Wives are people who feel they don’t dance enough.
—Groucho Marx (1890–1977) American Actor, Comedian, Singer
He will hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel force, something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse.
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–92) British Poet
If you want to know about a man you can find out an awful lot by looking at who he married.
—Kirk Douglas (1916–2020) American Actor, Producer
A good wife and health is a mans best wealth.
If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
—Anne Bradstreet (1612–72) American Poet
Never take a wife till thou hast a house (and a fire) to put her in.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
In America a woman loses her independence for ever in the bonds of matrimony. While there is less constraint on girls there than anywhere else, a wife submits to stricter obligations. For the former, her father’s house is a home of freedom and pleasure; for the latter, her husband’s is almost a cloister.
—Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–59) French Historian, Political Scientist
Those graceful acts, those thousand decencies, that daily flow from all her words and actions, mixed with love and sweet compliance, which declare unfeigned union of mind, or in us both one soul.
—John Milton (1608–74) English Poet, Civil Servant, Scholar, Debater
A woman asking “Am I good? Am I satisfied?” is extremely selfish. The less women fuss about themselves, the less they talk to other women, the more they try to please their husbands, the happier the marriage is going to be.
—Barbara Cartland (1901–2000) English Popular Romantic Novelist
In that second it dawned on me that I had been living here for eight years with a strange man and had borne him three children.
—Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906) Norwegian Playwright
Such a wife as I want… must be young, handsome I lay most stress upon a good shape, sensible a little learning will do, well-bread, chaste, and tender. As to religion, a moderate stock will satisfy me. She must believe in God and hate a saint.
—Alexander Hamilton (c.1757–1804) American Federalist Politician, Statesman
I… chose my wife as she did her wedding-gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well.
—Oliver Goldsmith (1730–74) Irish Novelist, Playwright, Poet
If I was your wife Sir, I’d poison you! Madam, if you were my wife, I’d let you!
—Winston Churchill (1874–1965) British Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Journalist, Author
Nature meant me a wife, a silly harmless household Dove, fond without art; and kind without deceit.
—John Dryden (1631–1700) English Poet, Literary Critic, Playwright
A man would prefer to come home to an unmade bed and a happy woman than to a neatly made bed and an angry woman.
—Marlene Dietrich (1901–92) German-born American Actor, Singer
Many a promising career has been wrecked by marrying the wrong sort of woman. The right sort of woman can distinguish between Creative Lassitude and plain shiftlessness.
—Robertson Davies (1913–95) Canadian Novelist, Playwright, Essayist
He’s a fool that marries, but he’s a greater that does not marry a fool; what is wit in a wife good for, but to make a man a cuckold?
—William Wycherley (c.1640–1716) English Dramatist
If you are really Master of your Fate, it shouldn’t make any difference to you whether Cleopatra or the Bearded Lady is your mate.
—Ogden Nash (1902–71) American Writer of Sophisticated Light Verse
To suckle fools, and chronicle small beer.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table than when his wife talks Greek.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
The true index of a man’s character is the health of his wife.
—Cyril Connolly (1903–74) British Literary Critic, Writer
Adam knew Eve his wife and she conceived. It is a pity that this is still the only knowledge of their wives at which some men seem to arrive.
—F. H. Bradley (1846–1924 ) British Idealist Philosopher
I take my wife everywhere I go. She always finds her way back.
—Henny Youngman (1906–98) Anglo-American Comedian, Violinist
The philosophy of the common man is an old wife that gives him no pleasure, yet he cannot live without her, and resents any aspersions that strangers may cast on her character.
—George Santayana (1863–1952) Spanish-American Poet, Philosopher
The fact is that my wife if she had common sense would have more power over me than any other whatsoever, for my heart always alights upon the nearest perch.
—Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron) (1788–1824) English Romantic Poet
Variability is one of the virtues of a woman. It avoids the crude requirement of polygamy. So long as you have one good wife you are sure to have a spiritual harem.
—G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) English Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Poet
Every mother generally hopes that her daughter will snag a better husband than she managed to do… but she’s certain that her boy will never get as great a wife as his father did.
That’s what a man wants in a wife, mostly; he wants to make sure one fool tells him he’s wise.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
A man’s wife has more power over him than the state has.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
When I think of a merry, happy, free young girl—and look at the ailing, aching state a young wife generally is doomed to—which you can’t deny is the penalty of marriage.
—Queen Victoria (1819–1901) British Royal