How to be a good wife?? Is it really that bad?

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There’s an e-mail going around purportedly containing a list from the 1950’s of what housewives should do in order to be a good partner for their husband. Now, the first thing I’d like to clear up is that it’s not been proven that this list was ever included in any home economics textbook or published in any magazine. Snopes.com has tried to confirm or discredit it and, to date, has not been able to legitimize the information. Here is the list in question:

1. Have dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal – on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

2. Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.

3. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.

4. Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

5. Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.

6. Some Don’ts: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.

7. Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

8. Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.

10. The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.

At first glance, most women I know actually guffaw at the thought of doing these things and some get angry over them. I saw it listed on a message board recently and I didn’t notice a single woman saying anything positive about the list. Now, I’m going to stick my neck out and actually say it…

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the majority of this list. I know, this isn’t the way to win many strong, female friends but, try not to blow your top for just a minute and lets break down what the article is really saying peice by peice:

#1 Have dinner ready. Is this really such a bad thing? Who wouldn’t like to come home and have dinner sitting on the table for them? What a treat that would be. If you would like someone to do it for you – that means your partner would like someone to do it for them too, right? Who better to do that little something special for them than there spouse?

#2 Prepare yourself. First, it’s telling you to rest for a couple minutes – anyone who tells me to take a short nap is good with me. Next, it says to spruce yourself up – again – don’t you always like for your husband to look nice? I know my hubby appreciates it more when my hair is fixed rather than my putting it in a pony tail and it looking crappy. Trying to look your best for your spouse is a good thing. Remember when you first got together and he’d never be allowed to see you without your makeup? This sort of goes back to presenting your best self possible.

#3 Clean up the crap. My hubby actually does this most of the time so, if the pile of shoes sitting right inside the front door is nice to come home to for me – it would be nice for him too. It’s your house too so doing this one benefits everyone.

#4 Prepare the kids. I no longer have little kids so this isn’t an issue for me but there’s no man alive who wants to come home and scoop their kid into their arms and realize his diaper needs to be changed.

#5 Minimize the noise. I don’t think turning off the dishwasher is really that big a deal but most home appliances these days don’t make that much noise compared to the appliances of the 50’s where you probably couldn’t talk to someone within 100 feet of them. Now, if the children are screaming – who wouldn’t appreciate someone making them settle down before they walked in the door?

#6 Don’ts. No one wants to be met at the door with complaints. He might be late because he just sat in traffic for an hour and he doesn’t need you harassing him even more about it. Now, if this happens everyday – I’d have a problem too but every once in a while isn’t such a big deal in the grand scheme of things, right?

#7 Make him comfortable. Allowing me a couple minutes to sit down, relax, and unwind a bit would be fantastic after a long day of work. I think I’d be giddy if my hubby offered to take my shoes off for me. How special would that make you feel? Doesn’t your husband deserve to feel like that too?

#8 Listen to him. Everyone wants to be heard. Whomever talks first isn’t really the issue – it’s as long as the couple talks and seems interested in what happened to the other that’s important. Every night hubby and I talk about what happened in our day. We have very good communication and if people made a habit of doing this each evening – it can only lead to better relationships.

#9 Make the evening his. Never taking me out wouldn’t fly with me and my even trying to never ever complain is really quite futile but nobody wants to hear someone complain every single day. This one is probably the only one I would almost completely dissagree with. Although, if he made a point to make the evening mine an equal amount of the time – it would be a win-win situation.

#10 The goal. Peace and order are only a few of the goals you should have for your home. The goals I think you should have as a good wife are to always let your husband know:

* you love him
* you are proud of him (this is a really big thing to men)
* you support him
* you are his cheerleader
* you believe in him
* you trust him

This list can go on and on. What I’m really trying to say is that when you get past the egos – if someone tried to do this list for you – wouldn’t you feel treasured, loved, and special every single day? Don’t you want your husband to feel that way too? What’s so wrong with that?

Okay, lay it on me. I know there are a lot of women who still vehemently disagree with this list so I give you ladies an opportunity to say your peace. No name calling or getting ugly though 🙂

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2 responses »

  1. hahaha! My Dad got this, printed it out, HIGHLIGHTED his favorite parts and put it on the kitchen refrigerator. Been there for a year now. It is great when company comes over and reads it!

    Linc and I agreed when we got married that ours was a 50-50 marriage. As a matter of fact, Linc asked the preacher to take obey out of the vows and replace with cherish. I pull my equal share with the income and bills so he can pull equal share at home.

    Our society has changed. I don’t think negatively on my grandmother and mother for taking care of the men in our families, but they weren’t pulling in the driveway at 6 pm every night after putting in a full days work either.

    However, the best advice on that list is taking care of yourself. Just because you can walk around the house nekkid without make-up on doesn’t mean you should.

    …Fi

  2. Well, like Fi said, if I’m pulling my share of the income, he should be willing to put in his share of the care for our home, right?

    When I was married, though, I didn’t work. I stayed at home with the kids, and honestly, I thought of that as my job. Caring for my children and our home. And with that came the caring of my husband. I don’t think it’s too much to ask at all.

    Though some of that did bother me. Because I think it should work both ways. And in the one I originally read (I’m not sure if you saw the actual article or not) it said something about quieting the kids, or sending them to their rooms or something, and that bothered me. But otherwise, I’m with you. 😉 As long as it’s a two-way street.

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