Every so often one of those Five Ways I’m Failing My Marriage or Five Ways to Be A Better Wife posts come along and they always make me nuts. Now that I am pregnant and I can’t stand even the smallest amount of BS one popped up today and just made me furious. The common demonitator here is, of course, me. Why do these make me so insane? I really thought about it and then I realized what it is.
It is the insulting way we expect our men to be morons. Listen, I’m not saying they can’t BE morons or that we wives can’t BE morons. We’re human. We mess up. It’s okay. But we intruct our men that we expect so very little of them and yet we consistently pump out the posts guilting ourselves and our fellow women into feeling like we don’t do enough. Not so much the “daddy bloggers” with these posts, am I right?
Today’s As A Wife, I Am Guilty Of These Five Things ( AND YOU PROBABLY ARE TOO!) had a couple of true gems that just really pissed me off…and offended me on behalf of my husband.
First and foremost, submit to your man sexually no matter what mood you’re in or how your day has gone. Come on, is this 1942? Of COURSE I’ve rallied for my man when I didn’t feel like it, we all have. And you know what makes me want to rally for him the most? That time and time again he has said and shown that he doesn’t enjoy it if I don’t. That he gets zero pleasure out of my grinning and bearing it while he gets his rocks off. Not what he – and probably your husband too- wants. And if it IS what he wants? You to just shut up and take it? Then we have some more important issues to discuss. I do rally for my man and you know what? He rallies for me. It might not be sexually but I as a wife have needs too that must be fulfilled. It’s a two way street. Sometimes he rallies by putting away the ipad and listening to the minutae of my day. What happened in preschool, who said what on the internet. We discuss articles we’ve read and shows we want to see and talk all manner of House of Cards and it’s comparisons to MacBeth. I know he is tired after working a long day, just as I am tired after a day of toddler terrorist negotiations and OMG why did no one tell me that dealing with a 5 year old boy can be like dealing with a 13 year old girl? (The mood swings are terrifyingly quick.) I know he wants to zone out and kill Zombies on the ipad, but he sits next to me and gives me his attention. That’s rallying for me and it makes me want to rally right back.That’s sexy. Marriage is a two way street, baby.
And guess what if some nights I just can’t rally? He’s a grown man, he can handle it. He can. And if he can’t rally and just needs to shoot some zombies? I can handle that too.
I quote I often forget that my husband needs my attention, my encouragement and my admiration as much as, if not more than, my children. Ummmm what? I don’t know about your husband, but mine is a grown man. Sure, he needs encouragement. We all do. And I try my best to be his biggest cheerleader but he is a fully actualized human being- meaning he can acknowledge when he himself has done a good job and is motivated by things other than applause. Also? He loves our kids, he knows developmentally their self esteem is still forming and they are figuring things out. I can and do encourage my husband, he is AMAZING. He works crazy hard for our family and I know he gets dissapointed that we aren’t moving forward as quickly as we’d like, but I can encourage him with a hug, a kiss, a smile, a kind and specific word about what he is doing at work or at home. Why do we yet again expect our husbands to be more sensitive, needier, and more helpless than our children? My husband is able to quickly assess a situation and recognize that our child needs a bigger WAY TO GO!!! than he does. Because he is a grown freaking man. We can all do better to encourage our husbands and they can do better to encourage us. A kind word is always good…but to insinuate that they are such weaklings they need it more than children? Is insulting to them as men and to them as fathers.
Next up, control. We need to give them major props any time they do anything at home even if they attempt to instruct us on how to load the diswasher and should hold our tongues and let them feel manly for telling us how to do it. Listen. Dishes get clean people, whether they’re loaded my way or his. Who cares? I can’t be bothered with this.The one and only thing I wish I could teach him is how to make a neat little dirty diaper envelope so everything is contained. He just tosses those bad boys in the container and we have a houdini dog and it makes me insane. He can’t be bothered. However, he wishes I would learn how to turn on the damn x-box kinnect so he doesn’t have too. Chances are he just hates doing poopy diapers and wants me to handle them and chances are I am lazy and just want him to play kinnect with the kids. And we are cool with that. And it doesn’t make him feel disprespected (because he is grown freaking man and knows what disrespectful really is) and I don’t feel disrespected either.
Not only are you failing at housekeeping, sex and basically everything else…also you’re slovenly. Oh the SHAME! My husband came home the other day and I was in leggings. He still wanted to get busy. I got all dressed up the other day. He wanted to get busy. I had the stomach flu and when I finally took a shower and put on some chapstick he told me I looked beautiful. I should make more of an effort in this department but not just to please him. I am in the trenches still with two little ones and one more on the way and nothing fits and just UGH. If I get dressed up and put on full make up, it’s for me…it makes ME feel good. Of course Zach likes it when I get dressed up just as I think he is dreamy when he gets all dressed and put on his cologne. No one smells better than my husband. No one. It’s really hard in this stage in life, we spend all day crawling on the ground with kids, fetching things, changing diapers…it’s easy and practical to wear comfortable clothes you can move in and let’s stop fighting that yoga pants aren’t everywhere? They are. And they’re comfy and practical and easy to wash. They’re also easy to take off. If he came home and I was all made up, wearing a pencil skirt and a nice blouse he would laugh his ass off. Not that he wouldn’t think I look pretty, he would just think it was a really impractical fashion choice for the tasks at hand. We can easily take 5 seconds to put on a little lip gloss, a statement necklace over that cute T and jeans makes it an outfit. Easy to do and yes, our husbands appreciate it.And they can at least try to keep their hands out of their pants while they watch tv. But you’re not failing at wifedom if he shows up and you’ve got Mac n Cheese dumped in your lap and you’re desperately trying to get your 2 year old to eat ANYTHING. If anything it’s good for him to see how hard you work, maybe you could use a word of encouragement too.
My problem with these articles is not that they want us to to get dressed or care for our husbands. That’s good advice. It’s the consistent babying of our men and the utter disregard for OUR needs. Marriage isn’t give and take; it’s give and recieve. I give encouragement- I recieve encouragement. I give love- I receive love.
But both my husband and myself are offended at the implication that he is some insipid fool who needs to be catered too.
Let’s stop mom shaming, wife shaming, woman shaming. Let’s stop expecting so little from our men. Let’s all encourage each other.