I’m a happily married (second time around) boomer-aged woman. I’m kind to my husband. I’m always on his team. Why not? He’s a loving husband and he gladly puts up with all my foibles. I really do wake up every morning and think about what I can do today that will put a smile on my husband’s face. And he reciprocates—in spades. It’s like the old “Be My Baby” Ronettes song: “For every kiss you give me, I’ll give you three.”
I find myself in the minority. Paradoxically, many women, while acknowledging that they are married to “great guys,” often treat them more like a necessary evil. Their attitude is reminiscent of a client who holds his breath and hires the attack dog divorce lawyer, while steadfastly maintaining disdain for the profession.
Let’s analyze the priorities here. Of course, if we’re talking mothers, the kids are the be all and the end all. They clamor for mom’s attention. It’s easy to succumb to the pressure to be the stellar mom. The tradeoff is that these mothers often shunt their husbands aside and relegate them to providing a hefty income so they never have to “deprive” their children of anything.
If the woman is a childless career professional, then her work is paramount and her husband’s role is to listen to her job travails and try to keep up with her income. Even in her “free time,” she obsessively checks her email, lest she miss an important tidbit. All of her self-worth is tied up in her professional life. I speak from personal experience. This is what I did this in my first marriage. I treated my husband like a roommate.
Then there are the women who are working mothers. These women are perpetually exhausted and struggling just to keep their heads above water. They just don’t have enough hours in the day to pay attention to their husbands. Something’s gotta give and it’s often the relationship with their husband.
There’s yet another variation on this theme. Some women belatedly realize that they have chosen poorly. Once they realize they married “Mr. Wrong,” they embark on a program to train their husband, much like a puppy, or maybe a racehorse. They hope to magically transform an imperfect guy into the man of their dreams by passive aggressive trickery. Rather than just cutting him loose or accepting their husband as-is, they focus on what’s wrong with him and make their marriage perpetually unhappy.
Wise up women! John Gray’s popular theory that “Men Are from Mars and Women Are from Venus” is nothing more than a catchy slogan. Human needs are human needs. Your husband is more important than your kids or your job. Marriages thrive when both partners feel loved, valued, and appreciated.
Why not readjust your perspective and treat your husband the way you’d like to be treated? If he’s a “great guy” or even a “good guy,” your kindness will be returned and you’ll have a much happier life. Why not give it a try?