Dangers of Infatuation

Cougar couple by Cranach

Some sensible advice from Real Life Problems and their Solution (1938) from the ever reliable R.Edynbry.

One can truly ascribe it to a loss of balance when a woman in the “ forties “ or “ fifties “ falls madly in love with a youth young enough to be her son; or even with a son-in-law. Sometimes he happens to be an employee or even a close friend of the family. The problem in the home is a terribly distressing one. To reason with her is useless, and kindly restraint with pacification is the only available remedy. With great good luck this dangerous phase may soon pass over and leave a wife full of contrition and shame —a condition often to be feared almost as much as the former. A wise family doctor may also be of great help by explaining to her how the change of life can affect both the mind and the emotions. One the phase has passed, never reproach the woman, or make her unhappy about it. Just show your happiness at her return to normality, and if possible, arrange for her to take a holiday or a change of some sort.

Unmarried woman of middle age are equally liable to these emotional outbreaks. Sometimes they take the form of persecuting a public character by sending anonymous letters or by waylaying him. Women of hitherto unimpeachable morals may try to seduce much younger men, or even bring charges against a perfectly innocent stranger. All these cases need the skilled care of a trained physician who will understand the real basis of the situation. Unreserved condemnations and punishment serve little purpose and can be cruel. To understand all may not be to forgive all, but, when it is recognised that the great majority of these women are mentally and emotionally sick, the otherwise harsh judgment passed upon them will often be softened.  [RR]

(Painting by Cranach)

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