the night to tell him how she had done something for him over at the hospital. Once she gave him the pre-dawn information that she had just cleaned the walls of the kitchen. The implication always was "What are you doing? Why don't you do something?" She had lost whatever poise she had and was becoming frantic. On being asked why he married her, he replied that she seemed to be capable and efficient. He thought that she would be a real helpmate during the early, hard years of getting started. Actually she had never given him a chance, he felt. He could see the growing contempt in her eyes for his failure to measure up to her ambitions. He admitted that she still had a queer, possessive love for him. This appraisal of her mood was correct, for she tearfully expressed her desire for his return. She wanted him for herself and was miserable without him. This unfortunate woman did not love her husband for himself. Proof of this was evidenced by her attempts to harm him after their separation. She stooped to efforts at discrediting him in his profession. She had spread stories damaging to his character. At the same time she pleaded in a frenzy with me to help her get him back. It was difficult to explain to this wife how she had failed to inspire her husband. Had she not done everything a wife could possibly do to promote her husband? She could not see that her overmastering ambition was the undoing of her chances for happiness. She expected and desperately wanted affection. Yet she drove him on with contempt in her eyes for his inability or lack of desire to come up to her expectations. Patience was wanting in her, the patience founded on a love of her husband for himself and not for what he might do for her. In her life she manifested all the outward works of an inspirational wife. The inner spirit was lacking. She married to satisfy her own desires and ambitions.