Before we get to wife’s role, let’s explore her first line of defense: husband’s conscience. Like the rest of us, husband wants to feel good about himself and preferably all the time. Conscience alerts him when he shouldn’t or doesn’t.
- Definition: Conscience is the internal message center that backs up the respect we have for our self and others. It provides the uh-oh when we violate our self-respect, respect for others, or both. Weak respect, weak conscience. Strong respect, strong conscience.
- Conscience is the debt we owe to those we respect, including Self. He creates a guilty conscience, when he offends those he respects. Offense without respect stirs no guilt.
- The stronger is one’s conscience, the more earnest the motivation to both prevent and restore lost respect for others and Self. A weak conscience does little to curb husband’s cheating. A strong conscience helps him cope with the natural urge to both conquer and spread seed.
- Conscience makes character count more than good looks when searching for husband candidates. If already married, building greater respect strengthens a man’s conscience and her belief in it.
- Husband’s conscience detects and springs forth from violations of his self-respect, because it stimulates doubt about his self-image. Phrased in reverse, if his picture of whom and what he is crumbles, his self-respect wilts. His natural reaction calls for restoration of it, and the stronger his conscience—which means greater respect for Self and others—the more highly motivated his effort.
- If he lacks respect for females generally, he doesn’t picture himself as wrong when he mistreats one.
- To the extent that he respects females, mistreatment of one causes his conscience to send signals of regret to him more than to her. However, lacking respect for her gender at least equal to or greater than his respect for the male gender means he can disrespect, mistreat, and even harm women with no conscience alerts, no loss of self-respect.
- To the extent that he respects wife, mistreatment of her causes loss of self-respect. It contradicts his picture of him as husband and his ideals of what marriage means. But worse, if he lacks respect for her, mistreatment doesn’t make him feel bad about himself. It disturbs neither his self-image nor self-respect.
Describing the many roles of conscience has expanded. More tomorrow.