The word according to Madam Thingy – part 2


  1. The most common case: the momentary, purely physical attraction of a man who is removed from his family environment, who has eaten a good dinner and finishes off the evening by cutting a few capers with a lady of easy virtue.

    Nine times out of ten you will never learn about it, because it occurs during a business trip; and nine times out of ten you will obtain as a result a little gift that your remorseful spouse will buy the next morning. But if some chance indiscretion or blunder brings the incident to your attention, instead of making a drama out of it you should simply laugh off the prowess of your husband. You have here a most propitious moment for getting anything you want out of him – perhaps even breakfast in bed for a year.

  2. The case, still quite common but much more disturbing, of the man who has an ‘affair’ with a woman who he meets every day.
    1. If it is the children’s piano teacher or your best friend, change her for another one immediately.

    2. If it is his secretary or an employee at the office, everything becomes much trickier. Here, there are two possible eventualities:
      1. He carefully conceals his liason, which means that he is ashamed of it and that he is more attached to you than to his filing-clerk siren.

        Of course you suspect nothing. You are always perfectly groomed, made up, and happy; you organise dates and parties and intimate candlelit dinners for two; you buy devastating neglige and boldly make advances to him – in short, you do not leave him alone for a single second. You can always take a nap in the afteroon while he is at the office, but he will soon become so exhausted that his girl-friend will seem like overtime labour rather than a distraction.

      2. He openly flaunts his liaison, which is always frowned upon in every office and therefore means that his new passion is more important to him than his career. This is serious.

        There is no longer any question of hiding your head under your wing; a heart-to-heart discussion is necessary. But it should be a discussion between partners in the same business, like a brief you would have carefully prepared, clearly presented, without shedding a single tear; this will surely be more effective than tragic imprecations. Futile questions, such as ‘What does she have that I haven’t got?’ (probably twenty years less) will not bring you closer to a solution, because even if he told you it wouldn’t make you any happier. If you show him calmly that he is certainly going to lose his job, or two million votes in the next election, that in any case you intend to keep the children, the dog, and most of his salary which your lawyer is sure to obtain for you, but that if he immediately drops the girl you will never mention the episode again – there is still a very good chance that he will think it over.

        If he obstinately persists in his folly, you can also refuse a divorce until he has seen the light or, on the contrary, start at once to look for a partner who will appreciate your true value. It is a question of temperament, upbringing or religion, which I shall scrupulously refrain from discussing since my only object here, mesdames, is to give you a few recipes for making the best use of these gentlemen.

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