"It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous, that you realize just how much you love them! Anyone can admire somebody for being handsome or amusing or charming, but that bubble is soon pricked when a trace of ridicule comes in. I should give as my advice to any girl about to get married: 'Well now, just imagine he had a terrible cold in his head, speaking through his nose all full of b's and d's, sneezing, eyes watering. What would you feel about him?' It's a good test, really. What one needs to feel for a husband, I think, is the love that is tenderness, that comprises affection, that will take colds in the head and little mannerisms all in its stride. Passion one can take for granted.

But marriage means more than a lover -- I take an old-fashioned view that respect is necessary. Respect -- which is not to be confused with admiration. To feel admiration for a man all through one's married life would, I think, be excessively tedious. You would get, as it were, a mental crick in the neck. But respect is a thing that you don't have to think about, that you know thankfully is there. As the old Irish woman said of her husband, 'Himself is a good head to me.' That, I think, is what a woman needs. She wants to feel that in her mate there is integrity, that she can depend on him and respect his judgment, and that when there is a difficult decision to be made it can safely lie in his hands.

Dame Agatha Christie Mallowan
"Agatha Christie: An Autobiography"

I found this such a good quote I typed the whole thing finger by finger to make certain of sharing it. There is a lot more, but I recommend going out and buying her autobiography for yourself -- whether you write or just enjoy well-written books. She definitely rates near the top. And unlike some I've read it really does let you see only peeks here and there. Her Victorian nature and upbringing definitely show themselves. In a very good way.

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