Each of the wives had her own particular theory of marriage and a husband on whom to test it out. The husbands were more or less inert.
One wife said the key to a successful marriage was simple. All you had to do was imagine, at all times, a sign above his head which read: He Doesn't Get It. Another wife believed in supplements. Her husband had run out of Vitamin D -- that was why he was such a sniveling, self-pitying, self-absorbed jerk. And that was nothing, compared to what happened, if he ran out of Coenzyme Q! Obviously, her husband was always out of something.
Another wife believed in different kind of supplement: she supplemented her husband with other men. She had one each for sex, humor, emotional support and hiking. She claimed to be very happy, though she never had any time of her own.
One wife was thoroughly impressed by her husband. She'd trained herself to be impressed by anything he did. She'd been impressed for years by his bowel movements. She aimed soon to be impressed with his breath.
The Stoic School of Marriage was, as ever, over-subscribed. The women assured each other that it was both natural and expected to do without sex, respect, money, conversation or companionship. They made a sort of competition out of it. The most highly regarded woman had a relationship which included none of the above. Her company was highly sought after by all the others.
The most energetic wife maintained that everything was perfect, which certainly is optimistic, though it necessitates gradually cutting off all human ties.
Another wife said it was enough her husband brought home money, that it was perfectly reasonable to think of marriage as a very special kind of job, which ruins your life.
Another wife said, It's better than being alone! (We never found out, actually, what it was she did to herself when she was alone. Certainly it must have been unspeakable.)
Each of the wives had her own theory of marriage. The husbands were more or less inert.