Einstein was good at science but terrible at marriage

Einstein was good at science but terrible at marriage

Albert Einstein may have been known for his theory of relativity but his personal life was far from perfect.

Einstien was married twice, first to Mileva Marić a fellow scientist in 1904 and then after their divorce he married his cousin Elsa Löwenthal in 1919.

While there are many details to these marriages, which were discovered in letters Einstein wrote to his partners and others throughout his life, one of the most shocking are the demands Einstein gave his first wife as their marriage fell apart.

In the book Einstein: His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson revealed a list that Einstein had written up for Marić around 1914. It was at this point that she had realised he was in love with his cousin and their relationship had deteriorated. 

To come up with a way to stay together for their children, Einstein wrote out a list of rules for his wife which placed her in the role of his servant more than his partner.

Under the title “Conditions” they were written out as follows:

A. You will make sure:

  1. that my clothes and laundry are kept in good order;
  2. that I will receive my three meals regularly in my room;
  3. that my bedroom and study are kept neat, and especially that my desk is left for my use only.

B. You will renounce all personal relationships with me insofar as they are not completely necessary for social reasons. Specifically you will forego:

  1. my sitting at home with you
  2. my going out or travelling with you

C. You will obey the following points in your relations with me:

  1. you will not expect any intimacy from me nor reproach me in any way;
  2. you will stop talking to me if I request it;
  3. you will leave my bedroom or study immediately without protest if I request it.

D. You will undertake not to belittle me in front of our children, either through words or behaviour.

Most can agree that even for the early 1900s this is a pretty harsh list so it was no wonder the two got divorced only a few years later.

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