The Idiot's Guide To Marriage

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Woman's Work is Never Done

My intention of this blog is not to dig on men, or make men/women pitted against each other, but rather bring up legitimate gripes that cause huge blow-ups, resentments, and bitterness in many a if you're a man reading this particular post, please bear with me, hear us out, and take this into consideration.

I realize I'm speaking from a female perspective, and some of the things I say might not make sense, because like it or not, male and female brains approach things differently. So I'm trying to think of a way to break this down so we can all be on the same page.

The issue brought up from my post yesterday is this: women feel that whether they work outside the home or not, it's their job to hold down the fort. They are frustrated, because some men feel if they put in their 40 hours at work, they should be able to come home, relax, and kick back etc.

Out of all the married couples I know, and including my own marriages, the majority of the relationships have this issue. I don't know where this frame of mind comes from. But something has to give. At some point, men and women are going to have to come to an understanding on this one, and get it figured out. Why can't we learn from our predecessors? Why can't we learn from past mistakes. What is it about us humans, that we are incapable of learning from our environment, taking these experiences and using them to better our current existence? Don't we all want to be happy?

Ok guys, what is it you don't get about this. If your wife works outside the home, what makes you think you are entitled to "free time" after work, and she is not? Or maybe you do agree she is entitled to free time, but you don't realize that if both of you take advantage of your free time nothing will get done? Why is this an issue, why do we have to argue about it?

Even if your wife doesn't work outside the home, but takes care of kids all day, it's the same thing.

I would suggest for couples struggling with this issue, make a list of your chores/jobs/tasks/ and expectations around the house. Each of you make a list of the things you do, or THINK you do. Then, swap lists. For one week, do the things on the other persons list.

If you've been married awhile, and there is something on that list you don't know how to do, I say SHAME ON YOU. You need to be part of a team. Teams work together, and team mates back each other up that means, when one is down, the other one picks up the slack. Both of you should know how to do the finances. Both of you should know how to run a freakin lawn mower. Both of you are capable of picking up the phone and hiring a plumber. It has nothing to do with "roles".....Stop with the role thing already.

People need to get a clue. All chores/tasks etc, are interchangeable. Just because you don't like to get dirty? That is too bad. Do it anyway. It's not about YOU, its about US. It's about doing whatever you need to do to get things done. If you both know all the aspects of your responsibilities, then if one person is sick, or hurt, the other one can step up to the plate. And if you aren't willing to do this? You suck.

I'll give you an example. For years and years, my sister has made her husbands lunch for him every night. They both work outside the home full time. One day, she said to me, why am I doing this? He doesn't make MY lunch. Do I get up in the morning and have a lunch waiting for me on the counter to take to work? NO.

why do we fall into these little traps? Why do we take for granted the things done for us? Why is it the wives responsibility to make her husbands lunch...Unless of course, there is a deal made. He agrees to wash up the dishes every morning, if she agrees to make his lunch. hmmmmm bet that doesn't happen much.

wives, ask yourself this: if you stopped doing these things for him, how would it affect him? Husbands, ask yourselves, if you didn't have your wife doing these little things for you, would you be able to do them for yourselves? And vice versa.

Try the above example of the list thing, or come up with something else, are there anymore suggestions from anyone on this subject and how to solve it?

4 comment(s):

Hun, I've been through all that crap. I was a stay-at-home mom and so it was expected of me that I would carry the burden of the home. Clearly, the burden of the home/family is bigger than a forty hour week. On the other hand, my husband was a police officer. Before that, he was a Navy diver. He did have a stressful job. I was very sensitive to this. But we were young when we married and I didn't really even know how to handle having a home.

I believe the dilemma comes from the ancient idea that the woman is the keeper of the hearth. The man is the provider. He does stuff like building the house, hunting for the food, cutting down trees for fire, caring for the livestock, etc. She had a hard job, too but it's never really LOOKED that way. The jobs of course have changed over the centuries.

It only makes sense that if both of you are working outside of the home, then you should share equally the housework/shopping/cooking/care of the children. You have some good suggestions. We tried them all. The reason none of them worked for us is because there first must be mutual respect and consideration. THEN good, solid communication. I believe that if you have these things, the sky is the limit. Not that these little projects can't help alleviate some of the hardship of "relating," but really it all comes down to that.

In my current relationship, my boyfriend works about seventy hours a week. I work approximately thirty. (And I use that term "work" loosely... I mean there are people out there digging ditches! My bf, for instance, is a carpenter and works HARD!) We are not living together, but it really is my pleasure to do what I can with my extra time and effort to make his time with me less stressful. This, I believe, is true compromise. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate that word, but only because it is abused in order to manipulate others. When there is real understanding about one another's struggles, it is not something that is hard to do, or even unnatural. I find that when you really love and respect another, honoring them and helping them with their burdens is really pleasant and actually GIVES you energy, rather than DRAINING you of it. If the respect is mutual and this is happening on both sides, there is no lack of appreciation and no one is inviting bitterness in so often to tea. :)

By Blogger cathouse teri, at 2:09 PM  

I do a lot around the house. I vacuum a lot. I make lunch in the morning. I expect sexual favours in return.

By Blogger Big Ben, at 8:09 PM  

Dr. Andrew has some things to say about this today at his blog. (Do you think he reads this one??)

I enjoy reading his words of wisdom. He's a good guy. And I love the title, To Love Honor and Dismay. Hehehehe

(I dunno how to make that link up cause I'm retarded, so you peeps will just have to make do with what I have to work with, brainwise.)

By Blogger cathouse teri, at 9:11 AM  

catty: personally i'm tired of bearing the entire burden of the house. right now? i have to because i'm single, by my own choice, so thats fine. and i don't intend to marry someone JUST to relieve me of this burden, but the next guy i'm with? i'm going to make sure we work as a team and don't take each other for granted. and i agree, when you really love someone, you do things happily!

bigben. i think that getting the favors WHILE vacuuming would be cool

catty, i doubt he reads this blog. but this is a good blog name, because most of my visitors come here off google hits about marriage stuff. stick with me and we will take this thing right to the top and i'll write a book, wanna be in it?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:02 AM  

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