Wives Behaving Badly--the MamaT Take

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I liked Smock's post below, and it's given me a lot to think about.

This is a battle that you might have to fight time and again, because everything in our society makes bitchin' about your man an expected thing. You get a lot of sympathy for it. And you get a lot of support.

I wonder if it doesn't have something to do with the ways girls just ARE. When I was a little girl, we made intense friendships. We dressed alike, we ate alike, we worked to think alike. No deviation was desired. Eventually we outgrew that strong need to be identical. We still like people who have a lot in common with us, but we don't expect them to match up exactly.

But then we get married. And that little girl thinking comes into play again. "I want him to be just like me! We'll think alike. We'll be identically romantic. We'll understand each other all the time"

But we don't. And we can't. And in the end, it's what makes us different that makes it best, if we can handle that difference as as difference and not as a shortcoming.

The one thing I truly don't get is this: Why do we, as women, feel like it is incumbent upon men to become "more like us"? Do most of the men in our lives want us to become "more like them"? I haven't found that to be so very true. Most men are far more comfortable having women be women than today's woman is letting men be men. Why is that? And why do we feel we have the absolute right to try to make them US?

What kind of hubris is it, on our parts as women, to assume that half the human race is in some way defective?

(And if any of you who read us are thinking, "Well, they thought we were defective for years!" just let me ask you this: If they were wrong before, does that give us license to be wrong now? Does "evening up things" make you happy?)

I agree with Smock. Society does not respect the role of stay at home wife and mother. Unless you have what is called (with a straight face!) a "real job" your opinions can be discounted. Because how smart can you really be? Smart women have jobs. (Bleah!) Because of this lack of societal respect, I think we SAHMs put a big burden on our husbands to be our cheering section and our source of compliments and self-esteem. And he should be.

But many of us steadfastly refuse to be the same thing for our husbands. And I use that word "refuse" on purpose--because I think for many of us it is a conscious decision we make. And I think that is ineffably sad. Somehow we have a giant ledger in our heads: "I get points for this. He gets points for that." But point-counting never leads to happiness. NEVER. Take it to the bank. If you're counting points, you better start worrying, because something is wrong. It won't work. It can't.

And I'm telling you. Your grandma was right. You really DO catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If you start setting out honey, I promise you'll get more of what you need and want.

Just try it.


aaaaaaaaamen, sister.

I think about this all very differently. I mean, what about the choice to be a SAHM? Why isn't there the same expectancy of yourself to appreciate and be grateful that you get to do something you WANT, or be grateful that you get to put your family first? It's a double-edged sword. Complain about being underappreciated, or take it to heart that you are doing something that you CHOSE to do in the first place. After all, the only person we can change is ourself.



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on October 9, 2006 8:11 AM.

wives behaving badly was the previous entry in this blog.

how fun is this? is the next entry in this blog.

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