I’ve Just Become Engaged…Now What?


From the August 1953 Issue of True 200536242-001Romance Magazine, a guide for the young woman who is about to embark on the wonders of marriage. How does it hold up compared to today’s standards of marriage? Read on and take the “Am I Ready For Marriage?” Quiz at the bottom:

What does a bride need to know to be a good wife? Here is the account of what Connie Hart (one of our readers) found out, and we’re passing it on to you as a practical guide to the engaged girl.

Last night Larry gave me my diamond and I couldn’t sleep the whole night. Oh, I love him and I’m happy, sure! But I have to admit that I’m troubled too. What is marriage really? When I’m with Larry it’s a rushing feeling of possession — when I’m alone I sometimes get scared thinking it will be pots and pans and drudgery.

I guess this is as good a time as any to ask myself a few questions. What do I know about Larry? He’s a fellow in the crowd who painted scenery for the school plays, and then went into his own house painting business after high school graduation. He’s twenty-one and I’m seventeen, and we’ve gone steady for a year.

I know our interests are the same and although he may outscore me on the bowling alley, I can handle a car as well as he can. He calls me the worst driver in the whole city of Columbus, but I just ignore that. And I learned something about him I didn’t know — he likes to cook. Guess I’ll be learning new things about him all the time, now.

We’ve never talked about children, or where we want to settle. Larry will be able to do most of the repair work on a house. But he may want to live in an apartment.

We both go to the same church, so we have no religious problems. But I remember a few years ago when his cousin wanted to marry someone of another faith. His mother was very upset and had decided opinions about it. “It can’t possibly work,” she said. “George will be back home within a year.” She was wrong, and they have a lovely baby now. But does my mother-in-law have decided opinions about other things, too? What would she say about my leaving the dishes in the sink, or the kind of furniture I want?

I don’t know anything about buying furniture or living on a budget. What would I do if I found out I didn’t have money for meals on Friday or Saturday because I spent it all at the beginning of the week? I couldn’t keep it a secret the way I did when I was fifteen and bought those fancy earrings and didn’t have lunch money for a week. My sister Grace should be able to help me here. She’s twenty and has been married for a year.

I wouldn’t be too far wrong if I spoke to our minister about our future, either. He sometimes gives sermons about the meaning of marriage and problems that reached the heart level.

I’m going to stop in at the bank, too, and see if they can give me some suggestions in planning my budget. Then, with all the help that I’ll have from my relatives, friends, and minister I shouldn’t have too much trouble in getting started on making my marriage work.

After that I’ll pay the doctor a visit. I haven’t had a complete examination in years and it’s only fair to Larry that his wife should be in perfect condition. At the same time the doctor can explain some of the physical aspects of marriage to me so that I can do my part in making our marriage a success. I expect Larry will want to do that too. Then we can talk over what the doctor said and see how it fits in with what we already knew.

There’s an awful lot I don’t know–budgets, children, doctors, in-laws. I know that I can’t learn everything in one day, but tomorrow I’m going to start asking a lot of questions and I won’t stop until I get answers that tell me something. I guess that’s the most sensible way to plan.

We haven’t set a date for our wedding yet, so our engagement will give me enough time to learn what I need to know to be a good wife. Don’t get me wrong–I don’t want a long engagement, but I don’t want a short marriage, either.

Am I Ready For Marriage?

1. Have you discussed the future with each other in terms of children, a home, religion, keeping your job, and who handles the money? Yes or No

2. If your knowledge of the physical aspects of marriage are hazy, would you consult a doctor? Yes or No

3. Do you and your fiance quarrel over people you would like to have as friends? Yes or No

4. Do you think you know everything important about your future husband? Yes or No

5. Do you look upon marriage as a romantic adventure? Yes or No

6. Will your feelings be hurt if your husband spends one night a week bowling with the boys? Yes or No

7. Are there little habits that your fiance has that you think you’re going to change after marriage? Yes or No

8. Do you get along with your in-laws? Yes or No

9. If your husband provoked you, would you tongue-lash him first and ask questions afterward? Yes or No

10. Do you always expect to get your own way? Yes or No

11. Are you willing to do those things for your husband that your mother did for you, plus a little bit more? Yes or No

12. Do you think a budget is important when you first get married? Yes or No

13. Are you ready to make your marriage work even if it turns out to be much different from what you expected it to be? Yes or No

14. Have you and your husband discussed the matter of a working wife? Yes or No

If your answers to question 1 and 2 are “yes,” then your outlook on marriage is healthy. It shows that you can see both sides of a question — a very important part of marriage. Give yourself one point here for each “yes.”

If your answers to questions 3, 4 ,5, 6, and 7 are “yes,” then you’d better give another thought to what you want out of marriage because you are still thinking of marriage as a fairy tale and you’re trying to fit your husband-to-be into the pattern of a prince charming. Give yourself one point here for each “no.”

If your answers to question 8 and 11 are “yes,” and questions 9 and 10 are “no,” then you’re a considerate woman, and should make a considerate wife. Give yourself one point for each correct answer.

If your answers to questions 12, 13, and 14 are “yes,” then you’ve faced the realistic side of marriage, and your chances of success are better than average. Give yourself one point for each “yes.”

A perfect score of fourteen means you’re off to a good start in your marriage. A score between 8 and 13 means that you haven’t given the day-to-day side of marriage much thought, and there may be bumps ahead. Less than 7 means you may not be ready for marriage. BE CAREFUL!

Leave a Reply