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Benjamin M. Owens 

December 12, 1941 


The Tau Beta PI Association 


Everyone who is physically and mentally fit should, if 
possible, plan on marriage. It is a duty and a privilege to be 
able to perpetuate mankind, otherwise the world would no longer 
exist. To be able to make a happy and successful marriage, one 
must choose a partner to his own liking with whom he must spend 
the rest of his days. Marriage must be built on a strong found- 
ation and the first few years must be free from worry and debt, 
having simplicity of home surroundings, in order not to compli- 
cate and mar the intimate friendship which should exist. Mar- 
ripge should not become stagnant, but must progress and maintain 
interest and cooperation on the part of both. Participation in 
entertainments for pleasure should be a cart of the curriculum of 
every married couple. The complete success of any marriage will 
depend upon the indi vidua l*s own attitude toward his position and 
responsibilities . 


Many volumes have been written upon that well-known but 
little understood subject of marriage. It is a duty and a privi- 
lege for every healthy and sane person to take such a step, in 
order to insure the perpetuation of mankind through the medium of 
marriage and family and to raise the social standards of a new 
generation. As is written in Eccleslestea, "Two are better than 
one, because they have a good reward for their Isbor. For if they 
fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him thet is al- 
one when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up." 

The helps and hindrances to married happiness can be 
lumped under one word, personalities, which include ones temper- 
ament, mannerisms, tastes and the like. The individualities, 
likes and dislikes, desires and needs, and everything that per- 
tains to an individual, makes it impossible to set down a specified 
set of rules which anyone might follow for a successful, happy mar- 
riage . There ere, however, many hints and suggestions which can 
enable a man, or a woman, contemplating marriage, to make the best 
cfaoice and give him, or her, some idea of what is necessary for a 
successful marriage. 

During the courting stage the young man or woman should 
seek to know as many agreeable, companionable persons of the opp- 
osite sex as possible, with backgrounds essentially similar. Hav- 
ing a great number of acquaintances makes it possible to pick or 
choose the one with whom you wish to spend the rest of your days. 

vera might ask yourself, does he or she wear well? If you become 
bored now, think of what you may have to endure later. This wear- 
ing quality of interest is not as easy to find out as some other 
things. This interest in each other should continue to grow and 
not diminish. Be careful of one who is tied to her mother's apron 
strings, who has no initiative of her own, nor any backbone. Be 
able to take it, 'you know whet, they cell it in the army, 1 to meet 
disappointments, hardships, and the testing of ideals that must 
appear . 

When seriously contemplating marriege, one should ask 
himself; am I free from debt?; are others dependent on me?; where 
shall I live?; and can I see my way clear for marriage? Do not 
marry when either is in debt or while others are dependent upon 
you. It mars the chance for happiness and gives rise to money 
quarrels end makes It even more difficult to make both ends meet. 
It will take e lot of sacrificing on the part of both at first, in 
order to set up pleasant home surroundings. A smell town is a 
better place to begin marriage than s city unless your work re- 
aulres it, due to t r ans port et ion or other difficulties. In a smell 
town friendships come easier, life is simpler and usually a greet 
deal less expensive. It tekes all these things In order to stert 
out on the right foot and the help you will get in the pleasure of 
friendships at the stert will mean e great deal in building a 
strong foundation upon which to maintain happiness. It Is a known 
fact that the divorce rate is much higher In the city than in the 


country. More marriages ere wrecked by too much free time than 
by too many home tasks to perform. Plan to have a home of your 
own and not with inlaws. 

The wedding shuts one gate and opens another. The long- 
ings and dreams of courtship end and the supreme intimacy of life 
begins. The opportunities for gainincr happiness are not easily won 
and it will take a lot of sacrificing and hard work on the part of 
both. One might ask, how can I make my marriage successful? This 
can only be accomplished by complete cooperation on the part of the 
two concerned. Build a union or tie thst is just and fair to both. 
Decisions must he made on the basis of what is good for both and 
not a selfish or narrow wish of either. Always have respect for 
the other member of the marriage. Avoid self- centered engrossment 
in your own work and don't let your work become too much a part of 
you. Take time, at least once a week, to get out end have a good 
time. Above all, have complete trust in each other. Remaiber to 
make every day count, since there can be no holding on to the pre- 
sent, nor seeking to turn back to the past. 

Marriage makes money go. In order to make your money go 
farther, prepare en orderly adequate budget. The needs for a ma- 
ter Is lly wholesome life are few but sufficient and are listed as 
follows: (1) A clean and decent house or apartment to meet your 
budget, (S) Sufficient wholesome food to maintain health (Remem- 
ber that 18^ worth of good hamburger has as much food value as 
6(V worth of porter-house steak) (3) Clothing sufficient for 


wermth and decency (A $50.00 coat will function as well as a 
$1,000 mink coat ), (4) A margin of money in a savings account for 
insurance, medical care and emergencies, and (5) A little more to 
spend on pure fun (Don't let your need to save make your life dull 
and drab). Use good common judgment in all matters pertaining to 
money and don't let money quarrels become a part of your everyday 

In order to have harmony in marriage, each should be in- 
terested in the other's work or pleasure and be an active part of 
it. If she enjoys art and finds an art exhibit worthwhile, don't 
be a dumb male and say that this means nothing to vouj let her teach 
you what pictures can mean. If she enjoys good music, going to con- 
certs or listening to the radio, try to share her pleasure and dis- 
cover what it is that really gives her satisfaction. In other 
words, if either has a favorite sport or hobby, the other should 
try to join in, at least In the evident satisfaction it gives. Just 
going to the movies or sitting on the sidelines watching others plar 
Is not the ideal joint use of leisure. Young couples should actu- 
ally do something together. 

Marriage is, therefore, more than just placing a ring up- 
on a finger and saying, "I do." It is a great institution and is 
filled with many successes and pleasures if one has faith and trys 
to understand It. Build it on a strong foundation and it will left 
forever; a weak foundation will soon crumble. 


BIGELOW, W. P.: "Good Housekeeping Marriage Book," 
Prentice Hall, Inc., New York, 1938. 

ANTHONY, J. J.: "Marriage and Family Problems," 
Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc., New York, 1939, First Edition, 

EVANS, C. B. S.: "Man and Woman In Marriage," Bruce- 
Roberts, Inc., Chicago, 1931. 

FAIRFAX, B.: "Problems of Love and Marriage," 
McLouKhlin Bros., Inc., Springfield, Mas? . , 1931. 

KEYSERLING, H. X.: "The Book of Marriage," Harcourt, 
Brace and Company, New York, 1927.