— Florence Nightingale English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing 1820 - 1910
Context: Look round at the marriages which you know. The true marriage — that noble union, by which a man and woman become together the one perfect being — probably does not exist at present upon earth.
It is not surprising that husbands and wives seem so little part of one another. It is surprising that there is so much love as there is. For there is no food for it. What does it live upon — what nourishes it? Husbands and wives never seem to have anything to say to one another. What do they talk about? Not about any great religious, social, political questions or feelings. They talk about who shall come to dinner, who is to live in this lodge and who in that, about the improvement of the place, or when they shall go to London. If there are children, they form a common subject of some nourishment. But, even then, the case is oftenest thus, — the husband is to think of how they are to get on in life; the wife of bringing them up at home.
But any real communion between husband and wife — any descending into the depths of their being, and drawing out thence what they find and comparing it — do we ever dream of such a thing? Yes, we may dream of it during the season of "passion," but we shall not find it afterwards. We even expect it to go off, and lay our account that it will. If the husband has, by chance, gone into the depths of his being, and found there anything unorthodox, he, oftenest, conceals it carefully from his wife, — he is afraid of "unsettling her opinions."