‘If you want to know how your girl will treat you after marriage, just listen to her talking to her little brother.” ~Sam Levenson
It is easy to fall in love, easy to get married. What is not so easy is living in harmony and working as a team. A lot of assumptions are made about what makes a “good wife” or “good husband,” but often these are assumed rather than negotiated.
Courtship and honeymoons are a lot different than day-to-day life filled with responsibilities and many things to juggle. When the going gets tough, there can be a tendency to start criticizing a partner for not behaving as we think a spouse should.
Women are particularly good at this. In the 21 st century we are far too liberated to have a husband tell us how we should behave as a wife, but have no hesitation in holding our men up to a sometimes unrealistic ideal. Now men, before you go clipping out this column and waving it in her face, I said unrealistic. It is not unrealistic to do your share of the home maintenance and parenting responsibilities.
Some women assume a husband should be at her beck and call. He is like a personal assistant and should carry out all of her demands, and further, should be able to mind-read and know exactly what she is thinking and what she wants. His first obligation in life is to her, and like the hired help needs to ask if it would be okay if he took a day or evening off.
She thinks this is all okay, because, after all, if you love me and married me, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Well, not really. A marriage should be a partnership where the needs of both parties are honored. Neither one should be superior or controlling towards the other. Individuals should be able to ask for what they need rather than demanding or criticizing. Couples should be like best friends who work things out so it’s all good.
There is a difference between being boyfriend/girlfriend and being husband/wife. Before getting married, talk about what you both think a husband/wife should be. Talk about finances, children, household chores and spending time with friends. If you are on the same page, go for it. If you see red flags, don’t think it will be easier to gain agreement once you are married, and act accordingly.
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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