Wonderful books by Father Kinsella:
The Wife Desired
The Man For Her
The late W. C. Fields of the stage and movie used to enjoy
repeating that you can never cheat an honest person. He knew
whereof he spoke. Confidence games take in only the avaricious,
who are willing to lean over the line of honesty. There is a close
parallel to the statement that you cannot trust a suspicious person.
Fundamentally, a suspicious woman is a cynic who believes that
all human conduct is directed wholly by self-interest or self-
indulgence. Insecure in this cold, evil world, she must protect
herself. She trusts no one. All must prove themselves innocent,
else they are guilty.
There is something in her of the hypocrisy of Diogenes, shuffling
along with a lantern looking for an honest man. He was blinded by
his own light and not very honest. In his most desperate moment
of loneliness no one should ever trust a suspicious woman with
The suspicious being is a petty, beetle-browed parody of a son of
God. The suspicious wife is obnoxious to all, and it is little wonder,
seeing what mental company she keeps. Satan, ever ready to
whisper into her ear a choice little morsel of gossip, suspicion, or
rash judgment, is her boon companion. Suspecting sin of others,
especially her husband, she herself drones through life in sin. It is
a sin of injustice to suspect another of wrong doing, to put evil
motives into the minds of others.
Most suspicious wives fall into a definite pattern. Suspecting their
husbands of infidelity, they them selves are unfaithful to the trust
and confidence out of which grows real companionship. The
suspicious wife generally informs the whole neighborhood of her
husband's imagined infidelity. Relatives are dragged into the sorry
picture. She makes a nuisance of herself even where he works by
continually checking on him over the phone or by waiting for him
at his place of business. He becomes the butt of nasty jokes from
his fellow workers. He is suspected of irresponsibility by his
employers. If he is not released from his position, at least he is
considered a poor risk for any advancement.
Often the suspicious wife makes a liar of her husband. In order to
allay her apprehensions over some trivial matter, he takes what he
foolishly thinks is the easy way out. He lies. One lie usually
demands another. Sooner or later the truth will out.
Once she has caught her husband in a lie, the suspicious wife goes
to work on him with the eagerness of a bloodhound on the scent.
An innocent highball with the boss on the way home from work
might be misconstrued by the little woman so he fabricates some
excuse for being a half hour late for dinner. On finding the truth
later she belabors him with it. He is perpetually in a turmoil
whether a truth or a falsehood will stir up her suspicions. For him
it is either the frying pan or the fire. His silence is construed as
guilt, and his protestations of fidelity are its proof. In this
connection the sad picture of a husband comes to memory. After
telling his story of a suspicious wife and his gradual alienation, he
sat in silence for a few moments and then said, "A ghost woman
ruined our marriage."
The short and the long of the matter is that these women are
capable of very little love. Love brings trust and confidence upon
which companionship can be built. Most of these suspicious
women complain of the lack of companionship with their
husbands. They do not stay home in the evening. They never have
any holidays together. Their conversation is meager. These wives
do not seem to be able to see that they are driving their husbands
away from them--even at times into the infidelity of which they are
The wife desired is in love with her husband, and therefore she has
absolute trust in him. Because she is a practical woman, she knows
that there is no other possible course. She realizes that her
husband carries with him the weakness of humankind. So she is
poised more in readiness to forgive than to drive herself into
mental illness by constantly fretting about the possibilities.
She is only human, so the devil will use sundry situations to drop
suspicions into her mind. He will play on her imagination. She
wisely pounces upon these dirty offerings at the first
consciousness of them and flings them from her mind. In this
action she recalls the wisdom of the ancients--obsta principiis,
resist beginnings. An evil suspicion willingly harbored in her mind
quickly sends out roots to sap the very life blood of her love. The
longer it is nursed the more difficult will be the extraction. She
knows this and tosses the devil's garbage back at once. The
tranquility of her soul is not to be whipped into turmoil so easily.
Jealousy and her twin sister, Envy, have spawned more mischief
upon this world than is generally realized. These are the vices with
which the devil is most tormented. Little wonder it is, then, that he
takes particular delight in seeing jealousy or envy bring about the
moral downfall and consequent misery of a human being. These
vices have a frightful history of human tragedy strewn in their
wake stretching back from the latest divorce to the murder of Abel.
It is hard to imagine a vice less rewarding to its victim than
jealousy. Conceivably, the robber derives some enjoyment from
her spoils, the adulteress from her passion, the deceiver from her
deception. Jealousy produces nothing but sadness and grief. A
jealous wife makes me think of the picture of a wounded snake
If it were not for the tragedy of broken marriages arising from
jealousy, the situations springing therefrom often would be comic.
One wife complained one day that her husband gave his affection
to everybody but her. At a wedding reception she saw him kissing
his cousins. He explained that there was nothing to it. Simply they
were kissing cousins. She made a searching study of the
propensities of his side of the family and proclaimed that his
cousins were not kissing cousins.
A jealous wife watches her husband like a hawk. He had better not
show any affection even to his sister, or he will be in hot water. A
momentary, furtive glance at a beautiful woman always alarms and
makes her uneasy. Because a jealous wife is an unhappy wife she
contributes no happiness to a marriage. From jealousy it is one
fast, easy step to suspicion and all its incumbent evils.
A wife striving to be desired by her husband will be ever on guard
against jealousy. It is a petty sin in the sense of its meanness, not
in its consequences. Lest some feel that the language concerning
suspicion and jealousy has been too severe, harken to the words of
Scripture. "With a jealous woman is a scourge--he that hath hold of
her, is as he that taketh hold of a scorpion." Ecclus. XXVI, 9, 10.
Once a friend gave a bit of sage advice concerning friendship and
companionship for those on long vacations with a group of
friends. He advised going off by oneself for a day. A week or ten
days of constant companionship begins to wear. After having
spent the day alone, one will come running back to one's friends
and be happy to be with them again.
The wise wife will realize that it is good for the husband to have an
evening out once in a while to attend some club or lodge, or to
bowl. She will not want to keep him under her eye constantly. She
should be free likewise, of course, to get out by herself and visit
her girl friends. No hard and fast rules can be given for guidance
on a question like this. Yet the principle must be recognized that
deep and lasting companionship does not suffer from occasional,
Some silly wives begin to pout, if the husband ever ventures out
for an evening. By their childish and short-sighted attitudes,
sometimes even clouded with suspicion, they become less
desirable companions. Little wonder it is then that the husband
starts to wander off more than he should. The ideal wife will be
successful in some phases of companionship in the same
proportion as she is successful in developing her personality.
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